Football At The World Cup: Part Three (1994-2006)


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. For 1994, I love the descriptions of Lorenzo and Welsby and that Dallas bunker has gone down in the annals. Although the lack of home nations involvement did indeed lead to a lack of interest, Ireland’s decent performance created a buzz and there were some great games, especially Romania v Argentina.

    BBC’s 1998 coverage was marred in that at all times it seemed to be an attempt to capture the spirit of Euro 1996 – the Faure theme echoed the Nessun Dorma of 2 years before, Skinner and Baddiel were trotted out agin, Des Lynam upped the cloyingness of his cosy fireside chats and Jimmy Hill’s presence was designed to make the other pundits look serious.

    Still fond memories of watching 2002 matches at Smithfield market pubs. The 2006 coverage, as you imply, served to create an impulse to watch the match on the television accompanied by Radio Five Live commentary – something you can thankfully do now with the red button. I don’t expect the 2010 coverage to be a highlight in broadcasting history. There are too many bland pundits who don’t say anything – Pat Nevin needs to be recruited from Channel 5 by someone. I wonder which foreign stars will be called upon after previously embarrassing appearances from Schmeichel, Desailly and company.

  2. David Howell says:

    I picked up the CD with the BBC’s arrangement of Faure’s Pavane in a charity shop. (Yes, it was a specially commissioned arrangement, with suitably pretentious justification in the liner notes. In all honesty, it’s my favourite arrangement of the piece of the several I have heard, and I’d say that without the TV connection; less staid, more dramatic.) Rendez-Vous 98 sounded incredibly dated even at the time, certainly after the summer of trance that followed, but re-listening now I love it almost as much as the Pavane. Maybe my views were coloured – pun intended – by the truly dreadful titles (and the badly-shoehorned Vauxhall plug at the start was the start of a decline that reached a nadir at Euro 2004 where about three-quarters of the intro was filled with advertising).

    It should be noted that taking a Handel piece and creating a new piece for sporting coverage out of it is nothing new, as “Zadok The Priest” was the basis of “Champions League”, the piece used for… guess. (The most iconic sporting theme since “Heavy Action?” It has to be, doesn’t it?)

    2006 was so jingoistically covered (being in Germany being the reason, perhaps?) that it almost made one glad that England didn’t qualify for Euro 2008. Of course, the response instead was to cover that tournament as The Premier League Summer Show, which was almost worse – good job it was the best tournament of the decade, then…

  3. Richard Schwedhelm says:

    Here’s a good one for you …

    If anyone still has it on tape, on the ITV coverage of the USA 94 final, there was a ‘Route To The Final’ montage (may have been both teams, but I specifically remember the Brazil segment), and I’m trying to find out what the track is. ITV couldn’t answer me, so if anyone knows, I’d be grateful …

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