Europe

Sam Matterface panned Boris Johnson’s ’embarrassing’ leadership: ‘Is he really in charge?’

England squad for Albania and San Marino World Cup qualifiers

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Mr Matterface is a commentator for ITV’s coverage of San Marino against England from 7pm.  Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe could make his first England start as the Three Lions aim to seal 2022 World Cup qualification against the world’s lowest ranked side in the FIFA standings. England need just a point to qualify as group winners, which is a formality given the massive gulf in class between the two sides.

San Marino has a total population of just 34,000 versus England’s 55,000,000.

Yet, this match offers Gareth Southgate the chance to rotate his team, and award a start to the inform Aaron Ramsdale, and give Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher’s his first cap.

Gallagher, who is on loan at Patrick Vieira’s side from Chelsea, has been energetic and tenacious in the Palace midfield this season, and has also found a goal scoring touch.

Mr Matterface will lead the commentary on a game that guarantees at least a few England goals.

Read More: Brexit: French ambassador ‘verged on old-fashioned Anglophobia’

The broadcaster, who replaced the much loved Clive Tyldesley as ITV’s lead football and England commentator at the start of the 2020-2021 season, is known for his light-hearted demeanour in the commentary box.

However last year, in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Matterface raged on Twitter at Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis.

The broadcaster, who ran weekly football quizzes on his Twitter over the first lockdown, called for “proper leadership” in an out-of-character Twitter outburst.

Mr Matterface was speaking in the wake of the Dominic Cummings scandal, when Mr Johnson’s right hand man was spotted in Barnard Castle breaking lockdown rules.

He said in May last year: “His adviser accused, his mates having to defend it (embarrassing), his government refusing to respond properly to questions.

“At this time you need proper leadership, decisive action, so we can get back on track.

“Where’s the dear leader? Is he really in charge?”

The scandal caused massive public outcry, yet Downing Street released a statement in support of Mr Cummings’ journey.

Don’t Miss:
Earthquake warning: Simulation showed magnitude 20 quake ‘could occur'[OPINION]
Brexit: British expats clashed in Spain ‒ ‘Threatened with violence!'[ANALYSIS]
Alzheimer’s breakthrough as study suggests one vitamin ‘could protect'[INSIGHT]

The next day, Boris Johnson also used part of a televised COVID-19 update to defend Mr Cummings, and said he acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity.”

Despite calls for Mr Cummings to be sacked, senior Government ministers including Rishi Sunak, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove also backed Mr Johnson’s adviser. 

The comments below Mr Matterface’s tweet were just as scathing of the Prime Minister’s reaction to the scandal.

Twitter user Mark Sharkey said: “Utter shambles.

“I don’t think it’s possible for them to have handled it worse. 

“Not locking down soon enough, not closing borders, catching the virus by knowingly shaking hands with sufferers and flouting the rules they put in place.”

Another person, Dan Horton, attempted to answer the whereabouts of the Prime Minister, by tweeting: “He’s currently hiding under his duvet wishing this would all go away as he realises how massively out of his depth he is.”

Twitter used Fagans claimed: “All he ever wanted was the title of PM, not what went with it.”

Mr Matterface is likely to go into tonight’s proceedings in a more chirpy mood, with England likely to field the likes of Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka in the same side.

Gareth Southgate’s men may even aim to improve on England’s 5-0 drubbing of Albania on Friday, which saw England captain Harry Kane score a perfect hat-trick.

Watch coverage of San Marino against England this evening from 7pm on ITV.

Source: Read Full Article