Moti, you ain’t no Motty!

Slimy, spurious psychics (see June’s Mook of the Month) aside, the hotly-contested title of Most Offensive Israeli, contrary to popular belief, does not go to the swindling taxi driver who besmirches all of his fellow countrymen within an hour of tourists landing at Ben Gurion Airport.

And, though I despise them with a passion, neither does it go to the HOT (cable company) customer disservice representative who cuts off callers – I am convinced deliberately – after keeping them on hold for 45 minutes.

Its recipient is not the arrogant American “settler” who should have done us all a favour and stayed, together with his ugly fanaticism, in Teaneck or Borough Park.

Neither is it the Charedi (ultra-Orthodox Jew) who gives little or nothing to the State but still believes that he has the right to dictate to all of us who do how we should live our lives.

And it does not even go to the Neanderthal beach predator in his Speedos (three sizes too small, naturally).

No, the title of Most Offensive Israeli goes to none of the above. And the toughest challenge of Aliyah is not, as is commonly thought, the lower salary, the stifling hot summers, or even the rudeness . . . it is having to suffer the Israeli TV sports commentator.

During Wimbledon fortnight, which ended yesterday, Sport 5 (Israeli cable TV) commentators appeared to feel compelled to employ every nonsensical cultural stereotype about the English . . . but got even those wrong. So, for instance, when Andy Murray’s fourth round match ended at 10:39 p.m. last Monday, we had to endure interminable silly references to the English spectators having to wait for their dinners of “kidney pie” (for those fortunate enough not to know, it is steak and kidney).

And those same commentators were remarkably incapable of distinguishing between spectators’ Englishness, Murray’s Scottishness, and all of their Britishness (for me, after being knocked out, Murray immediately reverted to “miserable Jock”).

Whilst his knowledge and understanding of his subject may be negligible, however, the Israeli sports commentator – like so many of his compatriots – delivers his ignorance with the conviction of the world-renowned authority.

Avi MellerI once, in a Tel Aviv pub, confronted Sport 5′s Avi Meller (right) – a self-proclaimed expert on English football (on the basis that he once, apparently, spent a couple of years in London) – for never mentioning Leeds United’s David Wetherall, then in his mid-twenties, without the epithet “ha’vatik” (the veteran). Meller said he was grateful to be corrected . . . and then continued as before.

Having grown up in a country steeped in sporting tradition (even if a losing one), I won’t deny that there is more than a little snobbery in my disdain for the local sports coverage. But what right do Israeli commentators have to refer to Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard, as they continually do, as “Stevie Gee”?!

Not for the Israeli sports commentator the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”, nor the sacred rule – applied by the very best TV journalists and commentators the world over – of “Letting the pictures speak for themselves”. No, he prefers to speak (usually bollocks) for the pictures, with the result that many will only watch them with the sound turned down. Moreover, his predictions – which are, generally, ridiculously reactive to the toings and froings of a particular match – are invariably and uncannily wrong.

Israeli TV’s football studio pundits are even more insufferable than its commentators, the ex-pros having to be suffered most being the Arse’s Arse (Hebrew for medallion man) Itzik Zohar and that most arrogant of gobshites Eyal Berkovic.

Itzik ZoharZohar (left, during one of his eight [including four as substitute] appearances for Crystal Palace) has not let his “glassing”, last year, on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard – which left him requiring 52 stitches to his face – dent his formidable ego (many believe the unknown assailant to have been a vengeful boyfriend or husband).

Neither does Zohar’s ignominious inclusion in Crystal Palace fans’ all-time worst eleven – believe me, he had some competition! – prevent him from pontificating about Champions’ League football. Yes, this is the very same Itzik Zohar to whom Palace fans used to sing: “One Itzik Zohar. There’s only one Itzik Zohar. One Itzik Zohar. One too many.” When Crystal Palace fans sing that – and to one of their own – it is time to consider not only hanging up one’s boots . . . but also why one ever put them on in the first place.

Eyal BerkovicZohar, however,  is a positive breath of fresh air when sitting alongside Berkovic (right), who delights in publicly, spitefully rubbishing Israeli League players purely on the basis that they are not as good as he once was. Many Israelis’ fondest memory, however, of the career of Berkovic – who, as one of the country’s all-time great footballers, should have been a national treasure – is of the time his West Ham teammate John Hartson kicked him in the face during training. That the actions of the yobbish Welshman were understood by many here tells you everything you need to know about this odious little tosser.

Domestic football appeals, almost exclusively, to the lowest common denominator of Israeli society (see my second ever post on melchett mike: Ran Ben Shimon: A Deeper Malaise). And most of my fellow expat Brits regard it in much the same way that the former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly did his city rivals: “If Everton were playing down the bottom of my garden,” he memorably quipped, “I’d draw the curtains.” Rather more intelligent, professional coverage by the Israeli media, however, might change (if slowly) its public perception.

Modi Bar-OnThe glowing exception to the embarrassment that is Israeli television sport is the excellent, charismatic Sport 5 John Motsonpresenter Modi Bar-On (left), who would give even a Des Lynam or an Adrian Chiles a run for their money.

But, oh, what Israel would give for an Alan Hansen or a John Motson (right) . . . though, in these climes, “Motty” might have to do something about that sheepskin coat!

104 responses to “Moti, you ain’t no Motty!

  1. When Berkovic signed for Celtic and was introduced to his new team mates on the training ground, Chris Sutton was reported to have quipped “Killed any kids today?”

  2. . . . which would have made Sutton, for a professional footballer, a veritable expert in international relations. Most of those morons probably think that Palestine is that country in South-East Asia where all those nice carers for the elderly come from!

  3. Michael Benjamin

    I really enjoyed that.
    Vitriolic & yet accurate & humorous

  4. Yitzchak Landau

    A former work colleague married an ex-girlfriend of Chris Sutton and word was that he was not a particularly pleasant chap. I had heard the same story as “Anon” (BTW – who are you and why do you have special dispensation to hide your identity?) re the Palestinian kids and having previously been somewhat sceptical began to wonder whether it was in fact true. Perhaps he shares membership of the same club as some of Mike’s previous “Mooks of the Month” and honourable mentions, Russell Brand, Ken Loach et al.

  5. Mike, you’ve got it sooo right!
    But you left out my favourite creep, La Liga “expert”, Avi Ratson, another self-opinionated ignoramous.

  6. Daniel Hass

    Mike you didnt mention that fat bald bloke who shouts at everyone, I believe his name is Ron Kaufman, and Yoram Arbel who is actually not that bad. Incidentally I have seen Zohar at the Ramat Aviv mall on many occasions and he is a big bloke so whoever glassed him must have been standing on something. By the way have you tried threatening to move to YES as soon as you do that they start listening and will comp you a few free movies on the VOD.

  7. david kovler

    I once called the channel 5 studio after listening to Avi Ratson take English football apart saying how boring it was, and it was better to watch paint dry etc. Previously that day there had been the most amazing 4-4 draw, between liverpool and the spuds i think, and i could not believe what i was hearing!
    I eventually spoke to the dick head, and when I asked him if he had seen the game that afternoon he replied ‘I have not watched an English Premiership game for 3 years.’ I then launched in to a verbal attack on how the hell he could give an opinion on english footy if he never watches it! What a Plonker!!!!!

  8. Danny Landau

    Love your comments about Hot. I’ve been speaking to someone for 2 years about ongoing problems (on her mobile no. given to me by Hot themselves).

