11 Current Footballers We Want as Analysts and Pundits
A lot of footballers turn to coaching and management when their playing days are over, some opt for a seat in a TV studio sharing their thoughts and others just disappear never to be heard of again.
Just because you are good at playing a sport doesn't make you a good pundit or analyst, however, there is a case to be made for anyone's name to be thrown into the ring.
This list is a reflection of the outspoken, the media savvy, the technically-minded, the arrogant and the crazy players who would provide me with the combination of knowledge and entertainment I prefer from TV studio pundits.
I hope you enjoy.
Follow me on Twitter @petercwebster.
Mario Balotelli is Manchester City's enigmatic but undoubtedly talented striker who has a penchant for extrovert activities.
Since his move to Manchester City from Inter Milan, Balotelli has been a headline hit for his antics both on and off the pitch, which have included throwing darts at youth players, driving around with 5,000 GBP in his car, advising bullies at a primary school and, more recently, setting off fireworks in his home.
Given the craziness that seems to follow Super Mario around, just imagine what amazing comments may come out of the Italians mouth if he got the chance to air his views.
Unfortunately, being only 21 means that injuries aside, Balotelli shouldn't be sat in a studio for at least another 13 years. I guess we'll just have to wait.
Liverpool fans know all about Carragher's love of the game, and he has been spoken about as a potential manager at Anfield one day.
“It's a long way off but Jamie has got all the attributes to become our manager,” Liverpool defender Martin Kelly told reporters (via goal.com).
That aside, Carragher's knowledge of coaching and analysis could make him a great pundit after his playing days are numbered.
Match of the Day's Alan Hansen loves to discuss defensive frailties on the BBC in England, but it's been a long time since he played the game competitively. Carragher would give a more up-to-date insight on players in the Premier League and how he prepared himself for playing against them.
American goalkeeper Brad Friedel is still performing at a high level for Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur at 40 years old, but retirement must be in the cards over the coming years.
It would be nice to get another American voice in the studio, rather than leave American viewers stuck with the outdated Alexi Lalas. Goalkeeping analysis in the studio is rarely done by actual goalkeepers, and this should change if we want a better perspective and understanding of the decision making processes they face.
David Beckham signed for LA Galaxy and with it he began promoting soccer to the U.S. nation.
Being an Englishman who now lives in America, I have personally seen the growth of soccer in the USA, and it is rapidly on the increase. I'm not saying Beckham was responsible for this, but he's certainly marketed the sport well since he's been here.
At the age of 36, time is running out on Beckham's playing days, and a step into punditry and analysis seems a natural transition. Beckham is no stranger to the camera after a string of Adidas and Pepsi advertising campaigns and would likely prove to be a natural for the TV studio.
His history and knowledge of playing in top competitions and leagues throughout Europe would also hold him in good stead.
A man who always says what's on his mind is Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton. As notorious for his tweeting as much as his football, Barton has had a colourful career so far and isn't afraid to provide an opinion. Whether you agree with it or not is another matter of course.
Barton has over 650,000 followers on Twitter, which suggests people want to hear what he has to say. Expect frank opinions if he was to ever be offered a seat in a studio.
Nicklas Bendtner is definitely a man with something to say.
Upon declaring himself one of the world's best strikers, Bendtner became a bit of a tabloid joke in England and is now trying to convince people of his ability at Sunderland.
One thing you get with Bendtner is a break from the norm. Bendtner is known for requesting tabloid journalists to dispense with boring questions and ask something more interesting when interviewing him.
Given that he likes to hear alternative questions, one assumes he has alternative statements to make. I wouldn't mind hearing them as they may provide some amusement.
Thierry Henry has a tremendous résumé in the world of football, so who better to sit and provide in-depth knowledge and analysis on the beautiful game?
There's something about Henry's cheeky grin that makes you instantly warm to his personality, and once he decides to hang up his MLS boots, I'm sure that networks will be fighting to offer him a seat in their studio.
With a penchant for flair when he was at his best, expect Henry to be looking for similar traits if he were to analyse a game.
Becoming a pundit might finally give Carlos Tevez some incentive to improve his English rather than sit and complain to the media about how few Manchester restaurants there are to satisfy his hunger cravings.
Let's face it, he's not going to be playing much football before January, so let's put him to use!
Due to his mesmerizing trickery and speed, Ronaldo tends to get fouled a lot, which may one day lead to an earlier than expected appearance in the pundit's chair. One thing for sure is that defenders will be happy to see the back of him when he does.
The reason for this choice is twofold. Firstly I'm sick of seeing Michael Owen walking around on crutches after learning whatever his latest injury entails, and secondly, because I'm sick of reading about him "not being finished." He is, and he has been for some time.
Michael my old friend, it's time to take a seat in the studio instead of the substitutes bench.
Ryan Giggs has made this list solely for being the most decorated player in English football ever.
Giggs has pretty much won every major trophy there is to win, barring international competitions, but the latter is hardly his fault.
With retirement surely on the cards over the next season or so, Giggs could provide a wealth of knowledge on how the game is played at the top level and an insight into one of the world's most successful clubs—Manchester United.
Despite not being a Manchester United fan myself, I would still be interested to hear the opinions from someone as decorated as Giggs.