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Hansen and a welcome dose of nostalgia

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Dan Walker | 09:05 UK time, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Last Thursday was a strange day. I was meant to be playing in a Blind Golfers Association Charity Day but got a phone call earlier in the week from the Football Focus editor, Mark Cole. Mr Cole has numerous nicknames... "Cole", "Cole-Dog", "The Cole", "Colemeister General", but on Monday he was talking business.

"Are you still playing in that golf day this week?" he asked me.
"Yes," I said tentatively, sensing what was coming.
"I need you to go to Anfield to interview Alan Hansen about the Liverpool-Manchester United game."

Despite numerous attempts, both Liverpool and United were not able to provide us with a member of the current squad to talk to ahead of the big game, so Mark suggested that the last man to lift the league title at Anfield would be the perfect option. I sent an apologetic email to the organisers of the golf day, who were very understanding, and promised to bring some nice things with me next year.

I first interviewed Mr Hansen a few years ago at his home near Southport. His wife made one of the finest cups of tea I've ever tasted and I distinctly remember a selection of chocolate ginger crunch biscuits that accompanied the said beverage.

Last Thursday, I was responsible for my own nourishment on the long trip to Liverpool, so I armed myself with the travel essentials - tube of fig rolls, six-pack of mince pies and two pints of semi-skinned - and headed for the M6. If you have never experienced the heady combination of mince pie and milk, let me take this opportunity to heartily recommend it to you. My own personal opinion is that limiting the mince pie to the festive period is a shambolic way to treat such a culinary delight. It's an all-year-round beauty!

Anyway, I picked up producer John Nicholson from Liverpool Lime Street Station and the plan was to meet our camera crew (Andy and Dennis) and Mr Hansen at 12.30pm at the ground. At 12.51pm, I sent Alan a text saying: "The boys are setting up in the Kop. I'm waiting for you at the Shankly Gates." It was at that point that the Liverpool press guy, Steve, came galloping over to say that Alan had been inside for 30 minutes and was waiting for me. As I walked towards him in the press room, he was just reading the text I had sent and raised an eyebrow as only an ex-professional can. It was as if to say: "Do you even know where the Shankly Gates are laddie?"

I have interviewed lots of sports types over the years and no-one works the death stare like a Scotsman. Gordon Strachan has a good one but Sir Alex Ferguson is the master. I once asked him a question about whether he was looking forward to seeing Andrei Kanchelskis again after the winger - who had left Old Trafford - signed for Manchester City. He looked at me in such a way that I felt my eyes getting hot. He then launched into a 45-second mini-hair dryer about why it was such a stupid question. There was a point halfway through the rant - just when I thought he couldn't get any angrier - that he took the rage up to another notch.

In comparison, Alan Hansen is a delight to interview. He's one of those blokes that you could sit and listen to for a very long time. At one point, I miffed him slightly by asking about Liverpool's terrible run of defeats with a big smile on my face. I think I got away with it.

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After we'd done our interview in the stands and Alan had explained why he fancied Liverpool to win on Sunday (which of course they did), I snuck in a quick fig roll double. As we moved towards the dressing room, Alan was off, talking about where he used to sit, how Steve Nicol used to make the whole team laugh and how his pre-match routine involved reading the matchday programme until 2.53pm before bending down to touch his toes and heading for the pitch. His eyes lit up as he spoke about some of the great team talks he'd heard and the winning culture at Anfield.

As we moved out into the tunnel, we paused in front of the famous "This is Anfield" sign. When Alan first went under it in 1977, he touched it with both hands, stopped, looked up and then walked out onto the pitch. I have no idea how many times he's been past it since, but he is adamant he has done exactly the same thing every single time. Always with two hands, always with a pause and always with a longing look. Traditions are important at Liverpool.

Our final stop in Alan's nostalgic look behind the scenes (which you'll be able to see later in the season) was on the pitch itself. Normally, you get harpooned by club officials within three seconds of stepping on the pitch at most football grounds around the country, but Alan still has an air of authority about him and the eight league titles he won at Liverpool have earned him the right to trample a few blades of grass now and again. It was at this point, he reflected on the goal he scored against Manchester United on Boxing Day 1979. Anyone who wasn't at Anfield that day will struggle to recollect it. I'll let Alan explain himself...

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As we shook hands, poised to go our separate ways, the latest Anfield Tour shuffled out of the tunnel and into the dugout. Normally, it would be quite a treat for the members of the tour party to see a Liverpool legend up close, but this was a group of German school kids, most of whom were Manchester United fans. There was an "Alright, Al" from the tour guide and then, in a flash, our leather-jacketed Scotsman was off down the tunnel and away.

I said my farewells to the crew, polished off the final three fig rolls and headed home. Incidentally, Alan thinks Liverpool will have a hard time at Fulham this weekend. The whole of Football Focus comes live from Craven Cottage. We are on at 11.30 again because of the Formula 1 from Abu Dhabi, so don't forget to book your seat on the sofa a little earlier.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    It is because of Alan Hansen, LFC has control of BBC. Hansen and Lawrensen have always been biased in favour of Liverpool. It's time they were removed, the public are getting bored with the two former Liverpool players. Let's see some fresh faces on MOTD.

  • Comment number 2.

    two pints of semi skinned? dear dear, bet that was rough!

  • Comment number 3.

    Is there some part of the BBC licence fee that forces you to continually report, interview, defer to or just generally pack your website and programmes with ex-Liverpool players? Your obsession with that team and that era of players is dull, one-sided, completely disproportionate to the amount of interest the rest of the country have in that team and of course, utterly partisan. You can't turn on a BBC sports programme without one of the once-permed and 'tashed mob turning up offering their views on why Liverpool are stil the most amazing team in the world and then rubbishing the rest of the teams, some of whom have actually won the league in the last two decades.

  • Comment number 4.

    another liverpool love-in article

    why doesnt the BBC just move it's offices to anfield?

  • Comment number 5.

    Number 3 - is that why Mark Lawrenson backs United every season without fail? Don't worry though, I'm sure that in 10 years there could be Rio Ferdinand on that sofa - so be careful what you wish for!

    Great blog, and theres hope for alan yet! Jan Molbys wondergoal against Manchester United from 1985 - from a game where the television crews went on strike - has just been released having been caught by a member of the United physio team. A very slim hope, mind as this was 1979 and not too many people would have camcorders :).

