Belfast Telegraph

It all turns out grand in Rio after a feed

By Billy Weir

There has been a bit of a hoohah this week after technical difficulties in the ether between Brazil and England saw us make a surprise return to the ITV studio to find Adrian Chiles sitting beside a strange inanimate object on the sofa.

No, it wasn't Christine Bleakley, it was his wee rucksack, filled with sandwiches, a West Brom shirt and the Big Boy's Book of Words to Repeat, I say, Words to Repeat.

There was a good argument that the bag could do a better job but given the difficulties in getting the game on after a few teething problems at the Maracana Stadium it was understandable that ITV didn't tinker too much, although there was no Lee Dixon.

With the TV link down he would have been the perfect man to sort things out, but you got the feeling he was there, only standing on the roof of the studio holding an aerial trying to get a signal from Rio. What's that? We've got one? He doesn't want to play anymore? Ah, wrong Rio.

And so to the build-up and we were reminded that John Barnes scored a wonder goal in the Maracana in 1984 and Mark Chamberlain remembered that he'd seen it too, while at home Mark Hateley was shouting angrily at the telly 'I scored too' and slapping his wee lad round the head for only playing for Motherwell.

I thought we were at Firhill briefly as a band with bagpipes suddenly appeared as pictures returned and to mark Barnes' goal the teams appeared to be playing with a Captain's Trophy ball from 1984. A nice touch.

By half-time you wished the pictures had gone again as Chiles, now minus the rucksack who is rumoured to be the new presenter of Celebrity Luggage on Ice, commented that 'the view around the Maracana in Rio makes for substantially more pleasant viewing than the way England have fared.' The autopsy on England's 0-0 pummelling over, it was back to Brazil. Or not.

"As you may have noticed, we're not actually bringing you pictures at the moment. That's because we actually haven't got any. It's not our fault, we're just waiting for the feed to come through," pleaded Chiles. Presumably when the cameramen got their dinner, the pictures would return.

And they did, although with talk of Oscar and Hulk you didn't know if it was ITV or CITV, the latter incredible one going in for a robust tackle prompting Clive Tyldesley to finally succumb to temptation.

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry, there was a bit of the Dr David Banners about that challenge," he chortled, while Andy O'Townsend ripped off his shirt to prove that he was green.

Fred scored to make the world okay again before Ox levelled, or Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain to give him his proper names, and it was a wonder that Clive didn't comment that it was very much a case of one apiece in our time. Wayne Rooney then scored a wonder goal, the only wonder being where it would have landed before that big deflection took it into the net, but with the World Cup in their grasp, those pesky Brazilians snatched it away again.

Back to the studio and all was reasonably well with the world, although pictures of the Ox asking Neymar for his shirt during the game didn't go down well in the Roy Keane camp.

Don't get shirty, Keano, there will probably be no footage from the game so he needed some sort of a souvenir.

Belfast Telegraph


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