    She’s been promising me the earth, then I recently found out she doesn’t even work for them!

  9. Allan Engel

    A bit harsh on Mr Berkovic, considering he used to live in Gresham Gardens.

  10. That explains everything! Was he a Goschalk’s boy? He could have done with a little of Rabbi Schmahl’s modesty. And who would have thought that there were only two degrees of separation between Rabbi Schmahl and John Hartson?!

  11. Moshe Abelesz

    Story 1: Soon after I made aliya, i watched a Spurs-West Ham game. Neil Ruddock was playing for the Hammers. The Israeli commentator said over half-a dozen times that Ruddock was an ex-Liverpool player. Not once did he mention that “Razor” was also an ex-Spurs player playing against his own club – which would have been a far more apt comment!!

    Story 2: I was watching an A***nal game in December a few years back (2006?) and Sol Campbell scored. The English commentator said that that he was the first Englishman to score for A***nal that year. Two minutes later, the Israeli commentator said: “If I am not mistaken…” You can guess the rest.

    Story 3: I went to Spurs-Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007/8. Listening to the game on the radio, I heard the commentator say that there were so many supporters with kippot in the crowd and all were supporting Spurs. “Why?” he asked!!!

  12. Daniel Lange

    Most useful (not) are sub-titles on Channel 10′s footy, conveniently placed high enough on the screen (about a third of the way up), so that pop-up ads can appear below them. Clearly a sensible money-making initiative, but alas they forgot that you need to see the bloomin’ ball to enjoy a game of football. The black frame for subtitles means one is playing a moving version of “spot the ball” for 50% of the game.

    And why the hell do you need sub-titles anyway. Is it for the hard of understanding? I am certain the hearing impaired have enjoyed (and yes…understood) televised and even live football for many years without the need to have it explained to them that Barcelona have won a corner 45 seconds after Barcelona have won a corner.

    I am sure Channel 10 will be carrying many of the World Cup games, so I for one am going to be lobbying to get rid of them.

  13. Reuven Back

    Having read the comments and agreeing with most of them, as much as I think Hartson is a total thug, Berkovich without a doubt had it coming to him, a arrogant shit and a very nasty piece of work!
    U all seem to have forgotten about the wonderful Zevik Zelzer…Didier Drogiba…Arsene Wanger (although if he is trying to say what I think, as a Chelsea supporter, I totally agree!!!) :)
    I disagree Mike about Avi Meller, who in my opinion is the one guy there who actually knows a bit about English football, he is very knowledgeable and generally makes a lot of sense…
    As for Avi Ratzon, what a moron, he is so full of himself its not true, a real Napoleon complex….

  14. You know what, Reuven, I never remember who’s who . . .

    First of all, there are the two muppets who generally sit alongside Meller. One looks like George from Seinfeld (something Kaufman?) and the other one with the pockmarked face (Niv Ruskin?) And then there is the bearded guy who commentates (Rami Weiss?)

    I actually think “Alka” (Zeltzer) knows his footie the best.

    I once had Meller’s mobile number and, when Watford (his team) were beating my beloved Leeds United in the Championship Play-Off Final at Cardiff a few years back, I sent him a jokey sms at half-time (he was there), as is common amongst English football fans. The c*nt told me off afterwards, saying he didn’t know who it was from and felt threatened!

    Another annoying thing is that they all refer to Bayern Munich as “Byron Munchen” . . . though, then again, all Tel Avivis pronounce Rechov Lincoln as “Lincolen”.

    I do love it here . . . if only it wasn’t for the people! ;-)

  15. Reuven Back

    Mike, there is no doubt that the football commentary in Israel is a joke…but compared to the standard of actual Israeli football…it is top class!!!:)

  16. Jeff Tibber

    The one thing amongst many that irked me the most last season about watching football in Israel was the constant referral to W.B.A. as ‘Bromwich’ in the same context as a ‘City’ or a ‘United.’
    Any serious football pundit would would know that the correct name for the club is West Bromwich Albion or West Brom for short, nickname is ‘Baggies’ but ‘Bromwich’ is plain ignorance

  17. And of course there is Zuher Bahalul, whose style of commentary is possibly the funniest thing in Israeli sports (is he even still around anymore?)

  18. The chant “Elton Welsby is a w*nk*r” was commonplace around English football grounds.

    Sounds like the Israelis need to chant something similar about their pundits.

  19. Ellis Feigenbaum

    To Reuven Back,
    Hartson is not a thug at all, he is one of the kindest gentlemen on and off a football pitch you will ever meet.
    The fact the Berkovic got transferred and Hartson was not even fined says something about this particular matter.
    Israeli football commentary is just a reflection of Israeli football, crap.

  20. Raffy Wreschner

    Just as bad here in the US – I watch all the games with the TV on mute.

    And Reuven Back – thanks for the Arsene Wanger mention – that is top of my list for most annoying Israeli commentary – along with calling Manchester United just Manchester.

  21. Ellis Feigenbaum

    calling man u just “manchester” would be passably ok, but the habit of calling them “the united”… now that is irritating.

  22. Except man u don’t play in manchester. How about Stretford FC?

  23. Or Filthy Red Scum?!

  24. Dovid Maslin

    Sounds like the rant of Jimmy Reeves, the bitter Leeds fan of fanzine folklore.

    From the harsh came forth the sweet
    (Judges 14:14)

    Stockport County fans refer to Man U fans as the Dungers. Away fans go to Edgeley Park and chant, “You’re the sh*t of Manchester”. The ever witty Cheadle Enders retort, “We don’t come from Manchester this is our retort. Look it up you thick b*st*rds we come from Stockport!”

  25. Joey the Gee

    Mike,
    Aren’t we forgetting that 30 odd years ago scores of NW London Jewish youngsters adopted a slang alternative to for “You’re talking rubbish”. It involved rubbing one’s imaginary goatee beard while proclaiming “Jimmy Hill”.

  26. Jimmy Hill was like Rashi, Joey, compared to this lot!

  27. Martin Sykes-Haas

    I don’t quite agree Mike. Generally the team on Sport 5 (Avi Miller, Nadav Whatsit) who do the Champions League matches do know their stuff and keep to the less is more school of match commentary. The Sport 1 and 2 crowd who have the Premiership rights on the other hand never shut up and basically rehash/mistranslate whatever the (generally poor) English commentators had to say.

    By the way John Hartson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer which has now spread to his brain.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/jul/13/john-hartson-suffering-from-cancer

    Refua shlema.

  28. New season. Same shit. Sunderland v Chelsea on Sport 2 now, and Israeli clown commentators can’t stop referring to the home manager as “Stevie Bruce”. Wankers.

  29. Did anyone else feel forced to turn off the volume of the Champions League Final on Israeli Channel 10, yesterday evening, due to the crap being spouted by that horrible little gobshite Eyal Berkovic?

    Whilst I am no fan of Jose Mourinho, for the arrogant tosser Berkovic – who won nothing in England, and only two championships here – to be mouthing off about Inter Milan not playing football as it is supposed to be played is somewhat akin to Mashina rubbishing Oasis.

    What a little c*nt!

    Good. Now that that’s off my chest . . . ;-)

  30. Useless ID rubbishing Green Day might have been a better analogy!

  31. David Prager

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Mike. I kept thinking “Where are you John Hartson when we need you?” Can you imagine what we’d have had to put up with if G-d forbid he’d have been given the Israeli managership?!

