“Credit must go to Setanta on their FA Cup coverage, but their vision of England differs slightly from mine” – Martin Kelner

In today’s Guardian, columnist Martin Kelner voiced his disapproval of Setanta’s introduction which they offered ahead of the Friday night FA Cup match between Leeds and Northampton. In doing so, Kelner talked down on round one of the competition, arguing “there was no hiding the fact that interest in the Cup at this stage is lower than the Bank of England base rate. (You want topical? You got it.)”

Kelner went on to tear Setanta’s opening credits to pieces.

“You would not have guessed it from the intro to Setanta’s Friday night Cup match between Leeds and Northampton Town, a breathless montage of images of England – sort of – accompanied by plangent music and what I took to be some kind of poem. ‘Cup of tea, full English, cryptic crossword, milkman, Sunday roast,’ the voice intoned, ‘Visiting your nan [eh?], two up, two down, trip to the barber, lager, lager.'”

“Towards the end (I am editing, so apologies if I destroy the metre) it got really wacky. ‘Fruit and veg, acid house, game of darts, doner kebab, cheese, bucket and spade, Facebook, village green.’ Facebook? Sorry, but I understood Facebook to be an international phenomenon, like cheese. I mean, I am on Facebook, and I have friends all over the world (none in this country, as Tony Hancock used to say).”

“The sequence climaxed with a crypto-Shakespearean ‘Cry God for Harry Redknapp’ scene, quite literally, with a close up of the Spurs manager’s rumpled face and him saying: ‘This is England. This is the FA Cup. This is part of what we are.’ Stirring, but an effect somewhat spoiled by mixing to presenter Steve Bower standing in an Elland Road stadium emptier than Jonathan Ross’s engagements book.”

So has Kelner got a point?

Watch Setanta’s introduction for the FA Cup here.