THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

A brief guide to foot­ball pun­dits on Bri­tishtv

Esquire Middle East - - OPINION -

GARY NEVILLE

Capped 85 times for Eng­land, Neville’s post­play­ing punditry ca­reer has helped usher in a new era of pro­fes­sion­al­ism with his tac­ti­cal in­sight, and abil­ity to come at a topic in a new way. His role on Sky Sport’s Mon­day Night Foot­ball of­fers deep dives that are the clos­est thing foot­ball has to ESPN.

GRAEME SOUNESS

A world-class mid­fielder back in the 1970s and ’80s, the fiery Scot is a man who seems con­stantly an­noyed by the state of mod­ern foot­ball. He is hon­est, and due to the length of time since he was last em­ployed as a player or man­ager, of­ten dev­as­tat­ingly so. Still, when Souness barks, peo­ple lis­ten.

ALAN SHEARER

His first sea­son on Match of the Day was a bit of a dis­as­ter, filled with clichés (“for­eign­ers like to dive”) and stat­ing the ob­vi­ous (“he hit that bril­liant”). It was hard to know why the BBC paid so much for him, or why Shearer thought he didn’t need to do any re­search. Although he has im­proved since then.

PAUL SC­HOLES

Another ex-pro who re­mains fix­ated on the hap­pen­ings of his for­mer club, Manch­ester United. Of­fers lit­tle in the way of sub­stance, aside from re­bukes against Manch­ester United not play­ing the “Manch­ester Unit­ed­way.” One of the least in­sight­ful pun­dits around.

THIERRY HENRY

Quite pos­si­bly the nadir of the su­per­star pun­dit era, Henry was paid a barely be­liev­able $4mil­lion (AED14.7M) a year to ut­ter in­stantly for­get­table ba­nal­i­ties. Luck­ily for foot­ball fans, he de­cided to use that pay­cheque to take his coach­ing badges, and is now the head coach of AS Monaco.

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