People are on TV for one reason and one reason only: to be slated. They’re not there to entertain or enlighten us, amuse or amaze, they’re there, quite simply, so that we can have a right good moan.
Things are no different in the televised world of football, either. As much as we hang on to the every last word of the Nevilles and Ferdinands of the screen, who we’re really waiting for is the droner, the clueless and the stuttering.
It’s the crap pundits that we love.
And so, knowing what the people want, we at Paddy Power are here to deliver the content that your week has been screaming out for. Prepare yourself, relax, and get ready to roll those eyes. Here are football’s six most annoying pundits.
6) Paul Merson
Annoying for several reasons, but probably the most mild offender on our list. Merson – or ‘Merse’, if you’re a massive spanner – can still rile you up on a weekly basis. His occasional lapse of knowledge and uninformed aside is enough on its own to irk the viewer.
Combine those with the forced aura of hilarity that seems to surround him now and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some serious TV-out-the-window antics. Perhaps we’re going easy on him here putting him sixth, but Merse truly is one annoying sod. He’s lucky not to have made the top five.
5) Kevin Kilbane
It’s the hair, the voice, the slight lack of anything resembling footballing substance. Quite the coup for Kilbane, mind, making our list. It’s probably the first thing that the fella’s achieved in his whole career. Congrats, Kev, and thank us later. We’ve given you something to say. Rejoice, tamely: making the top five is a big deal.
4) Chris Kamara
Don’t take it personally, but Kamara is infuriating. Following the infamous “I don’t know, Jeff” moment, he’s become a series of jarring sound bites now. It’s the ‘tache, the faux confusion and the nickname that do it, though the list could go on and on. The squeaky voiced Northerner deserves his place on here with pride.
3) Charlie Nicholas
Okay, we’ll be honest now, it’s the voice. Nicholas is as bearable as football pundits can be but, for Christ’s sake, someone fiddle with the auto-tune. Yelps of high pitched excitement fly from the bloke’s mouth and scorch the air like a helium-filled Catherine Wheel whenever any-thing remotely exciting happens on those mysterious, hidden screens of Soccer Saturday. Mix in a bit of Martin Keown and Nicholas would be a treat to listen to.
2) Chris Sutton
Sutton is confrontational, conflicting and curt on screen when covering Scottish football. His eagerness to pick a fight with fellow pundits or lambaste the next victim in his sights is, at times, painfully awkward and leads to several on-air bust-ups that can leave viewers wincing.
He annoys in that he seems so cock-sure of his own convictions whilst failing repeatedly to hear the flip side to them. Should he calm down a notch and bring his floating ego closer to earth, we may just bump him down our list. Now there’s some incentive, Chrissy.
1) Michael Owen
Just Google some of the absolute clangers that have rung from this chap’s mouth. Most of Owen’s quotes have felt beyond parody but real highlights include, “that shot is impossible. I saw Yaya Toure do it once”, “if there’s a bit of rain about, it makes the surface wet”, and “whichever team scores more goals usually wins.”
We listen to these professionals for insight into football, but Owen chats so regularly from a certain location which lacks our nearest star’s beaming rays that he merits making this list. His depth of thought is just that little bit too deep for us simple telly-watchers, we don’t want to get lost in the mysteries of why water is wet.