Just when you were beginning to think that football punditry couldn’t get any worse and you find that Andy Townsend is back. It took him until the 58th minute to come up with his classic “That’s better!” and now he’s really getting into the flow, reminding us all why ITV got rid of him in the first place. “He’ll be disappointed to not hit the target,” burbles our Andy, as a Croatian player balloons the ball over the bar. A golden rule of crap punditry is to imagine him saying the exact opposite of what he has just said. Try it.

Older readers will remember a golden era of football on telly when there weren’t pundits at all and it was all down to the matchday commentator to convey the action. Great commentators like David Coleman and Barry Davies allowed you to watch the game but filled in the bits you might have missed or went on off camera. If there was a particularly good passage of play, the Colemans of this world took the view that as you are watching the same game that they were then you might have seen it. The likes of Townsend like to tell you “That was good football”.

As I write, a Croatian player heads the ball against the crossbar from near point blank range. “That was a good header” says the commentator, which it patently wasn’t. If it had been a good header, the player would have scored. Then, once the ball goes out of play, ITV shows the move and the header again, with Townsend describing exactly what you are watching. You know the sort of thing: “He crosses the ball, he heads it. He should have done better.” What a waste of breath.

Football commentators have bugged me for many years now, not just for the vacuous nature of their comments, but also because they like to fill in the gaps. Arguably the greatest commentator in any sport, ever, was the Australian former cricketer Richie Benaud and he had a golden rule: “Don’t speak unless you can add to the picture.” Too many games I watch on the box feature commentators and pundits who sound like competing auctioneers. I do not need to be told that “the keeper has tipped the ball over the bar” when I have seen the keeper tip the ball over the bar. I might appreciate some analysis in terms of players making dummy runs off camera but what is the point of telling me something so bleeding obvious?

For obvious reasons radio commentators don’t have a need to fill in the gaps because the better ones are painting pictures in your mind with their words. But the really good commentators use the words wisely and they use the noise of the crowd to allow you to work things out for yourself.

The punditry has reached insane levels now. ITV managed to employ three pundits for the England game last night to cast their expert eyes across the field of play. Lee Dixon, a shadow of the thoughtful, insightful ex player who once appeared on Match of the Day, Ian Wright, who offers literally nothing by way of analysis and explanation and Peter Crouch, who made Wright sound as good as Gary Neville. Former players, some of whom we recognise, are employed even though they have little to say, there seems to be little by way of employing someone who might have done the odd bit of coaching now and then. But no. It’s all ex players or failed managers and of course they all know best.

Please do not get like me. The constant and utterly inane chatter is spoiling my enjoyment of virtually each and every game. It really is beginning to bug me, being told what I already know, hearing things described as I see them. Tell me something new, please, or just shut up!