Jamie Redknapp has pulled back the curtain to reveal how he deals with the constantly evolving nature of the role of the pundit – specifically when proved wrong by players he's publicly criticised.
Speaking to 90min ahead of Manchester United's Sunday afternoon game against his former club Liverpool, Redknapp admitted that he's made 'loads' of wrong calls in his post-playing career, with his initial opinion of David de Gea one of his most egregious.
Asked about being proved wrong by players, managers and teams, he said: "That's life, isn't it? If you didn't make any statements doing this job, it wouldn't be worth doing. I've got plenty wrong, trust me. I've watched Paul Pogba, and players like him can make you look stupid. I've always visualised playing against Pogba, and thought I would find it so hard because he's such a talented player.
"I could see that there's such a good player in there, it was only a matter of time before that came out in the Premier League. People are going to have a go at him but that's no problem, that's the job, that's what you have to do.
"Loads of times I've called it wrong. I remember watching David de Gea at West Brom, his first game for United, I thought 'there is no way this lad can play in the Premier League. His shirt's too big for him, he's just going to get bullied,' and now he's the best goalkeeper in the world, I'm not afraid to say that."
Speaking about his previous experiences in one of English football's most bitter rivalries, he admitted: "I played against probably the best United side we've ever seen with Keane, Scholes, Beckham, Giggs, whatever forwards you wanted, but I would say Scholes was the one player you'd sometimes think 'you can do something that most players can't do'."
United have won eight of their last nine Premier League matches since the departure of Jose Mourinho, with Redknapp saying: "I watched a lot of United under Jose and you could see it was an unhappy camp. There were players who weren't enjoying their football, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to realise that if someone could just go in there and massage a few egos, make them feel better, things would be better.
"If someone keeps draining you of confidence and your energy, you go into training and you don't know what's going to happen, it becomes a poisonous place to be. Now, it's like he's turned the light on. They're playing great, everyone's enjoying it, and sometimes it's as simple as that. You want to see a good United side, the league looks better when United are playing well."
He added: "It's great that people can prove you wrong. I got written off by a lot of people when I was a player! I'd only been at Liverpool two months and I was told by someone I'd never play for the club. I was only 18! But those things inspire you sometimes. We all read it – people say they don't, but everyone does.
"I just think it's important that if it's your opinion...just don't be unkind in the way you say it. If you believe that someone made a mistake, or isn't good enough, if that's what you believe that's fine. That's how you've got to go about your work, I just try not to do it in an unkind way."
Jamie Redknapp was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, Official Timekeeping Partner of the Premier League to promote the TAG Heuer Premier League Pressure Test (http://tagheuerpressuretest.com/)