  • Comment number 6.

    So Alan Hanson thinks Liverpool will have a hard time at Fulham this weekend, I bet Lawrenson doesn't. I check his predictions every week and I've yet to see him predict Liverpool to lose. I agree with others, it is about time there were changes in the media, lets have some ex Blackburn, Everton, Sunderland players, in fact anyone but Liverpool please, they are all over the BBC TV, radio and Sky. Enough is enough.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Would you rather have pundits who can't string two words together (Merson (who makes Ian Wright sound like a towering intellect) , Venables, Sheringham, Wright et al) or people who've been there, seen it done it and who can actually formulate a cohesive conversation (Hansen,Lawrenson, Keown and Dixon)?

  • Comment number 9.

    LFC Iconic - The City real identity - Scousers great people !!! the rest just jealous !!

  • Comment number 10.

    I`m a ManU fan and have no problems with either Lawro or Alan Hansen on MOTD, although I would like to sea Alan Shearer back also.

    If you don`t like them then stop watching.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yawn... Solar and Perry... you are boring. What are the other options Lee Dixon and his tactial view? Lawro can go by all means but Hansen is a top critic. Im pretty sure the BBC has no fascination with Liverpool past or present, especially when the presenter of MOTD is a former Everton player?!

  • Comment number 12.

    Will you people stop moaning about these blogs for one second and just enjoy them for what they are. If you don't like them then stop coming back and reading them! It's pathetic!!

  • Comment number 13.

    I think Keown and Dixon are absolutely fantastic as for Hanson and Lawrenson, I do like them although they are a little biased towards Liverpool, I think they should be split up.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hello everyone. Good to see a healthy debate well underway.

    In the harsh light of day some of the comments are correct - we do have a lot of ex Liverpool and Arsenal pundits at the moment. I can assure you that it's not a BBC conspiracy because none of the football chiefs here support either of them.

    We've got a Bristol Rovers fan in charge of Focus, a Southend supporter(please give them some money he says) as MOTD overlord and the occasional smattering of Chelsea clowns here and there.

    If just so happens that the best pundits from that era happen to be from those teams. The papers were wall to wall with Liverpool Manchester United last Saturday and it would have been foolish for us to not represent that in the programme. Liverpool and United weren't able to provide us with any players to talk to, Fergie bans the BBC from press conferences so we thought the last man to lift the trophy at Anfield was a good person to speak to.

    I would also draw your attention to some of the other pundits we have had on the BBC sofas in recent seasons... Robbie Savage, Martin Laursen, Andrew Cole, Phil Brown, Martin O'Neill, Les Ferdiand, Steve Claridge, Mark Bright, Gary Pallister, Gary Speed, Marcel Desailly, Leonardo, Gavin Peacock and Gordon Strachan. There is a good mix there and we are always on the look out for fresh talent so feel free to suggest someone at your club who is injured or recently retired.

    Dwight Yorke is due in at the start of December. I promise not to ask him anything about Liverpool... at least for the first 10 minutes.

  • Comment number 15.

    I really like Alan Hansen and I'm a Utd fan. He's great on MOTD. Tells it how it is.

  • Comment number 16.

    FAO - Lucasleavehimalone

    I agree with your comments 100%.

    Merson and Wright just talk inane, over-excited nonsense.

    Think all those nights out together during their time at Arsenal must have addled their brains (and that is from an Arsenal fan!!)

  • Comment number 17.

    Hansen was a legend and one of the best ever central defenders to come from these shores - look at his trophy haul - awesome.

    Also, he's the best bbc pundit (along with the legendary Spurs superstar Mr Lineker)!

  • Comment number 18.

    "6. At 10:59am on 29 Oct 2009, universityred wrote:
    So Alan Hanson thinks Liverpool will have a hard time at Fulham this weekend, I bet Lawrenson doesn't. I check his predictions every week and I've yet to see him predict Liverpool to lose."

    Nor does he think Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal will lose. Most people would predict the 'big 4' to win most of thier games, that's just common sence, as, over a 38 game season, they usually they do.


    MOTD 2 has both Keown and Dixon on most weeks and i've never heard anyone complain of an Arsenal bais. Liverpool dominated the top flght for 15 years so is it realy surpising that a few of our ex-payers are saught after in the media?

  • Comment number 19.

    Bear in mine please that this is coming from an exiled Evertonian in Canada. You don't know how lucky you are! Try watching the Premiership in Canada when the commentary is from David Monotone Pleat and the half time analysis comes from Craig Forest (ex West Ham keeper and Mastermind Champion - chosen subject the blindingly obvious). Best of the lot, they roll out some old duffer that played in goal for Chester City and Canada for international games and his qualifications for read something like "had a next door neighbour in Chester whose Dad had a ticket for Wembley in 1966". Compared to this lot Hansen's a God.
    On a serious note, how much would a young fit Alan Hansen be worth today? There's a good reason why Liverpool haven't lifted the title since he finished - they've never found a centre half with half his talent.

  • Comment number 20.

    I actually think Merson is a pretty good pundit. He is not the most articulate or well spoken guy, but when he is talking football, I think he talks a lot of sense.

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't really mind who they played for etc, as long as they give good views - and it's all good.

  • Comment number 22.

    Dan - really cannot see the point in this, why are you interviewing another BBC employee?
    It is a bit 'navel-gazing' don't you think? What insights has your interview revealed about Alan Hansen we did'nt already know; that he onced played for Liverpool (in their greatest era) that he does (at least) try to explain his thinking on MOTD, backed up by selected clips of course that support his analysis (but never shows any passages of play that are completely opposite to the point he is making, but there you go!).
    I for one would have liked to hear something about how in his career he combined playing for Liverpool, with playing for Scotland, it would make a change don't you think and might be words of wisdom for young Mr Gerrard to heed - in the run in to the WC in SA?
    I accept Alan Hansen is, as far as pundits go, one of the most articulate that the BBC have and he does at least try to cover his bias for Liverpool(more than can be said for others) although no-one is really fooled by it and as he is an ex- Liverpool player we cannot expect anything different, can we?
    However the whole thing sounds as if it is an attempt to get the BBC out of a hole - as you say neither Liverpool or Man Utd would provide anybody to speak to you (I wonder why??) - so someone had a bright idea Hansens up there anyway, do an interview with him instead - and you drew the short straw!!
    I am sure it will get better working for the BBC, ask Motty, he's managed to survive, hasn't he???

