Gary Neville (pundit)

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Post by Samritpal Singh on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:03 pm

Not as a player, but as a pundit that guy is absolutely spot on. So far everything I heard from him make complete sense.

Yesterday he said "Before Christmas I've mentioned a few times that Balotelli is the kind of player who could win or lose you the Championship." And rightly so!

Also said this when Balotelli got sent off : “It’s always a bit of a circus with him and every time I’ve been to the circus,I’ve always seen some clowns. He should have been sent off in the first half."
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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:09 pm

Seems to get positive reviews from everyone.

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Post by Chris Chan on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:14 pm

Neville is a brilliant pundit. considering everyone bar utd fans would have been itching to criticise him when he first started, i dont know anyone who thinks he is doing a bad job. He gives balanced and honest opinions and also adds a lot of value by pointing out observations most people will have missed.

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Post by Alex Hadjicharalampous on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:21 pm

It's funny as I really disliked him as a player. It's not that he's THAT amazing or anything with his insights (he's pretty good though), it's more the fact that he really seems objective and honest. It's refreshing to not have to listen to biased blithering buffoons for once.
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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:30 pm

Even if he is excellent, I think it goes better unsaid, and regret this topic has been created.
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Post by Alex Hadjicharalampous on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:52 pm

Jonathan Prendergast wrote:Even if he is excellent, I think it goes better unsaid, and regret this topic has been created.

Why? Credit where it's due, he makes the Sky Sports pre and post match analysis actually watchable, something I've previously thought impossible.
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Post by Mike York on Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:41 pm

I didn't want to like him as a pundit but I do. He's really good, a lot better than I thought he'd be. He knows whats he is on about, talks about issues other pundits shy away from and doesn't get boring or repetitive. He is very neutral too which is another thing that surprised me.

He'll still always be Ratboy to me though, good pundit or not...
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Post by Alan Dawson on Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:54 am

Makes the decision to axe (or set up) Grey and Keys seem even more inspired.

Only problem is that he's on Sky Sports…

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Post by Mike York on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:56 pm

MNF star Neville takes Sportsmail behind the scenes of the TV show making fans fall in love with punditry again

It is 4.30pm and although Gary Neville is midway through rehearsals for that evening’s Monday Night Football, he is still going through his first item in painstaking detail. Things have to be right and he is unapologetically demanding and meticulous in his preparation.

‘What do we think about this?’ the former Manchester United full back asks producer Scott Melvin, as a chart flashes up on his touch screen. ‘I don’t think that’s good enough.’ He is over-ruled. ‘Fine,’ he says, but his arms are folded — it is clearly not fine.

‘Are we comfortable with that colour on this graphic?’ is the next question. ‘It’s disgusting,’ Neville continues, without waiting for a reply. ‘I’m not a colours man but... can’t you change it?’ It is duly changed.

Neville has been at Sky’s studios in west London since 9.30am, but he is still like a man on fast-forward, running ‘at 100 miles per hour’.

His intensity, willingness to work hard and genuine vigour for his sport are startling. It seems the same qualities that characterised him as a footballer are the ones that mark him out as a pundit.

‘This is different to football,’ says the 37-year-old, ‘but there is pressure — and I think that’s the thing that keeps me excited and stimulated. It’s got to be right.

‘I think information and the detail are the most important things for me. Nice goals or a lovely finish or an incident, that will get done a thousand times by everybody else and there isn’t really much more you can say.

‘I prefer information. I try to do it as if I was looking at it as a player or a coach rather than as entertainment.

‘I don’t think, really, I’m a perfect broadcaster by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s more around the information for me. That’s all I can do. If you want a pretty face or a nice voice then don’t come here.’

Ed Chamberlin, the host of MNF, laughs. ‘Well, I won’t argue with that,’ he says.
The pair have been working together for barely 18 months but have taken the format made famous by Richard Keys and Andy Gray and made it their own.

There is little ego or arrogance about Chamberlin, who works without an autocue and fully understands his role is to ensure Neville is the star of the show.

The presenter continually tries to tease extra insight and information out of a right back who won 85 caps for England, constantly asking ‘why’ and ‘how’, which seems to amuse and frustrate Neville on alternate occasions.

‘Ed doesn’t offer opinions on football,’ says Melvin. ‘It’s different with (Match of the Day presenter) Gary Lineker. He was a footballer and you would never begrudge him an opinion.

'But, for me, the presenter’s job is to probe the guys who have played football. Ed drives it and keeps it on the rails because otherwise, God knows what would happen.’

It is no mean feat keeping Neville in check, that’s for sure. He revels in his Aladdin’s cave of touch-screen boards, slow-motion clips, high camera angles, statistics and league tables.

