Alongside Liverpool, Manchester United seem to be the club contributing the most former players to current football broadcasts in the UK. This is no surprise, given that many of the players from the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson squads of the 90s and 00s are now at the prime age for football punditry.
Some of these famous faces have gone on to receive all the plaudits for their unbiased and learned approach to analysing the beautiful game. Others, not so much.
We are here to celebrate the five best former Manchester United players turned football pundits, but first a dishonourable mention for those who often miss the mark.
Paul Scholes is often derided for his punditry on BT Sport. This is quite surprising, given the technical wizard that he was on the pitch during his playing days. With geniuses of the game like Xavi Hernandez, Ronaldo Nazario, Pep Guardiola, and many, many more touting him as one of the best to ever do it, his performances on screen as a pundit have taken many by surprise. He is often described as dull, boring and someone who doesn't even seem to love the game.
Dion Dublin may not be always be remembered for his time at Old Trafford but he did spend two of his formative seasons with the club. He had an outstanding playing career, but after segueing into hosting property shows on TV and then returning to punditry, he has gained very few fans. His analysis is often very flawed and he is currently battling against various others for the title of the King of Cringe when it comes to football punditry. Social media users regular beg for Dublin to return to the world of real estate.
Finally, there's Michael Owen. He spent some of his final seasons at Old Trafford and contributed some very memorable moments. For this, he may be remembered fondly by some United fans. However, nowadays, for neutrals he is known for his bang average analysis of football on BT Sport. Aside from that, he's a bit of a weirdo but that's a subject for a whole other piece.
Now for the good stuff.
5. Rio Ferdinand
Coming in at number five is Rio Ferdinand, one of the club's best ever central defenders. He proved himself to be a classy operator as part of a formiddable centre back partnership alongside the incomporable Nemanja Vidic. As a pundit, he is a lot better than some of the other United ex-pros on our screens. He does love a good hot take, and this can sometimes land him in hot water, but his analysis of defensive positions and styles of play are often on point.
4. Patrice Evra
The left back extraordinare became a hero to Man United fans during his eight-year stint at Old Trafford. Since the end of his career, he's moved into football punditry and for the most part he has been a welcome addition. While his analysis on Sky Sports is rarely groundbreaking in technical terms, he brings a certain levity to many of these dicussions when the likes of Keane and Sounness have a habit of making things a little too intense. Evra doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, and as his fans will know very well, he just loves the game.
3. Roy Keane
Speaking of Keane, he is one of the highlights of watching football on TV in general. While his combative and often dour takes on the sport may turn some people off, he continues to have widespread appeal. His adorable bromance with former Man City right back Micah Richards has lit up our screens for a few years now, and his regular battles with the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports make him a must-watch entity.
2. Owen Hargreaves
He was criminally underrated as a player, and likewise as a pundit, Owen Hargreaves is one of the soundest minds on football TV these days. He provides tactical and technical analysis far above what most of his contemporaries on BT Sport are capable of, and for that he deserves a lot more attention. Like former Man City defender Nedum Onuoha, when you know Hargreaves is on the panel, you know you're going to get some deep insights into teams, players and leagues that you just can't get from your average pundit.
1. Gary Neville
Love him or hate him, Gary Neville still has to top this list. His star does seem to be waning somewhat. A mixture of his increasingly political Twitter tirades and his many recent faux pas and way off-the-mark hot takes are souring some people on the former Man United right back, but on the whole he still remains box office, must-see and ultimately very well informed. He does a good job of remaining unbiased while covering his former club for Sky Sports, something which many people didn't see coming when he first started his media career, and something which endeared him to many fans in the beginning. While he may be starting to ruffle some feathers with other elements of his personality and his craft, his unbiased and measured approach still rings true for many.
There you have - the top 5 former Manchester United players who are now successful pundits.
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