Warren Barton Says That Gus Johnson Is One of the Best Soccer Commentators In The World

FOX Sports soccer pundit Warren Barton says that Gus Johnson is one of the best soccer commentators in the world.

Johnson, who has only been commentating soccer games on TV for one year, is “as good as anybody in the world,” according to Barton who was interviewed by The Big Lead. Here’s what Barton said:

“I think Gus Johnson is as good as anybody in the world. Yes Martin Tyler is the benchmark but you’ve got Gus Johnson 15-20 years in the game and he’s right behind him. I’m a big fan, not just because he’s with us, but for what he does with the game, how strong he is to put his reputation on the line, to do that. That takes not only guts, but it takes confidence to do that and he’s got all our confidence and the network behind him.”

Barton’s words are another example of how FOX Soccer is out of touch with soccer fans in the United States. To tout Johnson’s 15-20 years of experience in basketball, UFC, NASCAR and other American sports as transferable to his skills as a soccer commentator is laughable. Johnson’s embarrassing commentaries for FOX Soccer last season were distracting to the viewer who just wanted to watch a soccer game without having to wince at the repeated mistakes that Johnson made on live television.

To even mention Gus Johnson in the same breath as Martin Tyler is ridiculous. Tyler and many other pros, many of them Americans such as Phil Schoen and Glenn Davis, have been paying their dues and perfecting their craft for decades, not just the one year and handful of games that Johnson puts in on a part-time basis.

With Barton coming out to defend Johnson, he now joins Dave O’Brien on the short list of industry talent who believe in Gus.

In his quote above, Barton mentions that he’s a big fan because of what Gus Johnson does with the game. But what exactly has Gus Johnson done “with the game”?? That is, other than to shout that anything that comes close to the net IS ON FIRE!?

FOX Sports has already invested a massive amount of money in signing Gus Johnson to a lucrative contract, so Warren Barton and his FOX Sports colleagues will continue to try to defend Johnson no matter what the viewers think. Based on the latest PR campaign, expect Johnson to return to the FOX Sports 1 airwaves to commentate a UEFA Champions League match next month. And prepare yourself for another massive backlash on social media from soccer fans who are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens with an inferior commentator ruining games.

51 thoughts on “Warren Barton Says That Gus Johnson Is One of the Best Soccer Commentators In The World”

  1. Finally! Something on this site to make the “Spurs are primed for the Champions League” piece seem realistic by comparison!

    1. It’s not the writer’s fault that Tottenham completely capitulated against Chelsea. They have the talent and depth to compete for a top four place, but sometimes teams don’t live up to the expectations of the fans, manager and critics. We can’t predict how players are going to react in big games, and Tottenham’s footballers completely fell apart in Saturday’s embarrassing performance.

    2. Seems silly to bring up your feelings on another opinion piece in the comments section of an un-related article.

      1. I only do so because that was a RIDICULOUS piece that only got a fraction of the derision it deserved. I say this as a Spurs fan! They obviously do have the talent and depth to be top four…but they always find a way to choke.

  2. To be fair I think Gus had improved by the time the final rolled around last year. Still quite terrible but not completely unlistenable as he had been. Keep up that progress and he may even be almost competent by 2018!

    1. Do you not understand he is ruining essentially the Super Bowl of World soccer every year in preparation for a lesser skilled tournament?

      This argument of “he will be ok for the World Cup” is STUPID

      This guys doesn’t even know the rules.. Sorry but the commentators I listen to must have a better understanding of the game than my four year old daughter


  3. I always loved Gus’ work in American sports, and I’m willing to let him learn on the fly.

    You blow this completely out of proportion. To say that he’s ruining games is a ridiculous statement.

    He’s the closest thing to a Mexican commentator we’ve got.

    1. “You” might be able to tolerate letting him “learn on the fly”, but then that clearly shows that soccer is not a big deal to you. This article has not blown anything out of proportion, if anything you’re understanding of the issue is lacking. As a major passionate soccer fan, I gave Gus a chance, and each time it was a disaster. I’ve never seen someone try so hard to be something he isn’t. Seemingly if he just stopped trying to manufacture substance and was more natural, he would probably do better. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t work for Gus, he needs to just let it go.

