MEDIA: ITV WORLD CUP COVERAGE - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Gazza's ability on the pitch has not equipped him as a football pundit, Bruce Crouch reckons

Every World Cup throws up a word or phrase that sticks in your brain like mud to your studs. Catenaccio, libero, total football.

Well this time ITV, or more precisely Gazza, has come up with one. "Unbeelable is the word of the World Cup. There's "simply unbeelable", "truly unbeelable", "unbeelable talent and "unbeelable Des/Tel". Early doors, Brian, the signs weren't good.

Sadly, Greg Dyke's right about Des Lynam. His transfer isn't working out. The quips are going high and wide and he looks like a man going through the motions. Gazza had obviously been rummaging about in Barry Venison's dressing-up box and pulled out a black velvet diamond shirt.

Sartorially, El Tel had come straight from Sinatra's in Puerto Banus.

Shirt undone, tan, medallion. Angus Deayton's favourite away fixture on his arm was the only accessory missing. Then it got worse. Gazza and Tel's awful scripted kickabout ended with: "And Tel's a wine man but I like beer, me."

For ITV to allow a man, no, a god who talked so eloquently with his feet, to put them so publicly in his mouth is, well, criminal. But these were, after all, the boys left at home. What about the lads who were on the plane?

I fancy the boy Tyldesley and that Drury. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is their motto. Plenty of space and time on the ball, they both look set to come through the ranks.

The summarisers, though, have the look of a veterans' team. Just what does Ron Atkinson, bless his sheepskin, have to do with the modern game?

If anyone can listen to David Pleat without an image of a grimy Luton industrial estate popping into their heads, they're a better man than I. There is an exception. For some reason, though, Graham Taylor is getting the 7.30am graveyard slots. I, for one, do not like that.

So where does ITV score? There is a jewel in Robbie Earle. And Gabby Logan is very efficient in front of the back three on the sofa. She's not as good up front as Kirsty Gallacher but more assured than Kirsty or Kelly (really) Dalglish.

Now football is a game of opinions, Brian, and I read ITV's viewing figures are good. A fair play award to it. And in truth there is little to choose between it and the BBC. Personally, I'd get the pictures from ITV, turn the sound off and listen to the Radio Five team. There's someone on there who's as good on the air as he was in it - Andy Gray. He really is unbeelably good.

Broadcaster: ITV1
Frequency: Live matches each morning plus highlights programme each
evening at varied times
Audience: Average of five million for first five games (peaked at 13.7
million during England versus Sweden)
Advertisers include: Travelex (sponsor of ITV coverage), McDonald's,
Nike, Mastercard, Gillette

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