These days, there are a number of YouTube football pundits who give their own takes on the beautiful game. Gone are the days when punditry was confined to the TV and now conversations that you’d previously hear in the pub are on YouTube and being monetized. Not only this but some of these YouTube football pundits have made a small fortune from their views, with millions of subscribers, merch, and sponsorship deals coming with their success.
Some of these pundits can be considered sensible and reasonable with honest refreshing takes. On the opposite side of the coin, some can be considered out of touch, arrogant, and even trolling for views. Like all things in life, there is some good, some bad, and some ugly.
One thing they all have in common though, is that like them or love them, this group of pundits has changed the face of football punditry forever and has proved that you don’t have to be an ex-professional to be regarded as a voice of reason when it comes to football.
Starting out as a Manchester United pundit, Mark Goldbridge (real name Brent Di Cesare) has been accused of being a Nottingham Forest over the years due to hailing from the city. Despite being criticized for most of his media career, he has since turned the tide and is these days taken more seriously. Despite sounding like David Brent at times, his one-liners and quirky personality have won him millions of subscribers. Such is his personality, that Goldbridge has since branched off into other areas, such as football in general and even does cooking videos.
In fairness, a lot of people seemingly still dislike Goldbridge, and to an extent this is understandable. Nonetheless, after posting videos daily for more than a decade, you can’t help but admire his determination which has since been vindicated. Just don’t mention his name to Gary Neville who seemingly dislikes the fellow Man Utd fan. In short, if you’re willing to give Goldbridge a chance and don’t take him seriously, there’s a good chance that he’ll grow on you and he’s actually quite funny.
One of the platform’s older football content creators, Adam McKola is another Manchester United fan. Unlike Goldbridge, he is actually from the area. McKola’s Stretford Paddock is fairly sensible compared to other Youtube pundits and he isn’t really much of a divisive character. This is quite a rarity in this industry and proves that he must be good at his job to stick around for so long due to the high amount of competition. Nonetheless, his style hasn’t really changed over the years and he continues to pump out content which is the same as it was years back.
Speaking of back in the day, McKola’s channel was also responsible for the birth of Andy Tait. These days, Tait still features on his channel as a pundit but back in the day, he went viral after going on an anti-David Moyes rant. Arguably, this type of interview format was years ahead of its time. These days, Tait is a little less impulsive which shows a more sensible approach. It is this philosophy that has seen McKola stay ever present as a YouTube football pundit for many years now. While he may not be the loudest, he’s arguably the most consistent.
A new kid on the block, Joey Knight has yet to prove whether he will last the test of time. A Chelsea fan, Knight is known for his sensible viewpoints and lack of nonsense. Arguably, this is a refreshing take in the world of YouTube punditry.
Overall, it will be interesting to see whether Knight remains a favorite on the platform. This is because it’s still too early to tell whether he is able to remain relevant with this approach for a long enough time. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a case of so-far, so-good. Like Adam McKola, Knight seems to have carved out a place for his own punditry on YouTube without playing an exaggerated character.
Knight won a lot of fans when he called out fans of Mason Greenwood, who was championed by parts of YouTube at the time of his career comeback. If you’ve never heard of him, check out his podcast.
A divisive figure, True Geordie definitely can’t be accused of holding back. Sometimes this works in his favor. Sometimes, this approach has also lost him fans as well as friends. Nonetheless, there’s no Sky Sports level bias here and the Geordie will often say it how he sees it. For most of the time, his content is not football-based.
Usually, he has a podcast interviewing celebrities or giving his take on current events. Having said this, True Geordie needs to be given credit for starting his channel The Kick Off. This arguably revolutionized football punditry on YouTube as it involved a group of people gathering together and commenting live while watching football in the studio. Despite this seeming fairly normal these days, this idea was pretty unique for the time and arguably True Geordie doesn’t get enough credit for it. Sadly for True Geordie, his popularity has since dwindled.
Interestingly, True Geordie’s The Kick Off platform also birthed the career of various pundits who have been mentioned in this article. Clearly, his impact on the space was quite large, just like his personality.
Also known as ‘Don Robbie’, Robbie Lyle is the father of AFTV (Arsenal Fan TV) which mostly involves interviewing hyperactive Arsenal fans outside of football grounds. Although many of these Arsenal fans can be described as man-childs, there is something more endearing about Robbie. Usually, he plays a fairly neutral role and lets others do the talking. In other words, he’s akin to a school teacher trying to settle down a class of wild school kids.
To his credit, Robbie has ridden out plenty of criticism over the years, both from mainstream football fans and YouTube viewers. His channel is one of the biggest on YouTube as far as football is concerned and he has certainly put the work in. Like him or love him, his formula clearly works and in terms of business, he’s on to a winner. Plus, sometimes watching grown men have a meltdown can be a guilty pleasure. Like True Geordie, Robbie is also responsible for starting the careers of other YouTube football pundits. Having said this, many of these aren’t worth talking about as they aren’t exactly the best in terms of insight.
Curiously, Laurence McKenna’s career started off as an assistant to True Geordie on his podcast. This had nothing to do with football but over the years, he became more opinionated on The Kick Off. Eventually, the pair fell out and McKenna went on to make his own channel as a solo pundit. Here, he would mostly focus on his own team Liverpool but would also analyse other football goings on too.
This seemed like a good move for McKenna, who was sometimes viewed as cocky when doing pundit work alongside others. However, on his own, McKenna is allowed his own platform. While McKenna may not be anywhere near as loud or flamboyant as other pundits, there is something somewhat cringy about his personality at times.
By this, we mean that his overly academic style can be a little jarring. Nonetheless, he seems to have curated his own audience who are seemingly happy enough with his different approach. Just don’t get him in a room with others, as sometimes he can appear insufferable.
Theo Ogden, also known as Thogden is a Bolton Wanderers fan who has often starred alongside his father Stephen Ogden (often named Thogdad). Together, they give predictions and analyses of certain teams. As his channel has grown, Thogden has also traveled around the world to watch various football matches in some of the biggest stadiums in the world. This isn’t a bad gig for someone in their early 20s.
Despite having a successful YouTube career, Thogden has often been criticized for his sensationalism. While this isn’t new in the world of YouTube football pundits, it’s still something that is closely associated with Thogden. Here, he will often make wild claims that are accentuated by his certain pronunciation of words (mix Morgz shouting with a football twist.)
Undoubtedly, Thogden’s YouTube career has been incredibly successful. Still, there is arguably a soulless element to his style which oftentimes seems desperate for attention.
Rory Jennings once claimed to deny a prospective tenant an apartment due to being a fan of a rival club. A die-hard Chelsea fan, Jennings is known for his hot-takes and attention-seeking behavior. For instance, he also claimed that Erling Haaland would ‘flop’ in the Premier League which quickly turned into a clipped video when the Norweigan striker became the Premier League’s top goalscorer and went on to win the treble. Similarly, he also bashed Harry Kane, despite being England’s top goalscorer.
Throughout his time on YouTube, Jennings has stayed relevant due to his outlandish claims. However, these claims are often masked by his articulated vocabulary which has since been called out by others on the platform. For now, Jennings still has a solid following and has even featured on mainstream football channels. Nonetheless, scratch between the surface, and there isn’t really much substance behind his punditry.