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Top 10 Mistakes That Gus Johnson Has Made Announcing Soccer

gus johnson warren barton 600x335 Top 10 Mistakes That Gus Johnson Has Made Announcing Soccer

Gus “Rise and fire” Johnson has made his name announcing American sports like college basketball, hockey and NFL, but now the king of the catchphrase has entered a new phase in his career announcing soccer games.

Johnson has five games under his belt as FOX Soccer’s new lead announcer in just under a month commentating soccer. There have been some highs but there have been many lows. Here are 10 of the worst mistakes he’s made in his short soccer career:

10. The Premiere League. It’s one of the most basic errors, but Gus Johnson continues to mispronounce the name of the world’s most popular sports league. It’s not the “Premiere League,” as Johnson pronounces it. It’s the Premier League.

9. The phantom goalscorer. While recapping who scored for Manchester United against QPR during the recent commentary of Manchester City-Chelsea, Gus Johnson claimed that Chicharito and Ryan Giggs put the ball in the back of the net for the Red Devils when it was in fact Ryan Giggs and Rafael da Silva.

8. Man U. Many Manchester United supporters wince when Gus Johnson continues to refer to United as “Man U.” It’s the first tell-tale sign that someone doesn’t know the club that well. And it’s an insult to many United supporters who know the history of rival clubs using it to mock the Munich Air Disaster.

7. Mistaking a free kick for a corner kick. Maybe it was first game jitters, but Gus Johnson told viewers in the Real Madrid-Manchester United game that Los Blancos had been awarded a corner kick, when it was actually a free kick on the edge of the penalty area (view the screengrab).

6. British Premier League! After a recent commentary, Gus Johnson flubbed on air by referring to the official name of the Barclays Premier League as the British Premier League. Whoops!

5. Mispronunciations galore. By now, Gus Johnson’s pronunciation of Juan Mata as “MADA” and Oscar as “AZ-CAR” are permanently implanted in your brain after listening to Gus Johnson shout his way through games. But embarrassing mispronunciations of player names have undermined his credibility. A couple of pearls include “Sergio Romos” and “Sag-na.” Plus, mispronunciations aside, Johnson misidentified a player in the Real Madrid-Man Utd game, incorrectly pointing out the wrong Real Madrid player who cleared the ball off the goal-line from a Robin van Persie attempt on goal.

4. Pay attention to the game. In the match between Manchester City and Chelsea, Gus Johnson waxed poetically about Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s sensational save from a Matija Nastasić header. Later in the game, Johnson referred back to the save and commented how Cech was keeping Chelsea in the game. But both Johnson and co-commentator Lee Dixon missed the fact that even if Nastasić’s header had gone in, it wouldn’t have counted anyway since one of Manchester City’s footballers was in an offside position.

3. Eden Hazard is a Frenchman. During Gus Johnson’s first call of a Premier League game, the American put his foot in his mouth when he described Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard as a Frenchman. Problem is he’s Belgian.

2. Ryan Giggs is an Englishman. It was a slip of the tongue, but Gus Johnson called Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs “one of the greatest footballers in English history.” He’s not English. He’s Welsh.

1. Is Michael Carrick the new Roy Keane? This one wasn’t a mistake per se, but it shows the complete ineptitude of Gus Johnson as a respectable soccer commentator because he had no clue that Michael Carrick is a completely different type of player than Roy Keane. Out of everything he has said thus far, this one question to Ian Wright was the most embarrassing incident.

School is in session at FOX Soccer with Johnson learning his trade on the biggest soccer matches of the year. Let’s hope he’s a fast learner and improves moving forward.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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185 Responses to Top 10 Mistakes That Gus Johnson Has Made Announcing Soccer

  1. Matt says:

    And more from GusTalk.com

    • Dust says:

      Biggest train wreck in commentary…. Only thing fox could do worse is team him up with a complete novice loudmouth like Ian wright…..

      Oh wait… What ?..

      Can someone start a “Retire Gus” aka “staccato vibe spoiler” Petition?

    • Nonsense says:

      Gus is terrible but this dead horse has been beaten, stabbed, and shot already.

  2. Mike G says:

    Get over it. On the whole, he is doing a great job despite all the pressure and nit-pickers

    • Jeremias Salazar says:

      Mike G where you from? Kansas City?

    • TheDoctor says:

      “Doing a great job”? Nitpickers? The man obviously has no love for the game, no understanding of the game, and should be given a yellow card for bringing the game into disrepute. If I’m watching EPL matches, I want English announcers. Full stop. Why is that so hard?

    • Dust says:

      Doing a great job… What a joke…

  3. Fernando says:

    Well I’d say this list goes over a lot of common mistakes everyone makes. Plenty of people call United Man U and have no idea what the background is. Is that being lazy?

    Rob Stone called the EPL the British Premier League and I don’t recall a post saying he is taking the English out of the EPL.

    Gaffer, if you were to profile the announcers we get every week from the international feeds and track the nonsense they say we’d have an extra long post.

  4. Pete says:

    Let’s see who takes the bait on this one.

    The Gaffer is fishing for Gus haters.

    • Pete says:

      I was too late ^^^^we have some nibbles^^^^

      • Simon Burke says:

        Spot on, this is becoming a bit ridiculous. We get it Gaffer, you hate the fella. How many posts can you beat us to death with? What’s left to really say? A lot of this is just nitpicking.
        I agreed with you that he shouldn’t have been picked but he was and crying about it every day is beginning to make you look childish.

        • Pete says:

          Again, I don’t mind the articles on Gus. But this seems like we’re rehashing old points.

          I’d rather see a fresh article dissecting his latest commentary.