  32. Shana Tova & Gmar Chatima Tova to Everyone.
    Returning to the subject of crap Israeli commentary and the past use of “Bromwich” etc, can anything be done to stop them calling Birmingham – Beer-mingham. It’s driving me crazy! What is it about the Midlands that Israelis can’t cope with?

  33. What “past use of ‘Bromwich’”? It hasn’t stopped! “Stevie Gee” and “Giggsy” still wind me up a lot more though, and as for that f*cker Berkovic . . .

  34. …and what about, “Trafford Hakashish” (Old Trafford)?????

  35. I only just discovered this blog – I’ve been suffering for over a year now since my move from London. For me it’s also “Bromwhich”!!! I just can’t stand it…it would be like an English commentator referring to Ramat Gan as “Gan”…f’ck me! And then last night as the players came on to the pitch at the Lane for the Spurs/Liverpool game, one of them said that Anfield and Old Trafford were noisier stadiums. In fact, according to the survey done in 2008 (see this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A42697579), Stoke have the noisiest fans followed by Tottenham, and then Liverpool – United came only 16th (behind, even, the Gooners at the Library)!! Is there any way we can make our feelings known to Hot? Do they have a version of the BBC duty officer?

  36. Welcome, Adam (and congratulations on finding gold!)

    The Israeli commentators are annoying as hell. But what other options do we have? English commentary via the Web always appears to be “unavailable in your region,” while, by muting the Israeli knob ends altogether, you also lose the atmosphere of the crowd.

    My two-year contract with HOT – have you read this yet? – came to an end last week and I haven’t renewed it, though it is not out of the question. I installed a private satellite dish, but it f*cked up my Internet connection and the guy came to remove it. Anyway, the English games I received were broadcast by Sky Italy, with Italian commentary. There is also live streaming via the Internet, if you don’t mind watching on your PC.

    But you are right . . . why can’t someone tell those dickheads that it is “West Brom/wich” and that only their mates call them “Stevie Gee/Bruce”? As for Eyal Berkovic, why can’t he just *#$@?!

  37. At least I now know that I’m not suffering in isolation – and by the way, you can listen on-line to nearly all the Spurs games, home and away, on BBC Radio London. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s some form of oversight, but if you’re a Spurs fanatic like me, it’s very good news – albeit, the commentary is shamelessly partisan and very amateur – but beggars can’t be chosers. I think this goes for all the BBC regional radio stations, so Leeds, City and Utd fans etc, should be able to listen to their teams nearly every game. In Spain I use something called Freesat and get all the free-to-air terestrial stations, TV and Radio. Does that work here, or only in Europe? (I also like Modi Bar-On by the way – he seems very ‘sympatico’, as they say in Spain.)

  38. Hi Mike,

    I just received this response from the company that broadcasts Premiership footy for Israeli TV to two long e-mails of mine listing all our various complaints. I haven’t responded yet – thought some input from you first might be helpful. In fairness to this Udi chap, I do have a spelling problem, and my Ivrit in comprehension is very poor…

    Dear Adam,

    First of all, thank you for your email.

    To the point, I apologize if previous emails have not been answered. We never had any policy of ignoring viewers’ remarks, on the contrary. Answering incoming emails takes a good deal of our PR manager’s time, and my directive is to never leave an email not replied, no matter how blunt the viewer’s language might be.

    To be more specific answering your complaint, I wish to bring to your attention another directive I’ve issued about two years ago, according to which, the Hebrew commentary during a Premier League match should never top 20% of the playing time. This is implemented by our staff and you’re invited to time us.

    You say our commentators spill out “ignorant rubbish”, and I disagree. We’ve got some of the most professional football managers in the country commentating on PL matches. If you’d listen I dare say even you could enrich yourself with some of their remarks.

    I wish to refer to another issue brought up by you, as it irritates you when our commentators say “scotty”. I understand your sensitivity but you must understand we speak Hebrew, and the Hebrew word for “Scott” or “Scottish” is סקוטי
    Which is pronounced “scotty”.

    As to your other remarks, some of them I find reasonable (“Bromwich”, without the “h” by the way) and some I don’t agree with (our commentators are fully aware of the Spurs’ Jewish connection, a fact that has been mentioned more than once).

    Your recommendation to broadcast English football with no Hebrew interference at all (which would undoubtedly be my personal choice) was looked into, but our surveys tell us that there is a majority among our viewers who would prefer having the Hebrew commentary.

    However, we’re developing a platform that will enable our viewers to choose between the original English commentary and the Hebrew one by pressing a button on the remote control. Have some patience, hopefully it will happen soon.

    Sincerely,

    Udi

  39. Good stuff, Adam. And kudos to Udi for responding at such length. Can you please reply with his e-mail adddress (I don’t see any reason not to publish it here). I will then take him up on the “Giggsie/Stevie Gee/Stevie Bruce” thing keeping me awake at nights!

    Are we to understand that you are the viewer with the “blunt language”?! Care to publish your two e-mails to Udi here?

  40. Mike, apologies for my delay in responding. I attach below my entire correspondence with Udi. And I will let you (and your readers) judge as to whether or not I am that “blunt” talking “viewer”!

    I sent my original e-mail to Udi on November 29, 2010 . . .

    Why do your commentators on English Premiership football on Channel Sport 1 (and all your other pay-for-view sports stations) keep referring to a team called “Bromwhich”?? There is a team called “West Bromwhich Albion”, also known as “West Brom’” for short. The team also has a nickname, “the Baggies”. But, there is no team called “Bromwhich”, just as there is no Israeli team called “Gan”, although there is a team called “Ramat Gan”. Imagine how irritating an Israeli living in London would find it if an English commentator, kept referring to “Gan”, when he meant “Ramat Gan.”

    And by the same token, why do some of your commentators refer to a team called “Manchester”, when they mean “Manchester United”? If you want to use diminutives and/or nicknames for Manchester United, there are several legitimate ones, such as “Man Utd”, “Man U’”, “United” (when they are not playing against another “United” such as “Newcastle” or “Westham”), “the Reds” (when they are not playing other “Reds”, such as “Liverpool” or “Charlton”) or even “The Red Devils”, but they are never referred to as “Manchester” – this is actually offensive to supporters of “Manchester City”, whose team, by the way, actually plays in the city of Manchester, whereas, “Utd” are based in Stretford – a suburb of Manchester.

    Similarly, why do your commentators never call “Tottenham Hotspur” by their diminutive “Spurs”?? Seeing as they have so much trouble pronouncing “Tottenham” – which in English is pronounced “tot-nam”, not “tot – en – ham” (simple really – the “en” is silent), why don’t they just use “Spurs”. It would be so much easier for them (and for us poor English speaking viewers, who are forced to listen to them!!)

    Also, why last Sunday, when the “Spurs” and “Liverpool” teams walked out at White Hart Lane, did the commentator say that the “Spurs” stadium was not as loud as Anfield or Old Trafford. In fact, a scientific sound/decibel survey was done two years ago for the BBC, and White Hart Lane was recorded as the second loudest Stadium in the premiership, after the Britannia Stadium (the home of Stoke City), with Anfield third and Old Trafford only 16th !! (the link to the survey is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A42697579 ) .

    And, why do these same commentators insist on referring to Steven Gerrard as “Stevie Gee”. NO ONE in the UK uses this anymore, least of all Liverpool fans. And, as for “Gigsie”!!!!!

