We have now become accustomed to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher as pundits more so than the former footballers they actually are.

While Neville made a name in the broadcasting side of the game following his retirement in 2011, few of us expected Carragher to closely challenge him in the Sky Sports studios a few years later.

Personally, I view them both as some of the higher class pundits currently available across the major networks of BT Sport, Sky Sports, BBC and ITV.

Even so, there has been an apparent decline in the authenticity of Gary Neville’s opinion ever since he returned from his underwhelming stint at Valencia.

The former Manchester United skipper was a ‘tell it like it is’ figure in the studio prior to his failed project in La Liga and even though we are still treated to his in-depth analysis, it does not seem as honest as it used to be.

Neville prefers to sit on the fence these days regarding managerial issues and his change in tune towards Arsene Wenger after strongly scrutinising him in the past epitomises that.

Carragher on the other hand, is still able to provide sugacoat-free reviews of issues concerning various teams and even some of his own ex-teammates.

Nonetheless, Neville’s new approach of holding back criticism on certain topics is forgivable since he probably has far more empathy now for managers and back-room staff, having worked at Valencia under harsh circumstances.

Then again, you could argue that the likes of Graeme Souness and Niall Quinn are pundits who have been in Neville’s shoes before – both as a player and a manager – and yet they are not afraid to express their views without restraint.

Carragher’s shortcomings will probably be related to his inability to appreciate the full art of attacking football and his constant nit-picking of defensive woes within teams.

Either way, the duo are definitely the best there is in the business and whether that is due to a shortage of quality pundits in this generation is debatable.

But one thing for sure is that Neville and Carragher are a level above the likes of Thierry Henry, Michael Owen and Jamie Redknapp who just cannot refrain from stating the obvious and giving absolutely no form of insight to learners of the game.

But if I had to make a choice between the pair, Neville would be the winner because he is clearly skilled at meticulously analysing all aspects of the game – from defense to attack – even though he was only a defender.

Jeremy OsbornePost
We have now become accustomed to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher as pundits more so than the former footballers they actually are. While Neville made a name in the broadcasting side of the game following his retirement in 2011, few of us expected Carragher to closely challenge him in the...