Back of the Net's Paul Watson on the pundit's retirement plans...
Announcing his plan to quit Match of the Day at the end of the season, Alan Hansen has spoken of his excitement at finally having time to travel the world, making harsh, pointed criticisms of famous tourist sites.
During an era of polite, back-slapping punditry, Hansen made his name as a fearsome critic of slack defending. While his colleagues would laud strikers for wonder-goals, Hansen was more interested in defensive duties and unsuccessfully petitioned for the Goal of the Season award to be replaced with a Functional Clearance of the Season award.
As his fellow pundits became more and more abrasive in their comments, Hansen responded by intensifying the severity of his statements, frequently labelling defensive lines which were once just ‘poor’ as ‘diabolical’, puzzling fans and philosophers alike with the catchphrase ‘so bad it’s untrue’. He once notoriously damned the West Brom back-line to an eternity of torment in the bowels of Hell after they misjudged an offside trap.
But after 22 years on the Match of the Day sofa he protested was ‘far too springy’, Hansen has opted to retire from his BBC role and believes it’s a great opportunity to fulfill a long-held ambition.
“My plan is to get out and see something of the world,” Hansen told FourFourTwo. “And to experience firsthand just how disappointing it is.
“There’s a lot of places you always hear people rave about and I can’t wait to see them for myself and make snide, vitriolic remarks about them, if possible loudly enough that it ruins them for the people around me.
“I mean I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Taj Mahal but as far as I can see it’s just a jumped up Buland Darwaza.”
Prior to his career as a dour, uncompromising pundit on Match of the Day, Hansen was famous for being a dour, uncompromising defender who played for Liverpool between 1977 and 1991 – a period during which no goal was ever scored while Hansen was on the pitch.