    And, why don’t your commentary team appear to have any idea at all about the incredible Jewish support in the UK for “Spurs”? Do they know that the nickname for “Spurs” fans is “Yiddoes” – meant affectionately, by the way. Have they never noticed the Israeli flags that are often on display at “the Lane”. You’d think that your commentators would want to inform their Israeli audience about this amazing fact, especially as now, “Spurs” are so successful and on the TV every week!!

    Finally, why do you need to have the Israeli over-commentary at all. 90% of those watching are either English speakers or have enough “football” English to understand the UK commentary. The Ivrit over-commentary subdues the sound and atmosphere from the stadiums. A great example was the Champions League Game the other night from White Hart Lane, between “Spurs” and Inter’. The noise, in the stadium, according to Andy Gray (the Sky TV summariser) was loudest he’d ever heard. But, because of your stupid studio commentary being over dubbed from Tel Aviv, the amazing atmosphere from “the Lane” was completely dulled down. Surely, the atmosphere at the English stadia is one of the key attractions of English football — so why, why do you insist on ruining it???!!!

    While I’m grateful to be able to watch live English football at all while in Israel, I nevertheless resent paying so much money for this farcical, ignorant, atmosphere destroying, miss-informative, claptrap. Please! Please! Stop it! What’s so irksome about this is that these guys you employ to commentate for you, only say things like “Bromwhich” and “Stevie Gee” to prove how familiar they are with all things related to English football, when in reality, they are merely making fools of themselves. I don’t know what you’re paying these guys, but you could save yourself some money and get rid of them, and use the money you save to give us cheaper access to your sports channels.

    Adam Green – Natanya & North London

    I followed up the above with the following, on December 20 (some 3 weeks later) . . .

    Hi again,

    Pasted below (in blue) is my previous e-mail to you, complaining about the terrible Israeli “over-commentary” during English Premiership football matches. With your typical, couldn’t-give-a-shit arrogance, you completely ignored my complaint, without even showing the basic politeness of brief reply.

    I guess that you will ignore this too – after all, I’m only your customer, and what do the concerns of customers matter. We’re just the poor idiot captive audience who – in addition to paying your wages – have to listen the ignorant rubbish spoken by your commentary team.

    The latest gem from one of your stellar commentators is the repeated use of the word “scotty” when talking about Scottish players. For your information, the term “scotty” is only ever applied as a diminutive (a nickname) for the Scott’s Terrier dog (the type of little black dog pictured on the Black & White Whiskey label). A human from Scotland, is only ever referred to as “Scottish” or a “Scott”, or, if you want to be insulting, a “Jock”. If you call a large angry “Scott” from Glasgow for example, a “scotty”, there is a fair chance he will think that you are “taking the piss” and give you a black eye. There is also the term “Scotch”, but this is mostly applied to either another breed of dog – the “Scotch Collie”, whiskey, or a variety of other, mostly inanimate objects, such as “mist” and “broth”.

    I’m so exasperated by the repeated ignorance of your commentators, that I am hereby offering your entire team, FREE OF CHARGE, a tutorial – for however long it takes – to teach them all about British colloquialisms related to British football, and the English language in general.

    So now you have no excuse for continuing along the irritating and annoying path of ignorance upon which you are currently travelling down.

    Here is your chance, to prove to me, your long-suffering customer, that you do in fact, give-a-shit!

    Adam Green

    Udi finally replied, the following day (December 21), with the e-mail included in my previous post above, to which I immediately responded as follows . . .

    Hello Udi,

    Many thanks for getting back to me, I truly appreciate it.

    I have found over the years when making comments to the broadcast media that the sure way to elicit a response is to be “slightly” pejorative. I’m not for a moment saying that you would not have got back to me in any event, but I just wanted to make sure you “heard me”.

    I am very relieved to learn of your attempt to introduce an interactive option for the original commentary, and yes, I will try and be patient. I have come to learn that “savlanot” is essential here in Israel, and not just with regard to this issue…

    Overall though, we are going to have to agree to differ over the level of ignorance or otherwise of your commentary team, and certainly the possibility of me being able to learn from them. I went to my first Spurs game in 1963, when I was three years old (the year Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy, when they won the old European Cup Winners Cup — they were also the first British club to win two different European major honours when they went on to win the inaugural EUFA Cup in 1971), and have been following English football assiduously ever since. I was at Wembley when England beat Eusébio’s Portugal in 1966. Much to my long-suffering wife’s annoyance, I live and breathe football, and especially anything to do with Tottenham Hotspur. Ultimately I suppose, it doesn’t really matter; it’s not so much what your commentators say, it’s how they say it, and, in fairness to you and to them, it’s probably as much a cultural thing as anything else.

    As far as “scotty” is concerned, and my spelling of Bromwich, I stand corrected, although in my defence on the latter, I am dyslexic and have to rely on the g-mail spell check to help me with spellings.

    Finally, just to show I am not all negative about your team of “experts”, I do really like Modi Bar-On. He has great charisma, is extremely simpatico and hugely professional. It’s just a shame you don’t seem to be able to get hold of more people of his “televisual” expertise.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to respond,

    Gratefully,

    Adam

    And the correspondence ended (for the time being at least!) with the following, received on December 22 . . .

    Dear Adam,

    As I said before, I see it as my obligation to answer each and every viewer’ complaint (not that I regularly do it myself).

    I can only envy your football history, as the first match I attended was my miserable Hapoel Jerusalem vs. Hapoel Petach-tikva (1973). Needless to say I haven’t witnessed my team collect too many European trophies.

    Much to my sorrow, Mody Bar On is Sport 5′s talent, not ours. And indeed he is, in my opinion, the best talent on any Israeli channel, not only sports channels. So finally we agree…

    Cheers,

    Udi

    Udi’s address – given to me by HOT – is sport@sport1.co.il . I’m certain that if you and your readers send Udi similar complaints to my own, he will get the message loud and clear (especially if some of the complaints are in Hebrew). It’s obvious that the channel itself, if not the commentators, is sensitive to criticism.

  41. Adam – thanks for this – really enjoyed reading. If you do have further communication, please also tell them that “Old Trafford” is not “Trafford HaKashish”. The funniest though was the commentator at the Hapoel TA-Spurs Uefa Cup game a few years back, who couldn’t understand why the people in the stadium wearing kippot were all Spurs fans.

    I gave up on the Israeli commentary long ago (for cost reasons actually). I use peer to peer, have mostly English commentary (though sometimes Russian and Chinese:) and I can also choose any game I want – even gives you cricket.

  42. Just sent this to Udi……….

    Hi Udi,

    Nochamul with the damn BROMWICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m cancelling my subscription before I go insane.

    Thanks for nothing and enjoy the next AVIV derby game.

    Idiots.

    A

  43. “I’m cancelling my subscription before I go insane.”

    Sounds like it might be too late, Adam! ;-)

    (By way of background, I had sent Adam an sms at 2:51 pm – 6 minutes into West Brom vs. Man Utd, being shown ‘live’ on Israeli TV – as follows: “Nobs still calling them Bromwich!”)

  44. A number of posters here have yet to come terms with Tarbut Israelit and learn not to complain how ‘good it was in the old country.’
    Having watched Spurs since 1947, I too became incensed by the coverage here when I first arrived in 2007 but my biggest criticism is not of the facile, ill-informed solecisms of fact and mangled, often comic, pronunciation but of the perceived need to fill every 60 seconds with continuous speech, almost as though they were commenting on radio.

  45. Jeremy Cohen

    C’mon Dad, don’t be scared. Let’s have your surname too. Hint: it goes just after your first name.

    And….COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!

    I’ll admit I’m a bit of a fair weather fan.

    Jeremy

  46. But I didn’t go to hasmo, I only sent my three sons there.
    I apologise!!!

    Stanley David St John Aloysius McChulent Cohen of that Ilk.

  47. It is not only our TV commentators who are clueless about English football. The following, from a report of the previous evening’s Premiership action in Thursday’s Haaretz (click here if you don’t believe me), reaches new heights of incompetence:

    “Struggling Liverpool, meanwhile, lost for the second time this season to newly promoted Blackpool. Having stunned the Reds at Anfield in October, Blackpool completed the double over their more illustrious opponents with a 3-1 victory at Bloomfield Road.”

    In fact, Liverpool had lost not to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road (where they play next week), but to Blackburn at Ewood Park . . . but why should an Israeli sports ‘journalist’ let the facts bother him?!

  48. Thought you guys might enjoy my latest exchange with Udi. It began through the following message Udi sent to me in error. (This is a Tradukka translation, which makes it all the more intriguing…)

    “Incidentally,
    Remember I told you my chest protector think we determine which game is played on Sunday, told me that shit, he knows it is not we?
    Yesterday Izzy Sheratzky called me and asked me as his daughter has a – Mitzvah on Saturday, we will transfer the Kiryat Shmona against Acre Sunday. He sounded quite surprised when I told him the Association determines …”

    To which I replied…

    “Hi Udi,
    I don’t think that you meant to send this message to me. In case you don’t remember, I’m that annoying English guy who complained to you about “Bromwich” etc….
    You’ll be very sad to know that I’m now back in England, so you won’t be hearing from me anymore, and you and your friends can “Bromwich” away unmollested – at least by me, at any rate!
    I guess I’ll just have to follow the next “Gan” v “Aviv” (either “Aviv”) game from Ha’aretz online for the moment.
    Regards,
    Adam”

    Udi, who seems like a real mench by the way, then sent me this…

    “Hi Adam,
    Of course you’re right, sorry to bother you.
    It may comfort you that a strict directive has gone down to all commentators not to abbreviate West Bromwich as “Bromwich”.
    Enjoy the island.
    Best,
    Udi”

    Such a shame he hadn’t let me know this earlier, or else my “Aliyah” might have succeeded! Anyhow, COME ON YOU SPURS for Tuesday, and let’s hope the Gooners get all “Messied” up on Wednesday!!

  49. Mensch or not, the commentators are still Bromwich-ing (as well as Gigssy-ing, Stevie Gee-ing and Bruce-ing) away without heed to any “strict directive” (what a load of bollocks!)

    And, seeing as you have left us Adam (sorry to hear), I might take up your noble fight and start e-mailing Udi in your stead (I will post them here).

  50. Go for it Mike! I’ll watch with interest.

  51. A friend just forwarded me the Independent obituary of Avi Cohen, the former Maccabi Tel Aviv and Liverpool footballer, who died in December following a moped accident. It contains the following story, which, I think, says so much about not only Israeli footballers, but Israelis and Israelis abroad, etc, in general . . .

    When the Liverpool newcomer – who, by all accounts, was none too bright – found himself changing in the Anfield dressing room next to Scottish legend, Kenny Dalglish, Cohen repeteatedly stated, “You and me, the same.”

    Dalglish was eventually forced to ask – in his broad Glaswegian accent – what the hell the Israeli was talking about.

    “You and me, the same,” repeated Cohen. “We both learn English.”
    ;-)

  52. Avele [O'H] spoke a much clearer and more intelligible English than ever Dalglish(ie) did [l'havdil].
    I still require subtitles to accompany his words of wisdom, particularly now he is back at the Anfield helm and despite his two previous wins, the Uefa match in Prague was as effective as anything I saw at the Library back in the day for a good kip.
    IMHO Adam’s y’ridah must have been caused by factors other than the commentators’ persistent solecisms. At least I hope so!
    My son Jeremy has insisted that I give my full despite not having attended Hasmo, but you ex-scholars out there would have been able to suss that out from my English usage. :-)

  53. Funny you should write now, Stanley . . .

    The guy who forwarded me the obit, Danny Kelly, is also a friend of Jeremy. And we were amusing ourselves on the phone yesterday as to how “my son Jeremy,” by virtue of having an Italian totty at the time, used to feel that he had to refer to a different type of Italian Totti, Francesco, in the authentic Italian “Toooooooooo-tti.”

    We had to suffer an entire World Cup – 2002, I think it was – of that. Thank God the Wops were knocked out before the quarter-finals! ;-)

  54. That had little to do with his girlfriend’s origins and everything to do with his pedantry [which I’m sorry to say he’s inherited from me.] But give him credit since he taught himself Italian in order to enhance his chances with the family [HERS!]

  55. Don’t know if this is true, but once Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen went over to to Bob Paisley to discuss tactics. The three spoke a lot and Paisley nodded his head and said, “that sounds good.” When he went away, Joe Fagen asked him what they said and he answered, “Don’t have a clue.”

  56. Thank God the Wops were knocked out before the quarter-finals!

    I think you can thank the referees for that. We often see terrible refereeing at the world cup, but 2002 was worse than usual.

    And to reaffirm my pedantry, please also note that “God” and “Wops” are both properly capitalized.

  57. So is World Cup.

    And, if that is the case, then I do “thank the referees” for my not having to hear you say “Tooooooooooo-tti” again, that summer! ;-)

  58. “So is World Cup”

    I know I know lols.

    But I couldn’t capitalize World Cup and still point out the irony in your apparent simultaneous deification and slight of Wops.

  59. I have just sent the following, by e-mail titled Adam Gee/Greeny, to Udi at Sport 1 . . .

    Dear Udi,

    I thought I would let you know that you have become a bit of a star on my blog . . .

    A post I wrote about Israeli sports (especially football) commentators – Moti, you ain’t no Motty! (http://melchettmike.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/moti-you-aint-no-motty/) – inspired Adam Green (whom I believe you may recall) to write to you. I hope you will read the post, and the comments that follow (your name enters the discussion on December 21, 2010) – it will certainly provide you with a good idea about what vexes the English football fan living in Israel.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to sit down and document the number of times in each broadcast that the Sports 1 and 2 commentators and co-commentators still refer to “Giggsy,” “Stevie Bruce” and “Stevie Gee,” but the situation certainly does not seem to have improved. And West Brom/wich are still referred to, continually, merely as “Bromwich.”

    And it is not as if your average Israeli insists on such nonsensical nicknames – even the owner of the Shuk Ha’Carmel [Carmel Market] basta [stall] where I buy my herring can’t stand it!

    It surely can’t be that difficult for paid employees to follow style directives. Or is it just that Israelis are incorrigible?! Should we, therefore, give up?

    I look forward to receiving your reply, perhaps as a comment following the above post on my blog.

    Kind regards from Rechov Melchett,

    Mike

    http://melchettmike.wordpress.com/

    PS Should you ever decide to create the position of English Football Consultant, I’m your man . . . though, admittedly, your viewers might be subjected to watching The Famous (once at least) Leeds United every Saturday afternoon!