  5. christian says:

    While the criticisms are fair, to what end is this constant harping? We all know this is new for him and mistakes are going to happen. Do you think Fox will pull him from the announcing job? I’m honestly asking because I think this isn’t going away anytime soon.

  6. Frill Artist says:

    The daily Gus Johnson whine article has been brought to you by Gaffer. For more information, call 1-800-GUS-WHINE.

  7. Pete says:

    For the record, I don’t mind the harping on Gus. But all of these points have been brought up before.

    I understand this is a “Top Ten List”, but let’s give Gus a chance to give us some new ammunition today and/or tomorrow.

    He’s bound to produce all new lows in broadcasting.

  8. San Fransiscan says:

    I don’t care anymore. All of United’s BIG games on Fox are gone.

  9. CP3 says:

    Can someone explain to me, perhaps phonetically how you pronounce “Premier” and “Premiere” differently?

    • Phil says:

      One is pronounced in a fastidious british accent.

    • Yespage says:

      “premier” is prem+ier

      “premiere” is pre+miere

      Regardless, enough already! People are talking like Piers Morgan is doing commentary now.

    • RJ says:

      Are all those thumbs-down from people in the UK? This seems like a pretty legitimate question here in ‘Merica. According to the OED, there is no difference in the pronunciation of these two words in American English.
      Yes, we’re talking about a British league here, but there are plenty of other terms American broadcasters pronounce with differently than our friends across the pond. Not sure why this is one is such a big deal.
      As far as I can tell, we’re being told it should be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable: /ˈpremɪə/ or PREM-ih-er

  10. Matt says:

    I am an Arsenal supporter and I wince when he says “Man U”.

    I have noticed on FoxSoccer2go I have an option between Gus Johnson and not-Gus Johnson feeds. Maybe Fox could do something like this? Put Gus Johnson on the main audio and the English announcers on secondary audio? The technology exists and it would be a great solution.

  11. The American Voice of Soccer says:

    I want to thank so many of you for emailing me (gus_avos@hotmail.com). I didn’t realize how much peer pressure you are under to post so many negative articles about my announcing. I guess that bullying reaches all parts of our society. I am glad that you can take advantage of the privacy of email to express your true sentiments to me. Thanks so much for your support. It really invigorates me to continue on. In fact, I have asked management to give me more assignments. Maybe, even two Champions League games a week. And a Premier League game or two on the weekends; if, the games are big enough to warrant my presence.

    For those of you asking for an autographed picture, I am currently out of them. I have asked my personal assistant at Fox Soccer Channel, Warren Barton, to have more made up. He is giving me some grief saying that it should be Wynalda’s job. I told Barton that he had better get to it. Being the token British voice will not save his job if he continues to be insubordinate to “The Voice.” (I like to remind him that I am the one everyone is talking about. Not him.)

    I will try to personally respond to all of your emails, but I am sure you can imagine how little time I have with all of the preparation I am doing. To me, it is most important that I continue to deliver you a quality product.

    Until next time,

    The American Voice of Soccer

    p.s. It really made my mother happy to see all of your great emails. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  12. Mufc77 says:

    Lets be honest his biggest mistake so far has been accepting the job in the first place.

  13. varghese says:

    Lets get over it, just two more months. Anyone not British will be the same.

    • Pete says:

      Not to be a jerk, but it isn’t two months. Fox has the rights to the Champions League and the World Cup. So we’re going to have to endure his commentary unless something changes their minds.

  14. stennieville says:

    I swear he called Ramires “Marearez” when he scored Chelsea’s equalizer.

    • rockstarbigdaddy says:

      and it sounded like “As-Gard” when he pronounced Hazard and Oscar. I didn’t realize the Lion from the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, played for Chelsea!

  15. Mike says:

    Oh please give the man a break. How many others make miss calls, etc? Every game I hear mistakes from commentators that have to make calls as they happen. I yell out at the screen myself, only the see the replay and realize I was wrong.

    Give the man a year and then revisit the subject.

    • stennieville says:

      It’s just that it’s easier to hear Gus’s mistakes because HE SHOUTS THEM SO LOUDLY!!!!!!!

    • velija says:

      then he should be allowed the chance to make those mistakes in lesser games, not the biggest UEFA Champions League and Prem games

    • rockstarbigdaddy says:

      missed calls are obviously something that happens to the best of announcers, even Vin Scully will miss something (very rare). my problem with Gus Johnson is not his many ‘missed calls’, its his ineptitude as a soccer announcer. he’s a novice at best and to force him upon the general public and real soccer fans without some seasoning, is just bad TV. he just doesn’t have any credibility as a good announcer, for any sport.

  16. K says:

    To add to his list of mispronunciations: “David” Luiz and “David” Silva as in English

    • stennieville says:

      “Dayvid Louise.”

      Let’s be fair, though, plenty of English announcers also mispronounce names. Can’t remember the name of the English announcer who calls Odemwingie “Odemwhingey” (which is fairly apt).

  17. JP says:

    Maybe I just don’t get it, but Gus constantly yells out about “the area” whenever a player is in the 18 yardbox. The line is usually , “SOANDSO is in THE AREA!!!!!!”. I’ve never heard to it referred to as “the area”. Usually the announcers just talk about how he was able to get free, the run, ball movement, etc.

    • john marzan says:

      i’ve heard jon champion say “in the area” when somebody delivers a cross in the area while playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2012.

  18. rockstarbigdaddy says:

    I’m just happy NBC Sports will be taking over English Premier League broadcast duties next year, so I don’t have to listen to Gus Johnson crap all over my favourite game.

    I still don’t understand WHY Fox Soccer must push this underwhelming, cut-rate broadcaster upon us. at the very least, this guy should’ve cut his teeth working some MLS matches or international friendlies.

    the problem that I have with him is he’s being used for big matches and he’s not a good announcer. period. not good at American football. or college basketball. or pro basketball.

    the main problem with him and every other bad announcer, is not knowing when to keep his mouth shut and let the action do the talking, after all, he is working TV. learn something from Vin Scully.