  • Comment number 23.

    Liverpool were playing Man Utd. on Saturday after a run of bad form and this match was crucial to their season. Can you blame the BBC for going to Anfield and interviewing a Liverpool legend ahead of the match? This hasn't got anything to do with BBC bias. It was a nice blog and I hope we get to see the entire video of the interview.

  • Comment number 24.

    You should have named this article an unwelcome dose of nostalgia

  • Comment number 25.

    Good blog Dan, the reason ex Liverpool players are pundits is because Liverpool were the most succesful team of that era, no doubt in about 10 years time we'll have ex utd players on the sofa.

  • Comment number 26.

    It's about quality, not affiliation. Hansen is a great pundit (though perhaps a bit too fond of the words 'grit' and 'determination'). Lee Dixon is his natural successor, I feel, and Martin Keown is starting to relax into the role after being fairly wooden to start with. But then, Gary Lineker was dreadful when he first started MOTD, and now has any easy rapport with the rest of the team.

  • Comment number 27.

    The only two of the current Utd crop who could make the grade would be Gary Neville (even though I detest him he does come over as quite articulate) and possibly Ryan Giggs. Hopefully not Rooney and Ferdinand as I'd rather listen to the death rattles of a flatulent Hippo. By the way good point about mince pies, I like thwm stale, heated in the microwave and covered in vanilla ice-cream.

  • Comment number 28.

    I am a Man Utd fan and have no problems with either Lawro or Hansen. In fact I actually like the blokes. They're intelligent, humorous guys with a wealth of knowledge about the game.
    As for bias you can hardly expect them not to have a slight one towards Liverpool given it was the club they played for all those years. However despite that I don't think either are bias. Lawro always gives his honest prediction and usually tips Utd for the title and Hansen tips Chelsea. I've never heard either of them tip Liverpool.

  • Comment number 29.

    I like Hansen & Shearer and Lee Dixon isn't too bad but Lawro is rubbish - would love to see Keano as a pundit though after his MUTV rant a few seasons ago it could be quite entertaining

  • Comment number 30.

    I have wrote the following on a couple of blogs in bbc and got a few feed backs,
    ..............................................
    let me tell you a story,

    once upon a time there was lion in the jungle who was hungry, he saw a bunny and gave it a chase. After a long long one, the bunny managed to get lost in the bushes. The lion gave up turned around to go when an owl laughed from the branch of a tree above. "hahahah! a lion like you could not catch a mere bunny? what a big shame!" the lion replied over his shoulder as he turned away;

    "well, I was chasing just for my SUPPER, it was running for ITS LIFE!"

    Is it just me or this story has some resemblance with Man Utd and Liverpool match?

  • Comment number 31.

    Its always good to hear Hansen talking about the defenders that play the game today. I think being the great player he was he actually knows a thing or two about defending. Its a very select group of centrebacks today who were in the same class. He was not only a stopper he could actually play. Any kids wanting to become not only a great defender but a great football player should take a look at both Lawrenson and Hansen. They were simply the best of there generation. I am a Evertonian who suffered at the hands of both and dont want to hear there old liverpool stories but hear them talk about defending i listen. A great manager Alex Ferguson is but he picked Willie Miller and Alex Mcleish for Scotland ahead of Hansen which i still find laughable today and what makes it more of a crime is he was not the only Scotland manager to do so. Obviously Hansen loves liverpool and i think he does ok in trying to be nuetral but sometimes its going to come out as it would with every fan.

  • Comment number 32.

    I cannot believe people are saying the BBC are biased and should get rid of 2 of it's best pundits in Lawrenson and Hansen. I like to listen to them both as well as Lee Dixon, Martin Keown, Alan Shearer et al. Gary Lineker is good too and Adrian Chiles (WBA fan) - it's about having the best and there is no doubt Hansen and Lawrenson are. If you watch sky on soccer saturday their best 4 pundits also include a liverpool player in Phil Thompson, along with 2 ex Arsenal (merson and nicholas) and Le Tiss - the common thread here is that there are no decent ex Man U pundits and anyone who has had to listen to Lou Macari, Paddy Crerand and Bryan Robson will agree! And anyway the BBC have evened it up with some medicority - Garth Crooks anyone?

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    I think some of you have gone slightly mental! I know Lawro and Hansen are the main flag-bearers for MotD and therefore there is a natural bias to the club they love, I actually see very little of that bias in any of the programming - can't deny it ever shows at times, but you don't see it often. Same can be said for Dixon and Keown really - whom I also love on MotD - both with excellent tactical insights (particularly the former) and also a no-nonsense highlighting of defensive mistakes (the latter in particular loves to stick the boot in) - in fact, I'd go so far as to say I think Keown loves abusing Arsenal's defensive mistakes - think we should try and get him in for some coaching to let his frustrations out.

    A nice blog (as always Dan) - I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you write from your own perspective, rather than trying to be ridiculously objective or pretend that you were only witnessing the interviews/issues rather than actually taking part in them. Always a good read so far so please keep it up old boy. As you've seen from the above people's posts its mostly a loved blog - those that don't like it are well entitled to their opinion but they seem to dislike it based on subjects/persons you interact with, rather than yourself - and you can't please everyone can you! :)

    Also just a quick word - Robbie Savage was on Five Live a few or so back with Alan Green commentating on a relatively mid-level fixture - I can honestly say I've not enjoyed commentary that much in a very long time - get that boy back in. Not only is he smarter than he looks (poor lad - long hair does no favours I guess) but he, like Mr Keown, is totally honest about what he thinks - but he actually knows how to make a sentence - the banter between him and Greeny was excellent.

    Gone slightly off point for a moment - but felt it had to be said in light of the other above posts...

  • Comment number 35.

    John_lampard... Ive never seen a Lion eating a bunny.

    Dan your choice of food is frankly shocking!... Fig Rolls are horrible and for a car journey that whole combo is ridiculous...

    Hansen is a good pundit.. looks a bit pleased with himself a bit too much but at least he doesn't pull faces like Garth Crooks.. I do wish Gavin Peacock would come back.. he was superb.

  • Comment number 36.

