Wednesday 18 September 2019

The pundit 11: A no-nonsense team who are not afraid to voice their opinions

John Giles and Roy Keane make the pundit 11
John Giles and Roy Keane make the pundit 11

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has launched a withering attack on pundit Gary Neville following the former Manchester United and England defender's criticism of goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Neville is not the first ex-footballer that has refused to hold back when expressing their views in punditry roles, following in the footsteps of the likes of old team-mates Roy Keane and Paul Scholes.

Here is an XI of pundits who are not afraid to speak their mind.

Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel

The former Manchester United number one took to Twitter to air his views on Hull winger Robert Snodgrass, who appeared to dive to win a penalty during Saturday's 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace. Schmeichel was outraged by the Scotland winger's apparent simulation, labelling him "an embarrassment".

Right-back - Gary Neville

Neville hit back at Karius for mocking his failed spell in charge of Valencia on Instagram. Under a picture of former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher's newspaper column, in which he criticised Karius for his recent performances, Neville wrote: "My sincere apologies Karius. You're right. A failed manager hasn't a clue. I won't copy your great fan, pundit and club legend again." That comment led to Klopp leaping to the defence of his fellow German in Monday's fiery press conference.

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Gary Neville

Centre-back - Jamie Carragher

Having spent his entire career at Anfield, Carragher cannot hide his passion for Liverpool when working as a pundit. He criticised the team's performance following February's League Cup defeat to Manchester City and his scathing comments on Karius led to Klopp responding to Neville. Carragher has also previously hit out at Jose Mourinho for the then-Chelsea manager's "embarrassing" interviews in 2015.

Centre-back - Alan Hansen

Hansen was left with egg on his face after a young Manchester United squad made a mockery of his comment that "you cannot win anything with kids" in 1995. Little did he know that the Neville brothers, Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and David Beckham would transform United into the most dominant force in English football soon after.

Left-back - Phil Neville

Talk about brotherly love! Phil stuck up for his sibling by telling Karius to "keep your mouth shut and do your job" during Sunday's Match of the Day.

Midfield - Robbie Savage

Controversy has always followed Savage around, whether he was on a football field or in a commentary box. The former midfielder sparked a war of words with John Terry in late 2015 by following Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand in criticising the Chelsea defender's performances. Terry responded by saying: "I've taken that on the chin: Rio, Carra, Neville, the very best I've come up against in the game. I take that on the chin.When others speak, maybe I don't take it on the chin. When players have not had a career, played at a really bad level in their career... Robbie Savage being one."

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BBC and BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage in a moving moment on BBC radio

Midfield - Roy Keane

Not afraid to speak his mind, Keane has let his tongue run away with him several times during his punditry career. Claudio Bravo, Ronald Koeman, Christian Benteke and Eden Hazard have all recently felt the wrath of the Republic of Ireland assistant manager.

Midfield - Paul Scholes

Rarely seen in the media during his player career, Scholes has come out of shell when acting as a pundit. His blunt criticism of former club Manchester United became a recurring theme during Louis Van Gaal's time in charge at Old Trafford.

Midfield - John Giles

The "senior analyst". Leeds legend Gilles has been an integral part of football analysis in Ireland for decades and quite simple, there first name on the teamsheet.

Striker - Gary Lineker

The Match of the Day host is always quick to take to Twitter to express his views on the game, usually in a humorous way. That led to him presenting the show in his underpants after previously tweeting: "YES! If Leicester win the @premierleague I'll do the first MOTD of next season in just my undies." He did not expect the Foxes to pull off one of the greatest triumphs in sporting history.

Striker - Chris Sutton

New to the punditry scene, Sutton often causes a stir with his direct comments. The ex-striker recently had a disagreement with Stephen Craigan on the appointment of Ian Cathro as Hearts boss, while also slogging it out with Savage and Derek Johnstone, the latter on a Scottish radio show.

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