    • Jamie says:

      Exactly.

      Plus, Gus Johnson is a name on their payroll so you’d think they are paying him much, much more that an up and comer that knows the game. Hell, Fox should of had a casting call, picked a great announcer and paid them according to their level, which would probably be significantly lower than Gus’ salary. The audience gets a better broadcast, AND Fox has a cheaper bill to pay.

      Why isn’t this the natural thinking?

  19. Fulhamish says:

    Most Americans do not pronounce “premier” any differently than “premiere”. Gus is pronouncing the word as it is commonly pronounced in America. He is an American and these are American broadcasts. What exactly is the problem there?

    • Mufc77 says:

      He’s crap at announcing football matches.

      • Fulhamish says:

        I meant what is the problem of his pronounciation of that specific word. Obviously the broadcast as a whole is a problem.

    • rockstarbigdaddy says:

      he’s also a sub-par announcer of basketball, American football and NBA games.

    • Mark G. says:

      I agree with most of The Gaffer’s criticisms, but I’m completely with you on this one. I grew up in California and Tennessee and New York, and I pronounce premier and premiere the same way. So does every American I know.

      If you criticize Gus for this, you’re just complaining about his accent, and I think that’s irrelevant.

  20. Jamie says:

    Can’t really fault him for many of his pronouncing of names, it’s the result of his accent, which pretty much all announcers have a different one based on where they grew up. That’s really ticky tack nagging.

    His reading of the game isn’t that great though, but than that was to be expected. I really don’t understand why they didn’t just hire a soccer guy that has grown up with the game.

  21. COYS_USA_D1 says:

    I feel like once a week The Gaffer comes out with a post complaining about Gus Johnson. Im sorry but its getting old and very annoying. Its not going to change anything, the World Cup is so far away Fox knows they have time for him to improve.

    • Pete says:

      Unless he stops yelling over large portions of the match and/or loses the dumb attempts at catch-phrases (which have been his calling card in every sport)…he won’t be improving.

  22. Javier E says:

    This is getting a bit overboard…

    I understand the reasoning that most of you are upset that FOX decided to put in a soccer newbie to call important matches but making this into a crusade is a bit much!!!

    He has an been up and down (Best: This weekend, Worst: Man City/Chelsea) but expecting him to be like Tyler, Champion or Darke to name a few is a bit unreal.

    Like or not, Gus is here for the long haul and instead beating him up for pronouncing Premier or Premiere. Why not give useful pointers on how he can read the game better and help him become what FOX wants, “The American Voice of Soccer”!!!!

    This ridiculous!!!

  23. Calm Down says:

    Earlier articles seemed to have a purpose. Now they just sound whiny. No one forces you to watch him.
    Number 2 is weak. Gus never says Giggs is a British Footballer. He says “He is one of the greatest footballers in English history”. He has played his whole career in England, he IS one of the greatest footballers in the history of the league.

    • Frill Artist says:

      At this point, Gus articles are just to drive up comment activity on the site. Gaffer knows how to stir the pool.

  24. Matt says:

    *head-desk*
    *head-desk*
    *head-desk*

    Why, Gaffer? WHYYYYYYY?!?

  25. De Selby says:

    I think his biggest mistake was calling a goal for Manchester United against Real Madrid that was not a goal. He shrieked “HEADED UP…AND IN!!!”. The ball never went in. It was saved. And beside that it wouldn’t have counted because it was offside, but he never seemed to notice or make mention of that.

    The way he pronounces things is by far the least of his problems. His main problem is that he just completely blows.

  26. Scrumper says:

    Nobody forced Gus Johnson to take the job. He put himself in the spotlight, so he has to deal with it. The real test of a commentator is if he can carry a game on his own without a “expert’ alongside.

    Let’s face it after five minutes of players ages, sock sizes, cringing comments “is Newcastle the most favourite French team” etc, he’d collapse.

  27. Marc L says:

    I’ve whaled on Gus as much as anyone, but even I have to admit that a lot of these points are a bit nit-picky.

    Look, Fox has lost the EPL deal. And there are always going to be other ways to catch the UCL/FA Cup matches in the future that they put this turkey on.

    Just watch the Spanish feed, FFS. If you don’t completely understand the announcer? Well, better that than to be irritated by Gus constantly.

  28. BradMc says:

    There’s definitely a problem, but Gus himself is not the real problem. I have no problem with him. I’ve been listening to Johnson for years, and he’s so generic and void of personality that I didn’t realize he actually had any catch phrases. He’s totoally innocuous.

    The problem is that Fox is trying to Americanize European soccer, and it just doesn’t work. Shouting through games works great for the average American sport – but it totally kills the atmosphere that is unique to soccer.

    It’s every bit as bad as it would be to hear Martin Tyler refer to a “peach of a touchdown” in the NFL or Ian Darke refer to a “cracking three pointer” in the NBA. It just doesn’t work either way.

    It has taken the MLS a long time to learn this lesson with team names and kits. I don’t understand why Fox regressing?

    • Pete says:

      Great comment, Brad.

      The only thing I will say is that I am a college basketball fan. I used to turn the sound off when he was announcing the games.

      He’s irritating and his vocal theatrics distract me from the game. I prefer an announcer with genuine excitement or someone who can just let the game unfold.

      I don’t want to hear people who think they are the reason people are tuning into the event.

      I watch what I’m watching for the event. Not to hear someone trying to become a celebrity on the mic.

