Matt Gatward: Chiles looks solid selection to keep lid on expectations

View From The Sofa: World Cup warm-up matches, ITV

Steve Ryder must know how Jimmy Greaves feels. There he was happily playing up front for ITV, leading the line-up, playing in all the friendlies, fit and firing and looking forward to a starring role in the World Cup.

Then, with just two warm-up matches to go before the tournament proper gets going, Ryder opens the changing-room door, heads for his favourite corner and there's Adrian Chiles slumped in his spot, tracksuit top hanging on his peg. Ryder looks at the teamsheet pinned on the wall and, sure enough, he's not on it. Chiles is the new No 1. His shot at World Cup glory gone.

At least Greaves could point to an injury that so famously cleared the way for Geoff Hurst in 1966. Ryder, although no young dasher any more, was probably feeling as flexible as ever and would doubtless have backed himself to beat Chiles, who never looks in the best of shape, over a 100 metres dash. (Maybe ITV could set that up?) But such is life in international football. When the gaffer's made his mind up...

So, with Ryder elbowed to the dug-out, Chiles made his debut on Monday night as England took on Mexico at Wembley and then followed it up with yesterday's Japan match from Austria. And, as Steve had probably feared, he did a fine job, apart from the odd misplaced pass, in his understated way we're so used to from his Match of the Day Two days.

Although it can obviously do nothing about the Chiles slouch, ITV has tried to tidy him up. The slightly crumpled shirt from MOTD2 has been thrown into the corner of the bedroom and replaced by an ironed one with tie and jacket, although somehow Chiles still looks uncomfortable with his top button done up. But the low-key demeanour remains. Happily, and maybe deliberately, it seems to mirror the Fabio Capello-engendered mood of the England players who normally, about this time before a World Cup, are talking of winning the thing and whipping the nation's St George's flag wavers into a frenzy.

If only Peter Drury in the commentary box could be similarly calm. England had barely been swamped by the first Mexican wave before he was talking of Capello's boys lifting the trophy. With Andy Townsend at his side they make a slightly uncomfortable pair. It feels a bit like ITV's version of playing Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney up front – it worked in qualifying so stick with it.

Townsend, though, does have a marvellous ability to mix his past and present tenses, which is not easy if you try it yourself. "Ledley King too easy got beat there as well," was just one example from Monday.

The pair also let themselves down when Mexico scored (so they know how Leighton Baines feels). It was obviously a goal but seemed to dumbfound the commentary box boys. Mind you, Guillermo Franco notched, which, as West Ham fans would attest, is a rare sight so maybe that explains the confusion.

Drury: "Marquez... off the line... and again. Leighton Baines."

A long delay. Townsend:

"He's give it." (There he goes again with his tense thing).

Drury: "He's given a goal. From Franco. Well, this is a tight, tight call. [No it's not, Peter, it's clearly gone in.] Leighton Baines was the man on the line, Guillermo Franco of West Ham is claiming it... [He's claiming it because he's scored it, Peter]."

Drury and Townsend want to be careful. As Ryder and Greaves will tell them, it doesn't take much for your parking spot to be handed to another.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn