With Andy Gray, Richard Keys and Andy Burton all currently lolling around in a pub near the Sky Sports studios (no doubt letching at the barmaids, poring over page three of the Sun), we thought it was about time to give them something to lift their spirits: colleagues and adversaries doing the same.
Some are isolated instances of mindless stupidity, while others merely resort to frothy-mouthed rants about the consistent drivel spawned by the mouths of the illiterate.
10. Jamie Redknapp
Is it the tight trousers? Is it the horrendous holiday adverts? Or is it the jealousy of a man that as been in football his entire life and has married a pop star whilst still managing to remain reasonably private? Whichever, Redknapp’s stint on Sky in really starting to grate.
The prime example is his liberal use of the word “literally”. As in “these balls now, they literally explode off your foot.”
I think we can throw in “Roy Hodgson has never worked with top, top players”. Redknapp’s use of a reactionary statement without research into its meaning led him to omit Pagliuca, Bergomi, Zanetti and Zamarano from his list of “top, top players”.
9. Dean Windass
Now realistically Gillette Soccer Saturday/Special is Mecca for armchair football fans. It is a well-used cliché, but Jeff Stelling really is the best football pundit on television, both in terms of his delivery and research (done in a service station on the M1 during the week!)
Dean Windass is the antithesis of this research. It is sort of funny at first, and I use the phrase ‘sort of’ quite deliberately. But this patronising acceptance of stupidity is not a long-lasting feeling. There are only so many times we should be forced to stagger through inaudible descriptions of events that we genuinely care about. I suppose you just have to be grateful you’re not a Boro or Hull fan (his typical assignments)
8. Andy Townsend (and his truck)
Now Andy Townsend is annoying for many reasons, largely his descriptions of the England team as ‘we’, when he chose to represent Ireland at international level. His place in this list, however, is for his ill-fated tactics truck.
For ITV’s highlights show The Premiership, Townsend would drive around offering ‘insight’ into tactics and analysis on various games.
The ‘insight’ offered no more than we could surmise ourselves from our sofas, the truck was attacked by fans so often that it required police escort, and The Premiership was handed back meekly to the BBC after three long seasons.
7. Chris Kamara
Is there a more annoying phrase in football than “unbelievable Jeff”? It certainly rivals “take each game as it comes” and “And it’s liiiiiiive”.
Whilst initially providing a playful role on aforementioned GSS, ‘Kammy’ has now simply become a parody of himself.
This came to a zenith last season when Kamara managed to not notice that Anthony Vanden Borre had been sent off for Portsmouth, despite being at the game. Ha ha, let’s all have a chuckle, before realising he is paid a lot of money to be so incompetent.
6. Mark Lawrenson
If any reader questions Lawro’s place on this list, then I urge you to read my weekly column where his ill-informed statements and opinions are examined. Yes, I accept that it’s pedantry, but when you are highly-paid, such slapdashery (which is a new word) is unforgivable.
5. David Pleat
I will admit that I am possibly biased due to Pleat’s presence on Nottingham Forest’s Acquisitions Panel (the most inefficient group in football?), and therefore I will let you decide whether he deserves to be here:
“We are now in the middle of the centre of the first half”
“This is a real cat and carrot situation”
“Eighty per cent of teams who score first in matches go on to win them. But they may draw some. Or occasionally lose”
“Moutinho using his weight there – all 5’ 7” of it”
“Preki quite literally only has the one foot”
“Ive just noticed something interesting, the left and right backs have both got long sleeve shirts on”
Has the job title Expert Summariser ever been so mistreated?
4. Clive Tyldesley
The highest place individual on this list appearing for general annoyance as opposed to a stupid incident. There are Facebook groups, blogs and Twitter account all dedicated to the fact that Tyldesley just annoys the hell out of people:
Next time he is commentating, listen to the last syllable in words. Clich-eee, Diab-eee, Nasr-eee. Infuriating
Biased towards Manchester United to the point of infamy
‘One night in Barcelona’
Looks too much like Adrian Chiles
3. Alan Pardew
Although now on an unfathomably long contract as a Premier League manager, Pardew will hope his job is safe, given that he does not have the comfort of television punditry to fall back on.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is because of this:
2. Rodney Marsh
Marsh was an outspoken figure, part of the old school Sky brigade. But while Gray and Keys are losing their jobs for comments that could be seen as more Carry On than malicious, Marsh made a joke about the Tsunami in 2005, just weeks after the Boxing Day tragedy:
David Beckham has turned down a move to Newcastle United because of trouble with the Toon Army in Asia.
1. Ron Atkinson
Anyone that failed to guess that this would be top of this OTP countdown has clearly has their head in the sand for a few years. Just listen to the audio:
Atkinson rolled out the ‘I can’t be racist, I signed lots of black players.”
The damage was done. Career. Over.
It is not very often that the world of sports betting ventures into commentating but there are currently some very interesting Gray/Keys specials markets on offer, which are well worth a look.