      • Mufc77 says:

        No no you have it all wrong FSC swears people will be tuning in BECAUSE of GJ and not the actual game itself just like they do for the Super Bowl

        • Pete says:

          That’s true. I remember the time I was tuning past a water polo match and heard the announcer screaming his head off. I had to turn the channel back and see what was going on. Now I’m hooked!

    • The American Voice of Soccer says:

      “cracking three pointer” I like that. I think that I will just have to fit that in as a crossover phrase in my next basketball broadcast. Thanks for the idea.

    • The Voice of MNF says:

      “peach of a touchdown” I like that. I think that I will just have to fit that in as a crossover phrase in my next Monday Night Football broadcast. Thanks for the idea.

  29. Mufc77 says:

    I hope Gus Johnson puts more effort into learning the game than he does maintaining his twitter account. Then again its probably better for him if he doesn’t see what tend fans are saying about him and his commentary.

  30. Guy says:

    Not reading any comments on GJ. Not making any.

    My 12 step GJ withdrawal program has succeeded! :-)

  31. dano328 says:

    If we are going to grow the sport in the USA like we want: competing in the World Cup, new audiences have to be brought in. If I had my way, we would shut down American sports, but that will never happen.

    Many Americans that have not already developed a passion for this sport aren’t going to listen to a Brit.

    If not Gus, then who? Mark Followill for FC Dallas is pretty good.

  32. Ed says:

    I think the Gus criticism has gone a bit too far. Yes, he has made many a mistake, and it is only further amplified by the high profile matches which he has been assigned to. The man is a fantastic professional (and I’m sure a good guy), and he deserves a bit more respect than the vitriolic articles and posts nitpicking his every word. Where are you guys when every British commentator butchers Roberto Martinez’s name? It is Mart-EEN-ez, not Mart-IN-ez. Oh well, poor Gus.

    • Fog says:

      It’s not the British commentators fault that all of these foreigners in the British Prieieree League don’t know how to pronounce their names.

      • Fog says:

        British league…British commentators…British pronunciations.

        Heck, they can’t even get their own names correct. They pronounce “Davies” as “Davis” not “Davees.”

        • Pete says:

          Instead of controversy, we get “con-tre-vesy”

        • The Gaffer says:

          British people pronounce “Davies” as “Davis.”

          ‘Davies’ is the Welsh version of the English word ‘Davis.’ Davies is pronounced Davis in Wales, too.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • So says:

            And the rest of the world pronounces it “Mart-EEN-ez”…so, what’s your point? Wrong is wrong.

    • CH says:

      ED your point was “spot on” lol

  33. Huw Roma says:

    Gus is horrific, but this is a redundant article. Its as if the Gaffer really had to struggle to find really valid points to criticize.

  34. dano328 says:

    So do you think I’m wrong? i prefer Brit announcers but middle America won’t give it a chance! Same as they wouldn’t tolerate a yank over there.

    Do they just cater to existing niche or try to grow?

    • Mufc77 says:

      It’s simple really leave things the way they where before and then when we all cancel our FSC subscriptions 30 seconds after the final whistle of the FA cup final then start the Gus experiment, its not rocket surgery.

    • dano328 says:

      Why don’t you respond to my question rather than just thumbs down it? Do you think I’m wrong that potential new fans will not want a Brit voice. The people on this site are going to watch no matter what.

      • Pete says:

        If Fox is worried about attracting fans from middle America, then they really do have issues.

        This country is diverse and is becoming increasing multi-cultural by the day. And soccer has been the most popular sport in the world for a looooong time.

        It’s only a matter of time before its audience grows here in the States. I don’t think it will be as big as football or basketball. But there is a strong chance that it will top hockey.

        Just let the event speak for itself. Use solid announcers.

      • Mufc77 says:

        First of all I don’t give you a “thumbs down” but now I’m going to just because you whined about that.

        Secondly new fans aren’t going to start watching the sport because its a American doing commentary, just like they aren’t going to start watching just because Ian Darke or Martin Tyler are doing commentary. When was the last time you heard anyone say they are going to watch the Superbowl, World Series, Daytona 500 or the Masters golf because Joe Blow was calling the event.

        FSC reasons for doing this to grow the game for the upcoming World cup but if anything they are driving people away from the FSC channel. All we ask is for the best person available to do the games regardless of nationality.

    • Fog says:

      Fox doesn’t care about “middle America.” They only cater to the “right wing America.”

  35. cmasia says:

    To those who complain we are piling on:

    Imagine if Piers Morgan was introduced as the new play by play guy for Sunday Night Football.

    The internet would blow up with complaints.

    I think Gaffer is right to keep this in the forefront, as I believe this is the worst experiment I’ve ever seen in sports television.

    And as I said in another thread, he is ruining the sharp end of the European football season.

    And I’m not even upset with Fox for trying this. They say it’s preparation for when Fox has the 2018 World Cup.

    Fine…

    But why is his “preparation” being dumped on us in the most important matches?

    Can’t he call Stoke v Reading?

    Again, I applaud Gaffer here.

    Silence on this subject would imply acceptance. And this is unacceptable.

    • kyle says:

      Why insult Stoke and Reading fans.

      • krazymunky says:

        I think we can all agree the viewership of Stoke vs Reading is A LOT less than Man Utd vs Real Madrid in the Champions League Knockout stage.

    • Enough says:

      Gus Johnson is not Piers Morgan. Honestly with all this complaining from this site and the eurosnobs I’m beginning to think differently about Gus.

    • Jeff says:

      The comparison is wrong. To make a like comparison, Piers Morgan would be added to the MNF broadcast in England. We wouldn’t see him here, just as those in England aren’t having to listen to Gus. I wouldn’t put it past the NFL if they are trying to grow the game abroad to try and add local commentators. It doesn’t mean it is good. Doesn’t make it easier for us to listen to bad commentating. But I would understand it. Ultimately, the commentators are way down the list of importance when I watch a sporting event. 1. Is it on a channel that I can watch? 2. Is it in HD? 3. How many camera angles are available? 4. Can you hear the crowd (atmosphere)? 5. Who is commentating?

    • Fulhamish says:

      A better analogy would be if Sky Sports hired an English broadcaster with no experience with American football to do play by play of NFL games for the purprose of attracting more English viewers.

      The Piers Morgan analogy is flawed because the US is the NFL’s main market. It is engrained in American culture, of course people would be upset. The US is a secondary market for world football, it’s apples to oranges.

  36. Cantona says:

    Gaffers points are all valid.. If Fox continues this experiment on high profile matches these criticisms are all legitimate and deserve to be pointed out. We didn’t ask to be the guinea pigs, that was Eric Shanks’ call.. So every article, every tweet, every board response is a suitable response to their decision. Lets face it Johnson is BAD, really BAD… And things are not getting any better… His total lack of football knowledge is shocking, it can’t be overlooked. To all the Gus fanboys… Ask yourself why do except such mediocrity? You wouldn’t do it if Jon Champion was doing the NBA playoffs would you?

    Cantona—

  37. dano328 says:

    NBC sure has a challenge for next year. I learned to love the game listening to Brit announcers, but I know people that would never give it a chance without an American voice. The question is do we care about those people. Maybe not. But perhaps LeBron James would be on the pitch instead of court if the sport’s profile were raised. I would like to see us catch up on the world stage and this is why I’m glad Fox gave this a try.

    • Fog says:

      I can see it now…during the transfer window LeBron has a live television interview where he announces that he is leaving Everton for Liverpool.

  38. Mufc77 says:

    Gaffer isn’t stupid he knows FSC aren’t going to dump GJ as they will just look like idiots.

    The Gaffer also knows that by keeping this subject in the media and getting fans talking and complaining about it they will get NBCs attention and in return they are highly unlikely to make the same mistakes when they broadcast matches next season. In the long run we will all be better of watching the EPL games because of this discussion.

  39. matt says:

    Sad to see the Gaffer trolling for pageviews.

    • The Gaffer says:

      If I was trolling for pageviews, I’d create slideshows like the Bleacher Report does or write bogus transfer signing stories like Goal.com does. You can see by the what’s trending widget in the right sidebar that the Gus Johnson articles don’t generate a lot of pageviews. FOX’s decision is something I disagree with, and I’m not going to sit back and say nothing about it.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  40. Fog says:

    First, consider yourself lucky! Second, he is a commentator in his own mind only. He was NBC’s main soccer play-by-play commentator during the 2012 Olympics.

  41. Fog says:

    So, is Fox using Gus Johnson instead of Martin Tyler similar to Decca records signing “The Tremelos” instead of “The Beatles?”

    Probably not, since the “Tremelos” biggest hit was “Silence is Golden.” And wouldn’t that be a big relief about now?

  42. danny says:

    Gaffer, do you know what are Gus’ next games he will be on?

    So I can avoid them like the plague!

    (any UCL this week?)

  43. danny says:

    and big Thanks for keeping the heat on!

    Hopefully Fox wake up eventually and make the right decision to fix what they broke.

  44. Matt says:

    better than Craig Burley or David Pleat at least…

  45. CraigB says:

    Thing that bugs me is that it’s all if Fox Soccer calling it the British Premier League

  46. paddy h. says:

    alan parry for the barca game, thank f*ck.

  47. Marc L says:

    No Gus in Catalunya tonight, but even he couldn’t bugger up this riveting first half at the Camp Nou. Great, great stuff.

  48. Ivan says:

    Barcelona with another lecture tonight. Best. Team. Ever.

  49. gbewing says:

    waiting for the Top 10 Mistakes Made By The Gafffer list since we’re creating lists- what’s good for the goose boys is…..

    • Cantona says:

      Wow… So obviously you like your football commentators to know nothing about the sport they are commentating on… You like the Johnson awkward silences and the lagging calls and the non commentary on elementary rules of the game… Or maybe it’s acceptable to you because your at the same level?

      Cantona—

      • The Gaffer says:

        No need to make it personal :)

        No attacks please.

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • Not to get Picky says:

          Not to get picky…but aren’t all of these articles about Fox Soccer Channel and Gus Johnson considered attacks?

          Not that I disagree, it just seems that comment appears to be a double standard.

          • The Gaffer says:

            It’s business, not personal. FOX Soccer is in the business of providing us top quality soccer coverage, and with the promotion of Gus Johnson and his inconsistent commentaries, they’ve dropped the ball.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

      • gbewing says:

        no I expect profesionalism on both ends – his list wasn’t even an accurate accounting-in my mind this is unprofessional

  50. Cantona says:

    Didn’t mean to get personal, but actually we may be onto something here.

    Cantona—

  51. pdrez says:

    Good lord. IN AMERICA IT IS PRONOUNCED THR SAME AS PREMIERE!

    Yes, in American English premier and premiere are prounounced the exact same way. Pri-MEER is the correct pronunciation of both. Not PREM-eer.

    So, Gus is pronouncing it correctly for where he is from, and shouldn’t alter the pronunciation because it is an English league. Should he start saying conTROVersy too? No, of course not.

    • The American Voice of Soccer says:

      So, when the English say “conTROVAsy” they actually mean “conTROversy”? I could never figure that one out. Thanks!!

  52. He's Livid says:

    No need to worry about who the NBC game announcers will be, they (NBC sports) have already made a statement that the matches will be called by native voices.

    As for Gus, he’s really giving it the old college try, but man, it’s just beyond him and not a good fit at all.

    I do have a beef with British color commentators who repeatidly spout throughout a match “For me” that’s not a penalty or “For me” that should be a yellow card. Just stop it already, it’s lazy and a bit annoying.

  53. Smokey Bacon says:

    Even Warren Barton seems to be thinking “WTF did you just say?” Judging by the look he is giving Gus in the picture.

    Slag Gus off all you want. You won’t get any complaints from me. Just leave the genius of Ian Wright out of it.

  54. DoctorL says:

    An important question for us to ask ourselves: What does Fox Soccer consider its current and future viewership audience to be? And a related question: How do those considerations relate to the selection of Gus Johnson?

    It seems to me that the primary viewing audience consists of the following:

    (a) expat BPL fans who are used to an English announcer and will not likely ever find an American easy on their ears;
    (b) American BPL fans who are also used to an English announcer and appreciate the typical style and knowledge of the game they bring, but are willing to consider an American if that style and knowledge can be duplicated;
    (c) American BPL fans whose interest is growing and don’t have any frame of reference, but are used to the way American announcers typically call American sports.

    I happen to be in category (b). Give me an American Darke or Tyler and eventually I’ll get used to them not having an English accent. I suspect Fox regards (c) as its most important and growing audience, which explains what they’re trying with Gus. For example I’ve heard phrases like, “at sixes and sevens” and “in the ascendancy” so often I don’t need to think about what they mean. Probably not the case with group (c).

    Finally, Fox isn’t the only one that has made questionable choices. Georgio Chinalia in the studio during the World Cup? Tommy “put it in the old onion bag” Smyth?

    • OT says:

      FOX Soccer will go out of business no later than August 16, 2013, to be replaced by a male-oriented entertainment channel FXX.

      (Don’t know yet whether FOX Soccer Plus will survive as “FOX Sports Plus”.)

      High profile soccer will migrate over to FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and the FOX Network in the next 10 years.

  55. Jeremias Salazar says:

    Gus Johnson is better suited to commenting WWF Monday Night RAW as opposed to a football match.

    • The American Voice of Soccer says:

      I’ve done boxing and MMA…seems like a lot of you posted to those blogs, also. That’s why I am doing soccer.

      • Cantona says:

        Johnson was run out of MMA because he was hated by the fans , check some of the websites .. And he hated them, he had quite some choice words for MMA fans.. I can only imagine what he thinks of twitter going nuts when fans find out he is commentating.. But I’m sure Mr. Shanks is paying him well… And to keep quiet! Not a peep from his twitter and his his interviews have been hand picked.

        Cantona—

  56. Curious Minds... says:

    Gaffer,

    A serious question.

    You now live in the United States. If you are going to meet a potential investor and all you know is that his name is “Mr. Davies,” how do you intoduce yourself? Hello, Mr. “Davees,” I am Christopher Harris…or, Hello, Mr. “Davis,” I am Christopher Harris?

    I ask the question because you seem to be demeaning Gus Johnson for speaking with his American pronunciation to an American audience.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I would pronounce it “Mr Davis”.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Todd Shenk says:

      The reason that this is pertinent is that he obviously didn’t do his homework on how to pronounce players names.

      Case in point… Bob Shepherd (RIP) was the Yankees loudspeaker announcer for decades. During this period he took the time to learn how to pronounce players’ names, including many Latino and Japanese names (among others). Many times this even included approaching the player to ask them.

      What Gus Johnson is doing by not pronouncing names correctly is showing an inability to take time and do some homework on the details that go into commentary.

      • Curious Minds... says:

        First…thanks for being The Gaffer’s mouthpiece.

        Second,if you are going to get on Johnson for misprouncing names and not include virtually every other British EPL announcer you are being extremely biased. Every weekend commentators mispronounce players names. Especially, the non-English names. Even the two annoncers working together on the same game very often use different pronunciations for the same player.

        So let’s get off this “British announcers are perfect” podium that many here are taking.

        I do not like Gus Johnson as a soccer announcer. Or for any other sport, for that matter. But, I have had it with the Eurocentric holier than thou attitude.

        Johnson is a screw-up. Fox is a screw-up. This experiment is a short-term disaster.

        But get real. The current commentators being hailed as gods are not as perfect as many are espousing. Pick a different battle.

  57. The Gaffer says:

    The Awful Announcing Podcast released an interview with me today at http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/march/aa-podcast-41-the-gaffer-epl-talk.html

    We discussed several topics including Gus Johnson, NBC taking over the EPL rights, whether there’s a need for an American voice in soccer, etc.

    Sorry about the quality of my audio, but the interview is worth listening to.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  58. Derek says:

    can we calm down on the picking apart every mistake for a guy doing his first 5 games? some of these are so minor they don’t deserve mentions. no, he’s not good right now but it was absurd to think he would be with zero previous experience. it sucks for fans watching the games right now but I believe he has shown the right attitude and work ethic and has shown flashes (his call on the Hazard goal got my pulse going and his excitement when Mata made that magical move only to be denied by De Gea was perfect, something you can’t fake).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RDf-buZTnB8

    • Cantona says:

      No! Not when he doesn’t know the rules and he is commenting the equivalent of the AFC/NFC playoffs….

      He doesn’t get a “pass”…. The criticism is very much deserved.

      Cantona—

    • Scrumper says:

      Last time I checked I was paying for FSC so they’re going to hear my criticism about Gus Johnson and anything else I don’t agree with. If I was paying for BBC, Sky or ESPN they’d hear the same criticism from me about Guy Mowbray, who hurts my ears.

  59. Larry says:

    Unfortunately this article says nothing new. We all know that Gus Johnson is not a competent commentator. Everything stated in this article has been stated before.

    By obsessively writing about him you are turning him into a sympathetic figure. No one likes to see anyone being criticized or “harassed” this much. It’s almost as if you are stalking the guy.

  60. Fog says:

    Gaffer…why dilute an already strong argument regarding Gus Johnson’s ability by nit picking and putting forth much weaker arguments. Johnson’s lack of knowledge of the game, his inability to anticipate and read the flow of the game, his complete inability to add historical and anecdotal commentary should be enough. Piling on with mistakes that are not unique to him only serves to weaken your original argument. You can see the effect by looking at the “thumbs.” They have gone from universal agreement regarding the extremely poor quality of the broadcasts to mixed reviews regarding your current arguments.

    Keeping Johnson’s poor performance in the spotlight is important. It is important to let Fox know that their viewership vehemently disapproves with their decision. But you need to keep it in the spotlight with strong arguments. It is not an easy task, but it is important to keep on point. Come up with up with inventive ways to express the universal disapproval. Organize an email campaign to Fox management or a protest against FoxSoccer2Go.com by advocating cancellations. Hit Fox where it hurts…in the pocket book and in the ratings.

    I am sure that someone can come up with Eric Shanks email and manage to post it here. Put the pressure on Fox in the true American way using Civil Disobedience. Organize protests aimed at the Fox Soccer Channel sponsors.

    You may have to step on some toes, but it is important to continue working hard to effect this change, don’t get lazy and dilute you arguments.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Point well taken, but I honestly feel that some readers are overreacting. The article was meant to be a summary to bring soccer fans who haven’t been reading EPL Talk up-to-date with how Gus Johnson has been doing so far.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Yespage says:

        You also need to add that he referred to a windscreen as a “windshield”, chips as “fries”, and said he took the “subway” instead of the tube! *insert angry smilie*

      • James says:

        Instead of continually making Gus Johnson the target (we get it he’s awful) why not spend more time going after Fox for their decision-making. Do some research and find out how they arrived at their decsion.

        Gus won’t be able to change enough to satisfy most soccer enthusiasts. Going after Fox might make a difference.

  61. tim says:

    OMFG! Get over it already!! If you dont like move back to that shittly island you call Great Britian and watch there! This blog is the biggest joke of soccer blogs. I used to love it and now its just a place to bitch and complain.

  62. Cantona says:

    Fox u-turn on Johnson????

    Johnson was scheduled to do the return leg of Arsenal/Bayern … USA Today is reporting Johnson will be in the USA for basketball on the Big Ten network… Don’t know if this means he will call the Arsenal/Bayern game off the tube or if Fox will leave it for the world feed. Maybe wih the score line they didn’t want to pay for a ticket to Munich and would get more bang for heir Johnson buck on basketball. Lets hope so!

    Cantona—

  63. danny says:

    Oh man, I wish he would stay away.
    Gaffer have any info on this?

    Gus, be a smart man and give up this “soccer” gig. Us and you alike will suffer less for it. Cheers!

    • Fog says:

      From the Big10 website today:

      “BTN puts the full court press on the Big Ten Tournament, including four live BTN games featuring Gus Johnson, as well as pre and post-game shows, post-game press conferences, and a Sunday night special following NCAA Tournament selections.”

      Big10 Network

      • Cantona says:

        This is an interesting development because he was promoted on Fox Soccer as doing this game and confirmed it in a couple o interviews… I’m at work so I do t know who is on the call for the match.

        Cantona—

        • Fog says:

          The Big10 Tourney doesn’t start until tomorrow (Thurs.) so there is always the possibility of Gus flying home after the Arsenal game, or calling it from the studio in the US or none of the above… :)

          We will see in 20 minutes.

      • Scrumper says:

        It’s white smoke at the Vatican, perhaps Gus Johnson is the new Pope.

  64. DoctorL says:

    “Keeping Johnson’s poor performance in the spotlight is important. It is important to let Fox know that their viewership vehemently disapproves with their decision”

    Once again: What viewership? Current viewership or subset of the current viewership, or Fox’s projected future viewership?

    I’ve got news for ‘ya, Fox is telling us by their selection of Gus who they think their future viewership is, and for the most part (like it or not) it ‘aint the folks who frequent this site…

    • The Gaffer says:

      It’s a very valid question DoctorL.

      My question is do you win over these new fans with coverage that talks down to them, or do you do it by providing exceptional programming that makes both new and old fans happy? I prefer the ESPN model from World Cup 2010, but on a much smaller scale money-wise — which can be done.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  65. danny says:

    Rob Hawthorne & Gary Neville

    phew, dodged that bullet…

  66. Fog says:

    No Gus!!! We’re on FIRE!!!

  67. Cantona says:

    Good! I now return to DVR exile … Until I watch the match tonight

    Cantona—

  68. Tony Butterworth says:

    and again. Man Utd fan since 1967 and the whole Man U thing is a fallacy built out of nothing.

    I’m no fan of Gus but the Gaffers constant articles are worse.

    I do enjoy Gnaw-Which the yellow team from East Anglia.

  69. brn442 says:

    Oh dear Gaffer, this is getting a bit much – really.

    Gus NEVER said Giggs was an Englishman. Giggs, whether he’s Welch or African, is probably the most decorated player in English Football History – there was no slip of the tongue, that’s what he meant. You are arguing semantics.

    The supposed mis-pronunciation of Juan Mata, is beyond silly.

    Americans (like many native English speakers) usually soften their “t’s”

    Show me an American that says “waTer”, as opposed to “worder” and I will ask to see his/her birth certificate.

    Do really want Gus to take on an English accent?

  70. Jose Mourinho says:

    What’s annoying isn’t that he makes these mistakes, it’s the fact that he doesn’t even bother to correct them. You’d think someone would have told him by now the correct ways to say Premier League and Mata, and that nobody who follows the club even a little calls it “Man U”. On top of that, he keeps repeating stupid phrases like “crosses over” and “clips it in” and of course, “IN THE SIX”. If he corrected these mistakes, it would at least give some support to the argument that he would be a great commentator if he learned more, but now it just seems like he’s not even trying to understand the game.

