Tim White is a name that most of us were unfamiliar with before this week, but in the span of 24 hours we now know his name all too painfully well.
If you don’t know who Tim White is, he’s a football commentator. This week, he gave a woeful commentary for the UEFA feed of the Besiktas versus Manchester United match. One EPL Talk reader described him as “the worst commentator I have ever heard,” while another reader compared White’s commentary to that of a funeral.
Many of us, myself included, hoped that would be the last we heard of Tim White.
Unfortunately, a shock of horror swept across me Wednesday night when it was announced that the commentator for the game between Liverpool and Debrecen would be none other than Tim White.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, his voice sounded less flat during the first few seconds of his commentary. But as soon as the whistle blew to kick off the match, White put his foot in his mouth once again by saying that Liverpool were “English Premier League champions.” I had to rewind the match to make sure I wasn’t hearing things, and sat in disbelief that he actually did say those words.
One of the consistent criticisms of White’s commentary on Tuesday night was that he kept on talking about the scores of the other Champions League matches that were being played simultaneously. After listening to other commentators the last two days, it seems that most of them do the same thing so this may be a policy from UEFA and not a personal preference by the commentators.
However, White said another comment during the first half of the Liverpool match that left me gobsmacked. He said that Arsenal were losing 4-0 against Standard Liege by the 20th minute. Now I watched the Standard Liege against Arsenal game myself earlier Wednesday evening (and what an excellent comeback it was by the Gunners), but unless I was on a different planet, the final score was Standard Liege 2-3 Arsenal. Maybe his producers fed him the wrong scoreline or he misread some numbers? Whatever the case, it made White look like more of a incompetent football commentator than he already appeared.
We all make mistakes in our jobs (goodness knows I’ve made plenty myself), but these were two woeful commentaries in a span of 24 hours from the same individual. And honestly we expect more from UEFA and the Champions League than this. These games are supposed to be of the highest quality, which they are. But the commentating needs to strive to be world-class too. Unfortunately right now, it’s some of the worst football commentating I’ve ever heard.