ITV pundits left bored in England's draw with Slovenia as Gary Neville makes brutal admission - Euro 2024 TV watch

It was a dead rubber before England kicked off against Slovenia and nothing except England’s ability to disappoint and their fans to stir up entitled outrage on it.

ITV were covering them for the first time, presented by Mark Pougatch somewhat grizzled veteran of such occasions. Roy Keane, Ange Postecoglou, Ian Wright and Gary Neville are tonight’s pundits in an overloaded panel of four. An interview with Southgate resembles a hostage video. He announces a predictable side, despite the game being a free hit. No experimentation. Roy says he thinks Foden will ‘do the business’. Which sounded like and was a hostage to fortune. Karen Carney and Laura Woods are pitchside to discuss the mood. Men in the big seats, women on the fridge on the pitch; a bad look. Karen calls the ever fertile Kyle Walker ‘ a weapon’ . She meant it in a good way.

Interviews with Declan Rice and Southgate interspersed with old footage of old managers and pundits bemoaning England was especially good, particularly Mick Channon’s mullet. Rice treats criticism with mockery, seemingly unaware he’s only rich because of our attention. He says the team will be on the front foot. They’re not.

It all goes to show that fans and pundits are very predictable and say the same cliched things year after year, seemingly without realising. You wonder when they’ll realise the players, when put together, are just not good enough. That’s a fact they don’t seem able to accept and blame the manager instead, all 17 since Sir Alf.

‘If you’re not performing, you get criticised,’ says Roy, who thinks the modern players are too sensitive. He looks as disgusted as we all feel. Good old Roy. He doesn’t go along with all the usual guff about the players mentality.

Laura and Karen are back, Laura looks dressed like a nurse and seems to be having a good time. Back in the studio Ange looks like he should have a pint of Tennents in front of him. All everyone says is they want England to play well. Well duh!

A clip of Joe Coles’ goal against Sweden in 2006 still impresses. Who’d have thought that a mere 18 years later he’d be advertising selling cars.

A few nice graphics to announce the team look very Photoshoppy. What more can be said? An hour build up is too much. No one says anything unusual, Ange is the most interesting. A four pundit panel is simply too much. No one has time between ads to develop any ideas because there’s always another ad for gambling to show.

Sam Matterface is the commentator and that is welcomed by no one and certainly not by viewers who miss the peerless Clive Tyldesley and don’t understand why they replaced him for England games by someone considerably less charm and warmth.

Lee Dixon is co-comm, a man never knowingly not miserable. England started poorly, it’s actually funny how overrated they are. At times they were as bad as Scotland. Boring.

England's struggles at the Euros continued -Credit:Offside via Getty Images
England's struggles at the Euros continued -Credit:Offside via Getty Images

They score an offside goal but are sloppy and shapeless. Mattress’s voice is harsh, thin and reedy. Aesthetically it’s unpleasant. He frequently gets Partridge-ish. ’Time to puff your chest out’. Yeah, that’ll help. Half-time adverts, ironically, glorify and hero-worship Bellingham, but he’s been anonymous and your left with the feeling that this is all part of the problem

Ange and Roy say they need to pass it quicker. Pougath asks why they won’t pass it quicker. No one entertains the idea that, for England, they’re not good or imaginative enough to do so. ‘We look really basic,’ says Neville, getting nearest to saying it.

Matterface keeps trying to talk England up at every opportunity but they’re awful. It finishes 0-0 and makes a mockery of pre-game big talk from Rice. The pundits are not even annoyed, just bored. And so the parade of mediocrity continues.