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I don't think Gary Neville can be impartial as a pundit - David James

The former England goalkeeper also thinks Liverpool will be “a better team without Suarez in it”.

David James is a former England international goalkeeper.
David James is a former England international goalkeeper.

NEW BT ANALYST David James has criticised fellow pundit Gary Neville, suggesting the former Manchester United man cannot be impartial while working for Sky.

Neville combines his role as a Sky pundit, while also coaching England, and James has questioned his wisdom in doing so.

“Gary Neville has a conflict of interest,” he told the Second Captains podcast. “He’s giving opinions on players that he’s then going to have to go and coach. And therefore, I don’t think he can be impartial.”

While James says he hadn’t watched Neville as a pundit and described him as “a wonderful lad,” he remained highly skeptical about whether he could properly fulfill his duties on account of these circumstances.

“We can review his video stuff and see how many times he’s criticised England players. I’d imagine not at all.”

In addition, speaking about his own punditry, he said he was looking to focus on tactics rather than the personalities on the field.

“There are many pundits who can tell you the individual history of players down to girlfriends’ names. I’m more interested in how individuals play and positioning.

“This weekend, we were giving [Per] Mertesacker a bit of a beating because of his positional play in the Arsenal defence.

“When you’re creating a masterpiece, you have to focus on individual brushstrokes, so I’d like to think I’m bringing more of an analytical approach to the BT punditry squad.”

Moreover, the former England international described how he was determined to avoid being influenced by others in anyway.

“I wouldn’t even read my own articles [for The Observer]. I’ve got a view on things and I like my view to be pure. Reading other articles might sway my view on things.

“I’ll watch a lot of people. I’ll form my own opinions based on what I see. Not what other people say.”

He continued: “If a guy kicks the ball wrong, he kicks the ball wrong. There’s no argument. If there’s a bad player, then it’s subjective, and it’s almost like a character assassination.

“Even with Mertesacker, I don’t know the guy, but it was obvious from the way he was playing that he had a fear of pace. And this will impact on how Arsenal will challenge for the title.”

James also believes his former team, Liverpool, won’t be affected significantly should Luis Suarez leave them.

“He’s a fan favourite, but I think Liverpool will be a better team without Suarez in it.

“That won’t please everybody, but I don’t have many friends to start with.”

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Paul Fennessy

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