it was very fitting.
A lot of people thought the Champions League final was Townsend’s farewell so were surprised when he turned up for England’s trip to Ireland.
It was a fitting finale for Townsend’s punditry career, not because it was a match between the country of his birth and the country he represented on the international stage but because it was one of the worst games of football you’ll ever see.
This game was Andy Townsend in 90 minutes.
Ably accompanied by his long time sidekick Clive Tyldesley who was playing one-twos all afternoon. First up he stated that the English national anthem had been met with “one or to whistles” when it was almost drowned out. This he followed up by telling us Sterling had faced “one or two jeers” when the only noise generated during the game was the loud boos all round the stadium when the Liverpool player had the ball.
On the field England matched this off-field ineptness.
Rooney after all these years seemingly had finally made his mind up which country to represent, Ireland, as he gave the ball to those in green repeatedly. That’s on the few, very few occasions he actually touched the ball.
Sterling fannied about do nothing but running into cul-de-sacs. Wilshere was praised for running unhindered into the space the hosts left for him. Henderson wandered about looking lost as usual and it all was so very Roy Hodgson.
The 74th and 75th minute highlighted everything Roy gets wrong. First up he brings on Jagielka because after 35 caps we still don’t know what he’s like. And then Vardy came on which brought some life to proceedings, life that the usual suspects weren’t going to show because well they’re settled in the knowledge they’re going to be picked, whereas if you start with the new boys you’ll see players playing for the shirt, putting some actual effort in. Vardy and Austin.
But no after all Roy doesn’t want to be in a position where he’d have to make a choice between his favourite and another player.
So we got this dullard game that could only have been livened up by a rendition of “No surrender…”