Football pundits are under the microscope more now than ever before thanks to social media.
Everything they say is scrutinised and they will often find their names trending on Twitter after a match.
They also make far more headlines on the back pages of newspaper and on websites than they used to, making it imperative that they avoid saying something, often in the heat of the moment when passions are running high, that they might regret later. It’s not an easy job.
Sky Sports have always boasted a top team of pundits. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are among the best in the business and have been for a good few years now.
BT Sport also have some quality pundits in their ranks, although losing both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to football management last summer was a huge blow.
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However, the powers that be at BT have managed to seal the signatures of two high-profile names who have the potential to stir things up this season.
It was announced earlier this month that former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has joined for the 2019/20 campaign.
And the Dutchman, a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, has been joined by the man widely regarded as the funniest man in football: Peter Crouch.
The former England international, who announced his retirement from football last month, could be a game-changing signing for the television channel.
Not only is he extremely funny but he has so many brilliant anecdotes to tell from his time in football - as we’ve heard on his superb podcast over the past year.
But, crucially, he understands football and has plenty of opinions which he isn’t afraid to voice.
Crouch and Van Persie join a team that also features Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, one of the best pundits on TV right now.
Other pundits on BT tend to divide opinion - including Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves, Chris Sutton, Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Savage - but they’re all entertaining former pros who aren’t afraid to give their honest views.
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole and ex-England Women’s international Karen Carney have also been added to the line up for the new season.
It could even be argued that BT’s overall team for this season is stronger than Sky Sports'.
Sky announced their changes for the 2019/20 season on Thursday but there are no notable additions for the upcoming campaign.
Neville and Carragher are still the pundits to beat - Monday Night Football (MNF) is unmissable TV when Neville is on - but Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Alex Scott was a breath of fresh air last season, but Sky still won’t freshen up their stale Soccer Saturday panel comprised of Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas.
Their guest pundits also tend to be rather underwhelming, even if they’re big names, aside from Roy Keane - particularly on the aforementioned MNF.
Is this the season that BT Sport overtakes Sky in the punditry stakes?News Now - Sport News