ITV Sport pundits Roy Keane and Ian Wright (right) before the game between Bayern Munich and Arsenal in Munich, Germany, March 2014.

Neville, Carragher, Keane: Ranking the biggest football pundits on how they’d fare in a pub brawl

Football punditry is essentially those who were fortunate enough to take their chats about football in the pub and turn them into a career.

Alright, perhaps we’re reaching a little bit there, but punditry ultimately exists as a way of providing opinion and debate around a game – something all football fans do with extreme regularity, given the slightest window of opportunity to do so.

The thing is with opinions, is that everyone has one, and most of the time they all stink.

That can lead to some pretty heated debate, be it on the Sky Sports panel, a BT Sport Champions League night, or down in the boozer while the two old men holding the pool table hostage are worryingly equipped with cues.

Following Sam Allardyce’s return to the dugout with Leeds, we ranked all 20 Premier League managers based on how they’d fare in a pub brawl. It only makes sense, then, to rank 17 of the most well-known pundits in the game on the same metric.

17. Jamie Redknapp

There is little to nothing to say about Redknapp. Career shortened by injuries, probably hates the taste of a beer and would have no interest in getting involved.

Struggling to even picture him in a pub in the first place.

16. Peter Crouch

As tall as he is and with the reach he subsequently possesses, Crouch is simply too nice for anyone to want to kick off with. You just can’t take him seriously.

Someone would start on him and within five minutes they’d be buying him a pint. That type of guy. Leave Crouchy out of it.

15. Owen Hargreaves

A regular on BT Sport Champions League coverage, Hargreaves doesn’t give off fighter energy.

Tries his best to sound well-informed; sometimes it works, other times it’s annoying. But he means well, and his accent is mesmerising. Could have you in a headlock for hours in the corner.

14. Gary Lineker

Being able to say you’ve dropped the Match of the Day man in the pub would be quite some feat, but again, Lineker simply doesn’t have the time for that hassle.

He’s got better things to do and, if we’re honest, trying to get into a scrap with him might provoke another toilet incident. Not worth it for anyone involved.

13. Jermaine Jenas

Perhaps surprisingly high in the eyes of many, it’s not that we think Jenas could be a dab hand in a pub brawl, but more so appreciating his knack for constantly just being there.

The type of man to throw one punch as things escalate before leaving swiftly, but will still be back every other time something major happens in the boozer with about a million stories to tell. Can’t get rid of him.

12. Gary Neville

The older fella around the corner who used to be a laugh, but came into a bit of money a few years back and now doesn’t come in nearly as often.

Never buys pints anymore, only wine. Nice enough guy, has a laugh, but bores you to death with talk about his business ventures. Hasn’t even noticed a fight has broken out.

11. Paul Scholes

Keeps Mr. Business in check for the rest of the pub. Been mates for years. Forces him in on a Thursday for darts.

Scholesy was a fighter, but has mellowed out these days. Peacemaker now. But if anyone throws a sly dig or gets on his bad side, they’ve had it.

10. Laura Woods

Has to put up with far too much abuse online for her not to have a bit about her. Brave enough to drink among the dibble and the d*ckheads, so is brave enough to throw a punch if needed.

She won’t need to, though. Fan favourite in there. One of the regulars’ niece. Looked after. Protected to no end – but don’t be fooled.

9. Ally McCoist

He’s a lover, not a fighter, is Ally. And a right laugh.

But if anyone goes near Woodsy, that’s it. He’s like the Hulk. Don’t make him angry – he slyly packs a punch and can take one, too.

8. Alex Scott

Another one who undoubtedly has some of the thickest skin you could find, Scott has a bit more presence about her.

Less so the sweetheart of the joint, she’s a bit more fearsome. Sometimes talks a little too much for some people’s liking, but she means well. Good sport. Knows her stuff. Will stick up for anyone in the boozer.

7. Graeme Souness

Was hard as nails and quite universally feared until it emerged that he’s adopted a vegan diet and that he’s really a big softy at home.

Souness is on the snooker team. Class, too. The old boys talk about him as if he’s royalty. Loads think he’s a miserable old man, but he’s alright after a few beers. Known for a violent past, though. Be careful around him – especially on snooker Tuesdays.

6. Alan Shearer

The solo pint man. He’s alright, is Alan. Just quiet. Likes his own company.

Smart fella, though. Brilliant at football, a few people say. He’s quite unassuming, just don’t bring up Manchester United to him. Then a fight will break out and he won’t leave until he’s being dragged out covered in blood. Menace.

5. Ian Wright

Another one who can be quite deceiving, Wrighty is the warmest face in the pub. Will speak to anyone about anything, and knows the good eggs from the bad.

Nobody dislikes Wrighty. Nobody. But when someone does come in and tries to upset him, they’ll know about it. He doesn’t mess about. Can more than handle himself. You’ve been warned.

4. Jamie Carragher

Big, northern and brutish. Carragher is loud, so everyone assumes he’s a trouble causer. But he’s actually the life of the boozer on a weekend.

Holds karaoke hostage on a Saturday night, but will muck in behind the bar if needed. He is hard, though. Not afraid to get ugly with anyone trying to compromise the stronghold that is the local.

3. Micah Richards

Richards is strictly a soft drinks man from Monday to Thursday, but lets loose on the weekend. Protein and calorie tracking goes out the window when the disco ball is switched on.

Don’t think all the gym stuff is just for show, though. He is massive. And that laugh is a pokerface. Doesn’t last long in a fight due to his injury prone body, but can dish out some damage.

2. Rio Ferdinand

It’s easy to forget that Ferdinand does have actual boxing pedigree. Not very much of it at all, granted, but more than most football pundits.

He’s also an absolute unit. Combine the two and it’s hard to suggest that he wouldn’t be able to clean house in a bar fight. Don’t fool yourself.

1. Roy Keane

Getting on a bit and really could do without the hassle of getting into fights when he’s enjoying a quiet one in the local, but don’t let that paint the entire picture.

When he’s angry, Keano can’t be tamed. We’ve seen him rant on Sky Sports and we’ve seen the damage he used to dish out on a football pitch. Start on him at your own mercy. Probably ends in him spending the night in a cell.

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