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Which Soccer Commentators And Co-Commentators Do You Dislike?

soccer commentators Which Soccer Commentators And Co Commentators Do You Dislike?

We all have our favorite soccer commentators or co-commentators, but many of us have ones that we dislike too — the ones that makes us groan whenever we find out they’re announcing our team.

You know the one(s). They’re the commentators that say the things that upset you — either by saying inaccurate statements or only seeing the negatives in your team.

I have one co-commentator that I dislike listening to. But before I share my opinion, feel free to let us know in the comments section below regarding which commentator or co-commentator you dislike the most, and why.

The color commentator I dislike is Barry Horne. He’s often a co-commentator on the weekend Premier League matches, but he seems to often be selected as the co-commentator for Everton, Swansea and Cardiff games. That’s probably because Horne used to play as a midfielder for Everton and Wales, so he’s well-versed on those teams. However, whenever he commentates Swansea City, he always gets under my skin because of the things he says.

This probably happens to most hardcore soccer fans, but we feel protective of our teams and sensitive to criticism. I understand that, but Horne seems particularly tougher on Swansea City than the opposition. For example, Swansea may miss a chance in front of goal, and he’ll criticize the player for a wasted opportunity. And then a similar chance happens at the other end of the pitch, but he praises the opposition for creating a good chance in front of goal instead of criticizing them for not scoring.

I’m not a fan of commentators stating the obvious after a missed opportunity. Horne and Trevor Francis are particularly guilty of this (as are dozens of other commentators and co-commentators), but I don’t like “in hindsight” commentating. I don’t want to hear what the player should have done after he missed an opportunity or made a poor cross. Of course, he should have scored or crossed the ball better. But he didn’t. There’s no point stating the obvious.

Share your opinion below regarding the commentators or co-commentators you dislike listening to. And tell us why.

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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 →

53 Responses to Which Soccer Commentators And Co-Commentators Do You Dislike?

  1. John says:

    Tony Gale, former West Ham player, despises Chelsea. He is so over the top and biased.

  2. Yepo says:

    Gus Johnson. When he is commenting, I feel like I’m listening to an American football, baseball, and basketball game all rolled into one. Oddly enough, I don’t feel like I’m listening to a football match……

  3. jimsakeeper says:

    Just the English language ones? Robbie Earle, Rebecca Lowe are good ones. Phil Schoen’s a miracle. And Ray Hudson, love him or hate him, it seems. I’m a fan.

  4. Cantona says:

    Arlo has been a big disappointment this year and he continues to get worse. He has turned into a commentator and co-commentator all in one. Factoids galore, birthday citations, history lessons…it’s all too much He barely calls the action on the pitch anymore. La Saux barely spoke yesterday.

    Tyler still the gold standard


    • Bobby says:

      La Saux doesn’t help Arlo at all. Totally agree with Arlo being the ‘fact man’ but that’s because La Saux only speaks when Chelsea is playing well. La Saux is waaaaay too biased and it’s getting annoying (even for Chelsea fans)

      • Rob says:

        Sorry, I disagree, I think La Saux is one of the best alongside Lee Dixon, they both speak as they would in a normal conversation unlike some of the ones that over react and try to use words they would never use in everyday life.

        • David says:

          I completely agree with the above comments on Arlo. He starts every game by going through a whole list of prepared facts and then rarely shuts up. He talks incessantly, rarely giving us the salient information about the events in the game we’re watching. It’s like a radio commentary with pictures. Good commentary should enhance what we’re watching. And to blame Graeme le Saux for any of this is ridiculous. He and Dixon are the two best colour commentators.

    • insert name here says:

      Did you just end your comment with your name ???

    • Onside says:

      Perhaps the negativity of the leading question brings out the worst in people here, but who can’t say that Arlo has been breath of fresh air to US soccer broadcasting.

      He doesn’t do English soccer commentary (yet), he does American soccer commentary (and I mean that as a compliment). Totally different audiences with different needs, he does a great job educating a generally uneducated audience – even if some of the educated ones resent it (clearly). Face up to the stage of evolution that US soccer is in, NBC (inc Arlo) have and are far exceeding the needs of that stage. NBC and Arlo have the range to evolve with US soccer knowledge.

      I purposefully choose not the nominate someone for dislike, not a constructive form of argument.

  5. shanks909 says:

    NBC are doing a good job, but I wish Arlo White would chill on all the stats and history. Some facts are fine, but not throughout the whole broadcast. We know you do your homework, but how about telling us what’s happening on the pitch.

