Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: One game in and we’ve had our Phil already

There’s something quite sad about men of a certain age who buy replica tops thinking that they can slip them on and suddenly become as good as their heroes.

Still, England have bought a load of those all-black shirts now and given their display against Argentina their prospects of winning the World Cup are a bit like the numbers — hanging by a thread.

That won’t stop ITV though. The jingoistic pony has been saddled up and a simple thing like the blindingly obvious facts that they are an equine with a solitary trick won’t detract from this.

What might distract you is the fact that the commentators are so blinkered that they should be running in the 3.30 at Kempton, and their impassioned whines of despair are only matched by the head-scratching that Jonny Wilkinson couldn’t hit a Maori streaker on the backside with a didgeridoo.

“Goodness me,” said commentator Nick Mullins as one of Jonny’s errant balls sailed past the posts, while not even the inclusion of Wigglesworth, Dr Evil’s dog from Austin Powers could turn things around.

I thought there was something wrong with my TV as I kept hearing this constant whining noise, but on closer inspection it turned out to be Phil Vickery.

I never thought I’d long for the day when I wanted Brian Moore to commentate on an England game but as Jonny’s third penalty in a row bounced off a bungee jumper miles away finally, Vickery could hide his colours no longer.

“Yeah, thanks for that. Be careful, because you’re stood too close to me and I’m getting angry,” roared the incredible sulk.

And so it went on. ‘Come on England, is what I’m saying,” said Vickery, as we all shouted something else at the TV but with news filtering through that Jim Davidson had promised to come south to entertain the team if the Argies prevailed, they suddenly pulled it out of the bag to complete a 13-9 annihilation.

James Haskell turned the air blue first though as he was a little miffed at someone attempting to gouge his eyes out thus throwing ITV into a blind panic and Mullins and Steve Rider forced to say sorry.

“Apologies for the language,” Rider murmured but I’m still waiting for them to say sorry about Vickery.

Belfast Telegraph


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