The much-missed Fulham fanzine There’s Only One F in Fulham used to run a feature called ‘Near Enough is Good Enough’ that highlighted the media’s laughable disinterest in the Whites. Editor David Lloyd was deluged with submissions, many of which originated in the Evening Standard, which is now forever referred to as ‘the Sub’ by Fulham followers.
I know that David would have been following Wales’ opening World Cup group fixture against the United States of America earlier this week extremely closer – and not just because they were four Fulham players on the pitch from the start. There will sadly be no festive issue of the fanzine, so it falls to us to point to nominate the veteran commentator Clive Tyldesley for inclusion in a new edition of ‘near enough is good enough’.
In describing the incident that leads to Gareth Bale’s late equaliser from the penalty spot, Tyldesley blames Tim Ream for the foul that is clearly committed by Walker Zimmerman. Perhaps it is a case of one white man with a white bun is good enough? The match director offers several replays of the foul, but Tyldesley offers no apology for unjustly accusing the Fulham centre back of a match-changing mistake:
Tyldesley, who was dropped as ITV’s lead commentator for the Chelsea-supporting Sam Matterface a few years ago, is unfortunately far from the only offender. The Daily Mail incorrectly identified Ream as the guilty party for the penalty incident – and gave him a 5.5/10 rating in their match report. The case of mistaken identity is all the more galling as Ream, a late inclusion in Gregg Berhalter’s squad, had an outstanding evening and translated his superb form for Fulham onto the international stage in his first World Cup finals appearance aged 35.
When you make a mistake as egregious as this – on national television – no less, the proper thing to do is apologise. We are still waiting for Mr. Tyldesley to make his. And given how successfully Tim Ream has defended for Fulham over the years, we’ll be very happy to demand justice on his behalf.