Watching football on television can be a wonderful experience, what you miss out on in terms of atmosphere and camaraderie is compensated with a comfortable chair, refreshments of your choice, and instant replays. Unfortunately, one of the perils of televised football is the presence of football pundits. Some of them are interesting and worth listening to (Ruud Gullit, Leonardo etc); some of them are boring and inoffensive (Alan Shearer); but some of them are just plain terrible. Here are five of the worst:
5. Warren Barton
In 2006, Warren Barton was a member of ITV4’s World Cup team of pundits; he presented a comedy segment entitled ‘Warren Barton Travel Agent’ where he provided a comical breakdown of each country taking part in the World Cup. It was as awful as it sounds. Barton can now be heard discussing the importance of winning the second balls for Fox Soccer Channel in the USA.
4. Jamie Redknapp
Redknapp started out promisingly but looks increasingly out of his depth on Sky. Seating him next to the likes of Ruud Gullit and Graeme Souness doesn’t help and Redknapp appears to be overawed. He has developed a habit of making a point and then completely contradicting himself seconds later. On the bright side, he seems like a thoroughly nice guy, so it’s difficult to get too annoyed with him.
3. Garth Crooks
Garth Crooks has been a mainstay of the BBC for a number of years now. With Garth, the problem is not so much what he says; it’s how he says it. He delivers his verdict in a sanctimonious tone and then leans forward to maintain eye contact with the presenter for an inordinate amount of time, just to ram his point home. He also has an annoying habit of interrupting other people.
2. Andy Townsend
A regular member of ITV’s panels, Townsend has an uncanny knack for stating the obvious. Gained notoriety for his “Tactics Truck” (how did anyone think that was a good idea?) It is one of life’s great mysteries how he has forged a broadcasting career for himself.
1. Mark Bright
With astonishing insights such as ‘if Everton finish in a Champions League place, they’ll play in the Champions League’, Mark Bright deserves his spot as the worst pundit of the lot. Watching him do an impression of an old lady on Final Score (‘ooooh dear’) is painful. Brighty also displays an inability to grasp the tone of a conversation, making dour statement during moments of frivolity and vice versa.