How Euros pundits have left viewers irritated by ‘grandstanding’

Viewers have complained that Euro 2024 pundits are competing with each other to generate clicks with over-the-top commentary and analysis.

Last night fans vented frustration after Alan Shearer launched into a passionate rant following England’s lacklustre performance against Denmark.

Following the 1-1 draw, Shearer lamented: ‘It wasn’t good enough. Listening to Kyle Walker‘s interview, we’ve all been there as players, yes you do try and take the positive, and yes it is tournament football, but it’s our job and the coaches’ job to dissect what’s gone wrong, and there’s plenty to look at there.

‘I mean where do you start? No energy, no guile. There’s so much more to come from those players out there.’ 

But fans branded his grating criticism of the England squad and manager Gareth Southgate as exaggerated, suggesting his brutally honest opinion was an attempt to generate views on social media.

Alan Shearer launched into a rant about England's lacklustre performance in last night's Euro 2024 group match against Denmark

Alan Shearer launched into a rant about England’s lacklustre performance in last night’s Euro 2024 group match against Denmark

The so called ‘Roy Keane’ effect has seen Sky Sports use his often memorable commentary in viral clips

Gareth Southgate reacts after the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Denmark and England last night

Gareth Southgate reacts after the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Denmark and England last night

Others suggested that he should stop making ‘unhelpful’ comments such as comparing England players’ performance last night to how they would play for their clubs. 

The so-called ‘Roy Keane‘ effect has seen Sky Sports package clips of his outspoken analysis and opinions that often go viral.

The former Manchester United player is known for not mincing his words when criticising players and their performance.

In a recent tirade, Keane slammed Manchester City striker Erling Haaland for acting like a ‘spoilt brat’ following the player’s reaction to being substituted against Wolves last month.

After last night’s England encounter, while anchoring for ITV Sport, Keane blasted that England players were missing ‘bravery and courage’.

In a honest assessment of defender Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s capabilities in midfield, he said: ‘He’s come up short in the two games. It was a big ask for him and he’s not up to it.’

Another frank commentary of England’s campaign so far came from Shearer’s colleague and former defender Micah Richards

Discussing Gareth Southgate’s side, Richards said: ‘It’s not good enough now.’

Calling the team ‘lethargic’, he quipped: ‘I don’t know if they are being told to play like this.’

But some feel the memorable quotes and soundbites from commentators are being deliberately confected to produce viral online content. 

Micah Richards also didn't hold back on his criticism of the England squad following last night's draw

Micah Richards also didn’t hold back on his criticism of the England squad following last night’s draw

One user wrote:  ‘It is always amusing when England, as always pre game get hyped like yesterday completely OTT, then post game all down and in reverse gear. All professionalism goes out of the window when England are discussed by the media.’

‘The usual insanely OTT reaction to a crap England performance, led by the blood pressure junkies on the BBC‘, another said.

And another angry viewer wrote: ‘Can a producer not tell Shearer to shut the f*** up?’

‘I love BBC pundits in particular, Shearer forgetting to sit on the fence with Southgate. The guy is useless. His commentary indicated this. Questioning his tactics and player choice. But as soon as he’s back in the studio, it’s Gareth this…’

 ‘BBC should be ashamed of the commentary and punditry. I think they all have very short memories of what it was like to be playing and experiencing constant criticism. It wasn’t great but unhelpful comments such as they don’t play like they do for their club. Not helpful at all.

Speaking to MailOnline, publicity expert Mark Borkowski said that during Euro 2024, two terrestrial broadcasters are under pressure to retain a big share of significantly larger audience than those enjoyed by paid-for channels throughout the year.

He said: ‘It is a very competitive arena  where there is always going to be another man or woman who wants your spot.

‘Because both terrestrial channels are competing for a very large audience.’

For pundits, he says, this period of heightened national interest is a moment to make their mark and expand their audience.

Richards, a former Man City defender, branded the team 'lethargic'  and lacking 'energy' or 'aggression'

Richards, a former Man City defender, branded the team ‘lethargic’  and lacking ‘energy’ or ‘aggression’

‘There are some people who are very much using those personal channels as their way to build their audience. 

‘People see this as their moment to create an impact. It is a sort of survival of the fittest.’

But he added that this can ‘outrage people who are not hardy football fans’. 

And brutal assessments of players and managers are what most audiences expect, he added.

‘That’s the sort of critique that they expect. To talk about football you’ve got to have a point of view.’

The Euros and World Cup are also patriotic events about which people feel strongly and create a sense of national identity, he said.

‘The definition of patriotism is being seen through England football. This an occasion  where people can be seen to be patriotic. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to exploit that.’