Football, and sport more generally, attracts clichés like nothing else. Tired, stale, prosaic: sometimes watching a match on the TV can feel like having to listen to an entire call-centre script being read out.
Adrian Chiles, Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend are seasoned pros when it comes to rolling out haggard lines and reeling off old sayings as though off a 'cliché checklist'.
For some reason, England's international friendly against Scotland attracted such tiresome phrases more than any other match in recent memory, with the ITV team achieving top marks in the latest round of football cliché bingo.
This is how the evening panned out.
19:33 - 'This is going to be anything but friendly' - Chiles hastily distinguishes the match from any other international friendly, reminding the audience that the tackles would be flying in with unusual frequency. This was, after all, a match pitting together two of the very oldest of enemies. Indeed, there was no love lost, etc, etc.
19:34 - 'They will not want to be beaten at home' - Roy Keane shows his experience of football at the highest level by pointing out that England would certainly not choose, or desire, to be beaten by Scotland - or anyone, in fact - on home soil. It's just not something Roy Hodgson's side anticipated or wanted.
19:35 - 'The Tartan Army sure love a good party' - If there is one thing that travelling Scotland supporters enjoy, according to Chiles - even more than straddling stone Lions and wading in fountains after having somehow misplaced key items of clothing - it is partying, and partying hard. Pure and simple revelry. On a large scale. Not a great party, though, just a good one.
19:36 - 'They did not come here to lose' - Gareth Southgate, never a man to mince his words, realised that what the audience really needed to hear pre-match was that England were not the only team who would - in an ideal world - not wish to lose the contest. He was right in theory, but Scotland did lose. So he was wrong. Kind of.
19:41 - 'England's DNA is set pieces' - The thing we all need to realise about England players is that they are not 'born winners' in the traditional sense, but 'born set-piecers', as pointed out by Southgate. Right down to the fabric of their beings, England players live and breathe set pieces. This is not football punditry; rather, it is simply stating football fact.
19:42 - 'He's always a real goal threat' - Danny Welbeck was, crucially, distinguished by Southgate as much more than simply an attacking player: he was identified as a goal threat. Not a fake goal threat, but a real goal threat. As, one could suppose, anyone who positions themselves vaguely near the opposition goal, he could, in theory, threaten a goal. And so it proved. He didn't just threaten to score; he did score.
19:49 - 'He will want his side to not concede early' - As is frequently repeated, no team likes to concede goals in a football match, particularly not early on. It is, however, a contentious issue with some pundits: when is the worst time to concede? Some believe the worst thing a team can do is to concede just before half-time; others remain adamant that letting in a goal in the final five minutes is worthy of a collective three-week fine. Lee Dixon made it very clear where he stands on the debate.
19:54 - 'Hopefully there'll be a few tackles flying in' - This one had a very particular ring about it given that it was delivered by Roy 'don't you dare get up!' Keane, rather than the more sedate Dixon, who actually hoped instead that the players would 'keep their heads'. Still, the players ended up providing us with a combination of the two, so both pundits had their hopes met. Tackles flew in, while some players kept their heads.
19:59 - 'And your commentators tonight are Andy Townsend, and first, Clive Tyldesley' - In football parlance this is code for 'Panic, panic - mute that TV... wait, hang on, Alan Green is on the radio... damn, okay, just turn it down'. As it happened, both had some quite interesting predictable things to say once the match finally got under way...
20:01 - 'It really is an atmosphere to savour' - After telling the England supporters sat at home in front of their TVs that "tonight is not a night to be quiet" with the Scottish fans inside the ground making so much noise, stunned viewers were left to ponder that, along with how they were going to attempt to savour the atmosphere of their living rooms.
20:11 - 'He would've liked to have done better there' - Townsend reflected ruefully upon a moment Joe Hart would have liked to have quickly forgotten about. As the England goalkeeper impersonated Roy Carroll with a staggeringly inept attempt at a simple stop, Townsend felt it safe to assume that he would have preferred a rather different outcome.
20:40 - 'Players like Wayne just love to play football' - Most footballers, one assumes, hate football or have a distinct indifference towards the game they are paid handsomely to play. The reason one thinks this is because we are repeatedly told that the likes of Wayne Rooney are in a very exclusive, special band of players who just like - or indeed love - to play football. Rooney's love for the game is very pure and clear, as anyone who has been following the transfer developments of the summer can surely testify.
21:28 - 'It's been a long old journey from the beetroot factory...' - The 19,885th reference to the fact that Rickie Lambert once had a job putting lids on jars of beetroot was no more notable than the 19,884th, but it was noted by Tyldesley nonetheless. The 'beetroot reference' graph is likely to dip somewhat significantly by the end of the week, but for now it is very much here to stay. As far as constantly repeated lines go, this is at the very top of the charts right now.
21:51 - 'It's a fairytale debut!' - It was confirmed that Lambert's goalscoring debut was indeed a fairytale by Tyldesley, something which very much involved magic, imaginary creatures and possessed an almost dream-like storyline. The fact that it was all on his first international appearance was, well, almost too good to be true. Kid's own stuff. What every child dreams about. When Liverpool snubbed him years ago, who would have thought... yes, yes.
21:59 - 'The script was written just for him' - The match was not about England v Scotland, or Hodgson v Strachan, but Lambert, living out a dream, playing out a script that had been written specifically for him. It was as though everything had been preordained to play out exactly as he had dared to imagine when he was back working in that beetroot factory. All the 31-year-old had to do was to simply step out on the pitch and do what he was told to do, as with everyone else around him - and the extras in the stands.
Post-match: 'Tougher tests lie ahead'; 'Roy will only be thinking about the next game'; 'Gordon will take the positives from that'; 'Ricky will take great confidence from that'; 'At the end of the day, it was just a friendly'; 'The players know that the league starts now'.