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 A Titter On Sky's England

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PostSubject: A Titter On Sky's England   Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:27 am

I am not one to cut n paste, but from time to time a writer jots down a artical that is worthy of sharing with friends and I felt this was something you all would crack a smile too. Yes, it would be handy if you had seen some of Sky's coverage yourself to understand alot of what my fav sports writer is amusing us with, but I think you are all bright enough to get the jist of it.

"These things can often drag on,” Nick Collins, of Sky Sports News, said, and, as lunch came and went on the official announcement of Fabio Capello’s England World Cup squad, one could only sit in front of one’s television and nod drowsily in agreement.

What took him? It seems the problem was basic method. Glenn Hoddle knew how to do these things. You hire a room, dim the lights, slip on a little Kenny G and get ready to cull that squad, smooth-style. Capello (less given, one instinctively feels, to the soft-jazz stylings of the perm-headed sax maestro) had opted for an elaborate ring-round process.

Moreover, there were rumours that he was working at a rate of one 20-minute call per reject — charged at 45p per minute from most land lines, presumably, though mobile providers may vary. The chosen ones were getting a far shorter call, Collins thought, or possibly even a global text.

Does Fabio do texting? “U iz in! OMG!” And then, perhaps, for Leighton Baines, a follow-up: “Kidding!” Smile. Whatever, it made for a mighty slow day’s television. It takes Britain’s Got Talent only 2½ hours to sort a dog trainer from a drag act and send six assorted cruise-ship entertainers on their way — and that’s including a 30-minute interval for Coronation Street. AND they’re doing it every night this week.

That Capello could turn waving goodbye to a surplus winger and some defensive deadwood into something like six hours of finger-drumming torture for the viewer winds back the clock on everything we know about primetime showbusiness.

Not that there weren’t one or two news items to keep us occupied while we waited. Crystal Palace fans appeared to be storming the City of London, which doesn’t happen every day. And the channel also had some exclusive footage of Howard Webb doing altitude training. You will be counting on one hand, surely, the number of times you have seen England’s top-rated referee sucking on an oxygen cylinder.

Finally, at 12.45pm, Collins — breathless, as if hotfoot from Webb’s treadmill — revealed that Darren Bent’s dream of a place in the Royal Variety Performance was over for another year. Furthermore, news was “trickling through” that, “according to Sky sources”, Theo Walcott wasn’t going to be on the bill, either.

This claim seemed so patently fantastical that one had to wonder whether these were the same sources who recently claimed that Steven Gerrard [the rest of this sentence has been incinerated for legal reasons]. Or maybe this Walcott nonsense was one of Rio Ferdinand’s fabled “merks”. Wouldn’t it be just like the England captain to break the ice on this most awkward of occasions by feeding a hearty serving of piffle to the broadcast news outlets?

But, of course, one was forgetting: this is the Capello era. Nobody does jokes. Or flip-flops. Or wives or shopping. But most of all, jokes.

All credit to Kenny Sansom, by the way, who had presumably gone into the studio expecting to cast a quick glance over a sheet of A4 but ended up putting in the kind of shift that David Dimbleby did on election night. Yet the former Arsenal man still found the energy to say: “I think Gareth Barry will go to the World Cup feeling like a millionaire.” At which point Terry Butcher quite reasonably pointed out: “He is a millionaire.”

Rumours dripped through slowly. Stephen Warnock? In. Baines? Out. Tom Huddlestone? Shaking it all about. And then, finally, at 2.18, came a thunderous declaration. “Ledley King WILL be on the plane,” said Collins — and one could only admire the reporter’s confidence, because at that point the fragile stopper still had to manage the steps.

Indeed, at the time of writing, with the team airborne, he’s still got to come down them again. Then there’s the shiny floor in immigration, the luggage carousel . . . it’s a whole world of worry for fans of the possible back-four stand-in.

At 3.23, Collins provided a full, if unconfirmed, list of the seven victims. At 4pm, the news went official and, at last, viewers got what they wanted, in the form of Sky’s tremendous graphic of an aeroplane cabin, slowly filling up with England players. Worth the wait? We’ll come back to you nearer July.

Incidentally, in that graphic, Jamie Carragher got a window seat. Unfair, surely. Windows and aisles should be reserved for the players who stuck with it during the long-drawn-out qualifying campaign.

The least a returning sunshine-tripper deserves is a serious wedging in seat B, and the obligation to get up every time Wayne Rooney needs the loo.



The writer is Giles Smith and wouldnt you just like to know the balance of the Steven Gerrard line lol

By the way, do you know who is known by the nickname "Steven Hawkings" by the London Sports writers?

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