So, England have qualified for the World Cup Finals. Good. But Clive Tyldesley? Bad, very bad.
Me and our Clive have a love/hate relationship. I could, of course, just turn the sound off. But shouting about his commentary is part of the fun. As a mate of mine said many years ago: “The best times in your life are shouting at the TV with your mates”. Sad but true – and it’s as true now as it ever was, even if the person you’re shouting with is your slightly scared two and a half year old daughter.
Anyway, I digress – Clive Tyldesley. Grrrr…
My God, does he have to talk so much? When Barry Davies retired, he was quoted as saying he felt there was not enough silence in modern football commentary.
Our Clive, on the other hand, has made a career of filling every potential second of airtime with words. He rarely commentates in the traditional sense; you don’t get “Lampard, to Rooney, to Barry…”
Instead, you get a running babble of facts, clichés and opinion. What you get is something like this: “John Terry will be the eighth captain to lead England to a World Cup Finals”.
So bloody what? I mean, who cares if he’s the millionth? What difference does it make? And anyway, how does our Clive know who’s going to be captain in 2010? It should be Terry but football – as Tyldesley is likely to remind us many, many times – is a funny old game.
But what’s really funny is his Wikipedia entry. There’s the disclaimer at the top of the page that declares: “This biography of a living person does not cite any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately”. And at the end of the entry – in the ‘Other Work’ section – is this beauty:
“He has also wrestled oxen professionally.”
Catch it now. It probably won’t last for long. Unlike Tyldesley’s commentaries, which go on and on and on…