    Anyone who seriously doubts that Lawro and Hansen are the best at what they do needs to have a word with themselves. They've remained in the positions they are in because they, more than anybody else, have turned the job of pundit into a fine art. They have forgotten more about football than the combined moaners in this thread have ever known, and I for one have never noticed their Liverpool bias affect their punditry one bit. I'd also suspect that when the likes of Dan throws to them for a view on FF or MOTD, they answer without having to be prepped endlessly for exactly what question is going to be asked, like some others I could mention.

    Of course, the more important issue is the reason that there were no cameras at Anfield on Boxing Day 1979. Surely it was because, like 49,000 others, every camera was watching the mighty Wednesday massacre their city rivals 4-0 in the Third Division? Now THAT is a story worth telling...

    ...good blog Dan, and good to see a return to form on the biscuit discussion front. I must confess that I don't understand the appeal of mince pies. But then again, I've been known to feast on a bag of ten jammy doughnuts on long car journeys...

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Dan, you gave up appearing at a charity function to interview Hansen?!? Great PR for the BBC that. As you say you got a call earlier in the week so could you not have done it earlier? Doesn't Hansen get enought air time as it is.

    Then you say "I sent an apologetic email to the organisers of the golf day, who were very understanding, and promised to bring some nice things with me next year." So you couldnt even bother phoning them to tell inform them you wouldnt be going. That's like dumping your missus by text.

    I wouldnt worry about the nice things for next years charity day. They probably won't invite you. Or they may do and then send you a email the day before saying your not needed.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello again. Thanks for all the comments. For what it's worth I am in the same camp as GhostWolf1978 who said both Hansen and Lawrenson are "intelligent, humorous guys with a wealth of knowledge about the game". They really do know there stuff and they can argue their case as well which is pretty rare.

    john_lampard fascinating story about the lion, bunny and the owl. I got a bit confused half way through.

    hughesie2000uk I was also listening to Savage on 5 Live and totally agree with you that he was great to listen to. Very honest and both funny and informative. I think you might be hearing a bit more from him because he does fancy himself as a pundit when he retires at the end of next season.

    SugarDunkerton - I understand your diet based angst. I am trying to change. Glad you appreciate to powers of Peacock. He was great to work with and I think he is now back in this country after training to be the pastor of a church.



  • Comment number 40.

    Love these blogs Dan, keep up the good work =)

  • Comment number 41.

    I think Alan Hansen is the best football pundit in the country and Andy Gray is the best commentator. I am a United fan and agree sometimes MOTD does feel rather Liverpool heavy but I don't think they are very biased to Liverpool either. Hansen will slate any defending if he can Liverpool or not! Trying to think of ex United players who could bring balance to MOTD and I can't get Paul Parker out of my head and I don't think anyone wants that! Any ideas on ex United player anybody?

  • Comment number 42.

    39. At 1:08pm on 29 Oct 2009, Dan Walker wrote:

    Nice one Dan,

    though probably i got it wrong with the bunny as the food for lion, perhaps a small deer would have been more appropriate. :D

    What I tried to bring up as the moral of the story was; Liverpool fans do not need to be too excited about the win there, had Man U were desperate for the win as much, they would have rolled you over easily, this is based on the fact that I can't remember in the last 5 or 6 years you beat them in a meaningful match. Do double our us and Man U, they still were short last year. I supported you on Sunday because I believed they were more of a real threat for us than you guys.

    PS: No hard feelings, but can't stand with some idiotic fans of yours. and good luck for the rest of the reason.

  • Comment number 43.

    I understand why last weekend it was all liverpool man united. But I don't understand why it is always Liverpool man united with a smattering of chelsea arsenal thrown it. I am a Man Utd Fan, I live in the south of France. I am delighted to get as much information as possible. However, when I consider that Liverpool haven't won anything domestically for 20 years I fail to understand the constant reports on them. Particularly this season I want to hear more about Arsenal, Spurs City and Sunderland so I can asses the threat. I don't care what is shown on TV, but the Internet is International. The premiership is like it or not International and unfortunately most of what is written is for a home audience with a huge bias towards the top 4.
    So I would like to make two suggestions. That there is a blogger for every team in the premiership and no more of this pandering to the big 4 or 3 or whoever.
    The second suggestion is to get a liking for fresh fruit and water, much better for you than mince pies and skimmed milk and you will feel better.
    And if you permit, I am not surprised Ferguson forbid the bbc with questions like the Kanchelskis one, but that's just my view.

  • Comment number 44.

    I find it hard to believe that there could be anyone more biased on MOTD than Lee Dixon, as poor eyesight as Wenger himself

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Dan, nice piece. From reading this, and reading the qualities you point out in Hansen as a person, it makes me wonder whether he potentially could have made one of The great managers. I am sure during the early 90's when he had finished playing, he basically could have walked into the Liverpool job - post dalglish.

    Do you think he should regret this himself and perhaps pushed himself outside of his punditry comfort zone?

  • Comment number 46.

    Nice blog dan,...

    hopefully we will see your interview here soon...

  • Comment number 47.

    "There is a good mix there and we are always on the look out for fresh talent so feel free to suggest someone at your club who is injured or recently retired."



    Errmm... Can I suggest a few from our local Sunday League?

  • Comment number 48.

    Dan I hope Gavin Peacock combines his pastoring with some football pundit stuff... he reminded me of Ray Wilkins with his quietly spoken wise ways!!...

  • Comment number 49.

    # 37. At 1:02pm on 29 Oct 2009, RobVilla

    If you're going to try and use big words in an attempt to impress people, it helps to spell them correctly.

    Hansen is the King of pundits. Nice blog.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Dan,
    enjoyed the blog.
    Although I do agree with a lot of posters here, that it was a little incestuous to use Alan Hansen for the piece - as good as he is. It surely wouldn't have tested a media team with the BBC's resources to research and find somebody else to fit the bill - and potentially open the door for a new pundit?

    Again, agree with many others - I like Hansen & Dixon, Keown settling in, I'm not a fan of either Lineker or Shearer though. I did like Gavin Peacock.

    The best pundit I know of, who is totally underused - is Pat Nevin. Very intelligent, articulate and witty.

  • Comment number 51.

    Andy Townsend, now there is a class act...how he continues to be deemed employable is way beyond me. If he says shot on " goals " instead of shot on " goal " one more time....but the ne plus ultra of football television commentating ( and I know I am slightly off track here )has to be Gerry Armstrong. Comes across as an extremely nice bloke but if he, Rob, was ever, Rob, to say anything, Rob, remotely intelligent or illuminating it will be a miracle. Rob.

