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Ian Wright hits back at criticism aimed at Eni Aluko after her on-air mistake goes viral

Ian Wright hits back at “horrible” criticism aimed at Eni Aluko after her on-air mistake goes viral on Twitter overnight.

Aluko, who won more than 100 England caps in a glittering playing career is now part of the star-studded ITV line-up covering the World Cup in Qatar.

Aluko, a former Lioness, is a regular contributor to the broadcaster alongside Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Wright on Monday night.

She has been criticised for making an error in the build up to Brazil’s crushing round-of-16 victory over South Korea.

Aluko talked about Tottenham striker Richarlison’s record and the history of the national team during a preview at Stadium 974.

“He’s the top scorer for Brazil over the last two years.. He’s for a great record – 19 goals in 40 games, do the math and it’s a goal-a-game pretty much.”

Despite the fact the error was clearly because of a slip of the tongue, supporters on social media jumped on it, with one video getting as much as two million views in less than 24 hours.

However, Ian Wright quick to respond to the negativity, posting on social media: “I’ve made countless mistakes live on air. The replies to this are horrible. You man are so pressed by women in football that you take pure pleasure in this. Grow up.”

Eni said on Twitter: “Got myself a First class law degree, 102 caps & a Doctorate but Maths wasn’t always my forte☺️

“Nearly 1 in 2 games is the math on Richarlison. But some of you weirdo twitterati knew that already.

“Might also learn from the rest of the analysis conveniently ignored.”

Aluko became the first female pundit to appear on BBC Match of the Day back in 2014 and after her retirement in 2020, often makes an appearance as a pundit.

Wright has also been a valued member of the BBC, but did leave towards the start of his own punditry career, after stepping away from the line-up in 2008, Wright claimed he felt that he was only on the show to act as comedic relief compared to the more serious pundits on the panel.

“I feel like I’m just there as a comedy jester to break the ice with Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen, who just do run-of-the-mill things. I can’t do that any more. People want something different,” he said at the time.

He has since reunited with Gary Lineker and co, making him one of the nation’s most beloved football pundits.

Earlier in this tournament, Wright was in a row with Des Lynam, accusing the current incumbent of the role, Laura Woods, of over familiarity with the former Arsenal player.

Lynam said a column analysing the work of the pundits and took aim at Woods for referring to the pundit as ‘Wrighty’, despite many other presenters doing the same.

“This was the first live match for ITV and was presented by the ever–smiling Laura Woods. She has done quite a lot of presentation work on both radio and television and comes over as both confident and capable,” Lynam wrote for the Daily Telegraph.

“She called Ian Wright ‘Wrighty’ which sounds comfortable coming from the likes of Lineker but it made me slightly wince. I may be wrong and perhaps they are close friends but the over-familiarity made me a touch uncomfortable.

Wright defended Wood on social media, posting: “How’s Des vexed that Laura called me ‘Wrighty’!!! Looking for something negative to write,” alongside a GIF featuring the text “I know a hater’s voice when I hear it.”

He then doubled down after Laura Woods called him Ian during the broadcast of France vs Denmark. “You know what Lozza, it doesn’t matter, you don’t have to call me Ian. Look, how long we’ve known each other? Call me Wrighty like you normally do,” he said.

Fans reacted as Ian Wright hits back at criticism aimed at Eni Aluko after her on-air mistake goes viral…

@Gnat68: If you want equality in sports punditry then you have to take equal mocking. She wasn’t mocked because she was a woman, she was mocked because it was a ridiculous statement whether a mistake or not 🙄

@ambersalamander: His point is that it isn’t equal. He is saying she got mocked a lot more than he ever does for comparable errors.

@Hiddenvillian93: doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, black or white, gay or straight – you can be bad at a job. There are fantastic women pundits/presenters – Eni Aluko just isn’t one of them. It isn’t hating on women in football just because people don’t rate her as a pundit.

@Don__Gatto: Ian. I admire you but any man would have received the same hate and jokes. Twitter haters dont discriminate. I don’t really think this is because of genre. Would you have commented something similar if the comment was made by a male?

@LeeNoble20: Twitter haters don’t discriminate? Are you sure?

@ArsenalRich68: See this is the thing. We are not allowed to criticise certain people as the sexism or racism card will be brought out. Can we not judge everyone simply on their ability to do the job? Eni was a great footballer but is a poor pundit. Same with Roy Keane.

@markSmith0: Honestly, how insecure does someone have to be to try to use this against someone as if they’re lacking in knowledge, or they’re somehow of a lesser gender, simply because they slipped up on air like thousands of people before her. She’s given huge amounts to the game globally.

@wil_pompey: It’s a funny slip up but not cos she’s a woman, Michael Owen isn’t a woman (I don’t think) and he gets absolute pelters for these sort of comments

@tkteakster: Would love to see these keyboard warriors go live on air, to millions of people, under extreme pressure, they’d be a mess!

@CrowsleyEllis: Doesn’t matter if it was a man or women. They still would have been called out or mocked or whatever people say. Same with Jermaine Jenas yesterday…

@Kel_NFFC: She’s made countless mistakes over the World Cup. There are plenty of people (men and women) who cannot stand her punditry because she hasn’t got the knowledge other female pundits have. And she has a blatant dislike of Nottm Forest & that’s been obvious since the Brighton game

@willfoy316: If micah Richards had made this mistake fellows pundits wud have pulled him on it in a banter way. But because its a woman banter can’t even be an option now either. Some of the replies are way overboard. But surely it can be a banter thing as it would be if a male pundit done it

– Paul Merson gets ripped for his mistakes all the time.
– Roy Keane has multiple parody pages about him.
– Charlie Nicholas has that meme after his shit joke
– Everyone openly ridicule Jenas & Danny Murphy
Don’t act like female pundits get grief, because it’s just not true.

@goatersmotors: There is absolutely prejudice against women in football from a lot of people, but any pundit on TV is getting paid lots of money to provide ‘expertise’ in their analysis. These kind of mistakes always get flagged and laughed at, male or female. Look at Owen, Jenas etc.

@Daveed_Loughlin: Folk trying to make a gender issue out of this 😂 any pundit would get ripped for that. Hartson only the other week got a clip put on social media for saying Pulisic was Croatian 😂 Charlie Nicholas still gets ripped for “specs-gate”. Stop looking for an issue to get offended 😂

@mattnffc_: Ian that’s not true. There is some very good female pundits. Unfortunately aluko just isn’t very good at her job. Her gender doesn’t matter. Similar to the likes of Michael Owen, he just isn’t very good at being a pundit

@BirksMartin: If this had of been Keane or Micah, they’d have all had a 5 second laugh on air like they usually do at each others expense and that’d of been the end of it.

@KOwriting: I knew what she meant as they had just talked about Richarlison scoring a goal a game in the last nine matches or so. Her analysis has been fine in this tournament.

@nathanmyates: Comments are harsh but this has nothing to do with gender. Paul Merson gets hammered everytime he’s on TV

@WestHamMatters: Love you Wrighty but male pundits/commentators are criticised too; Is it not allowed with a female? She’s just a bad pundit. She’s also said Jimmy Greaves in her top 10 as he scored a hattrick in a WC final. No way there’s not a man or women out there that is better at the job.

@LufcTj93: o Ian, she’s a very poor pundit that’s why she’s slaughtered. There’s some very good women commentating, offering punditry and presenting football. They are being let down by these former players of the women’s game who have such awful views. The men’s game is so much different.

@stores_8: I don’t understand why these top female pundits are still hell bent on promoting the men’s game instead of the women’s game Ian, the WSL is still on in England but all the best female pundits are still working on the men’s game. This is doing nothing for the WSL!

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