  60. Hi Mike,

    I already offered myself up for that position, but Udi seemed uninterested, and at least with me they would have got to watch Spurs (what a brilliant game against Wolves – or should I say ‘ Hampton’ for Udi’s benfit – today)every week and not some has-been Championship team!

    Take care,

    A

  61. I have just received the following, by e-mail, from Udi Terlo at Sport 1/Charlton. I have translated (roughly) the Hebrew bit . . .

    Dear Mike,
    Thank you for your email.
    I took a sneak peek at your blog and must admit I blushed…
    Maybe I didn’t tell Adam there was another directive I issued following our correspondence, regarding the foul use of nick names where they shouldn’t be used. I can assume the reason for this is Man U TV channel we had broadcast over the years, where you could witness players refer to one another as “Gigsie”, “Scholesie” etc.
    I was quite confident my directives were being followed, but I don’t doubt your testimony. I guess it doesn’t come from stubbornness, rather from the inherent difficulty of kicking old habits. Anyway, I will re-clarify to our commentators what I’m asking and expecting of them.
    I enclose the directive issued at Jan 9, referring to the issues above and others (in Hebrew! Time for you to break your teeth as well!).
    Best,
    Udi

    חברים,
    Friends,
    מספר הערות ודגשים לגבי שידור הליגה האנגלית. נא להקפיד.
    A number of observations and points regarding broadcast of the English league. Please pay attention to them.
    1. יש להימנע משימוש בשמות חיבה.
    אם נמאס למישהו להגיד פרגוסון, שיגיד “סר אלכס”, ובשום פנים ואופן לא “פרגי”.
    לגבי גיגסי, סטיבי ג’י ודומיהם – גם מזה להימנע. מקסימום פעם אחת בשידור, ורצוי בכלל לא.
    You must refrain from the use of nicknames.
    If someone is fed up saying Feguson, he should say “Sir Alex”, but on no account “Fergie”.
    In regard to Giggsy, Stevie Gee and similar – also refrain from this. Maximum once in a broadcast, and preferably not at all.
    2. ביטוי שמות קבוצות:
    ווסטהאם היא היחידה בה נהגית ה-”ה”. בכל האחרות ה-”ה” נבלעת ויש לבטא: פולם (ולא פולהאם), ברמינגם (ולא ברמינגהאם, בוודאי לא בירמינגהאם), טוטנם.
    Pronunciation of team names:
    Westham is the only one in which you pronounce the “h”. In all the others the “h” is not pronounced and you should pronounce: Fulam (and not Fulham), Birmingam (and not Birmingham, of course not Beermingham), Tottenam.
    3. הקיצור של ווסט ברומיץ’ אינו ברומיץ’! מי שרוצה לקצר, שיגיד ווסט ברום.
    The shortened form of West Bromwich is not Bromwich! Those who want to shorten, should say “West Brom”.
    4. הקיצור של מנצ’סטר יונייטד הוא “יונייטד” או “מאן יו”, ולעולם לא “מנצ’סטר”.
    The shortened form of Manchester United is “United” or “Man U”, and never “Manchester”.
    5. לקינוח, לינק לסקר המגרש הרועש ביותר שנערך ב-2008 בפרמיירליג ומצוטט אינספור פעמים:
    Lastly, a link to an oft-quoted 2008 survey of the loudest ground in the Premier League:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A42697579

    Bloody hell! Accountability in Israel! Whatever next . . . Israeli shopkeepers telling us “The customer is always right”?! ;-)

  62. Can there be a bigger wanker anywhere than Eyal “Double Pass” Berkovic?

    To cheer myself up after having had to suffer him for the last hour and a half . . .

  63. For those not wishing to suffer from that Berkovic thing, or from the incessant prattle from the Israeli radio commentators on Sports TV, mute your sound and tune in to Radio London which still broadcasts without all this ‘Contractual Obligation’ rubbish.
    You even get the chance of anticipating what you’ve just heard from the radio channel while the delayed TV signal catches up.

  64. During Spurs vs Real Madrid earlier this week, White Hart Lane was filled with a booming heart-felt chorus of “When the Spurs go marching in..I wanna be in that number” to which the Sport 5 commentator said “How lovely, they want to be in that number; I dont know exactly what that number is…”

    Also (and it may be me not up to date) but since when are Spurs referred to as “Hotspur”? Did this happen around the same time as West Brom started to be called “Bromwich”?

  65. “Hotspur??!!” Please God tell me this isn’t true. I’m reading this from a remote Spanish mountain top, but it still doesn’t help. I thought that once I’d moved away from Israel it wouldn’t bother me anymore, but just knowing about it is unbearable. I think I might have to stop reading this blog. I’m sure they’re evil – I’m sure they just do it to wind us up.

  66. Moshe Abelesz

    They were also constantly saying “TottenHam” and also during the Man U-Chelsea game they kept on calling UTD “Manchester” – nothing changed…and their commentary is rubbish too.

  67. I am not trying to milk this for everything it is worth . . . it is just that, with each new game, there is always something freshly annoying . . .

    Bolton v Stoke (FA Cup Semi-Final) now on Sport 2 . . . is it my imagination, or does Zevik Zeltser (he is the one with lisp, isn’t he?) say “egh egh egh” more than actual words?

    I am just waiting for him to start referring to Gordon Banks – who is in the crowd – as “Banksy” . . . ;-)

  68. John Fisher

    Whoever watched/listened to last night’s Premier League season finale will probably agree that the suspense was unbelievable . Five teams dancing around two trapdoors to the Championship with the two nooses being passed from neck to neck until literally the closing minutes of the games.

    While we all had the benefit of TV/radio pundits giving us a nanosecond by nanosecond account of the mathematical consequences of every goal, out on the pitch things were evidently quite different.

    Moments after Tottenham’s game with Birmingham City ended , Spurs’ media-friendly manager Harry Redknapp – so often “Mouth of the Match” – told the BBC:

    “When Roger Johnson [of Birmingham City], the big centre-half, went up front, I wondered what they were doing. It was 1-1 and I thought that was enough to keep them up. I said to Alex [McLeish, Birmingham City Manager] , ‘Is a draw no good?’ He said they needed to win because Wolves had scored and goals scored will do us.”

    Priceless.

    Anyway, however much of a mentsch Harry is, his boys took advantage of their opponents’ desperation and the game ended 2:1 to Spurs.

    Jasper Carrot once said, in one of Birmingham’s previous spells in the lower divisions, that some people thought that “Birmingham will get to Europe one of these days”. He agreed – “As long as there is a War”. Well, at least he was wrong about that.

  69. Too late for this season perhaps. But you can listen virtually all of Spurs’ matches on Radio London who also have a digital site so that even though the majority of Premier League games are denied us by the BBC ‘owing to contractual obligations’ on Radio Five Live and Radio Five Sports Extra, you can still heat Spurs in particular and some of the other London teams on Radio London:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_london

    and Radio London Digital:-

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/london/hi/bbc_local_home/newsid_8273000/8273157.stm

    I do miss the Test Match Special team on Five Live Sports Extra though.
    Come On You Spurs!

  70. Either I was wrong about TSM or they only broadcast the England home matches. Pity so much of the Sri Lanka match has been rained off. Anyway, Radio Five Live Sports Extra is braodcasting live on the net and can be received in Derech Hevron!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_five_live_sports_extra

  71. Have another look, I think you’ll find England won by an innings.

  72. - and 14 runs.