  • Comment number 52.

    Hi Dan, great blog as usual. Off topic, I know, but could you have a quiet word with whoever posts the soccer skills section on the BBC Sport Homepage.

    We've had to look at ronaldo and his 'brazilian chop' for about a year now!!! Im nearly certain there are more players out there that produce 'skill' ;)

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 53.

    Mark Lawrenson is quite simply not a good pundit. He sits on a couch every week stating the obvious. I always go to his predictions and successfully guess what he is predicting, because they are usually 1-1 or 2-0. Also, he appears regularly on Irish radio to also state the obvious, but in addition to this enjoys putting the knife in by slating England. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Great player, but alas poor pundit.

  • Comment number 54.

    What does Hansen know?
    He predicted that Liverpool were going to win the Championship.
    They won't even be playing in the Championship 'til next year.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi Dan,
    enjoyed the blog.

    My tuppenceworth - I rate Hansen & Dixon highest of the current pundits. I really liked Gavin Peacock.

    The best pundit around though, is Pat Nevin. Woefully underused, not sure why? Intelligent and articulate and insightful - what more could one want?

  • Comment number 56.

    Lawrenson tips Man Utd in the hope that the pressure will have an adverse affect on them (along with everyone else's tip that they will win, 'cos more often than not they do, with help from referees' watches, and other biases in their favour),
    and,
    in the hope that his failure to back Liverpool will stir them up to herculean efforts that will prove him wrong.

    His other tips also have a similar slant if you read them regularly and can pick up the thinly disguised red-tint, but usually no one takes much notice of what he says, no one cares about his predictions, they are only read because they are there and for amusement similar to reading a horoscope, not to be taken seriously.

  • Comment number 57.

    I'm a Blackburn fan and have absolutely no problems with Hansen & Lawro being BBC pundits on MOTD. They say it as it is and offer views of the games from both an ex-player position and from a fan position, they work well together and I can safely say I've never been bored watching MOTD. I've also never really noticed that they are any more biased towards Liverpool than any other team.

    A message to all those people that just whinge and moan on here about MOTD and the pundits, simple, stop watching it then if it's that bad.

    One ex-player though I'd love to see on MOTD soon would be the legendary ex-rovers superstar Tugay, I'm sure he'd be available now he's retired.

  • Comment number 58.

    We need some balance on BBC in favour of Liverpool when there are people like Andy Gray on Sky. He is clearly pro-United. His sense of disappointment at the defeat to Liverpool last weekend was obvious

  • Comment number 59.

    What's your obsession with pastries filled with creme? Get a grip, man. And don't feel bad on talking about Liverpool; it was the English derby, "the game", as SAF calls it. Why is everyone giving BBC a hard time about this? It's obvious because of the pedigree and history of this game, that it should have this kind of publicity. It would be strange if it didn't. Sorry to all the Chelsea fans, but trashing a team 5-0 is hardly a story. So stop complaining, I'm sure Dan the Man Walker will get you a story (about your team) sooner or later. I don't care what anyone says, Alan Hansen is an joy of a man.

  • Comment number 60.

    Really nice piece.

    Hansen is a gent and one of the few ex pro's frequently on TV that when they talk you should really listen because the man knows what he's talking about. Would have been interesting so see how he'd have done in top level management (my guess is very well, just like everything else he's turned his hand to) but management's loss is the football watching public's gain.

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm not a new member. Why am i getting this new member message?

  • Comment number 62.

    First up, yes I am a Liverpool supporter. I have never had any major problems with the punditry offered on MOTD and FF, same cannot be said for channel 5 and ITV.

    As regards the comment about Alan Green being pro-Liverpool I can only assume that this has occurred over the last couple of years, I use to dread turning on five live for Liverpool commentary due to the anti-Liverpool drivel that poured out whether Liverpool were completely outclassing their opponents or playing mediocre football.

    Somebody also commented on Liverpool having failed to win any domestic titles over the last 20 years, if you had stated league titles then certainly, but last I checked league cup and FA Cup are domestic titles.

    As for alternative pundits, Man Utd's best seem to go into management, Chelsea have few English as a first language retirees since their ascension to the top of the table.

    As for whether or not the victory at the weekend was a turning point in Liverpool's season or not, can we not just wait until a few more matches, perhaps even the end of the season, to determine that :)

    Apart from that, good blog.

  • Comment number 63.

    That was an excellent blog. Interesting whoever you support.

    What a shame a few people want to moan about the Liverpool connection.

  • Comment number 64.

    If Liverpool FC has so much influence over the opinions of Hansen and Lawrenson and vice versa, then surely both these gentlemen would be officially hired to run the club - rather than be 'talking heads' - often artlessly and inarticulately - on our tv screens in order to pompously e4xplain the vagaries of each match which we can see only too wellfor ourselves?

  • Comment number 65.

    alseno wrote:
    What a shame a few people want to moan about the Liverpool connection.
    ================================
    The Liverpool connection wouldn't be a problem if it didn't colour their analyses.
    Case in point: When Gerrard "won" a penalty against Everton and then advised the ref to send off Hibbert.
    If the offence had been against Liverpool, they would have clearly shown that Gerrard was leaning into Hibbert and then threw his leg behind Hibbert and fell over. Gerrard should have penalised for "simulation" but as it was he scored the penalty and Everton were down to 10 men.
    Two international defenders and neither of them spotted it.
    Yeah! Right!

  • Comment number 66.

    Number 10 Thankyou!
    I'm a Liverpool fan and would have no problem at all with an ex United or everton player being a pundit if they were good. I could at least understand the comments if Hansen was total crap, but the fact is he's one of the best pundits on the tele. I can also remember countless times liverpool have been playing poorly and Hansen has said they were awful lol.....not biased at all....class act.
    I also agree with the shearer comment.

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm sure in fifteen years Match of the Day will be full of Liverpools current golden generation.

    The incomprehensible Carragher and his Spanish friends will provide wonderful insight. They can regale us with stories on how they couldn't quite win that elusive league title but talk about how next year they would definitely break their duck.

    Perhaps MOTD would change it's name to "Five Times" in honour of how many times these faded stars would mention Instanbul in an attempt to gloss over their many, many failures.





    Still, better than watching Garth Crooks I suppose.

  • Comment number 68.