The former England defender even had a screen installed in his Manchester home for nine days to practise before he started at Sky, only to go bonkers when he found out they had updated the technology when he arrived in London.
‘I’m obsessed with charts,’ Neville says, laughing at the nerdy nature of his words. ‘I’ll say, “Make me a chart, make me a chart”. They argue I don’t need one, just to say it, but I want everyone at home to know those statistics are there.

‘Every time I do a piece I don’t just get the clips, I get the statistics. I want statistics to back it up, so it’s not just my instinct. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking, “Arsenal are rubbish”. But where are they rubbish? Why? They can’t be all rubbish, or all good.

‘You’ve got to offer some perspective. Everything’s so sudden, everyone’s always screaming.

‘I think that’s what people inside football do better than people in the media because in the media there’s a need to make everything so dramatic. But, inside football, you analyse it. You look at it bit by bit and think that’s OK, that’s not bad, rather than everything being bad or good.’

Neville’s proximity to the game, however, could easily compromise his willingness to say what he sees and how he feels.

He spent all his career at Manchester United and has a four-year contract with the FA to work under Roy Hodgson and coach the England senior team, after all.

But as Neville watches Arsenal’s 5-2 win at Reading — from a ‘big, wide high camera angle’ because ‘that’s the only way you can analyse it properly, you can’t watch the ball’ — there is only a flicker of his allegiance to the national side. When Jack Wilshere crumples to the ground in the build-up to Reading’s first goal, Neville suddenly becomes even more animated.

‘Oh! Oh!’ he cries. ‘Wilshere’s done his knee ligaments. Oh no. Or is it his groin? Oh dear.’ Then, ‘Oh, phew, he’s OK. What price 5-4 Reading now?’

Neville’s affiliations make him more accountable than most but he insists he remains deliberately detached from the insular, pally world of football.

His reasoning is as clear as the straightforward manner in which he is able to talk through a set-piece or analyse the build-up to a goal: you cannot criticise someone on live television one day and go for a pint with them the next.

‘I don’t speak to too many people,’ he says. ‘I think if you speak to too many people you become friendly with them and it might not be as honest an assessment.

‘You get to know people — “All right, how are you mate?” — and a week later they think you’re stitching them up. Don’t get too close. I do know people but I spent my life at one club.

‘People at the start, understandably, were asking how it would work, but I think I’ve been as honest as I can be about United games and most people seem to have accepted the fact that I’ve praised or criticised their team.

‘I think fans are pretty honest. They don’t want rubbish. If their team play well they know they’ve played well. If they haven’t, they know that, too. You try to show why or how because they know the rest themselves. You’re always looking for the most interesting bits. Less fluff, more gruff.’

The enjoyment Neville derives from his new role is obvious, even if he can barely contain his energy, pacing up and down during advertising breaks and badgering the producer with ideas as early as the Wednesday before a show.

This opportunity to have the last word on the weekend’s action is, after all, both the programme’s strength and its continual challenge — how do you be significantly different from what has gone before, on television and social media and in the newspapers?

Neville consumes information from all these outlets but still has to offer new insight on a Monday night.

As you can probably imagine, he is not short of ideas, although the transition from player to pundit has not been as straight-forward as you might think.

‘The more I relax, the more I become a little lighthearted,’ says Neville. ‘But on the first show last year, I was 100 miles per hour. I was like a train with no brakes. I used to get an incredibly dry mouth because I was so nervous. I’ve not done anything like this before in my life.

‘And my hands! Oh my hands. That was a massive problem. What do you do with them when you’re standing at the touchscreen? Now I carry my pen with me because you’ve got something to focus on.

‘I was everywhere — my hands were terrible. I got a lot of feedback: hands and my hair, which is a continual challenge — I’ve just given up on that.’

Giving up? That must be a first for Neville, surely.

Sky Sports is the home of football with more than 500 live matches every season including Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, internationals, the npower Football League and more.

NEVILLE'S MANIC MONDAY

9.30am Arrive at Sky’s studios in west London.

10am Production meeting. Neville has been feeding ideas to the production team since the previous Wednesday. They discuss what he wants to talk about and the order the pieces should run.

11.30am Neville goes through all the video clips, while Ed Chamberlin studies the running order and familiarises himself with all the links and music.

2pm Lunch.

3pm Rehearsals start on set.

6pm Make-up.

7pm On air. An hour of analysis from the weekend’s games and to preview that night’s Barclays Premier League fixture. Also includes interviews with the managers, live from the ground.

8pm Kick-off.

8.45pm Half-time analysis.

9pm Second half.

9.45pm Full-time analysis, a look back at the weekend’s goals and a Twitter Q&A.

11pm Off air

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2250197/Gary-Neville-scenes-Sky-Sports-Monday-Night-Football.html

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