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10th Jan 2017

Eamon Dunphy slaughters the quality of football pundits on British TV in latest rant

"They're really hopeless"

Robert Redmond

“They don’t respect their audience. That’s really what bugs me.”

Eamon Dunphy has rarely been shy about passing judgement on the quality of British football pundits.

The former Millwall and Republic of Ireland midfielder was asked about his counterparts across the water during an interview last March. And he had some less than kind words about two Sky Sports pundits.

“Thierry Henry and Niall Quinn? For fuck’s sake! And you can quote me on that. Thierry Henry is there on £2m a year, just sitting there as a tailor’s dummy.”

On Monday evening, Dunphy was asked about the subject topic again in light of a David Walsh article.

The Sunday Times’ chief sports writer was critical of the BBC’s coverage of the FA Cup game between West Ham United and Manchester City last Friday night.

Walsh questioned why the BBC studio panel of experts – Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Ian Wright – spent a significant proportion of their half-time analysis pouring over a marginal penalty call.

“The sum of it all didn’t amount to a halfpenny’s worth of enlightenment,” Walsh wrote.

On Monday evening, Dunphy was asked about the column on 2FM show Game On. The RTE pundit had some praise for Graeme Souness, Gary Neville and Ian Wright, but was generally very critical of the standard of football analysis on British television.

“It’s very rare for someone to call them out the way David did,” Dunphy said.

“They’re really hopeless. Some of them are good. Souness is excellent. Gary Neville, I think, is very good.

(Photo by Ben Radford – Sky Sports/Getty Images)


“Ian Wright is very good when he puts his mind to it. But they’re not encouraged to really put their minds to it and really be rigorous and robust, which is what you need and what you should expect.

“They’re hopeless. I don’t like to say it,” the RTE pundit continued.

“But you have to have a commitment to the audience and that’s what’s missing in England.

“And, also, you have to engage people as analysts who know their stuff. You have to know the game when you’re on live television and giving analysis, you have to actually know it.”

Dunphy also took aim at BT pundits Rio Ferdinand and David James, before accusing broadcasters of failing to respect the intelligence of their audience.

“What really baffles me is what the television companies are thinking about,” Dunphy said.

“BT Sport, for example, have invested about £2bn in rights and then they get David James and Rio Ferdinand. They don’t respect their audience. That’s really what bugs me.”