Sunday, July 14, 2024

ITV confirm Premier League icon to join Euro 2024 coverage after pundit's immediate exit – The Mirror


ITV will show England vs Slovakia and Spain vs Georgia on Sunday evening – and the broadcaster will have a new pundit in the studio after Danny Rohl left Germany
Millions of viewers will switch on ITV 1 on Sunday afternoon to watch a crucial day of action at Euro 2024 – and there will be a new face among the pundits.
ITV will show England’s last-16 tie against Slovakia at 5pm before showing Spain vs Georgia at 8pm. Mark Pougatch will be fronting their coverage from ITV's studio in Berlin, with Ian Wright, Gary Neville and Roy Keane likely to be among the pundits, while Karen Carney has previously covered matches from the stadium with Laura Woods.
ITV has also called upon the likes of Graeme Souness, Eni Aluko and Ange Postecoglou to provide insight into their matches. Another one of their star pundits was Sheffield Wednesday boss Danny Rohl, who – like Postecoglou and the BBC's Thomas Frank – was able to give a tactical perspective from a current manager.
Yet Rohl’s day job meant he wasn’t able to stick around for the entire tournament. The 35-year-old was gone by the time Portugal beat Turkey 3-0 last Saturday, with Pougatch explaining that he had to return to England in order to prepare for the coming season.
ITV have now announced a replacement, with former Spain international Gaizka Mendieta listed as a pundit for Sunday’s programming. The former Middlesbrough midfielder will be in the punditry line-up for Spain vs Georgia at 8pm on Sunday, as well as for France vs Belgium at 5pm on Monday afternoon.
Mendieta is not a regular pundit on British TV but will be a familiar face to many, having played for Boro between 2003 and 2008, helping to win a League Cup and Uefa Cup runner-up medal. He was a well-liked figure in the north east and won 40 caps for Spain during his best years at Valencia and Lazio.
Punditry is a conventional career path for an ex-footballer, but Mendieta isn’t your average retired player. He has earned a decent reputation as a DJ, with the pastime having developed from a passion to a genuine career.
“I would always play songs for fun but DJing was never something I thought I’d do in retirement,” Mendieta told The Sun in 2019. “I’ve DJed at small clubs with not many people and huge festivals with thousands of people, and it’s not about DJing itself but something I love doing.”
He will be representing team ITV in the ratings battle with the BBC, but Alan Shearer says that the rivalry doesn’t extend beyond that. “Whether there’s competition between the top management, I don’t know,” he said in a conversation with Micah Richards on the Rest is Football podcast. “They always look at the viewing figures don’t they and they want the biggest views. I don’t think there’s a competition there between the pundits, do you?”
“I wouldn’t say there’s competition but you want to do well, don’t you?” Richards replied. “It comes with pressure doesn’t it and you want to perform.”
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