Poll names ex-Chelsea man as England's worst co-commentator

Andy Townsend

The public voted for the worst co-commentator on English TV - and ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United men feature.

The poll, ran by the Independent, was started in the wake of England’s drab 1-0 victory in Estonia, with fans taking to Twitter to show their disappointment at ITV’s Andy Townsend.

With viewing figures falling lower and lower with each passing game, people took to asking ITV why they had not replaced Townsend with someone able to liven the action up off the pitch.

The complaints aimed at Townsend are similar with those seen across all forms of media, with his constant stream of generic footballing cliches providing little insight into the actual on-pitch action. Michael Owen, Phil Neville and Mark Lawrenson have all come under the same criticism, and the poll reveals a consistent string of names as to who is liked the least.

Townsend, who spent the majority of his playing career with Chelsea and Aston Villa, moved into media with talkSPORT Radio, before linking up with the ITV for their coverage of the Premier League. He has since become the main co-commentator for the channel, working on international and FA Cup coverage, and providing his voice to several EA football games, including FIFA 12 to 14, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa game.

Second-place Michael Owen currently works for BT Sport, having retired from his playing career in 2013. The former Liverpool favourite also spent time with Manchester United and Real Madrid, and has come under criticism for his dull voice and lack of insightful information.

Whilst run as nothing more than a joke, the Independent poll reveals the crippling state of English football coverage - and something that should be addressed if the numbers watching live football continue to dwindle.

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