By Chris Wright
Thanks to the “jobs for the boys” policy that seems to be in operation at every single sport broadcasting department in the country, an inordinate number of former professional footballers are now employed to chat about football before, during and after games – with a shocking number of them appearing to have absolutely no understanding of the game that once provided their principle stream of income.
It’s turned us (and we suspect we’re not alone here) staunchly against players we previously had a bit of time for. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who detested Andy Townsend as he jobbed his way around Chelsea, Norwich and Boro in the mid-to-late 1990s; now he’s almost universally derided – and there are many more just like him.
Here we go, hold on to your butts…
“I dunno Clive, could he not just have done something else other than what he did do there?”
1. Andy Townshend: A decent, nondescript midfielder in his playing days, Townsend is now almost universally loathed by English football fans after polluting ITV’s live coverage for the last 13 years with an endless decade-long dirge of tiresome hypothetical utterances: “I think he maybe should have’s…” and “could he not just have’s…”, contributing precious little of note in his almost impenetrably thick Irish accent.
We know which one we’d rather spend eternity with
2. Alan Shearer: Alan Shearer, a man – a BBC/MotD golf club mainstay; awash with all the personality of a bowl of room-temperature soy curd and all the analytical insight of a long-dead, crudely eviscerated, festering horse carcass. Remember the good old days? When he used to kick Neil Lennon in the temples?
When the most interesting thing in a photo is creased tarpaulin…
3. Michael Owen: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Roy picks one out for his dinner
4. Roy Keane: “Likeable” isn’t really the word when Keane’s in question, but the man at least demanded respect when he was putting it about and dominating lesser midfielders into the ground during his playing days. Sadly, Keane hasn’t tempered the personality traits that made him such a die-hard combatant in the slightest since moving into media, which leaves him looking like a needlessly aggressive, utterly joyless contrarion most of the time.
“Agent 42, come in. Your time is up”
5. Garth Crooks: Perched on the edge of his seat, watching with wide-eyed intensity, a finger perched on his lower lip to give the air of the footballing intellectual, Garth appears to be labouring under the illusion that him informing Gabby that a goal has gone in at Villa Park counts as serious investigative journalism. It’s a bit of a shame too, as Crooks seems like a thoroughly amiable guy when he relaxes a bit.
“The tits on that”
6. Jamie Redknapp: Aside from the fact that, thanks to his fondness for “Medium Boys” size suit trousers, he presents the Sky Sports audience with a clear outline of his genitals every weekend as he sits spread eagled throughout the entire course of Super Sunday, Redknapp is the kind of chirruping Oi Oi laaaaaad that we despise. Triffic Jnr is also a bugger for pluralising the unpluralisable (“your Arsenals, your Chelseas”, etc), which we hate with a searing passion.
Gareth wears his two medals for ‘flawless attendance’ and ‘good handwriting’ with pride
7. Gareth Southgate: Added to the general prefect-y air of “shirt ironed, teeth cleaned, shoes polished, all his special punditry notes indexed and filed primly in a ring binder and with a fresh apple for teacher in his satchel” that Southgate exudes on screen, he was once rather rude to my Mum at a health spa in Derbyshire – so, for that, f**k him.
Mark struggles without his inhaler
8. Mark Bright: A quick – nay, instant way to ruin a football match before it’s begun is to get ol’ Brighty involved in the coverage in some capacity. The man seemingly can’t piece a thought together in his head before talking and therefore delivers his tedious mouth-chutney in the form of stuttering, asthmatic stanzas which mean absolutely nothing to anybody.
Steve lets the wife know the bad news after his ‘Batman Begins’ audition
9. Steve Claridge: Like Crooks before him, the BBC’s self-anointed Lower Leagues Expert™ takes himself and his “craft” far too seriously. In an attempt to seem sober, knowledgeable and unpatronising about the lower ebbs of the English football hierarchy, Claridge comes off like a man who’s just awakened from a coma, seen his whole world has fallen apart and would desperately like to go back under.
Someone left the padlock off the gibbon enclosure again
10. Martin Keown: “Food and drink”. Three little words that make us want to do Keown (and his tawdry, lumpen punditry) an extreme physical discourtesy.
Any more for any more Pies fans? Please bear in mind that Robbie Savage wasn’t included as no-one liked him when he was playing either.
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