A Football365 love letter to

Postado por , no dia 05 de junho de 2011 em Sem categoria

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A Football365 love letter to

Alan first hit our screens in 1991. Often forgotten is that he actually started out http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ on Sky, then moved to 5 live before getting the Match of the Day gig in 1992. From then onwards, he was fixture for 22 years. His first MOTD was alongside Gary Lineker, then working as a pundit.

From the get go he was different to the milky old pundits we’d had previously. Here was a newly retired elite player who had won a ridiculous amount of trophies. His Clackmannanshire accent was perfectly suited to scathing critique; it had gravitas and occasional menace too. There was something very modern and exciting about him. Football was changing and here was the proof.

Clackmannanshire’s old motto was “Look aboot ye”, which you can imagine Alan saying to a tardy defender with a degree of aggression. As an aside, the new motto is the rather more chippy “More Than You Imagine”.

We loved him because he actually broke play down and told you why things had happened. Especially good at defensive analysis, he always had a look of disdain for a defence that conceded a goal, as though it as a crime against nature itself. It was these strong, characterful performances that endeared him to the audience.

For all he was sometimes characterised as dour, one always suspected he was actually, if not shy, then more sensitive than the football culture he grew up in would allow. This was confirmed when later, after he’d retired, he admitted to increasingly terrible stage fright. This was a shock to many of us used to see him performing with an air of confidence and assurance. He certainly hid his worries well.

Much love is also due for having a great perspective on his career.

“You talk about the money they are earning now but I wouldn’t give up five minutes of my 14 years at Liverpool for any of it. Not only because I had the best time ever but we won everything in sight.”

That is what you want to hear.

It doesn’t sound much today, but Alan was always prepared to point out when something a player had done was wrong or poor, even if it involved criticising a domestic player. In doing so he was one of the first since the glory days of Big Mal, the Doog and Cloughie who dared to be outspoken.

A master of just listing words instead of constructing sentences, some of his favourites were: and This was incredibly striking because it made the analysis lean, terse and free of waffle. He was always keen on the percentages and was also really well balanced out by Des Lynam in the early days, who played the smooth old pro to Hansen’s new cutting edge.

Later, he said he made a conscious decision to break with the say what you see traditions.

When he was on, people sat up and took notice, in exactly the same way they did when Gary Neville first hit the screens. He was a game changer in the world of punditry. Even the legendary win nothing with kids comment didn’t harm this reputation; rather, it became a big hit single.

Actually quite a fashionable, if understated, dresser. Started off in the early 90s with the big double breasted wedding cheap jerseys suits but soon graduated to something with a more stylish cut. Loved an open necked dress shirt or a polo shirt when off duty. Occasionally favoured the collarless shirt, sometimes to be found with a shirt buttoned up, no tie on.

Haircut seemed straight out of the Captain Scarlet style guide and was largely unchanged for two decades.

Scar on his head seemed to change shape and colour from season to season and inspired a Rubber Forehead Unit.

Could slouch in a chair for Scotland, especially during long live broadcasts, and also owned a look which you might call withering bemusement.

But all the same, his robins’ egg blue eyes gave a window into a soft soul and he was oft regarded as rather a handsome cove. One of those men that grew into himself and suited being middle aged rather than the loping, gawky youngster he’d been.

Dipped his toe into advertising. Who remembers Bull Boys? No, it’s not a gay nightclub.

Then there was sterling work for Morrisons, which saw him deploy his dry wit and articulacy to flog cheap food.

Something called Gee Swing (no, not G String, don’t worry).

And he even got in on the red hot crisp action with Gary and Jamie. This one makes me laugh

You’ll notice that throughout all these ventures, he’s just applying his quintessential Alanness to the exact same degree. It’s almost as though he’s inhabiting a character and he brings the same role to everything he does.

Mind you, this magazine ad for chewing gum was an odd one. Maybe it’s a parody?

Alan should have a stellar PFM rating. When it comes to medals on the table he wins hands down. Comes from the Proper period when everything was better than it is now. Worked with Des Lynam. Played under Bob Paisley. Has a scar on his forehead. Plays golf with Kenny. All platinum card PFMing, as was his response when Lee Dixon came out with some foreign player to look out for at a World Cup. gie you him, said our man with a scathing look, contemptuous that someone might have in depth knowledge of such foreign muck.

Scottish, which means an almost superhuman ability to drink and he would consider Reidy’s adrenalin, turtle wax and fermented pilchard cocktails a mere aperitif before the real drinking starts. Also towards the end of his career, seemed to be phoning it in a little, and every PFM loves to do the minimum amount of work for the most money and considers it a badge of honour that they can turn up, ruddy faced, squeeze a leg, reiterate the same old rubbish and pick up a big fat cheque. The ad above for chewing gum for which he was paid merely to sit in the back of a car is every PFM wet dream, as is the Gee Swing. Paid for advertising a golf stick. Sweet.

However, there are problems. No real PFM would be emotionally honest enough to say this:

I was a pundit I didn’t like the other pundits because I was scared they might be better than me. Honestly, I thought they were all better than me. It was my insecurity. On the pitch I had tremendous belief in my own ability. I never thought I wasn’t good enough to play for Liverpool when the game started but before the match, before a programme I never found out why. It is the way it is. And his ranking is further diminished because he doesn’t look like he’s a practical joker. Doesn’t display nauseating levels of self regard and has been married since 1980. Seems unlikely to be seen spilling out of notorious Alloa night club, The Trouser Haggis, with Miss Lorne Sausage Black Eye 1976.

Even so, will be given the golden key to the nationwide network of executive PFM portaloos and a hip flask of Joop.

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