While the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir has a number of suggestions for ESPN to keep in mind prior to South Africa 2010 (more Shakira and Jeremy Schaap, less Dave O’Brien), the Independent’s man in Baden Baden, Sam Walker surveyed the best German TV had to offer.
Christoph Daum (above) must talk a good game because visually this man broke all the rules of television. The controversial former Fenerbahce manager clearly still yearns for the 1980s when German footballers had a style all of their own. He wore his hair in a dry centre-parting and favoured the Prussian army cavalry officer’s moustache. To say nothing of the chilling stare that he fixed on the anchorman.
Remember when Rudi VÃ¶ller was Germany manager at the 2002 World Cup? He wore the permanent wince of a man who would rather he was elsewhere. Four years on and Rudi looked just as uncomfortable as Premiere network’s main pundit, especially in an open-air Berlin studio with exuberant fans whooping in the background. The whole “World Cup fever” thing just isn’t his bag, and the curly grey thinning hair made him look even more like Beethoven.
On RTL they “blacked up” a white presenter, gave him false teeth and a Brazil shirt – in order to look like Ronaldo. Aren’t there laws against that kind of television?
Ida-Marie Vatn was the eye-catching blonde Norwegian television reporter for Norway’s TV2 who made her name grabbing impromptu “exclusive” interviews with England players as they left the media centre in BÃ¼hlertal. Her reward for this maverick style of journalism? Nothing less than an offer of work from The Sun newspaper. Not reporting but, er, a “photoshoot”. Ms Vatn politely declined.
Germany beat Argentina on penalties, a nation goes berserk with joy as the cameras pan over thousands of fans waving flags. The players throw themselves on Jens Lehmann. Television cuts back to an unsmiling Gunther Netzer (above) in the studio. “Ja, the German team played quite well,” he said earnestly, “very compact.” Difficult man to impress.
In what may or may not bear some relation to an expected US National Team coaching vacancy, Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he’ll not be returning as Germany’s manager.
In what must represent a major about-face for the England F.A., Steve McLaren has been authorized to recruit Terry Venables to his backroom staff. Venables, described by some (not entirely in a complimentary way) as “The Godfather Of Football”, had a relatively successful tenure as England manager from ’94-’96, but also possesses a resume packed with suspicious business dealings during his reign at Portsmouth and Crystal Palace.