    At the end of the day, if you don't like Liverpool FC or Alan Hansen, then why click on the blog and then read it?

    The thing is, any half decent broadcaster is going to want the following qualities in a football pundit:

    a) The person has to want to do it (that rules out a lot of ex footballers straight away);

    b) The person has to speak good English (that rules out a lot of the foreign players who dominate English football now);

    c) They have to know what they're talking about and be serious about it;

    d) They need to be taken seriously by people.

    Both Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson fit all of those criteria and are therefore a good choice by the BBC. They add quality to the BBC's football broadcasts.

    At the end of the day, it is a nonsense to say they result in LFC dominating anything.. They seem to give a very fair and honest opinion on all of the clubs as far as I can see.

    And as for the blog above - it is hardly unusual or offensive for there to be an article about Alan Hansen's footballing days is it? He was part of one of the greatest footballing dynasties of all time. If you don't like that fact then don't read it, and certainly don't whinge afterwards.

  • Comment number 69.

    Just come back from a trip to buy a new shirt for Focus. Lot's of comments to get through. Here we go.

    John_Lampard (42) - I think you're right. Use of the small dear in your story may have made it slightly more accurate. Still a good tale though.

    Tomefccam (45) - I am not sure. Hansen comes across as the sort of bloke who could make it as a manager but I don't think he has ever fancied it. I see what you mean about the pundit 'comfort zone' but I think he is good enough to keep going.

    Arsenault(46) - I think the date we have pencilled in for behind the scenes with Hansen at Anfield is the 21st November. That is, of course, subject to change brother.

    Physical_graffiti (47) - I like the idea of a pundit from your Sunday league side. Fire away with some suggestions. The only conditions are they must be bald and have a belly that hangs over their trousers... just to reinforce the stereotype.

    Celery_schtick (50) - don't worry I am at the front of the Pat Nevin bandwagon. I have done a couple of shows with him on 5 Live and he is great fun and both insightful and eloquent.

    Torres - too fast, too strong, too good eh mancs - surely that is a pain to type in every time? You can never see enough of the Ronaldo chop! I have noticed the Aaron Lennon has used it a lot recently... maybe he's been watching the film on the website.

    Finch_the_rover (57) - If Tugay's analysis is anywhere near as good as his range of passing we should sign the bloke up right now. I think Michael Gray said in his blog recently that Tugay was the best midfielder he'd played with!

    Heinzeforking (61) - Sorry pal. No idea why you are getting a new member message.

  • Comment number 70.

    it is a nonsense to say they result in LFC dominating anything.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    How true.

  • Comment number 71.

    I can understand why people might get a bit miffed about Hansen and Lawrenson all over the BBC couch and the purported Liverpool bias, but I assure you as a Liverpool fan that we don't gloat about that and even get a bit miffed ourselves because those two are often our biggest critics. They did, after all, set very high standards.

    I wouldn't mind seeing some new pundits, or at least rotate them with some fresh new faces and by 'fresh' I mean intelligent and articulate speakers, such as Le Saux, Steve Heighway (degree), George Graham, Roy Keane.

  • Comment number 72.

    How many midfielders has Michael Gray played with?

    I like Hansen, more than Lawrenson, and I am a Liverpool fan. I also enjoyed watching McManaman on Setanta. Its no real surprise that players who have some credibility are chosen to be pundits, and considering the fact that they need to be retired, its no surprise which clubs they are likely to come from.
    A lot of United players from their first league winning team under Ferguson, have entered into management so they are not going to be available for pundit jobs until they get fired. Hansen and Lawrenson never did. I think they started off as a bit of a double act, since they were a double act on the field, and it turns out they are pretty good at their job.
    On a seperate note, I find it interesting that its just accepted that the BBC are banned from Manchester United press conferences!! What arrogance that Ferguson can do that, and that his employers back him. Perhaps if its so important, Manchester United fans should boycott the BBC, all its media and this website. That way I dont have to read about rabbits and lions. By the way, everytime United lose, they tell us that it was the other teams "cup final". Another example of United arrogance.

  • Comment number 73.

    If anyone wonders why there are no man utd pundits on the BBC it is because too many of the ex players are too scared to upset Sir Alex. Watch when he retires the media will be full of them just as it is now with Liverpool. An ex Liverpool player saying it was not like this in the 80's are ten a penny. The poor man replacing Sir Alex will no doubt have to contend with over 100 ex players moaning. By the way we are all presuming the vastly overpaid players of this decade will need to work in the media to survive!! Proabably explains most of the current tv panels

  • Comment number 74.

    does it matter who pundits once played for, as long as they're any good, and remember my fellow utd supporters garth crooks once played for utd and can there be a worse pundit?

    shame people are so narrow minded that they dislike someone just because of the team they played for. coincidently, Matt Busby once played for city and liverpool and he didn't turn out too bad!

  • Comment number 75.

    Dan Walker -

    " the occasional smattering of Chelsea clowns here and there."

    No need to be rude just because you dont support Chelsea. We're fans like the rest. NOT clowns.

    As for trying to dig your way out of the overdose of ex winners of a team who have no hope in hell of lifting a trophy. Try AGAIN

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    The recipe for getting a LOAD of blog comments: Set the Mancs and the Scousers on each other, and make sure you insult the Chelsea lot at the same time...

    ...meanwhile, in the REAL football supporter's world, you know - the one that's more pain than joy, that's about true devotion to a lost cause, we appreciate both your blogs and the skills of the BBC pundits. Keep it up, Dan.

  • Comment number 78.

    Okay Dan here it is as I see it. You get paid, so you don't need gratuitous compliments about how good your blog is, although a few compliments are nice once in a while.
    You are writing your opinion, so all the people who come on to a blog and slag off the writing and the content, well what do they do for a living? Can we go and judge them?
    However there is a point to be made very strongly. Time and time again, on many different blogs, many different people have asked for less of the top 4, less of the Liverpool Man Utd stuff, more about the other premiership teams. But the beeb, journalists and bloggers alike don't produce it.
    So in a nutshell you lot continue to do what you like, most people ignore the content of the blog and attack each other in the comments, and the quality goes down and the quantity goes up.......
    There are other football sites where people are starting to go to find a more mature reflection. I just don't understand why more of the bloggers are not in the style of Tim Vickery.

  • Comment number 79.

