If you aren't lucky enough to be in Brazil for the World Cup this summer, then watching the games on television in the comfort of your own home is the next best thing. So it's understandable that viewers take the coverage of the tournament seen on their screens very seriously indeed.
In the United Kingdom, it'll be ITV that have the honour of covering the first game of the 2014 tournament, and the British broadcaster have put together a team that they think is capable of providing the complete package for those looking to indulge in the World Cup this summer.
Here, we run the rule over the cast assembled by ITV for the Brazil showpiece and give you a glimpse of what to expect from their World Cup package.
All information courtesy of ITV.com.
ITV will have two primary commentators for their coverage, with Clive Tyldesley and Sam Matterface the main men behind the microphone. Matterface will be commentating at his first-ever major tournament, but he has been well-received by supporters in his roles so far and should provide a refreshing edge to ITV’s coverage.
Second in command will be ITV regulars Andy Townsend and Clark Carlisle, neither of whom have totally convinced in their roles so far. Townsend in particular has come out with some peculiar quips in England's pre-tournament warm-up matches, as noted here by The Guardian's Sachin Nakrani:
Carlisle, whilst clearly supremely intelligent, is still relatively new to the commentary scene but has yet to impress so far. It'll be intriguing to see how his views are received throughout the World Cup.
Adrian Chiles will head up ITV's coverage, and the presenter has already showcased an ability to improvise before the tournament has even started. Chiles—along with pundits Lee Dixon, Ian Wright and Glenn Hoddle—had an unanticipated half-hour slot to fill during ITV's coverage of England vs. Honduras.
The game was called off due to lightning storms, and Chiles—usually a little insufferable as a presenter—filled the gap with some insightful questions for the pundits. But with the air conditioning off in the stadium concourse, Chiles did look a little flustered, to say the very least, per the Mail Online:
Admittedly, not everyone enjoyed ITV's filler during the unexpected break, as noted here by former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan:
Aside from Chiles, Matt Smith is also set to do some presenting while Gabriel Clarke is set to provide viewers with all the lasted updates direct from the England camp.
Unfortunately for the viewers and for ITV, the abrasive opinions of Roy Keane will not be making an appearance on television screens this summer.
The former Manchester United man is certainly not one to hold back in his opinions, but he has decided to give the punditry a miss in favour of concentrating on his coaching. ITV were quick to wish him well, and according to Owen Gibson of The Guardian, they've left the door open for a potential return.
"Roy has been a tremendous part of our pundit team in recent years, but we fully understand his decision to concentrate wholly on his coaching. We wish him every success for the future."
Tony Barrett of The Times thinks ITV will be much worse off without the Irishman:
But there remains an exceptional list of big names accrued by ITV, most notably former World Cup winners Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vieira, who won the famous trophy in 2006 and 1998, respectively.
Current England international Andros Townsend will also join the ITV crew to lend his thoughts while Sunderland boss Gus Poyet, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Scotland manager Gordon Strachan will also be on hand to put their opinions forward. They'll join the ITV regulars Hoddle, Dixon and Wright in ITV's base in Rio de Janeiro.
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