What actually makes a good pundit?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

That is the first phrase that sprung to mind when I decided to tackle the issue of what makes a good pundit.

I say that because it is quite closely linked to the way we view pundits and the way pundits come in for flack or praise on social media.

One man’s good pundit can be another person’s nightmare pundit. It is all down to interpreation, what you look for in a pundit and what you want to see.

But as we all know there are some great pundits out there, but also some god awful ones.

We can go from the likes of Neville and Carragher with their funny and insightful punditry, all the way down to Garth Crooks.

Just look at his team of the week and you can make your mind up over whether he makes a good pundit or not.

So what do people want in a good pundit?

Well for a start, they want a pundit to have done their research and sound like they know what they are talking about.

Every pundit in football has played the game and has a wealth of knowledge about the game.

But then they’ll come out with an absolute stinker that has no research and no thought behind it and you’ll think, ‘what on earth are they on about’.

Martin Keown is a prime example of this. Comes out with things he almost thinks he needs to say without giving any thought to it.

Second of all, behind knowledge and research, you want your pundit to have passion.

There’s nothing worse than a pundit sitting there blank faced and with no emotion in their voice analysing a game.

You want your pundit to bring insightful chat, but bring it in a way that makes you want to listen.

Neville and Carragher do this down to a tee.

Third I think you want a bit of entertainment, you want someone there who knows what they’re talking about but at the same time wants to entertain you.

They want to make a joke, have a laugh, entertain the viewer but also back up what they are saying in an informative way.

And we’ve got a lot of pundits who maybe tick one or two of these boxes, but others who don’t tick them all.

And we’ve also got pundits who don’t get things right every time, but that doesn’t mean they’re always bad at their job.

Crooks for example, his persona doesn’t exactly scream entertainment. When he talks its rarely correct, and in a recent team of the week he included Joe Gomez who hadn’t even played.

Mark Lawrenson, for me, is a pundit who brings intelligence and know how and backs up what he’s saying, so he ticks one box.

But he doesn’t bring that entertainment value for some.

Micah Richards does, he does that by laughing and joking but some would say his football chat is poor and not thought out.

Then you’ve got someone like Chris Sutton who has gone too far the wrong way in trying to entertain and wind people up.

But he almost doesn’t need to because his analysis is a lot of the time spot on and he talks sense.

There are so many of these types of pundits these days, who say things to wind people up without actually believing it themselves.

A lot of it is done on Talksport in all fairness.

For me, the type of pundit I like to listen to are the likes of Stephen Warnock and Pat Nevin, who to be fair feature more on the radio than on TV.

Sharp analysis, always backed up and they’ve clearly researched it.

They both like to have a laugh and have a joke and to me that brings entertainment value.

But its all subjective and some would rather listen to Micah Richards laugh at Roy Keane all day, than listen to an insightful analysis from Pat Nevin.

Football is a game of opinions and so is punditry.

So why not comment below on Twitter and let me know what you think makes a good pundit, and which pundits you think are the best in the business.

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