Just over two weeks ago, I revealed my five least favourite football pundits. Unsurprisingly, several readers threw in their two cents, venting their collective spleens over the men they believe are responsible for hideous crimes against television and radio decency. According to the readers of footballfancast.com, the following five ‘experts’ shouldn’t be let anywhere near a camera or microphone…
5 – Joe Royle
Affectionately referred to as ‘Mr. Potato Head’ amongst a small section of Liverpool fans, ESPN’s decision to deploy the services of former Everton manager Joe Royle as a co-commentator adds further weight behind the argument that ‘Americans just don’t get football’. Royle is another man from the stable of ‘commentators who state the blatantly obvious’, although he also has a tendency to assert the ludicrous, having once stated that ‘speed’ is one of Emile Heskey’s qualities.
4 – Graham Taylor
Having annoyed the country for three years in the early 1990s with his pitiful work as England manager, Elton John’s best buddy has also built himself a reputation as a similarly rubbish co-commentator and pundit for the best part of the last six years. Like so many others, Taylor seldom deviates from stating the obvious, although Taylor seems to have turned said fault into an art-form. Speaking of a game featuring Arsenal, Taylor once stated “the thing Arsenal need to do here, is score a goal”. Thanks for clearing that one up Graham.
3 – Craig Burley
Hands up, who thought that the best thing about Setanta’s demise was the prospect of Craig Burley being removed entirely from our TV screens? Unfortunately, ESPN (Grrr, damn you again!) provided Burley with a route back into the punditry game, giving the nation the chance to hear more pearls of wisdom from the man with the missing teeth. Described by one forum poster as ‘the grumpiest man alive’, the former Chelsea man has additionally alluded to a lack of command over the English language, stating “Mark McGhee had the right word for the conditions – ‘not adept’” after a clash between Celtic and Motherwell was called off.
2 – Mark Lawrenson
Unlike former Liverpool teammate Alan Hansen, erratic former Eire international Mark Lawrenson has yet to provide the impression of a man with unquestionable, authoritative knowledge of football. The once moustachioed pundit/co-commentator frequently acts as if drunk on several pints of bitter, an illusion reinforced by his pathetic weekly Premier League score predictions on the BBC website. What’s more contemptible is Lawrenson’s proclivity for the cringeworthy ‘Dad/embarrassing uncle’ pun, as highlighted below.
“Much Adu about nothing.” (After USA international Freddy Adu came on as a substitute against England and misplaced a pass)
1 – Andy Gray
Part of television’s most ubiquitous commentary team (with the irrepressible Martin Tyler of course), Andy Gray has managed to become a figure of hate for a surprisingly large and passionate group of his detractors. Gray is allegedly anti-Liverpool, anti-Chelsea, anti-Tottenham, anti-Arsenal, whilst apparently being pro-Everton, pro-Manchester United, pro-Fernando Torres, pro-Wayne Rooney and pro-Steven Gerrard (phew!). Perceived sense of bias aside, the man responsible for coining the oft-mocked phrase ‘tikkaboo son!’ has suffered several bouts of verbal diarrhoea in his time narrating the game. The following quotes attest to this assertion.
“It’s what I call one of those ‘indefensible ones’ – you can’t defend against them.”
“People say footballers have terrible taste in music but I would dispute that. In the car at the moment I’ve got The Corrs, Cher, Phil Collins, Shania Twain and Rod Stewart.” (for the record, this writer LOVES Phil Collins)
Read my selection of the game’s worst pundits here
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