      Warren Barton saying he is one of the best is an absolute fallacy if there ever was one. What an absolutely ridiculous claim, if he really believes that (which I don’t believe for a second), then Warren is just as done as Gus.

      1. I don’t know how you can say soccer is not a big deal to me because I’m not whinging about the commentator. He’s been crying about Gus for over a year now; GET OVER IT! It reeks of jealousy or something at this point.

        1. My guess is that you too are learning the game on the fly…that’s the only way anyone could literally tolerate the amateur

          1. Your guess is just that, a guess, and an incorrect one. And all this amounts to is a bunch of babies whining about something they are LITERALLY powerless to change, to borrow your word.

        2. Why should Chris or any of us “get over” having to put up with incompetent commentary? There is no one in the sport worse than Johnson. He deserves every bit of stick he gets and so does Fox for inflicting him on us.

  4. I’m glad you did a full article on this. This PR stunt is as laughable as it gets. Barton DOES know better and this shows he has sold out to the $$’s of FOX. There is no way he believes this, and his Tyler comparison is about as disrespectful as it gets. This guy has never even commentated on a full season.

    With all the basketball he has done for FOX 1 this year he will be even LESS prepared than he was last year when he was having lunch with Martin Tyler and photo ops with Sir Alex… So this year I guarantee he will be even WORSE

    Have some balls FOX.. Use the Sky feed, it’s your last chance to do so… Then do yourselves a favor and HIRE Martin Tyler.. Before BT does.


      1. You can be respectful to a colleague, but to say he is one I the best in the world just shows the disrespect to soccer fans Who know better.

        Whatever respect I had for Warren Barton just went out the window..


  5. Now that I have discovered the joy of watching sports events with the mute button, I no longer care how Uncle Rupert’s accountants at FOX blow his money….

    1. Spot on. It also helps that I usually watch the matches on FoxSoccer2Go. Last year they gave you the option of choosing the “non-Gus” feed.

      1. That’s the option I chose too (although I won’t have that option this year because I decided not to renew when NBC got the rights to the Premier League). But just the fact that they have that option should tell Fox all they need to know.

  6. I had to read that quote twice to make sure it was real. What is Barton on about? A guy does what 5 top level games and now he is one of the best in the world??? Hahahaha.

    FOX you are losing more credibility with each act more than David Moyes *. ( that’s the Manchester United boss now Gus)

    Rats on a sinking ship

  7. This nonsense only further cements Barton’s growing reputation as a buffoon. As an ex-pro and a Brit used to the excellence of the BBC and Sky, I can’t believe he seriously thinks that GJ is right up there. Fair play for supporting a colleague but he is undermining his credibility with stuff like this.

  8. Hey FOX how about you fire Joe Buck and hire Martin Tyler to cover the NFL and MLB and see how the fans of those sports react.

  9. Gus is from my hometown. I want to support his career and American enthusiasm for the sport, but it isn’t something I particularly find that insightful. Since the NBCsports takeover of premiere league we haven’t particularly felt the absence of Gus.

    I do find it interesting that the halftime chatter and the pregame discussions between British former players and USMNT or MLS stars seems to be pretty formulaic. The americans pose a theory, and then the former british players shoot it down or disagree. And then they move on to the next topic without allowing the discussion to evolve.

    Former USMNT/MLS star: “I think the game has gone this way based on [X] players doing [x].”

    Former FA/EPL Player: I totally disagree for X reason.

    It kind of paints the american players no matter how good they might be as analysts as merely second class speculators where their opinions are really just as valid as those from the UK.

  10. Warren Barton works for Fox.
    Gus Johnson works for Fox.

    What did we expect him to say when asked about Gus Johnson?