  71. OT says:

    Has anyone even attempt to send email to eric.shanks@fox.com?

    • Fog says:

      Is this his actual email or you best guess? I will send an email to see if it gets a response or returned at an invalid address.

      I suggest that anyone sending an email to Mr. Shanks do so with respect. Speak your mind, but do so in a professional manner. Remember that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

      Providing suggestions for solutions is always a good idea instead of just complaining.

  72. markus says:

    lol @ anyone complaining about pronunciations. It’s generally a language thing. British announcers pronounce Josue and Julio Cesar with hard “J” sounds, much like you would James or Jordan. that’s as big of a crime as any.

    • Fog says:

      Sorry Gaffer, but I have to say this: only an idiot would thumbs down this point.

      Absolutely one of the most demeaning things an announcer can do is to mispronounce someone’s name. It shows a complete lack of professionalism. It tells me that the announcer is either very lazy or just doesn’t care.

      This is probably the most violated pronunciations in the EPL.

      • Fog says:

        To belabor the point, I find it extremely amusing/irritating when the announcers try to pronounce Chicarito’s given name “Javier.” Invariably they prounounce the “J” correctly as an “H” but then use the French pronunciation for the “ier.” The resulting pronunciation can result in something like “ha-vee-AY”. In Spanish, the final syllable sounds like the English word “air”, thus, “ha-vee-air.”

      • Fog says:

        Gaffer, where is the “thumbs down” that was previously on markus’ original post?

        Why are posts being deleted and then re-added and now “thumbs” being deleted?

    • Fog says:

      That actually just happened today (Thursday) about 40 minutes ago.

      I was not going to be the first to bring this up…but, this is classic Gus Johnson. I have said many times that I do not prefer his style of announcing…but I have to give him his due on calling the dramatic moments, especially at the end of basketball games.

      I am sure that he did not need any reaffirmation of his ability, but if he did, this call certainly gave it to him. This is another classic Johnson moment.

      Again, I do not care for the overall body of work, or any of his soccer work, but in his given element, Johnson is in a class of his own.

      • Scrumper says:

        “I’m passionate about just walking across the street in New York City.” A bizarre but telling quote from Gus the “new voice of soccer” Johnson.

      • Tom says:

        yea they uploaded quickly, assumed it was last night.

        much rather have him on March Madness than the Champions League

  73. Tim Krass says:

    You continue to show your ignorance of English football in America and what people want. If you are such a great football journalist why do you stoop so low that you even attempt to criticize an American sports announcer when you are from the UK? You are turning into one big howler as they say. A joke in my book. You are ignorant of the fact that Johnson is an excellent college football announcer in the USA. We enjoy the guy, whether you get your rocks off by being critical of a guy prepping for his biggest assignment of his life. Criticize FOX if you want but leave the guy alone. You want criticism? You sound like a whining ten year old girl when you get on the EPL podcast and moan about Nani’s red card against Madrid. If it weren’t for the others on the pod that I enjoy listening to each week, I would stop listening to the pod as a result of your immature and inaccurate tantrum. Who do you think you are? You are not even close to the quality of journalist that you think you are. You sound like a whining, moaning girl. You disgusted me and the rest of the guys on the pod. Grow up and try a different tact, because your current context is disgusting and unappealing. You are very ignorant of what Americans and FOX wants and it is shows every time you open your trap, lately. Get a clue.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Tim, I think you’re confusing me with Kris Heneage. We are two completely different people. I thought the red card against Nani was a good call.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Tim Krass says:

        Incorrect, you are not willing to take responsibility for your own actions. You are trying to deflect.

        The red card was a joke and the ref took the game away from the players. You got in the pod that night and whined and whined.

        I lose respect for you the more I read what you write.

        Sad.

        • The Gaffer says:

          You’re obviously entitled to have your own opinion, but you’re still confused. I’ve only been on the EPL Talk Podcast once in the past 12 months and that was to talk about my team Swansea City winning the League Cup Final.

          I’ve been writing for EPL Talk for 7.5 years. There’s a body of work of several hundred articles — possibly in the thousands by now.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

    • Cantona says:

      Well this should be called “ignorant post of the year” You obviously have not seen twitter blow up every time Johnson is on the call. These aren’t people from the UK.. These are Americans! So Americans don’t want Johnson commentating ..get the facts straight. People want quality.. And for soccer Johnson isn’t it… He may be good for baseball, basketball but not soccer. It is blatantly evident he doesn’t know the rules and he can’t read a play building up…he is very bad and most Americans that watch the sport agree. Fox is trying to attract new viewers with his name recognition but its not working! American fans know better and deserve better, they should get quality… A screaming novice basketball announcer is not it. So get a clue!

      Cantona—

    • Scrumper says:

      Don’t sugar coat it

    • RoyG says:

      Gus Johnson is annoying and distracting as a football commentator. He basically calls out the players names and shouts when ever there’s a chance of a goal (an says X team takes a 1-nil lead ) .he reads stats the other times ,I haven’t heard him since last week FA cup game between United an Chelsea ..when I muted the tv an streamed other commentary on my laptop . I’m googling websites to vent my anger an not enjoying the games ..but hey it’s Fox choice to do this bullshit (an I’m American ) .. I’ll jus find alternate ways to watch the games.. No whining

  74. John says:

    HATERS GON HATE

  75. Tim Krass says:

    Cantona-

    FOX tries different things. Gus is getting better but FOX threw him in the deep end. He’s learning but not nearly as bad as people say. No need to pile on.

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