  73. Happened to have Wolfsburg v Schalke on, as background, yesterday afternoon, when one of the Israeli assho . . . sorry, experts, commented that Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath “reminded [him] of Jack Nicholson in Silence of the Lambs.”

    As if they don’t cock up enough with the footie!

    And, in spite of Udi Terlo’s directives (see above), Sport 1/Charlton’s commentators and summarisers are still gorging on a diet of “Bromwich” and “Stevie Bruce”.

    If you are still reading, Adam Green . . . you are in a better place! ;-)

  74. nice one mike. I was reading a magazine on the way back from the Holyland and spotted some sporting funnies which made me smile….Here is a vorspiese….
    1) Watch the time- it gives you a good indication of how fast they are running. Ron Pickering.
    2) That was like throwing three pickled onions into a thimble! Sid Waddell.
    3) The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them. Sid Waddell.
    4) Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end. Brian Johnston.
    and my own personal favourite….
    5) This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother. Ted Walsh.
    Quality….

  75. Hi Mike,

    Back here for a fortnight to sort out the the sale/rental of our apartment (by the way, what’s happened to the property market here? Or is just Netanya that’s died?) and had the misfortune to catch the latest Premiership review show on 1. They’re still “Bromwiching” away I notice…And then last night I watched the QPR Newcastle game, and still, with that mind numbingly turgid over commentary. Coming back to it “fresh”, so to speak, after months away, I’ve noticed that the most irksome element of this weird chatathon are those moments when that guy – the smoothie (Mr Bromwich himself), breaks off into a form of actual commentary – normally when some goal mouth action occurs during one of their chats. I don’t know if anyone out there recalls when Eurosport first arrived on our screens and used to “paste” commentaries onto recordings of games. The thing was, you could always tell it wasn’t a live commentary, however well engineered by the sound guys to seem real. There was always an audible disconnect between the image and the commentary and it was always strangely unsatisfying. I guess that’s why Eurosport stopped doing it after a few years and resorted to just showing highlights of non-live games. Well, I’ve realised that despite the fact these short bursts of Israeli “commentary” are in fact live, this “disconnect” is even more pronounced than what I remember from Eurosport. It almost sounds like a sad guy in a room, on another continent, shouting at the TV screen…but hey! Wait a minute! It is a sad guy in a room, on another continent shouting at a TV screen! F—ing lame, or what?

    By the way, for those of you blessed with powerful laptops and PCs with loads of gigammythingammies and ram – (or is it ewe?) try out this link for live streamed sport. It’s brilliant. The one thing to know is that if you want to avoid the annoying adds that pop up in mid screen every few minutes, simply watch on full screen mode: http://mypremium.tv/

  76. An open correspondence (link e-mailed) to Udi Terlo, Sport 1/Charlton . . .

    Dear Udi,

    The well-intentioned advice and promptings of Adam Green and me, and your subsequent “guidelines” (see above), have clearly not changed a thing: the “Bromwiches,” “Stevie Gees” and “Bayrens,” etc, are still as prevalent – and as painful – as ever. How complicated can it be to get a few commentators to observe some simple guidelines?!

    Now, to make matters worse, you have some clueless Argentinian providing ‘expert’ insight on the Europa League . . . but who only seems capable of laughing like a buffoon and exclaiming “Ya Alllah!” every 30 seconds. Do you actually pay this gentleman?!

    Sort it out, Udi!

    Best,

    Mike

  77. And why oh why did the commentator tonight at Spurs, who btw called Kevin Bond, “Clive Allen”, have to continuously call Spurs, “hatarnegolim”? (waiting for someone to say that we are a bunch of cocks). Spurs’ insignia might be a cockerel, but it is NOT our nickname. Why can’t he just say “Spurs”?????

  78. I just watched the Spurs game too, but here in Spain on (UK) Channel 5 via my wonderful “Freesat box”.
    All I can say is that I really feel for all you guys (and gals) condemned to follow English football on Israeli TV – including poor old Udi.
    Talking of Udi, I (together with Moshe) would also like to ask him what the problem is with the Israeli commentary teams and the word “SPURS”? Is it unpronounceable for Israelis? S-P-U-R-S…Pretty damn simple really, not like “Richardson” or – more to the point – Charlton Athletic. Far easier I would guess, to judge from Israeli commentary, than Tott-en-ham – which most Israelis insist on pronouncing phonetically, instead of the correct pronunciation, Tot-nam.
    In any event (and I think I’ve already mentioned it somewhere on this blog) in the two years I lived in Israel I never once heard an Israeli commentator refer to Tottenham as Spurs- which, if you think about it, tells you all you need to know about the Israeli commentary team’s knowledge of English football – or lack thereof…

  79. As well as irritating football commentators (see post above), little Israel is also punching well above its weight in the on-field violence stakes – today’s round of matches in the top two divisions here were cancelled following these amazing scenes, yesterday, at Hapoel Ramat Gan vs Bnei Lod . . .

    http://www.totalprosports.com/2012/04/20/ugly-israeli-soccer-brawl-takes-place-between-hapoel-ramat-gan-and-bnei-lod-video/

    Who needs “El Classico”?!

  80. Eugene Monkleton-Montefiore

    fantastic, melchy… haven’t had so much fun since watching cousin rupert launch into a cambridge oik after last year’s boat race!

    talking of rupes, he and pippa are in bahrain for the grand prix… no sex on the beach for them then!

    best from south ken,

    eugene

  81. Sent by e-mail to Udi Terlo (the man in charge apparently) at Sport 1/Charlton . . .

    Hi again Udi,

    I try so very hard not to e-mail you every time that something vexes me with Sport 1/Charlton’s football coverage . . . but Zevik Zeltzer would test the self-control of a nun! Watching England v France in Florentine this evening, even the Israelis in the bar were cursing him (one even saying he should be shot!) Two examples among many . . .

    When James Milner rounded the French goalkeeper but missed with his shot, Zeltzer informed the viewer that he “should have shot with the inside of his foot.” Does this fool really think that Milner doesn’t know which part of his foot to shoot with?! The problem, for anyone who knows even the slightest thing about football, was rather that he was slightly off balance, having taken the ball too wide.

    And when France scored, Zeltzer announced that the England keeper, Joe Hart, “should have dived earlier.” But Samir Nasri’s ‘bullet’ came through a crowd of players, and Hart did well to even get a hand to it.

    In summary, all Zevik Zeltzer ever does is tell footballers and managers (far more accomplished than he ever was as either) what they should or shouldn’t have done . . . and, most of the time, he gets it utterly wrong. The guy is a nudnik, and adds nothing to the viewing experience . . . which is surely what you – though, ultimately, we – are paying him for.

    Sport 1/Charlton is doing itself, and its viewers, a great disservice by not hastening his retirement (he is 68, you know!)

    Best,

    Mike

    http://melchettmike.wordpress.com/

  82. Foolish enough to have purchased a group ticket for all of England’s European Under-21 Championship matches, I have been further irritated by the Israeli monkey, repeating like a parrot, six times-a-game . . .

    “England: number 6, Craig Dawson, to be substituted and replaced by number 5, Andre Wisdom.”

    Adam Green will understand . . .

  83. Now all they need to do is substitute and replace the monkey for someone who understands the basic tenets of English usage and abusage…
    …and talking of abusage, what a godawful display by Pierce’s team. The tournament’s been good PR for Israel though at this end. But funny to think of the Syrians and their assorted friends all butchering each other just a few miles away. Funny old world isn’t it?

