Which current footballers have the potential to be interesting pundit?

The subject of players turned pundits came up on this week's Team 33

BY Raf Diallo 17:56 Wednesday 9 March 2016, 17:56 9 Mar 2016

Joey Barton (Picture by: Daniel Hambury / EMPICS Sport)

Thierry Henry's post-match comments about Arsenal's performance against Manchester United two weeks ago drew enough coverage that Arsene Wenger had to have a tiny bite back at his former star player in a press conference.

However, although Henry's opinions carry weight as an Arsenal legend, he has many a detractor when it comes to the overall quality of his punditry, in comparison to Sky Sports colleagues Jamie Carragher and the now Valencia boss Gary Neville.

The dilemmas and challenges surrounding former players going into punditry was our talking point on this week's Team 33.

But which current players have the potential to be interesting analysts of the game and the world around it - as the areas beyond the ebbs and flow of a game are increasingly important?

None of the names below are guaranteed to be an insightful success like a Gary Neville or a Brad Friedel, but they could make interesting options.

You can listen into this week's Team 33 on the podcast player:

Joey Barton

An obvious choice perhaps, the former Manchester City and Newcastle player has already dabbled in punditry and is viewed as someone who has no qualms sharing his opinions about players, managers and anything else.

His Twitter profile more than hints at that!

Viewed as a troubled figure earlier in his career, the Burnley midfielder has reinvented himself into an interesting and thoughtful speaker and also has the added dimension that he has also spent a spell abroad with Marseille to broaden his horizons.

Juan Mata

Articulate and also the writer of his personal blog, the Manchester United and Spain midfielder could have potential in the future as someone who has been in teams that have won Champions League and World Cup crowns.

Thus far, it's hard to think of him having expressed a strong opinion on a particular subject which might be a downside, but being a verbal headline generator isn't necessarily what a pundit should be.

A strange choice perhaps, but one with untapped potential ... potentially.

Vincent Kompany

Across the Manchester divide, City captain Vincent Kompany often cuts a very intelligent and thoughtful character, who has shared views on many topics outside football:




While the tweets above may not relate to football, he is an elite player who does show an interest in broadening his horizons.

Asmir Begovic and Petr Cech

Like Kompany, the Chelsea and Bosnia international goalkeeper is thoughtful and intelligent. And like Barton, he has filled in as a pundit before, namely on the BBC.

The ex-Stoke keeper is also articulate and perhaps Arsenal counterpart Petr Cech is another potential option being similarly well-spoken, ultra-experienced and giving off the impression of being able to hold his own.

As Cech's manager Arsene Wenger said recently, the Czech legend left the Arsenal boss "deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge".

Jon Walters

The Stoke and Ireland forward has played at all levels from the lower leagues to the Premier League and major international tournaments like Euro 2012 and finger-crossed he stays fit for Euro 2016.

Honest and well-spoken, mixed in with his experience below and within the elite, he could make an interesting speaker on aspects of the game.

But as Friedel once said during 2014 World Cup coverage, it's a "game of opinions", so if you disagree with any of the names above or want to add some other options, tweet us @teamthirtythree.


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