Robin Scott-Elliot: For me, Gary, at £40k a go Hansen shouldn't need boost of Madchester move

The View From The Sofa: Match of the Day, BBC1

According to Noel Gallagher, Creation Records made the move from London to Manchester because the drugs were better up north, or so he informed an entertaining documentary on the story of Alan McGee and co last week. That is probably not the reason the Match of the Day Alans, Hansen and Shearer, and the rest of the programme's producers, sofas, fixtures and fittings are making the same switch but they do seem to have already bought into the Madchester stereotype that McGee's men played a part in creating.

Saturday's Match of the Day – the last to be broadcast from Television Centre in London – opened with the other Gallagher swaggering around in a City shirt, which raises the question of how they would have portrayed other clubs in such a situation. If Chelsea get back to the top they could call in one of the real people with real feelings about the difficulties of retaining domestic staff from Made in Chelsea (it's on my zeitgeist tape). Norwich? Alan Partridge. Newcastle? Ant and Dec? Or just Dec on his own? The first Match of the Day opened with the words "Welcome to Beatleville" so perhaps the programme is just echoing its history. The mind does drift when Alan Shearer is picking – does Hansen look a little like Woody from Toy Story? – the bones out of Wigan against Fulham.

Shearer has a formula for analysis that is as predictable as Steve Kean's future. He signals he's about to start to give his – and no one else's, mind – point of view by declaring "For me, Gary..." He has taken to repeating the same point with slightly different wording, so stretching out what he has to say by instigating moderate changes to the way he assemble the words at his disposal, and then finishing by making a jocular reference to Hansen's obsession with defenders and their inability to meet their job description. Cue joshing with Hansen.

Hansen was actually in fine form; when he rouses himself (and who wouldn't for £40k an episode?) he is still a pundit well worth paying close attention to, such as on Saturday when he meticulously measured the gaps between Arsenal's backline (or rather meticulously got somebody to measure the gaps for him while he mulled over his tricky second to the 18th at Wentworth the day before). Maybe it's the prospect of change that has reinvigorated him, or maybe it really is the sight of terrible defending from top to bottom of the league – part of the reason the Premier League is so goal-friendly at the moment is because the defending is universally dire. It's enough to make Hansen spin in his removals crate on his way north this week.

There are so many goals at the moment that Match of the Day, with its lasting and simply effective formula, can't fail. Where the Saturday programme often misses out is when the match of the weekend comes on the Sunday. This weekend they had all the big sides and the programme galloped along as though Gary Lineker were still holding the reins of a football stallion rather than steering an ageing carthorse up the M6, if I may saddle up and flog an equine metaphor straight to the knacker's yard/glue factory/water to see if it will take a drink. Finally it was time to pack and decide whether bubble wrap is better value for money than old newspaper when it comes to wrapping the large imitation League trophy that sits next to the sofa. "For me, Gary," said Alan...

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower