Alan Hansen will be basking in tributes today, as he readies himself for one last stint on the sofa for tomorrow’s World Cup final. There will be people lining up to tell him what a good job he has done in enlightening the viewer about the tactics, mistakes and highlights of countless games of football over the last 22 years.
But what should not be forgotten is that Hansen is the televisual equivalent of an ancient factory worker, set in his tried and trusted ways, yet oblivious to the fact that they may not be the best any more. In short, he is a dinosaur.
A case in point came at half-time during the World Cup semi-final between Germany and Brazil, after the hosts had had five goals fired past them. Hansen trotted out his “diabolical defending, that’s schoolboy stuff” schtick which we have heard regularly from the Scot since, well, Leeds United were quite good.
It was so tired and negative that even Alan Shearer climbed into his fellow pundit. The ex-striker even shrieked, he was so worked up, as he chastised Hansen for failing to mention just how darn good Germany had been. Hansen, take note: if you are being upstaged by Alan Shearer, then it is time to take a good hard look at yourself.
Hansen is a product of his time – no better highlighted than in 2011 when he talked of there being a lot of “coloured” players in the Premier League when asked whether racism was rife in football, on the day that John Terry was accused of abusing Anton Ferdinand. Hansen later apologised.
His brand of punditry has been overtaken by the new kids on the block, like Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on Sky. They offer genuine insight with their punditry. They give praise where it is due and constructive criticism where necessary.
They never leave the viewer asking why something was diabolical, schoolboy stuff, as we often did with Hansen. So it is no surprise Hansen is calling it a day. The only surprise is that he has lasted so long.