The Endorsement

When did Gary Neville get good?

There's been more than a few surprises this season. Whether it be Chelsea's downfall, the failure of King Kenny or how hotly contested the title race was (despite the likely conclusion). But the most surprising thing of all has been a player who retired last season. 

Primarily known as The Dependable Right Back, Gary Neville was also known for having a punchable face, being mates with David Beckham and having a regrettable Boogie Nights moustache.

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But all that's changed now he's retired. In his new role as Sky's premier pundit he's turned into a man who, whisper it, it's okay to like.

He's started to make genuinely astute tactical insights on a regular basis, something Alan Shearer and Alan Smith still haven't got the hang of doing (And no Alan, saying 'he really should have hit the target there' isn't an insight.) It's unsettling.

He seems to be suspiciously clear of any obvious bias, at least on the surface, despite a career spent whinging solely on the behalf of Manchester United.

And he's even mastered that giant iPad thing in the Sky studio in ways 'unreconstructed' men Andy Gray and Richard Keys never could.

Most shockingly of all, there have been times in recent weeks when we've even looked forward to hearing what he has to say.

So three cheers for Gary Neville. Words few of us ever thought would come so easy.