The pundit game is as strong as ever. The suits are getting sharper, the ages are getting younger and the analysis is becoming more innovated. Here are five pundits that we loved in 2013.
The newcomer on the block in 2013 has risen straight to the top for his appearances on Monday Night Football alongside once long-time rival Gary Neville. His analysis has been good, when we’ve been able to understand his thick Scouse accent. But we love him for his always enjoyable tit-for-tats with his colleague.
Best quote: “No one wants to grow up to be Gary Neville.”
The RTE stalwart has always been good for a soundbite, as thousands upon thousands flock to hear his views on that Bundesliga game he once watched. The memorable highlight of his year was probably tearing into Noel King after Ireland lost to Germany. Plenty more material awaits, now that Giovanni Trapattoni has been put aside for Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. Get yo’ popcorn.
Best quote: (On Glenn Whelan) “A terrible player, he can’t run, he can’t pass, he can’t tackle. He can’t see anything… and he drives two Ferraris!”
Each Champions League or international night, a certain part of us wants Keane to explode into a tirade against Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, John Delaney or maybe the tea lady. He’s kept his cool for the most part, when not criticising the hell out of Joe Hart. His highlight was that documentary with Patrick Vieira, where he tried to claim Brian Clough was the best manager he had played under, and that Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes weren’t good enough for his Manchester United XI.
Best quote: “In my career I came up against a lot of big players so I had to get stuck in. The bigger they are the harder they fall, I used to say.”
The man who inherited the role innovated by Andy Gray and became the most loved pundit ever. If you’re not tuned in on a Monday Night and tweeting about his amazing analysis you are just too uncool for school.
Despite being given a sidekick in Jamie Carra, Neville has kept his analysis at an optimum level.
Best quote: (When describing Robin van Persie as a burglar, Carra said Neville would be under the bed) “You’d be the burglar!”
At the end of the World Cup, the always comfortable and always well paid pundit is hanging up his analyzing pen for the last time. He goes into the shadows having provided the most infamous pundit quote of all time, when he audaciously claimed that you can’t win anything with kids. He was unbelievably good in 2013.
Best quote: “That line pretty much made me, simply because I got it so dramatically wrong!”