    • Grayson says:

      I feel like he has to add all that extra stuff to engage the new American soccer audience NBC is hoping to draw in. Maybe it’s too much sometime, but I feel like it could bring the newer fans into the world of English football and the off the pitch storylines, which is key to hooking fans. Once a viewer cares about the story on and off the field, he’s really hooked.

  6. Cantona says:


    Gus Johnson
    Phil Schoen
    Ray Hudson
    Ian Joy
    All of Fox In house Europa League commentators



  7. Brian says:

    Gus Johnson
    Phil Schoen
    Jon Champion

  8. Brian says:

    I dislike Morgan Green, if you can call him a commentator. STOP the heavy breathing Morgan!

  9. Brian says:

    Ian Darke is great!

  10. goatslookshifty says:

    David Pleat is possibly the most annoying. He and Martin Tyler constantly wax historical of seasons yesteryear but Tyler has a ‘je ne sais quoi’ that still resonates with audiences today. Jon Champion sounds like he’s a horse race commentator from the 1940′s. No problem with him.
    The worst? Do we really need to ask? G.J.

  11. I’m offended that you didn’t include Andrés Cantor the most famous Goaallllll Spanish-language ESPN sportscaster in the United States. Cantor primarily provides Spanish-language commentary of soccer matches, though he covered 2010 USMNT World cup as well.

    There seems to be so much one sided Euro coverage. Remember no European Nation has ever one a World Cup on South American soil, but that story you’ll never read here.

    • Christopher Harris says:

      Alexander, Juan Arango writes a weekly column for World Soccer Talk on South American soccer, where he has reminded us a few times that no European nation has ever won a World Cup in South America! His next column should be coming out tonight or tomorrow.

  12. bennett311 says:

    I loved when Gary Neville did some color commentary. He is a terrific pundit and is spot on with explaining some of the advanced tactics going on.

    He had some zany quote about David Luiz’s movement saying, he looked like he was controlled by a 12 yr old with a playstation controller. Brilliant.

  13. R.O says:

    Well, as most comments already point out (and agree) on the dislikes, I’ll post my likes.

    Derek Rae
    Martin Tyler
    Ian Darke
    Alan Fountain (Bundesliga – English commentary)
    Andres Cantor

    I think most agree that Gus Johnson is the worst! But then again, most American Soccer announcers aren’t very good. I think it’s because their style is using American sports commenting practices and the US audience loves lots of chatter and info that isn’t related to the game.

  14. Flyvanescence says:

    Not sure about my least favourite lead guy is (besides the obvious Johnson). Maybe Arlo White. Never cares for him.

    Worst colour commentator: Taylor Twellman. Just doesnt even seem to understand the game above MLS level.

    As far as favourites, the duo of Martin Tyler and Gary Neville doing Champions League games right now is probably the best running now.
    I’ll never forget Ian Darke and Steve McManaman on Saturday mornings, though.

  15. Burnsey says:

    Gus Johnson, Ray Hudson, Bodo, Onion Bag Tommy Smith (remember him) should never be allowed on a game. Martin Tyler is the Vin Scully of football. Gary Neville is excellent, and I really like Davie Provan.

    • R.O says:

      Hey Burnsey, It’s Tommy Smythe with a “y” as he notes.

      While he may be annoying at times, He and Derek Rae were excellent for Champions League Coverage when ESPN had CL. I miss those days. At least ESPN showed games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, channels that 90% of people had, unlike FOX with FOX2. The studio folks at ESPN for CL was 1000% better than FOX.

  16. Faithless says:

    Agree with the Arlo comments. Too much blabbing and not enough talk of what’s going on the field. But he is tolerable

    Gus, Phil and Ray are ones I can’t stomach.
    Pleat hurts my ears with his simpleton comments. Robson can be very biased

    For the most part if you like the premier league you get the TWI guys which are top notch

  17. Burnsey says:

    Can’t stand Arlo and LeSaux by the way

  18. Burnsey says:

    Listening to Martin Tyler do the Liverpool v Sunderland game. How come I haven’t heard the phrase “BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE ” that Arlo screams out 10 times a telecast?

  19. Smokey Bacon says:

    Stewart Robson is a right pain in the a*s with his Sargent Major delivery style, thick accent and irritating “Manch United”. Adds nothing as a color commentator. Le Saux and others are far superior.

  20. Ian Thompson says:

    So glad that Max Bretos is no longer doing commentary, I cannot stand him and his moronic comments. I can’t think of many off the top of my head who drive me crazy in the Premier League, but definitely wish that Sir Ian Darke, Ray Hudson, and Martin Tyler could commentate on everything.

