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'I Think Roy Is Fantastic' - Gary Neville Lists His Favourite Pundits

'I Think Roy Is Fantastic' - Gary Neville Lists His Favourite Pundits
Maurice Brosnan
By Maurice Brosnan
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Punditry was always a feature of Gary Neville's career, going back seventeen years to his appearances on ITV during the 2002 World Cup which he missed due to injury.

It is seven years since the former Manchester United man retired but he remains firmly rooted in football through his media commitments and ownership of Salford City. Detailed breakdowns and an open platformed allowed him to thrive but the 44-year-old is adamant that it is not as easy as it looks.

Speaking to Balls.ie at the official launch of Cadbury’s third year in partnership with the Premier League, Neville explained that when it comes to pundits, there are only some positive examples and plenty of negative ones.

I think Roy (Keane) is a fantastic pundit. I think Jamie Carragher is a fantastic pundit. I think Paul Scholes is a fantastic pundit. Glenn Hoddle is a really good pundit, different viewpoints. Graeme Souness. There are lots of good pundits out there. I say lots, not that many.

It is not easy. I see a lot of people talk and say 'anyone can be a pundit. They just sit on TV and talk.' A lot of people do it very badly. They can't communicate or articulate the message. Can't hit the fans between the eyes with the messaging.

"I found it difficult for about a year and a half. My first Monday Night Footballs were a disaster. Speaking too quickly. Rushing things, not knowing where to put my hands, frantic, not having the ability to slow things down in my mind so I can get the right question out to managers and coaches.

"People think it was a success from the beginning, it was not. It takes time and you have to work at it."

gary neville pundits

Yet there is no doubt pundits, for better or for worse, continue to carry power. Their words can dictate national discourse and influence viewers opinions, but Neville is adamant that should not infiltrate the thoughts of the individuals at the centre of the game.


Amidst all the tactical and technical breakdowns, damning criticism is still continually forthcoming from the studio. He has sat alongside Keane as the Irishman labelled Paul Pogba 'a big problem' last season.

Neville himself once suggested that it seemed like centre-back David Luiz was "controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd on a Playstation".


Sharp assessments but words that should not penetrate the bubble.

I was talking to Roy about it this morning.  He mentioned 'why would a manager ever give airtime to a pundit? A pundit never lost a game of football, never won a game of football. Never influenced a team selection, never scored a goal or gave a free-kick away. They are completely irrelevant ot the actual match. I think managers are paranoid.

"I don't understand why uncontrollables impact a football manager or a football team or a football player. I never once allowed the words of a pundit to impact my performance on a Saturday."

Gary Neville pundits

Gary Neville speaks with the same passion that epitomised his earlier efforts in the industry and yet, surprisingly suggests he is now in the twilight of his career. His reasoning is simple. There is a ten-year cycle of a pundit. After that, it can become stale.

Neville is good at the game and the game has been good back. The last thing he wants to do is spoil that.

I feel like I am done a little bit. I feel a point will come in three or four years where I will have to think about a change of direction. I feel like I have been speaking all my life, even though it is only seven years on the television but there comes a point where your views on football are your views on football.

Every situation repeats itself year on year, I think the commentary is something I can continue to do because matches bring up new things but in terms of tactics or major incidents. I think essentially once your views are known on those subjects, they are repeated year on year.

SEE ALSO: 17-Year-Old Troy Parrott Named In Spurs Champions League Squad



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