Johnny & Al's Summer Football On TV

Don't panic, kids. If you thought you'd have to go out and get a life this summer, think again - our boys are here to tell you where to find the football to keep you going...

Last Updated: 13/06/13 at 13:33 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Gordon Strachan

Post comment

Chippy arse? Aye...do you want some? Wee Gordie is never anything other than entertaining, even if he is wearing adult man¿s shorts as trousers. Especially so....

F365's Transfer Guide - Part Five

Post comment

Our final part, and the question of what on earth will happen at West Ham? Plus there is much to ponder for Spurs - evolution or yet another revolution at White Hart Lane...

All Articles

Thought you'd get a life because football on your TV was over? Don't be stupid. Stock up the fridge and get back in the house because there are two weeks of top class international football about to start.

The Confederations Cup is here again. Four years ago in South Africa it was a superb tournament. We especially enjoyed USA's besting of primer fanny comerciantes, Spain and we're back for more, tongues hanging out, trousers more damp than is strictly sanitary.

Despite it not having anything to do with England, the Premier League or the Champions League, it's being taken seriously by all concerned with proper big full squads being fielded including people you will have heard of.

This year it's in Brazil and we can feel some tumescence already at the thought of David Luiz's hair. How will it stands up to hot, humid days in the land of the string-thong? Will it sink like an under-cooked soufflé? Will Luis Suarez eat anyone? Will Neymar look any less like a camp Butlin's act from 1985?

This tournament features eight teams - Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Japan, Nigeria and, yes, the big one, Tahiti. Call us narrow-minded and unsophisticated if you will but we've never actually seen Tahiti play football and are very much looking forward to doing so. At 138th in the world, they sound like the sort of side that will inevitably be patronized to within an inch of their lives by the TV coverage, their status as the reigning Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup holders not withstanding.

Ah yes, it's all on TV. Every single game. That's the good news. The less good news is that its on the BBC. Not bad in and of itself except they've assigned their usual team to the job. The press release says: "Commentary in Brazil comes from Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson and Guy Mowbray, with Kevin Kilbane, Mark Lawrenson and Martin Keown providing analysis."

We've never heard Lawro doing any analysis before - we've heard him moaning though and desperately hope we won't be whining about being in Brazil in June surrounded by the best-looking women in the world. And we especially hope he isn't in full piss-taking mode about Tahiti, but we fear our hopes may be dashed upon the rocks of his crushing predictability.

The BBC blurb goes, "Gary Lineker, Mark Chapman and Dan Walker will be on presenting duty, with studio pundits throughout the tournament including Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen, Robbie Savage, ex-Uruguay forward Gus Poyet and former Nigeria midfielder Sunday Oliseh."

Given the welcome overseas presence to give insight into Uruguay and Nigera, we have to ask where are the experts on the other six sides? Are we expected to believe Big Al is an expert on Japanese football? Will Robbie Savage be able to stop looking at his own arse in a mirror for long enough to learn anything about Mexican football? We suspect not, which is potentially very annoying. Hopefully their gaping chasm of knowledge, matched only in size by their fees, will be compensated for by interesting clips packages featuring more educated people.

It seems an opportunity missed, though. Obviously viewing figures are not going to be massive, but why not make a virtue out of this and use it as a chance to experiment with something a bit different? It seems unlikely that your Big Four-following, permanently seething dimbo casual fan is going to be that bothered by Japan v Mexico, so the argument that the state broadcaster 'has to appeal to the lowest common denominator' does not hold water here. Why not use this opportunity to try out some of the up-and-comers in the BBC, or get some presenters and pundits from outside the football inner circle? Does Lineker really need the work?

Anyhow, we will find it almost astonishing if Tim Vickery isn't involved at some point. An always engaging South American expert, he's often to found on the BBC World Service football programmes, so quite why he isn't the default choice to head up the BBC coverage rather than any number of people who simply don't know that much, is a question we will never get an answer to.

As our favourite BBC presenter is Mark Chapman we exclude him from any of this criticism. Thankfully he'll be on hand to reduce the polo-shirted golf clubbiness. He's also to found here presenting an excellent half hour show about the tournament. Highly recommended, this is the sort of stuff the BBC does really well - lots of old clips, a preview of each side, and even a short interview with Fat Ronaldo whose head is now so big it appears to have its own gravitational pull. An excellent aperitif which sets you up nicely for the first games on Saturday.

The BBC is all over the Confederations Cup in an interactive websitey way, broadcasting all of the games somewhere or other, be it on the actually steam-powered tube on BBC1 & 3, red button, online and beamed into your arse via their new digital fisting technology. Actually , we made that last one up...or did we?

Here's where you can find out the hows, whats, whens & wheres but probably not the whys.

Fans of stadium porn will also enjoy these photos of the grounds the games are being played in here.

We should also mention that the U21 Tourney that is still on-going without Stuart Pearce's unhappy mob, and is providing much fun. This weekend sees the semi-finals between Spain and Norway, while Italy play Holland. The final is next Tuesday. You can find all these games on Sky Sports 2.

And if that isn't enough international football, Eurosport has World Cup qualifiers next week between Uzbekistan v Qatar, Australia v Iraq and Oman v Billingham Synthonia, or possibly, Jordan. They will also be featuring the U20 World Cup which will give everyone who enjoys self-loathing another chance to punch themselves in the balls with a copy of the Daily Mail while watching England take on Iraq on 23rd June.

So, basically: don't panic. It's not a football-free wilderness on the TV this summer after all.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter announces he will resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Names in frame for FIFA top job

After FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he will step down from the role, we look at the candidates to replace him.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Timeline leading to resignation of FIFA boss

We look back on the timeline of events which culminated in Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation as president of FIFA.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company