by Josh Green

As another weekend of football is fast approaching we get ready to enjoy the beautiful game and know with a heavy heart that we will have to endure the lacklustre punditry that comes with watching football on the T.V

Whether it is Match Of The Day or Super Sunday, you will be subjected to poor analysis, dated opinions, personal agendas and all around laziness. Watching football and talking about it is a hobby for many and would be considered a dream job but some of the so called experts treat their well-paid job with contempt.

Here are some of the worst pundit plonkers wasting space on neutrally toned sofas.

Alan Hansen

The former Liverpool defender is the main pundit on the BBC’s Match Of The Day and also makes regular appearances when the BBC have live football coverage. Hansen’s body language and demeanour resembles a stroppy teenager who has been forced to attend a family gathering. He mumbles his poor analyse, whilst acting like he is doing everyone a favour appearing on the show and sharing his ‘wisdom’. During this year’s Euro’s, Hansen gave us his prediction for who would make the Semi-Finals of the tournament, his choices were: Spain, Germany, Netherlands and Portugal. That’s all well and good apart from the fact it was impossible as Germany, Netherlands and Portugal were all placed in the same group. Another tiring trait of the Scotsman is his personal vendetta against Mario Balotelli. Hansen will attempt to criticise the young Italian on almost every episode of MOTD and begrudges the City striker any praise, even when turning in impressive performances. In fact Hansen’s obsession with Balotelli is childish and ridiculous. Hansen is undoubtedly one of the most over paid pundits ever. He was reportedly earning £1.5 million a year when he made his outrageous Euro Semi-Final prediction and clearly puts more effort into his cheesy comedy double act with Mark Lawrenson than he does with his research. Remember this is the man who famously stated ‘you win nothing with kids’.

Jamie Redknapp

The man who literally doesn’t know what literally means. It must have been Redknapp’s word of the year because he was always saying it, ‘David Silva literally plays with wing mirrors taped on his head’. No Jamie, he has sublime vision on a football field but he does not have any part of a car taped to his head. The former England midfielder is not shy of making big statements live on television. He once declared Manchester United’s striker Javier Hernandez to be the “signing of the century”. Another Redknapp opinion he was quick to share, was the fact Phil Jones is a future England captain and reminds him of a young Franz Beckenbauer. I think even Jones would scoff at that comment, like the rest of us. In between over the top comments, poor grammar and lazy analyse, the injury room regular is another who can’t wait to stick the knife into Mario Balotelli. Last weekend the Italian didn’t even feature in City’s squad for the Spurs game but Redknapp still managed to launch a scathing attack on Balotelli, exclaiming he wouldn’t have the striker anywhere near his team, despite the 22 year old already winning more silverware than Redknapp did in all of his career. I’ll end this section about Redknapp junior with a couple of my favourite quotes he has supplied the viewing public with since he started work as a pundit.

“Peter Schmeichel will be like a father figure to Kasper Schmeichel” and “These balls now – they literally explode off your feet.”

Paul Merson

The man who can’t pronounce any footballers name, not even names that only contain one syllable. It wouldn’t even matter, apart from the fact he is paid very handsomely to know these names. His half-hearted attempts to pronounce the names are reminiscent of a drunken know nothing in the pub, vying for a conversation while you try to watch the football. The former Arsenal man ferociously denounces anyone using the zonal marking tactic to defend set pieces, even though he admits he has never played in a team implementing this tactic. He also shrugs off the statistics that show less goals have been conceded when teams use zonal marking.
Although Merson’s immense stupidity can grate on you overall, he can be fairly likeable sometimes, but why do Sky employ him and pay him so well? Why not just employ a random punter from the pub who would probably do it for a few pints.

Mark Lawrenson

Another former Liverpool player and grumpy old man, who is employed by the BBC. Lawrenson is Hansen’s right hand man on MOTD and offers absolutely nothing positive to the show. He tries in vain to be funny and relevant but fails miserably, as his jokes and puns just become the ramblings of a mad man. Lawrenson regularly predicts the results of the weekends Premier League fixtures, if you are looking for betting tips please steer clear of these woeful predictions. At the end of last season, after adding up all of “Lawro’s” predictions, it concluded he thought Wolves would finish 10th when they actually finished rock bottom and got relegated. When I tune into a game and hear the miserable voice of Mark Lawrenson I reach for the mute button immediately to avoid his bias, terrible jokes and all round blasé commentary.

The four mentioned above are by far the worst pundits to infect our T.V screens, but a special mention goes to Ray ‘my word’ Wilkins, the bland Alan Shearer and a possibly intoxicated Ruud Gullit.

The saving grace of footballing punditry is a man I used to intensely dislike, but credit where credits due, Gary Neville is a fantastic pundit and I enjoy watching his post match analyse, which is well thought out and researched. I hope Neville does not slip into lazy habits like the previously mentioned and his love of the game spurs him to continue his excellent punditry.

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