The Sporting Chameleon

an absolute cheesecake of a sports blog

England attempt a defeat while backs are turned

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ENGLAND lost their unbeaten record in competitive matches under Fabio Capello with a defeat in the Ukraine.

And hardly anyone saw it.

Or at least that is what we thought was going to happen.

The BBC secured a last-minute highlights package, which left those who forked out up to £12 to see the game live online feeling pretty annoyed.

The BBC was not allowed to publicise its highlights, until after the game had finished.

This meant that Bruce Forsyth had to interrupt Strictly Come Dancing to advertise the programme.

Maybe the BBC should have got Dermot O’Leary to do the same thing on the X Factor and it might have secured a few more viewers.

The highlights negotiations were only completed hours before kick-off, so how did the commentary team get out there in time?

Or did Mark Bright and Steve Wilson* crowd round a laptop trying to peer through the pixels and figure out their Rakitskiys from their Khacheridis?

Bright clearly had trouble with occasion, claiming: “This is typical England, once we have qualified, putting in a poor performance.”

How do we know it is typical if this situation has never occurred before?

Similarly the in-studio punditry department struggled.

With Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon all not answering their phones, Martin Keown was called up the big boys sofa.

The BBC arriving late at the party meant we were saved grand, sweeping shots of the catchily-named Dnipropetrovsk in the pre-match build up.

This is a shame.

The Daily Telegraph’s Henry Winter said the city had a skyline akin to Middlesbrough’s.

In my head all Ukranian cities have skyline akin to Middlesbrough, but without its charm.

On the pitch there were struggles as well.

If Wayne Rooney is as good as everybody says he is, then why do England need to select another player just to bring the best out of him?

*If it’s not John Motson or Jonathan Pearce then I do not know for sure.

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