  21. Huw Roma says:

    Arlo White is abysmal. He repeats the same phrases over and over. When Chelsea beat Arsenal 6-0 he said at least four times that they had conceded 17 goals in three games this season. He wouldn’t let it go. Even Le Saux heard it too many times. There’s nothing even remotely special about him and I’d rather hear Darke and McManaman. The best is Martin Tyler, even at this late stage of his career. He has an intelligence that nobody else does, with astute observations that befit his 40 years of experience. Everyone else pales in comparison.

    • Daniel says:

      During the Liverpool-Swansea City game, Arlo White must have mentioned the reaction of “The Kop” at least a dozen times. I thought he must be on commission with the fans at Anfield.

    • David says:

      Arlo is a huge disappointment for all the reasons mentioned above. He has never learnt the basics of enhancing a picture. His prepared stats and historical references, usually at their worst in the first ten minutes of matches, drives me nuts.

  22. CTBlues says:

    Not a big fan of Jon Champion.

  23. IU Gonzo says:

    I may be in the minority but I’ve never cared for Peter Drury.

  24. jtm371 says:

    When Cantona and I bang on Arlo we get hammered but other than GJ he is the most disliked. I don’t understand.

    Oh yeah Arlo sucks did not mention GJ because i won’t listen to him.

    Darke Tyler Neville Mcmanaman :)

  25. mark says:

    Seems to be a consensus on the dislike for Gus Johnson. I really don’t have a problem with the current line up of commentators but I have my favorites:

    Ian Darke
    Martin Tyler &
    Steve Bower-he follows in the foot steps of the above two.

  26. Iancransonsknees says:

    Has listening to (and seemingly disliking) GJ’s attempt at football commentary spoilt listening to him commentate on other sports?

  27. Casey G says:

    this is the easiest answer in all of commentary, RAY HUDSON, he provides absolutely no good insight or analysis into a match, and his ridiculous catch-phrases are just horrible.

  28. Tim Howard is up there. I know he is only part time but keep this up and Martinez will replace you by August.

  29. Faithless says:

    Eric Shanks is doubling down with Johnson.. He is alienating even more people with the polarizing choice of Eric Wynalda as co-commentator. They continue to think this stunt will get mainstream eyes to soccer. It won’t.

    Gus is now even seen by the mainstream as a bad soccer announcer.. Hopefully this debacle will cost Shanks his job at some point and they get someone in who treats the sport with respect and not treat it like a televised high school district game

  30. MUFC #7 says:

    Arlo White is absolutely abysmal, hate his dumbed down factual reporting of a match, there’s no soul. He’s an MLS commentator, has no business being the lead for the premier league, why the hell he does the two biggest Bpl matches every weekend is beyond me. He treats the premier league like a game of MLS where he’s the only one talking, spitting useless facts continuously, over exaggerates throughout the match, uses ridiculous sayings (Giroud’s meaty French forehead anyone?). He obviously works hard to memorize facts, like the teachers pet trying to kiss up to his corporate ‘teacher’ & say look how much work I’ve done, while generally not knowing much about the nuances of the tactics & nous of a match, even his co-commentators seem sick of his over elaborate dummying down of the game. His style may have worked in MLS for an overall less knowledgeable fan base just starting to understand the game at a higher less, but MLS is his ceiling, time to ship him back to the states, I’m really tired of watching matches on mute. He should’ve paid his dues & started off w/ some of the smaller matches, rather than twice a weekend of his babbling during the biggest matches. Gus is terrible, but I blame fox for throwing an ill prepared man w/ no knowledge of the game to call huge matches.

    Would to hear Martin Tyler calling the biggest matches, but I do like Drury & a Champion. Nbc should start scaling back the twice a weekend shift & allow some of the other great announcers to at least get a chance at a big match. Though I’ve been very happy w/ the two Robbie’s & Rebecca Lowe. Martini seems to be getting better under their tutelage. Please nbc make a change, begging you to in fact.

  31. Burnsey says:

    Agree…..Arlo is getting worse. I always mute the first 90 seconds when he summarizes the Pregame without coming up for air. He should be in the studio because that is his strength…..discussing all the history and facts and gossip of the game. A commentator should just be focussed on the actual match taking place, and using the analyst for his expertise to explain when incidents develop.

    NBC have done such a great job with the Studio. Rebecca is off the charts. The two Robbie’s are good, and Martino is fine as a local filling a need to appeal to the American viewer. The Pregame is perfect. Thank goodness Alexi is where he belongs with the Fox crew. They are like a minor league team compared to NBC. Now if only Fox could hire away Arlo which is the perfect fit for each other.
    Martin Tyler, Jon Champion and Drury are all top notch. It’s a pity that Darke and McMannaman never made the switch when NBC took the EPL as they seemed to appeal to everyone. At least we don’t have to suffer Gus any more. That was the biggest disaster of all.

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