      1. Barton is begging for air-time with a company that is loosing the battle for TV rights. If kissing up to the networks golden boy commentator means he’ll get a co-commentator spot for the CL Final, he’ll do whatever it takes.

  11. I love Gus when he calls US games. He brings an excitment that is sometimes needed and I hope he continues to do them…..With that said he is not one of the best in the world and who the hell cares

    1. A lot of people care… Who would want a mediocre talent that doesn’t know the rules call their matches?? What excitement? Screaming at shots not even near the goal? Doesn’t know a routine save from a spectacular one….

      Get real…

    2. Right. He brings an excitment by screaming. Tha makes sense. He ‘brings” an excitment that the game otherwise doesn’t have. If you need Gus to “bring” excitment you shold reevaluate your perception of the sport. Obviously people care who presents the nightly news or their favorite sport or we wouldn’t be communicating in this forum.

  12. Warren Barton is defending someone he likes. Look, Barton isn’t a very good analyst and Johnson at his best is an average announcer for football. Defending a friend, no crime there.

    Is he right? Of course not, but let’s not pretend this anything more than that.

    1. Defending what … No one attacked him.. He just gave his so called opinion… Which shows his pandering to his boss at fox.

      I would love someone to bring a case that Gus Johnson is one of the best soccer commentators in the world.

      1. I don’t understand your point.

        You think Barton answered the question on Johnson without trying to back up his partner over last year’s backlash? I mean c’mon.

        No one is making the case he’s the best, but I’d bet you’d like someone to.

        1. We’ll let me draw you a picture

          Point: no one attacked Gus.. No one mentioned “the backlash”

          Point: Barton Did state “Gus is as good as anyone in the world”. So I would counter you and say he does think he is the best in the world save Martin Tyler

          Understand my point now?

          1. Ok, you win.

            Clearly since everyone aside from Warren Barton agrees with you, I’d like to know what debate is happening? There is none.

  13. I’m sorry but Gus Johnson will never be fit to be in the booth for soccer games. It’s actually quite the insult to us soccer fans using someone who knows nothing of the sport. Thankfully ESPN has the rights for the World Cup. I would have gone insane if Gus Johnson was doing the U.S. National Team matches.

    1. “Thankfully ESPN has the rights for the World Cup. I would have gone insane if Gus Johnson was doing the U.S. National Team matches.”

      I would do what I did before ESPN used British announcers for WC,watch the games on Univision. Although since Andres Cantor left, Univision hasn’t been the same.

  14. What the ???? Barton must be living in an alternate reality or Universe.

    Gus Johnson over does every little thing. The play could be 50 yards away from goal and player makes a simple pass and Gus gets all hot and bothered and yells like a goal is about to be scored. He did the same when he was the Quakes announcer. Horrible.

    Gus needs to spend some time with Ian Darke or Derek Rae, then he may learn something and become decent.

    By the way, Arlo Smith is become “Americanized” by his play calling – endless yack-yack. Not good.

    1. I cringe when I see the commentator schedule and his name. He needs to get back to calling the action on the pitch.


  15. Breaking down Mr. Barton’s statement, how does it take “guts” to attempt to commentate a sport you have no knowledge about and put your reputation on the line?
    Let FOX pay Warren Barton to commentate the next Superbowl and see what the reaction would be.

  16. Of course Warren Barton “thinks” Gus is great, wonderful, God’s gift to football commentary, eloquent, subtle, insightful, literate, thoughtful and every other adjective in or beyond his vocabulary. Now why is that? I wonder. Well, consider who pays the truly fine WB for his own work. His views of the noisome nuisance that is Gus J are not truly fine, and broadcasting what I suspect he really thinks would imperil his paycheque. Gus Johnson, a vastly ignorant man with a style reminiscent of a Southern Preacher on a roll is bringing Fox Sports into serious disrepute.

  17. Barton is horrible as a commentator. Dour, smug, and not very illuminating. But even he looks good compared to what Johnson brings to the table.

    It is pure failure no matter how you look at it from Fox. Painfully bad.

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