  84. 3 Yiddos in defence against Norway . . . ’nuff said! ;-)

  85. Three¿¿¿¿ (Spanish PC at airport). Two maybe??? Perchance youŕe confusing your “Dawsons”…….

  86. Caulker, Adam Smith (nowt to do, I am told, with The Wealth of Nations), and “Broadway” Danny Rose (who was playing at right-back). My maths wrong?

    Glutton for punishment that I am, I am off to Teddy later . . . with all the other Anglo-Israelis who thought they were buying a ticket for a last four decider!

  87. Oh dear, you’re quite right (I’d never heard of Adam Smith – that Adam Smith). Anyway, I blame the coach!! Sack him!!

    My uncle used to date Teddy’s secretary (they were called secretaries in those days and anyhow “PA” is now contextually dodgy) back in the late sixties early seventies. In 1970 she got us put up in the Pasha Suite at the American Colony Hotel. I was ten years old and it blew my mind and I’ve been a feinshmecker ever since. Not sure what this has got to do with anything so I’ll stop now…

  88. Yiddos 1 Yiddos 0 – a lose, lose, win, win situation if ever there was one!

  89. Another horribly irritating feature of the football experience in this country is the native’s choice of foreign team (to support) . . . nearly always the best one! So it was yesterday evening, on the way to the Norway v Spain Euro Under-21 semi-final in Netanya, seeing entire families kitted out in the red and blue of the World and European champions.

    Then there was the bloke, in his sixties, sitting behind me, who spent the entire 90 minutes scoffing at the superiority of “La Roja”, almost as if he had something to do with it! “Ata roeh” (you see), he said to his neighbour at one point in relation to Spain’s pretty, one-touch football, “heim loh ossim dribblim” (literally, they don’t do dribbling).

    Oh, how I was longing for Norway to equalise in the second half . . . just so that I could punch the air extremely close to his nose! Alas, it was not to be.

  90. Do these guys have any idea how much the Spanish (all the Spanish except for Jose Maria Aznar and my friend Pepa whom I educated myself) hate Israel? I know of five Norwegians who don’t hate Israel.

  91. I guess not. Like the, even more annoying, Dutch-supporting natives, who believe that they were a nation of Righteous Gentiles . . . rather than the one that compiled and handed lists to the Nazis.

  92. I think you’ll find Mike, the Norwegians went one better than the Dutch – instead of compiling lists to hand over to the Nazis, they just rounded us up themselves.

  93. And there were far worse than the Norwegians, Anon. But my point was about local support for the Dutch. I have never seen an Israeli in a Norway shirt.

    Anyway, why have you gone “Anon”? (Anon is a Hasmo Legend in his own right. Hope that’s not giving too much away, Terry . . . )

  94. …Venables???

  95. No, Adam. Our Terry’s not (quite) as dodgy.

    Btw, Spain were magnificent yesterday evening . . .

  96. So I hear. It’s such a shame really. I love so much about Spain and the Spanish way of life, (including the way they kick a ball around – though not so much the way they kick a bull around) I just wish they didn’t have this weird infatuation with “Palestina”, virtually to a last man – and woman.

    PS: That Pepa I mentioned. She’s lovely, and available…

  97. Never warmed to them myself. Muchas gracias re Pepa. Just one question, though (to avoid any of us wasting our time): If I had her lying on one side, and Penelope Cruz on the other, which of them would I ask to fan?

  98. Penny I’m afraid – no contest …but if the situation was reversed with you and Antonio Banderas were lying either side of Pepa who do you think she would choose? (emoticon wink)

  99. I meant which of them would I ask to do the fanning, i.e., while I attended to the other! If the answer is still “Penny”, kindly forward Pepa’s details as a matter of urgency.

    You academics . . . ;-)

  100. philip lehrer

    The natives in general, all have huge egos. This is most probably because they have to, living in the environment they do. However if you take foreign-born sportsmen like Tal-Brody, who have been living here a very long time, they are still great guys with ALMOST no egos and experts at what they do.

  101. Can you let me know Mike how the Israeli commentators handled the Suarez dental issue? It’s a shame in a way that he won’t be playing any further part in the tournament. Just think, if Uruguay had met Germany we could have watched Suarez bite into a shoulder of Lahm…

  102. Don’t start me off on those arseholes, Adam! If anything, they have got worse. Or perhaps they just save their worst for the biggest occasion.

    There are, of course, the continuous, obligatory references to the “double pass”. And, for the duration of every match, the commentator and his ‘expert’ sidekick have each been trying to prove that they know more than the other about the sport . . . resulting, inevitably, in both of them demonstrating that they know fuck all!

    A member of the Knesset even called, last week, for the sacking of double act Yoram Arbel and Danny Neuman (I can’t find anything in English, but here is a Hebrew report, containing links to gaffes).

    I don’t listen to ‘analysis’ in the studio, the latest additions to which have been a couple of blonde “frechot” whose opinions would be laughed out of a hairdresssers, and certainly have no place anywhere near a World Cup.

  103. stanley cohen

    This is a Google translation of the article which is stilted but the direction of which is unmistakable:-

    Enormous network: Impeach Yoram Arbel and Danny Neumann main game broadcast World Cup 2014
    Written by a Israsfort on June 15, 2014
    Category: Israeli football , World Football , FIFA World Cup 2014

    Network since the World Cup wave flooded protests against the broadcaster Yoram Arbel and commentator Daniel Neuman that delivers the key games in the World Cup.

    Clips with Danny Neumann errors can be found here and here .

    Now get up a petition calling to overthrow the two main games broadcast World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

    It is described on the petition:

    Time for a Change! It’s unacceptable that the mistakes we play announcer and commentator bull’s brain. The pair Yoram Arbel and Danny Neumann ruining the viewing experience for all of us throughout the year and now during the World Cup. At first it was fun, but now it is getting ridiculous already. Not be confused Arbel major game such as Spain and the Netherlands among the players. Danny could not deal Neumann’s shoes colors Fabregas, instead the tactic of groups. Not be the whole suffering people of Israel live and not doing anything with it. Do not get me wrong, I’m not calling for dismissal of Arbel and Neumann God forbid, but only Lhdhtm main game. Some broadcasters and commentators more professional and smart, can make us experience much more enjoyable viewing (eg Rami Weitz, Meir Einstein Avram Grant or Nadav Jacoby). Danny Neumann and Yoram Arbel can settle in other games and less important, but the main game they should not broadcast. And we will be happy even if Channel 1 would deign to synchronize the soundtrack with the video, not to hear the announcer yell “Gate!”, Yet when the ball was kicked. Join this petition to make the change that all football fans waiting for him to return us to the enjoyment of the game! Share the petition to friends and family, we are on the right path. Once will be enough to sign, it will send the first channel management.

  104. Yes, all very awful! (An English commentator on the BBC wasn’t much better the other night when he went “metaphor crazy”, and repeated three times during the last 15 minutes of the match v Germany, that “it is now obvious that the USA are like passengers on a tube train who have fallen asleep and missed their stop only to wake up and find themselves at the end of the line [presumably Edgware?]” second commentator Mark Lawrenson, bless him, pointedly ignored the remarks on all three occasions, only to issue his own brand of usage and abusage by repeatedly saying that Dempsey seemed “disinterested” in the match…grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) But what did Arbel and Neumann have to say about Suarez? it would have offered them broad scope for displaying their biting wit and incisor – I mean incisive knowledge of the rules of the game…

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