Commentators calling their country’s soccer matches often leads to homerism, but English announcers Ian Darke and Steve McManaman produced the absolute opposite in their ESPN2 call of England’s shocking 2-1 loss to Iceland Monday, raining some of the harshest criticism seen during this tournament both throughout and after the match. The criticism was present for most of the 90 minutes, but it especially intensified towards the end, when the English side didn’t seem to be able to find much in the way of offense. Here are some of the lines Darke said:

-“Overpaid, overhyped, and over here.”
– “Desperate, desperate stuff from a nation on the verge of humiliation.”
– “England staring at maybe the biggest humiliation in their history, in this game of football, the game that England gave to the world some time ago.”
– “And there goes the whistle! It is one of the biggest sensations in the history of football! Iceland, Iceland, are in the quarterfinals of the European Championships. And England, utter misery for them again. An embarrassment by ice you could call it. Oh my goodness me.”
– “Iceland have plunged English football into a deep freeze. It was a calamitous, clueless display from England.”

And McManaman chimed in with such lines as “It’s as though everyone in a white shirt has decided to have the worst game of their lives.” It’s understandable that he was upset, given his pre-game piece titled “Iceland is as good as a bye for England.” While he did accurately note some of the areas where Iceland could cause problems, that headline doesn’t look so good in retrospect.

After throwing it back to Bob Ley in ESPN’s studio, Darke continued his criticism of the English side on Twitter:

The Darke and McManaman evisceration of England drew plenty of feedback on Twitter:

The post-match studio show didn’t hold back, either, with Bob Ley saying “Four days after voters across Great Britain voted Great Britain out of the EU, Brexit, Icelandic passion and dedication, another Brexit. England, gone. In despair, in desolation, in crisis.” Ley then went on to add “The tabloids, it’s going to be bloody.” Absolutely. But it already got pretty bloody on the broadcast. It’s impressive that one game produced both one of the most jubilant broadcasts we’ve seen and one of the most critical.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

79 thoughts on “ESPN’s Ian Darke and Steve McManaman came to bury England, not to praise them

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