As a broadcaster of some renown himself, Stan Collymore knows what it takes to ask the right questions of players and managers and how to get the desired response.
The former England ace has made a second career from being particularly outspoken, but it’s hard to disagree with many of the points that he makes.
Perhaps it’s just the fact that he makes them which irks supporters, but that’s precisely what a proper journalist is meant to do. Ruffle a few feathers that is.
Jamie Carragher certainly did that recently when he got right under Man City manager, Pep Guardiola’s skin because of a barbed point he made about the outstanding 115 charges hanging over the club’s head.
Collymore believes he was well within his rights to do so, however.
“I don’t think there is a line for journalists and broadcasters to cross when it comes to comment, press conferences or interviewing managers,” he said in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.
“There’s a line of respect for sure, but the vast majority of pundits these days want to stay on one side of the line because they don’t want to banned or blacklisted by the club.
“I think there’s a way of making really good strong, solid points without fear and also where a manager can listen or watch that interview and go, ‘he’s made his point. I don’t agree with him, but I’m not going to pick the phone up.’
“I’ve the utmost respect for Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, and both their playing careers give them credibility as pundits.
“Carra was well within his rights to make the points about Pep, and Pep was right to have a nibble back. It actually does show that Carra was more than willing to make those comments because he felt he was in the right.
“Whereas a lot of sports journalists these days sit in press conferences and just laugh along with the latest jokes that a manager comes out with, and that’s why they’re not getting their questions answered to their satisfaction.”
Of course, members of the spoken and written press shouldn’t really be going out of their way to annoy their subjects, but equally nor should they be shrinking violets in the face of annoyance or pressure.
For example, the Amazon Prime presenter remained completely dignified when Jurgen Klopp took him to task this week, and still managed to get his point across.
What can’t continue to happen is a sanitisation of media reporting, such as might be seen at Man United after the club banned some outlets because of the nature of their reporting.