Every friend of football had reason to look forward to a really great game on Wednesday evening. FC Barcelona was in action – and not only do you HAVE to look forward to it, you HAVE to watch it. Because this is modern circus, because this is the highest school, because it is art and because it brings success at the same time. Here, the body is not only used for tackling, rather disembodied and yet not a bit unfairly defended, here is defended with the highest skill, here is acted exclusively with elegance and fantastic moves including goal scenes are guaranteed.
The opponents were AC Milan. Now one can think of very few bad things about this name. A club that has not caused any scandals over the years, that has its own philosophy of football and that has consistently performed at the highest level, winning several titles here and there on a regular basis. The crowd, too, has always behaved in an exemplary manner and, it was learnt, the fans of the two teams were on friendly terms before the match, which absolutely fits the picture. Fair sportsmen on the field, fair fans in the stands. If all games were like this, football would be well served in every respect.
If you have the dubious pleasure of watching this match live on Sky and are stupid enough to listen to the live commentary of a German announcer (yes, you had the choice of listening to the Italian, which, whether you understand it or not, could never spoil your mood or your enjoyment of the game), then you can be quite sure that at half-time at the latest you will have to go down to the cellar to maltreat your punching ball, because unfortunately the announcer is not available for this.
What this gentleman does with such a brilliant football game is sparingly mildly described as “hair-raising”. It is a pure disaster. There is no way anyone is listening to this drivel. There is nothing about it that makes any sense. It’s a story he tells that makes no sense from beginning to end, but which, even if it did, no one would want to listen to, because it’s a totally boring story, delivered in the appropriate tone of voice.
The game started with two really brilliant chances on both sides. The first one I’m sure Robinho was really a bit surprised to get a shot so free and so close to goal – he didn’t hit the ball perfectly and the volley went over. On the other side, Barca played through with this incredibly precise short passing play in tight spaces, but the goalkeeper came out just in time to thwart the chance, the ball rolled past the goal, there was a corner kick.
If one is now not satisfied with this as a speaker, then please, may at least the question be allowed, what kind of game was he hoping for? There is never any sense of joy in the game, not from any of these nincompoops, they simply don’t feel it, whoever wants to can come on and play as they like. There is certainly no enthusiasm. Gloating and snide, fault-finding and ridiculous, misguided “analyses” as well as generalisations are the order of the day. And even if now and then a “that’s a good game” should slip out, then this is not the way to express joy or to draw the spectator into the action. If it’s a really fast-paced, good, exciting game, then there would be no need to point this out, instead the audience would be drawn in by the enthusiasm conveyed, speakers and listeners wouldn’t even get to ask themselves whether it was good or not, they’d simply be under the spell the whole time, only shaking their heads briefly on all sides after the game and realising: “Wow, that was crazy, that was some fun.”
After 9 minutes of play and a pleasingly not only fair but with chances game from the best of the best, he delivers the first punch in the pit of the stomach that you so want to give him back at the break. All of a sudden it’s – in the same, never-changing, seering tone, of course — : “Noticeable the many mistakes and inadequacies, on both sides.” That was a good one, wasn’t it?
What are you babbling about? What’s the matter with you? Didn’t you hear the shot? But the question must follow: who puts a microphone into the hands of such moronic and at the same time malicious people? How can one come up with such madness, from the statement? From what position does one do it, what is the intention behind it? And, at this point, a really explosive question, which is actually almost more directed at the reader, for reflection: the game will surely be broadcast in over 100 countries, in perhaps soon as many languages (let’s say half). How many of the commentators have come to the identically same conclusion at this point? And, since you think you know the answer to that, which can only be: ” NOT A SINGLE ONE.”, you follow it up with this: why does a German commentator think he can recognise something that no one else in the world can? What elevates him to this position?
At the same time, one could ask the broadcaster this question: do they believe that even if this realisation were close to the truth, that this game is riddled with inadequacies and mistakes, that the ratings would then skyrocket? It’s so wrong, everything about it is wrong, twisted, insane. The image of someone digging their own grave is a pretty one (tragic as it may be), but it seems far too shallow in this context.
Just to give a few more examples of the execution he carried out with this game: supposedly Milan had the better scoring chances because they twice, rather by chance, appeared quite free in front of the opponent’s goal (Robinho, Ibrahimovic). But Barca had shown time and again how quickly they can combine. It may be that he did not consider the penalty situation as a goal-scoring opportunity – as he rejected it like the referee, while in the half-time summary the alternative speaker of the conference called it a “clear foul” – and generously passed over the many chances that did not result in a shot on goal but were clearly ablaze, but to call Milan closer to the goal was simply absurd.
In general, he starts from premises, this unspoken, from which one simply cannot assume. Milan is number 1 in Italy and has already won several Champions League titles. Does he now think that this would turn into a walk-over for Barca, just because they dismantled Leverkusen – in their own stadium in a stellar performance – that Milan would hop around like the hares of this year and slaughter themselves willy-nilly or surrender? The betting market has given its verdict. There Barca were trading at around 1.80, which equates to about 55% chance of victory. But this is by no means a one-way street, in which only the amount of the victory is discussed, so to speak.
Of course, one feels that Barca is the favourite here, even in the away game, but 55% is only 55% (the computer, by the way, estimated it at exactly 50%; one should even have tried a “Lay Barca” on the betting market, according to him, and one would have won). Many things can happen, an outcome other than a Barca victory is just as likely (according to the computer; betting market not quite). If you at least knew this as a speaker, you might already have the chance to say something sensible(r). He seemed baffled again and again that Barca didn’t create a goal-scoring chance per minute.
By the way, this “analysis” is quite absurd: “Barca is not as dominant as usual in the Champions League. On average they have over 70% possession in all games so far, today only 66%.” Well, here too he would have fulfilled all the requirements for a briefing. The over 70% figure includes all home games, in which they have even more possession. In addition, the group games against sometimes much weaker opponents were included (Viktoria Pilsen, for example). What is this nonsense he is talking about? 66% is simply gigantic, and that in a foreign stadium against one of the absolute heavyweights of the Champions League.
The senseless story went on and on. When Barca still didn’t lead about midway through the second half and Milan, for their part, got to a couple of almost really good actions, he said that Milan had stuck to the tactics well so far and were “actually getting it together pretty well so far.” (Gloating is always there, appreciation, serious, sincere admiration anyway not, joy not remotely, and snideness omnipresent, evident in the choice of words alone).
A short time later, when Barca again skilfully opened up their own game for a few scenes and thus gradually pushed the opponent back, this absurd cross-shot came from him: “Milan far too passive in this phase.” Rumms, the second one, but this time it was clearly below the belt.
It’s such an unbelievable, unbearable drivel, delivered without any sense or sympathy, that you seriously can’t imagine that anyone responsible for the channel has ever done this to themselves before. No, this CAN DEFINITELY NOT BE CONSIDERED.
The most one should regret is that it is such a beautiful game, football, and that it is spoiled night after night by such boneheads, of whom the main culprits are of course the makers, not the announcers themselves, although stupidity is no sin, but bigotry, arrogance, malice and snideness could go a long way in that direction. If at least ONE sentence in an analysis were correct now and then. But that doesn’t happen either…
The district class is not the game he wants to sell us as such a potpourri of inadequacies (no, HE really does NOT want to sell, he wants to force you to switch off), no, the district class sits in the announcer’s booth.