There’s rarely a televised match in the UK without a pundit of a Liverpool persuasion appearing, but which of their former players makes the biggest impression on our television screens?
Despite the retirement of Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson over the past decade, a fresh swarth of Liverpool players have graduated into the television studios.
We’ve identified the eight former Reds players that regularly feature on Sky, BT, ITV and the BBC and ranked them from worst to best.
8. Michael Owen
7. Steve McManaman
There was a period, in the not-too-distant past, when every Premier League match on BT made millions scream ‘Stop trying to make Fletch happen!’ every time McManaman opened his gob.
But the former Champions League winner has toned that down, along with his incredibly partisan commentary of Liverpool matches, in recent years and is now a much calmer presence on the gantry.
Seventh is about right though. His early commentaries saw us sectioned after screaming ‘Fletch’ at strangers in the street.
6. Danny Murphy
One of our highlights of the season was Murphy’s reaction to the infamous ‘porn-noise’ saga that elevated the BBC’s coverage of Wolves against Liverpool into immortality.
As Gary Lineker reacted like a chic uncle, and Alan Shearer prepared gags from the co-comms gantry, Murphy sat awkwardly silent in the manner of a Victorian aunt that’d just spotted the ankles of the niece she’s chaperoning.
Hampered by a vocal range used in Nytol adverts, the former midfielder does come across as a grumpy sod but does offer cogent analysis on a semi-regular basis.
5. Jamie Redknapp
Redknapp has seemingly been relegated to Sky’s Saturday evening coverage since Roy Keane almost made him cry over Sergio Reguilon.
The former England midfielder does get angry on occasion, but with all the menace of a puppy carrying a buttercup in its mouth. But he remains firmly part of the furniture at Sky, which almost certainly has nothing to do with his photogenic face.
Redknapp is also a stalwart on the gameshow ‘A League Of Their Own’. We still haven’t found anybody willing to admit they watch it.
Things got very heated between Jamie Redknapp and Roy Keane 👀🍿pic.twitter.com/8bJ7506Kxn
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) February 28, 2021
4. Steven Warnock
Warnock is perfectly serviceable and has become a staple of the BBC’s FA Cup coverage with his fair analysis and giving the impression he knows what the Altrincham left-back had for lunch.
But, while he’s cleared the shin-high bar of finishing in the top half here, we still prefer the former defender’s radio output as he’s given the space and time to truly flourish.
3. Peter Crouch
Popular, down-to-earth and self-effacing, Crouch has done extremely well for himself since he retired from professional football.
His offerings on BT Sport are an enticing mixture of considered and entertaining. We don’t begrudge him any of his success.
2. Graeme Souness
Souness is surely entering the final years of his punditry gig, but the former midfielder remains just as combative in the studio as he was on the pitch.
From taking Roy Keane to task during the World Cup – ‘if you shut up for a moment, you might learn something’ – to winding Gary Neville up like an old jack-in-the-box after that 7-0, Souness remains good value.
And that’s without his iconic defence of the cat booted around by Kurt Zouma, describing the poor feline as if it was a defender conceding a soft free-kick.
Plenty of people find him outdated, but the Sky studio will be poorer in Graeme’s absence.
1. Jamie Carragher
There are moments when Carragher’s voice reaches a pitch unseen outside of Battersea Dog’s Home – such as his infamous scrap with Keane over the merits of Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo.
But the former Liverpool captain was proved right on that occasion. And on many others too.
His analysis is thorough, engaging and generally fair. While the banterthon with Gary Neville can get a little tiring at times, Carragher has yet to slip into the caricature mode that’s afflicted his Monday Night Football colleague.
A worthy winner.
By Michael Lee