'Shut it Clarridge'

Tired of ‘unbelievable’ Hansen? Sick of Lawro’s ignorance? Literally had enough of Jamie? Don’t fret because there is another batch of players looking to park their behinds on a nice comfy sofa whilst getting paid a small fortune to talk about their ex team-mates. Only this lot might actually be quite good at it…

Danny Murphy

Before Martin Jol was eventually appointed as Fulham boss Murphy publicly sought after the role so perhaps losing even more hair in the dug-out beckons for this intelligent, opinionated player. If no decent managerial offers come his way however the midfield schemer already has plenty of media experience to draw upon and would be a good catch for any network. Made the headlines last year for naming and shaming the gaffers (Allardyce, Pulis and McCarthy) who send out teams with violent tactics in mind and is heavily rumoured to be FourFourTwo’s ‘secret player’ who pens monthly candid revelations about life inside the game. His forthright, knowledgeable dissections of a match would be a welcome addition to our screens.

Phil Neville

His reviled older sibling is already making fans uncomfortable on Sky by being surprisingly insightful and unbiased at his job and surely the younger Chuckle Brother will duly follow him into the studio once his career winds down. Can easily match the rat-faced one for his knowledge of the game but in addition has the advantage of being human.

Michel Salgado

The ex-Real Madrid stalwart is a shoo-in for a pundits couch somewhere; it is only a question of whether it will be in Blighty or Spain. Articulate, likable and intelligent, the man who Steve McManaman once described as “a genuine psychopath”is a far more urbane figure off the park and would add a bit of worldly savour faire to the current shallow gene pool who all talk a lot but say precisely nothing.

DJ Campbell

Has already dipped his toe into punditry with a few fairly successful outings on Match of the Day 2 and though he looked a touch hesitant that can be put down to early nerves. The QPR striker still has a good few years left of a playing career that has taken him right through the leagues and it is this broad experience that stands him in such good stead. Campbell was not incubated in the footballer bubble from a young age and can see things from a fans’ perspective.

Jamie Carragher

When asked by Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday back in January what the future held for the tough-tackling defender after retirement Carragher replied ‘I’m happy here’ indicating the comfy studio surrounded by ex-pros indulging in a toned-down version of dressing room banter. Assuming viewers can understand a word he’s saying Carra is well worth listening to although his thick Scouse accent may lead to unfortunate misunderstandings such as this one…

Jody Craddock

The BBC love their inoffensive centre-backs and the Wolves stopper may be the next one to lounge on the sofa sporting a half-unbuttoned shirt and jumper combo. Craddock is an accomplished artist who has stated his desire to concentrate on his paintings after he hangs up his boots which should give him plenty of free Saturdays to offer up such banalities as this one after Seb Larsson duped into giving away a penalty at the weekend – “It’s swings and roundabouts because Wayne saved it and we ended up scoring straight afterwards”.

The use of stultifying cliché to downplay a highly contentious incident will be music to BBC executive’s ears.

David James

James has always furrowed an individual trail and it’s unlikely we’ll see him cosying up to Lawro and co on Match of the Day or swapping glib anecdotes with Stelling on Sky. He is however a perfect candidate for a channel such as Five who love their outspoken mavericks or even a regular spot on Talksport radio. Let’s hope so because no matter what you may think of the somewhat eccentric goalkeeping James is a perceptive observer on the game whose thoughts will be different from the herd.