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Steve McManaman Joins ESPN As Soccer Analyst

Most of already presumed it, but now the news is official. Former England National Team player Steve McManaman has joined ESPN as a soccer analyst for its networks in the United States and United Kingdom.

In the U.S., he will primarily serve as a studio and match analyst for the network’s coverage of Premier League matches, the U.S. Men’s National Team, marquee Major League Soccer events, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  On ESPN UK, the former Liverpool FC standout will contribute as a studio pundit.

McManaman, a studio analyst during ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, will be based in England.  He will pair with co-commentator Ian Darke for live commentary from Premier League match sites for ESPN’s U.S. audience on the Saturday, 9:55 a.m. ET, matches, and will be in the studio for 7:30 a.m. matches same day.  In addition, McManaman will make select appearances as a pundit on ESPN UK’s studio programming during the Premiership and FA Cup seasons.

“Steve McManaman was one of the finest players of his generation. As a broadcaster, he has a keen ability to communicate with great insight and clarity, and he is not shy about making his opinions known.  He is a great addition to our team,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Remote Productions.

McManaman said:  “It is a pleasure to be joining such a great group of people who really love football.  I totally enjoyed myself during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I look forward to being a part of the ESPN team again.”

McManaman will make his Major League Soccer studio debut Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., on ESPN2 – the San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls match.

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  1. Daniel Roth

    June 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Steve McManaman prefaces every response with “Of course! Of course he is, Ian” or “Yeah, as you say…”

    Incredibly irritating and an absolute bell-end.

  2. GrkStav

    December 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    He is one of the least knowledgeable co-commentators around. He basically does ZERO homework before the matches that he co-commentates on and he obviously does not follow the major European football leagues religiously enough to be considered a knowledgeable commentator.

    Amazingly enough for a former LFC great, he seems particularly clueless about current LFC players. He once had the audacity to claim that Maxi Rodgriguez taking a shot with his right foot was “with his weaker, right foot”. One must have been watching LFC (and Argentina and previously Atletico Madrid) games on Braille to not know that Rodriguez is a right-footed player.

    He’s also incorrigibly “English” in his fascination with the ‘two strikers is positive, attacking football” notion. He considers the 4-2-3-1 and the 4-3-3 as cautious or ‘not positive’ approaches because . . . they contain only one “striker”.

    Hopeless. Not to mention his amazingly poor grammar (“Should have took”, “Should have went”, etc.)

    • The Gaffer

      December 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Macca may not have the best grammar, and every co-commentator makes mistakes, but who do you put on a pedestal as the best out there GrkStav?

      The Gaffer

  3. Rick M

    April 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Can someone at espn tell both Macca and Darke to please shut up spoiling the games with their constant idiotic chatter, please,please,please.

  4. IC

    April 3, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Steve McManaman must be the worst commentator I have ever had the displeasure of being subjected to. Inarticulate, ineloquent and robotic. I actually have to watch the games with the sound turned off now because his inane drivel is so distracting from what is actually happenning on the pitch. I thought ESPN were professionals…..

  5. BergkmpWndrlnd

    December 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Another serious question on this: why can’t someone tell Macca to keep his freaking microphone down from in front of his face??! I know the commentators do this in the UK, but it looks ridiculous!

  6. John Regis

    December 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Just watching the Liverpool / Villa match, your halftime report was a bit off mate, Liverpool haven’t won 18 Premier league titles, they’ve won 0.

    Also, please stop ruining all the other results on Saturday. You and Ian are the only commentators that talk about every goal as it happens. With today’s technology we can all check scores instantly and can record every game in HD.

    • kitten

      October 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      Just happened upon this old article. With all due respect John, you are the one that’s a bit off mate. Liverpool has indeed won the Premiership League 18 times. The only one who has surpassed that record is Manchester United after they won their 19th Premier League title at the end of last season.

  7. Simon

    November 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Dose this spell the end of John Harkes as the 1 thing that John Harkes will be doing is mls that is it it seems like he is being dump off the usa games.

  8. Mike

    November 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I thought he did well as a studio analyst during the World Cup. Don’t think I’ve seen his work as a game analyst, but seriously, can’t be worse than John Harkes. Impossible.

  9. robster craws

    November 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    you scouse bastard! you scouse bastard! you scouse bastard!

  10. jon cav

    November 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    An awful choice, what a jibbering idiot, who lacks vocabulary and sincerity, I thought he was the worst colour commentator at the world cup and his studio appearances made my skin crawl

  11. Jonno

    November 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    He’s a terrible commentator, the way he adds on meaningless phrases to everything he says like “it’s almost as if..” drives me crazy. You can count the number of insightful comments he makes per match on one hand. And that’s on someone who only has 3 fingers. In short, I’m not a fan.

  12. JC

    November 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I like him as a pundit, where his exposure on TV is roughly 1-2 minutes. As a commentator I think he is dreadful.

  13. Fernando

    November 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    As a pundit he’s ok. My hope is that he leave his any condescending tone on American football at home.

    I would’ve preferred Andy Gray as his personality works much better.

    • Kevin

      November 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      I think Andy Gray is a bit busy.

      • Fernando

        November 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

        Well obviously…

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