I’d not object to anybody who knows what they are talking about. Jamie Redknapp and Given may have played lots of top flight games but it clearly hasn’t given them any advantage in the punditry stakes as both are crap at it.Redknapp has over 300 Premier League appearances. Given has over 400. They may or may not spout shite but they are on the panel because they've been there, done it. Steph Houghton plays for Man City ladies team. By all means ask for her expertise on women's football, but she knows feck all about the Premier League and that's what she's being asked about.
It's tokenism. She isn't there on merit. And my point remains, why not have a token gay, muslim or disabled footballer on there instead / as well? What's the difference?
I don’t disregard playing experience as being relevant so long as the pundit is articulate and does something other than state the obvious. Not very many ex-players tick those boxes. There are many who haven’t played who watch a lot of football and can talk fluently and informatively about the game.
A player is useful insofar as they might be able to describe how a player thinks about or reacts to a given situation. Their perspective can be valuable. But playing experience in the Premier League shouldn’t be enough on its own to suggest that somebody like Houghton (who I didn’t watch, incidentally) has any less value in the studio.
Jamie ****ing Redknapp, for ****’s sake.