    Seriously I have a degree in communications, I can write, I keep a blog, can I have a job writing for the beeb about football in the french permier league as I live a stones throw from Nice FC and work beside AS Monaco! I could easily cover all the teams in a season.

  • Comment number 80.

    #14 Looks like a fantastic list of Leicester City pundits to me!

  • Comment number 81.

    68. At 5:32pm on 29 Oct 2009, powerBobert wrote

    "b) The person has to speak good English (that rules out a lot of the foreign players who dominate English football now);"

    I'm afraid that rules out quite a few of the home grown ones too.

    Anyway, nice effort again Danny boy, glad to hear you're back on the biscuits this week and there's not a breadstick in sight, although I hope you're not expecting to stay thin if you continue your current diet

    On the subject of your new shirt, here's hoping that it's a nice sensible plain number, and not one of those dodgy strippy thingys that seem to lose cohesion on digital TV.

    I for one always enjoy MOTD & FF when I get the chance to see them and for all you folks back home in the U.K. you don,t know how lucky you are to have such great pundits on the bbc. I've been watching games via my computer for quite a while and some of the commentators on the english speaking channels abroad are so atrocious that I lately always just watch the streams without sound.

    Keep on keepin'on
    H2H

    ps Collie, is that a Nice place to live

  • Comment number 82.

    I don't think it should make too much difference which teams the pundits have played for. Lawrenson played for Preston (as did his dad) and Brighton before Liverpool. Hansen played for Partick thistle. I think it says more about a fan to assume that a pundit would perpetually favour their most illustrious club. After all, how many of us now support the team that won everything in our formative years.
    Yes, I am a Liverpool fan and, yes I do think Hansen is one of the best at his job. Sadly, I can't say the same for Mr. Lawrenson. He's ok but having once owned a FIFA football game with his voice-over - "Somebody call an ambulance...........that was a terrible tackle" - I can't tolerate his mono-expressive, glass-half-empty criticisms without getting flashbacks.
    Having said all that, it could be worse. ITV could get the rights again and we'd have Robbie Earle and Andy Townshend.

  • Comment number 83.

    Honestly, with your "best cup of tea" and "ginger biscuits", not to mention your "skinned milk" (the mind boggles) it's no wonder the banter on RTE is so much better

  • Comment number 84.

    Some of you Man Utd 'fans' can be increadibly annoying. Are you fans of the game at all?

  • Comment number 85.

    I have to say, I enjoy Hansen, almost as much as Lineker - both naturals. One I can NOT stand is Alan Green (along with the self-proclaimed "Chief Football Writer" on this site!): Not an ex-player but apparently a Liverpool fan like myself. Just to say that I don't care where their allegiances lie as long as they do the job well.

    As for Lawrie, I'm 50/50, but he offers a good foil for Hansen when they're together. And his predictions are so off they're quite amusing!

  • Comment number 86.

    And? Manchester United has controll of Sky. Or is that the other way round? What percentage of MUTV do they own? and what was the club called that Murdoch was going to buy again?.

  • Comment number 87.

    Don't know why I'm bothering, but here goes:

    > 1. At 10:24am on 29 Oct 2009, solar wrote:
    >It is because of Alan Hansen, LFC has control of BBC.
    Have I missed the news that Alan Hansen has become Director General of the BBC? Has Hicks and Gillett conned the BBC into giving them seats on the board too?

    > Hansen and
    Tells it as it is.

    >Lawrensen have always been biased in favour of Liverpool.
    He is a closet Man Utd fan anyway! Everyone knows that.

    > It's time they were removed, the public are getting bored with the
    >two former Liverpool players. Let's see some fresh faces on MOTD.
    Let's have you on there eh?

    Stop talking rubbish!

    Can't be bothered reading other people's comments if this is anything to go by.

  • Comment number 88.

    Most football commentary, British Eurosport and Bet 365 excepted, is inane and partisan, and the BBC are one of the worst.

    I don't really see the point of this interview, Alan Hansen isn't exactly the most illuminating of pundits, "You won't win anything with kids" and "I'm 100% sure Liverpool will win the CL final" in 2007 are two of his more outstanding analyses. I'd rather listen to Robbie Savage.

  • Comment number 89.

    @78: collie21 -

    You're right, you know. There IS an opportunity here for Dan to really make his mark by mixing in some serious footballing opinion in with the biscuits and behind-the-scenes stuff.

    Dan, what about a blog that tells us about what you're passionate about ON the pitch - tactically and aesthetically, what MATTERS to you when you watch a match - what makes a player or a match great? Likewise, let's hear your views on political aspects of football. What do you feel about the money in the English game? You presented that great exposé on the poaching of talent from French clubs a few weeks back, what are your feelings on that as a fan and as a journalist? I'd like to get under the skin of Dan the Football Man a little bit more - I would kill to get an opportunity like yours to set the agenda for discussion every week, and it would surely generate much more interesting debate than a bunfight between United and Liverpool fans.

    Here's a starter for ten: Do you believe fans should be regarded as merely consumers/customers, or is it imperative that they are at the heart of the running of their club?

  • Comment number 90.

    Dan

    Seeing as you actually read the responses...

    The piece is quite an enjoyable read - a friendly chat with a colleague, Alan Hansen - nothing more, nothing less, yet so many people are taking this so seriously.

    What would be more interesting journalism would be an interview with the once Chairman and major shareholder of LFC, David Moores. He said he didn't have the money to take the club forward, yet sold up to Gillett and Hicks, who arguably put less money into the club than Moores himself, since they borrowed the money from RBS. For a man who says he 'loves' the club, is he happy with how highly geared (debts expressed as a percentage of its equity capital) LFC is? Was he aware of this structure when he sold up? Was he duped by Rick Parry, the then CEO, who possibly had a conflict of interest? What about the new stadium, which has gone through so many re-designs, yet no foundation has been laid, let alone a brick? If he could turn the clock back, would he?

    Or how about Rick Parry? He went on air to say it was a matter of dotting the i's crossing the t's with DIC. Does he think it right to renege on LFC's gentlemen agreement with DIC? Is his word not his bond? He says the American pair were better suitors for LFC; I could not see how then, and still do not see how now, or indeed, going forward. Can he explain in detail, how they are better suitors? Or is there any truth in the rumours that he would have lost his job as CEO, had DIC bought the club? Was there any such conflict of interest?

