Random jottings from the best first week of any World Cup I can remember:
Friday last week, after this column went to press, BBC 1 highlights: "With nine out of the 10 highest buildings in Germany, Peter Crouch will feel at home in Frankfurt." It could only be Garth Crooks.
Saturday, England v Paraguay, BBC 1: Alan Hansen speaks for the nation: "The first half was absolutely magnificent but in the second half it was bitty, disjointed and the tactics were all over the place."
Saturday, ITV 1, Rio Ferdinand's World Cup Wind-Ups: we'll leave aside the wisdom of Ferdinand doing a Beadle's About when he should have been concentrating on forthcoming attractions, except to say that it exposes the moral vacuum at the heart of the England set-up. Gary Neville, though, is brilliant. The trap consists of two faux policemen, one a Liverpudlian, who accuse him of a list of traffic offences. They'll let him off if he'll have his picture taken with the Scouser. "I'd rather take the points," he says. They threaten to arrest him if he doesn't cooperate.
"Take me away then," says Neville. "I'm non-negotiable." What a boy.
Saturday highlights, BBC 1: Iain Dowie makes an early play for the pundits' Golden Boot with his analysis of the perils of a narrow back four.
Sunday, Angola v Portugal, ITV 1: at half-time, over shots of dancing fans, Gabby Logan says, "The Angolans obviously haven't passed on their dancing skills to their colonial rulers."
They do have a sense of rhythm, those Angolans.
Monday, Australia v Japan, ITV 1: Japan's Takashi Fukunishi shoots wide and runs back with an anguished expression. "The name on the back of his shirt says it all, really," Clive Tyldesley observes, well before the watershed.
Monday highlights, BBC 1: So far, Adrian Chiles has been holding court on a balcony above a square containing a big screen and a 24-hour party. Tonight it's Ray Stubbs and he, Dowie and Mick McCarthy have to shout above the racket. The crowd kick off with "Dowie, Dowie, give us a wave!", and go on to claim that McCarthy is a banker (I think that's what they say). Maybe that's what he's been doing since he left Sunderland.
Tuesday, Brazil v Croatia, BBC 1: what's Father Ted doing in Croatia's dug-out? I thought he was dead.
Tuesday highlights, BBC 1: more helpful interventions from below, most still referring to financial services. The producers compound matters by playing one of those football-and-music sequences while the team are still chewing the Ronaldo fat. For a few moments the chaos is strongly reminiscent of an England game.
Wednesday, Germany v Poland, BBC 1: "Klose could have got the Golden Boot with all the chances he's had," Alan Shearer says. Gordon Strachan snorts. "He wants the Golden Boot up his backside."
Thursday: based on the tournament so far, I put together my squad of anchors, bankers and pundits, divided into A-team and dirt-trackers. As the commentators are all basically OK - though if Gibbon were alive he'd be working on The Decline and Fall of John Motson - I haven't included them.
So my first-choice line-up is something like this: Lineker, Chiles, Rider (just), Hansen, O'Neill, Strachan, Dowie, McCarthy, Lawrenson, Dixon, Pleat, Leonardo.
And the B-team: Stubbs, Logan, Wright M, Wright I, Allen, Curbishley, Shearer, Gullit, Hasselbaink, Venables, Townsend, Peacock and anyone I've missed out.
And my Jermain Defoe? Garth Crooks, stupid.Reuse content