Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has won the 2021 Broadcast Award for Pundit of the Year, following her coverage of Euro 2020 as part of the ITV team.
Hayes was a relative newcomer to punditry before joining ITV this summer, but effortlessly adapted to her new role and received widespread praise on social media for her analysis.
Football writer Grace Robertson posted: “No one should need me to tell you this but Emma Hayes is so good at analysing games.”
Meanwhile, journalist Edward Walker wrote: “Having Emma Hayes on ITV is taking the analysis of this game to another level by the way. She’s brilliant.”
Hayes is renowned as a tactician for Chelsea and is known to study teams at length before games. It’s this tactical knowledge, combined with her preparation which allowed the Blues boss to provide information to viewers in a way nobody else could.
Indeed, former Chelsea star Karen Carney posted a photo of Hayes’ notes after Spain’s victory against Croatia in the last 16, highlighting the amount of effort she puts into her work.
“People wonder why she [Hayes] is so good… her prep is a joke,” she captioned the post.
While Hayes started the tournament by working on smaller games, including Austria vs North Macedonia, by the end of the competition she was an integral part of the ITV team –– providing punditry, commentary and even pitchside analysis.
Judges for the Broadcast Sport Awards were therefore unanimous in awarding Hayes the prize. One said: “Emma offered a unique, managers’ view that was confident and unapologetic, with insightful analysis.” Another wrote: “Passionate and knowledgeable, Hayes was a role model for young girls and women aspiring to work in the football industry.”
The Blues manager beat a star-studded list of sports pundits, which included: Alan Shearer, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Micah Richards, Michael Johnson, Nasser Hussain and Roy Keane.
Though Hayes is clearly a natural when it comes to punditry, her main focus right now is on managing Chelsea.
Her side are on a run of eight games unbeaten at the moment and sit second in the Women’s Super League table.
Their next game is this Saturday away at Aston Villa and a win would take them level on points with leaders Arsenal.