    BTW, to answer your question, Hansen has on numerous occasions stated he has no interest in becoming a manager. For example:
    "I just never envisaged myself at any stage being a manager. I don't know why; maybe it was because of the pressure. To be the manager of a football club you've got to be... a different breed entirely. You've got to be ruthless. The managers at Liverpool were all ruthless. Maybe I've not got that sort of killer instinct. Maybe it was because I had such a great career as a player. It's just one of those things. I knew that when I finished as a player that was it. I _can_ be ruthless and if it had been any club, it could only have been Liverpool. And of course I would have felt obliged to give it my best shot. But I wouldn't have been happy being ruthless. And if you don't enjoy it, what's the point? I have absolutely no regrets about not being involved in football. Even if the television hadn't gone well, I would have no regrets at all"
    (FHM April 1993, before it became a lads mag!!!)

  • Comment number 91.

    Have to say i think MOTD is great - love the new format introduced in the last few seasons of every team basically getting an equal amount of highlights, compared to what it used to be like where there was 3 big games and then the goals from the rest. The pundits i think are very good (yes i am a liverpool fan) but compare them to what ITV offer and they are far better. Townsend/Hansen? No contest. Lineker/Ryder? Again Lineker wins hands down. Lineker is a great host, and has showed he can do other sports too i.e. Golf - my Dad who is big into his golf was a bit wary when he came in to take over the hosting of all the major golf tournaments, but he actually likes him now!

    With regards to Sky, i for one cant stand Andy Gray. He is clearly biased towards United; and only shows some love for Gerrard and Torres in the Liverpool team. Jamie Redknapp is no where near as good a pundit as Lawro, and after watching the Champions League match on Sky the other week and seeing Jurgen Klinsmann at half time along with Hoddle and Souness, i have to say that out of all of them Klinsmann had the most personality! The rest of them were like robots, and Souness thinks he knows everything about management, when he himself practially ruined Liverpool, and Newcastle!

    Keep up the work MOTD and MOTD2!

  • Comment number 92.

    Hello again. Just had a look through the rest of the comments. Thanks to all those who have taken the time to write on here.

    i think you make an interesting point yofand (73) about pundits from this generation of players. I don't think there will be many because they don't need to do it. I think Savage will do it, and probably Gary and Phil Neville, but not many others.

    Win_or_lose_I'm_a_true_blue_chick (75) - 'Chelsea clowns' was not aimed at all Chelsea fans but merely a swipe at the 2 in our office. Casting a 'clown based' slur on all Stamford Bridgians was not the intention. Apologies.

    Collie 21 (78) - Point taken. And if the French league interests you then blog away comrade. I'm sure there are some fans of Ligue 1 out there who will love it.

    Hollaway2Holland (81) - a plain shirt was purchased and also a rather loud number which, on second thoughts, might be a little too bonkers for BBC 1.

    The_Oracle_Of_Dunphy (83) - you're right 'skinned milk' is inexcusable. I also like the way RTE do their football coverage... very conversational.

    Sausagearms (89) and Lockvlef (90) - I'm not sure I am clever enough to write about serious stuff! Thanks very much for the suggestions - all good stuff and I may well attempt to tackle something a little meatier in the future.

    Right... I'm just off to do some filming at Fulham for tomorrow's programme. See you soon.

  • Comment number 93.

    What most of the people commenting on this blog seem unable to understand is that, whether it be the BBC, Sky or ITV, the so-called 'football programmes' presented by the Andy Grays, Alan Hansens, Gary Lineakers etc. are primarily intended as entertainment programmes to secure an audience for a TV station or company and NOT primarily to promote the sport of football.

  • Comment number 94.

    I think the MOTD pundits are by-and-large good, and it would be good to see more players involved.

    I don't think personal bias really comes into it at all, does it matter what team a pundit played for? It's not like there's even much scope for favouritism when you're doing a 3 minute synopsis of some match highlights. If anything, many pundits - e.g. Hansen, Shearer, etc - are actually very critical of their old teams.

    As for suggesting a pundit, I remember seeing an interview with Dave Kitson a while back and thought he came across as an intelligent bloke.

  • Comment number 95.

    In this day and age when we complain about players not caring about the clubs that they play for it's refreshing to realise that most of the pundits genuinley do care about their former employers !!

    Lawrenson is hilarious (especially his Swiss Tony hair and Hansen is guilty of the worst pundit statement ever ("You never win anything with kids" anyone ??)

    It's only a few seasons back everyone was whinging about Motson and the BBC/Man Utd conspiracy - make your minds up !!!

    Oh. and to those people whining (becasue that's what it is !!) about blogs/license fee's etc. Grow up - these blogs are extra work - we're getting more for our money put of the people that write them than we used to so stop complaining about everything. Honestly I don't know how some people sleep at night the amount of self-important, holier-than-thou drivel I read on here !!! If you don't like it, don't pay your TV license - but when you get arrested and fined (because I bet you don't get rid of your telly) don't blame anyone but yourself !!

    EOR.

  • Comment number 96.

    The reason that there aren't any ex-Manchester United pundits is probably because their "golden generation" is either still playing (Giggs, Scholes, Neville, etc) or have went into management (Hughes, Bruce, Keane).

    I somehow doubt that people would be too chuffed if the BBC dragged out David May or Jesper Blomqvist for the job.

  • Comment number 97.

    DaddyRich is probably more likely to be DaddyontheDole! He must obviously have too much time on his hands to enable him to read all these silly blogs and comments, taking them sooo seriously and worrying himself sick if people are paying their tv licenses. 'Course worrying himself sick could bump up his state handouts and actually make visiting a football ground a reality. DaddyRich indeed! Get a job and get into the real world and think about the crass, tripe comments you write on what is only a pastime - football!

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    does anyone else feel as i do, this boring drivel about both man u and pool has reached saturation point.

    is it not possible that anyone who works for the institution known as the bbc can spend a little more time comming up with something interesting to read?

    hanson, lawrenson, linnekar know doodly squat about the modern game.

    the back pass rule changed years ago no wonder liverpool in particular have had naff all to show for themselves since, despite all the pundits trying to will it otherwise.

    hanson and co would have had very little to show for thier efforts had there been someone at the helm at the FA with some insight.

    and dont tell me dalgliesh " quit " to spend more time with his family

  • Comment number 100.

    Good for you Dan, you're maiden century posts blog.

 

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