Matt Butler: Rearranging the chairs is not enough, Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer have had their day

View From The Sofa: Match of the Day BBC 1

It may have been left off many people's calendars, but it is a year ago on Tuesday that Match of the Day first broadcast from its ultra-modern, seemingly-designed-by-a-Crystal-Palace-fan studio in Salford.

And boy, were Gary Lineker and the two Alans, Shearer and Hansen, in the mood to poop an anniversary party on Saturday night.

There were no flowers, no fanfare – hardly even an introduction from the host Lineker of his two stooges, who were still not looking used to being perched in the office chairs that grace the Salford studio, as opposed to the plush couch they enjoyed in west London.

The first match on the list – Manchester United against Arsenal – gave grist to Hansen's "horrific defending" mill with Thomas Vermaelen's mistakes against Sir Alex Ferguson's side. "Total schoolboy stuff," the ex-Liverpool man said. Not that anyone blessed with a pair of eyes wouldn't have known that the Belgian had made an elementary error.

They rightly criticised Andre Santos for his Robin van Persie half-time shirt-swap (without the swap bit: RVP clearly wasn't too bothered about having Santos' shirt). But the fact the first scorer was Van Persie handed Shearer an open goal to fire home some genuine insight. His nugget of wisdom? "He is a very good player, Arsenal miss him." Cheers, Alan.

For the next game, it was more of the same from Shearer. On the Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas's decision to take off Jermain Defoe, with five goals this season and 10 in his last 11 games against Saturday's opponents Wigan, to a barrage of boos from the home support: "I was surprised he did that."

Please. Give us something – anything – to talk us through the manager's thoughts on the relative merits of his two forwards.

And herein lies the rub when it comes to Match of the Day. We can almost forgive Lineker's £15,000-a-year cab rides from London to Greater Manchester to host the show, because he is a skilful frontman who does his level best to get blood out of the metaphorical stones that sit opposite him.

And we could even overlook the fact Hansen trousers a five-figure sum every week for his "analysis" if he ever gave some actual insight. But he doesn't. And as for Shearer, if he had been as bad at scoring goals as he is at analysing them … well, insert your own Torres gag here.

The Beeb clearly has money so there is no reason why it cannot search for another set of analysts; ones that don't insult the intelligence of the watching public.

Gary Neville has proved on Sky Sports that ex-players can give intelligent analysis; views that tell us something we didn't already know. And at last summer's Euro 2012, ITV's pundits of choice, Gareth Southgate, Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane, gave a near-ideal triumvirate of good cop/bad cop/curmudgeonly Irishman that was as entertaining as it was informative.

But sadly it looks as if we are stuck with the two Alans. The Match of the Day mob may have been in Salford for only a year, but Hansen and Shearer look all too comfortable. Despite the lack of ergonomics in the chairs.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral