Over the last few years, the football punditry scene has taken massive strides forward. Nowadays, it’s the norm for the major broadcast channels to hire well-known pundits who can give their expertise and analysis before a game, during half-time or after a match is over.
On occasions, the pundits themselves help bring more attention to a certain game with their controversial comments.
Roy Keane’s rants at the end of Manchester United’s losses have become a heavily-anticipated thing among some fans nowadays. Even the great Jose Mourinho spent a short period as a pundit after his sacking by the Red Devils.
When it comes to major TV channels, they opt to hire famous former footballers or coaches to be at their pundit’s desks.
That’s because they believe those who are in the know about how the beautiful game is played and have been involved in it at the highest level have the best possible knowledge on how to dissect a match or players.
That is why punditry has become a lucrative option for many ex-players these days. Some pundits work on a freelance basis to work for multiple channels and even for websites.
The brutal thing about this line of work is that one innocent mistake on live air can be the biggest mistake a pundit can make.
The tiniest of blunders can expose them to brutal criticism and trolling from fans on social media.
Former England Women’s national team striker Eni Aluko made that unfortunate error while doing the punditry for ITV during Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea in their Qatar World Cup Round of 16 clashes on Monday.
Aluko, of course, is recognized as one of the best forwards to have ever played for the England Women’s National team. She made over 100 appearances for the side, scoring 33 goals and was part of the England side that finished third in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
In her club career, she also played for the likes of Chelsea and Juventus’ women’s side.
She has even worked as a sporting director for Aston Villa WFC and has plenty of expertise when it comes to the beautiful game.
But Aluko got her maths completely wrong when trying to make a statement on Brazil striker Richarlison after the South Korea game.
She said: “Richarlison has 19 goals in 40 games, you do the math that’s a goal a game.” Her colleagues Roy Keane and Graeme Souness decided against trying to correct the error, nor did the host comment on it.
Of course, due to how brutal social media can be, Aluko has had to endure a lot of mockeries. There is still a stigma over the quality and knowledge of women in football, so her comment has given some fans more content to use for their agenda.
Fortunately for Aluko, she has also gotten a lot of support from fellow pundits and football experts defending her for the mistake.
Former Arsenal striker and BBC pundit Ian Wright have called out those mocking her and insisted that even he has made such mistakes in the past.
Aluko will probably have to now learn to live with some fans mocking her for this blunder for the rest of her career, but all she can do is learn from the mistakes and become a more vocal pundit going forward.
Check out her response to the whole fiasco below –