The Top 5 Worst Pundits in the English game

You’d think that, with ex-players having played the game professionally for at least ten years, they’d, you know, be able to offer some valuable insight. That they’d be able to aurally aid our understanding of the game. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. Our TV screens and radio airwaves are plagued by a host of irritating so-called ‘experts’, with the vast majority of pundits failing to endear themselves to the listening and watching public. There are a lot, and I stress, A LOT, of bad ones out there, but the following five ‘experts’ really take the biscuit…

5 – Garth Crooks

It’s not just Crook’s painstakingly obvious or controversial BBC Team of the Week selections that have irked football fans. For some reason, the former Spurs striker seems to (erroneously) believe that the more you emphasise a point, the more intelligent you look. In addition to his fierce, unflinching stance on television, Crooks seems to be fan of using the most awful metaphors known to man.

“Napoleon once said an army marches on its stomach. The question is, are Arsenal still hungry?”
Speaking about Kevin Phillips, Crooks said “he relaxes before he strikes, almost like a cobra.”

4 – Andy Townsend

If you’ve had a ‘Tactics Truck’ named after you, chances are you’re not very good. And it seems as though ITV’s resident pundit and co-commentator Andy Townsend suffers from this affliction. The former Chelsea and Aston Villa midfielder is known for his painfully strict adherence to ‘textbook punditry’, constantly stating the obvious and failing to offer any sort of actual tactical insight. The former Eire international is prone to the odd gaffe, having once stated that “The Belgians will play like their fellow Scandinavians, Denmark and Sweden.”

3 – Jamie Redknapp

Well, well, well, where do we start with this one? Forgetting THAT Thomas Cook advert and his penchant for trousers that leave little to the imagination, Redknapp seems to perpetually commit a whole host of punditry sins. To start off with, Louise’s husband doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word ‘literally’; speaking of Patrice Evra beating Glen Johnson with pace in a Community Shield game, Redknapp uttered “he’s LITERALLY left him for dead there.”

Then there’s the constant references to his family members (‘Fabulous ball by Frank [Lampard], you just can’t give a player of his quality that much space’) and assertions that [insert player name here] is a ‘top, top player’. I for one wish that Redknapp would spend more time advertising Nintendo products with his old man.

2 – Mark Bright

Surely one of the main reasons why mute buttons were put on remote controls, the inane and moronic ramblings of Mark ‘not very’ Bright are an unfortunate stain on TV, radio and print coverage of our beautiful game. His tendency to start every other sentence by referring to his time at Crystal Palace is unbelievably tiresome, whilst his constant criticism of some of the Premier League’s biggest sides (most notably Liverpool) is amazing when considering how mediocre his own career was. Aside from stating the painfully obvious, Bright constantly drones on about what players should have done and eschews the opportunity to praise skilful contributions on the pitch. Thankfully for top flight fans, the Beeb have (for the most part) confined Mark Bright to the joys of lower league football.

I’ll leave you with one of Bright’s many pearls of wisdom…
“If Everton finish in a Champions League place, they’ll play in the Champions League.” (thanks for the insight Mark!)

1 – David Pleat

The continuous flow of faecal matter that is spewed forth from David Pleat’s mouth is without compare. Harsh assessment you say? Well let’s look at the charges. Monotone-voice? Guilty. Horrendously incapable of pronouncing player’s names correctly (Benny-nooooon)? Guilty. Liable to spout absolute nonsense? Guilty. The following quotes represent just a small handful of some of the rubbish that has emanated from the former Luton manager.

“To be fair, he probably struck the ball too well” (on Frank Lampard shooting wide of the goal)
“Marseille needed to score first, and that never looked likely once Liverpool had taken the lead”
After Gillingham go 2 – 0 up in a Play Off Final against Manchester City: “Game over now no way back for Man City.” Five minutes later after Man City score two goals: “I told you that the game wasn’t over they were never out of it.”

Any glaring omissions? Then please add who you consider the worse in the comments...

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