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August 2021

Saturday Night Sunday Morning: a reflection on MOTD punditry

By Blacksheep

Now I am aware that not everyone watches Saturday night (or Sunday morning) television.   You may well be ‘jiving’* away the small hours, you may well be working or have childcare issues, or you may be living in different time zones. But if you were tuned to the Google box around 10.40 last night you might have witnessed a sad but far from incredible event

Someone called Alan Hansen was asked to comment on The Arsenal’s plucky away victory at the ‘pride of south London’ Crystal Palace. What could he say?

Let’s look at the talking points: our defensive enforcer was crippled after five minutes, but what followed was an opening salvo in which we had no less than 2,881,042 passes to their 3. We took the lead immediately after the break through the most obvious of penalties and then had our el capitan sent off for having perfect hair (the sort of hair that Chris Foy can only dream of)**.

We then weathered Palace’s attacks and produced a sublime piece of attacking football – a combination between two of the most inform players in the league – to finally stamp our league leadership credentials all over Selhurst Park

So Hansen could have called out the referee for being an arse. He could have praised our keeper (‘the-one-that-cannot-be-spelled’), he could have enjoyed the defensive strength of Bakary Sagna who was again immense.

But instead he dwelt on the one obvious negative, namely that we failed to place a man on the centre spot when we were attacking. And to do this he used history; to whit, a clip from MOTD from 2010. Apparently nothing has changed.

Dear Mr. Hansen I understand you are paid a huge amount of money to give your ‘expert’ opinions when the more sensible among us are jiving across Northamptonshire but could you take some advice from my nan and if you’ve nothing nice to say about the Arsenal, could you please just SHUT THE F— UP!

If you don’t then I might have to drag out those moments when history shows us that you made mistakes. Like this from 1995, or more recently his comment that Arsene Wenger could no longer spot a quality player (let alone, presumably a top top quality player); “Wenger was once adept at replacing top players with equally outstanding ones”, but no more apparently (cough…Ozil…cough)

History is very useful but is just that, history. We are only as good as our next game. In the 1980s Liverpool were the best team in England, arguably in Europe, and Hansen was a part of that.  Between 1979 and 1990 they won seven league titles, which is an amazing record. But they’ve won none since. Not one. It could have (probably should have) been 8 but in 1989 Arsenal went to Anfield on the last fixture of the season needing to win by two goals to take the title to London. Hansen played. The rest is history

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I would love us to win the league this season but I’m realistic, there are at least two sides out there with better squads and three more who will be there or thereabouts. Hansen has written us off already and of course, he may be right. But he is a bitter man and a poorer pundit for all that. One thing is certain, if we beat his beloved Liverpool next weekend either someone else will provide the punditry on MOTD, or Hansen will find some reason NOT to credit the Gunners for the performance.

Altogether now…”It’s Thomas…charging through the midfield, …its up for grabs now, Thomas!”



* not sure what ‘jiving’ is but is sounds dangerously subversive and far too much fun

** since Mary-Anne Shambolic has what can only be described as ‘disaster’ hair I am convinced he fouled Arteta just to stop the comparisons. Foy, who really should be retired*** , saw a fellow sufferer and took advantage

***by retired I meant shot****

**** by shot I meant buried up to his grey head in sand and left to the perils of the North Sea

[Editorial note: Untold Arsenal does not condone meaningless violence.  The violence proposed in the footnotes here is however deemed wholly meaningful and thus is acceptable.  As is the shooting of anyone who doesn’t know what jiving is]


The books…

42 comments to Saturday Night Sunday Morning: a reflection on MOTD punditry

  • Buzz3210(GOONER4LIFE)

    Well said Abouit the village idiot known as Hansen i was asking the same question what the hell did an old clip have to do with the Game. Did we lose hmmm i did not think so but next week will be a good test and if we can overcome the sas then I will be relishing listening to that clown.

  • Gord

    Wikipedia has a good article on what the jive is. In that article, they point to “Doin the Jive’ by Glenn Miller. You can find that song on this page at

    Freely available.

    There is lots of good (freely available and free of price) music at

  • pistolpete

    Hansen is a Prize TOSSER and to listen to these overpaid idiots on there do they really think they were perfect, i really do think they think they were. IDIOT’S!!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hansen and shearer are out of touch fuckwit dinosaur pundits who have nothing relavant to say They are about as objective as Stewart robson with a hangover after he has caught his wife in bed with giroud. Hansen is leaving lets hope shearer follows lets get in sensible knowledgable pundits for our licence fee even if it is gary Neville. But the question is, are clowns like Hansen just bitter men or are they part of a wider agenda?

  • bjtgooner

    There is one enjoyable aspect to MOTD ….and that is the signature tune – which in strict tempo terms can become a very exciting Samba. Once the introductory tune is over, there is not much point retaining the sound. Hansen’s comments in general are very shallow and his hate filled comments directed towards Arsenal devalue the principle of fair and unbiased reporting which one should expect from the BBC – although that expectation has long since been eroded.

    I was disappointed but not altogether surprised to find one of our foul weather semi resident AAA sewer rats becoming an apologist for Hansen.

    Jiving around – usually means gyrating on the dance floor in a semi controlled manner – can be dangerous – should not be confused with the exciting Latin American Jive!

  • elkieno

    If I won multiples league titles like him, yet lost the last one in an historic game like that, I would praise the other team and say ‘hey they beat us, we were too complacent’ or something.
    Bitter indeed..?

  • AL

    Off topic, but spurs get yet another penalty in a match that was heading for a nil nil draw. There’s no doubt now who they’re all getting behind.

  • AL

    That oaf hansen needs to get over his bitterness, it’s getting beyond ridiculous now.

  • AL

    Know I need to give it a rest not but even sky said spurs won through a controversial penalty. I wonder how many penalties they’ve had this season already.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes Al been hearing is was a pretty soft pen as well. Still an excuse for a motd wankfest for their second favorite team. Shame everyone else around us keeps winning!

  • Mandy Dodd

    They have had more pens than any other top flight team

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think the spuds friend today was Michael Oliver if correct according to Walters stuff on him he had a big bias in favour of the spuds recently

  • bjtgooner

    Who was the ref for the Spuds match?

    If anyone follows betting, do you know if there was a lot of money on Torres scoring about minute 88/89?

  • bjtgooner

    Mandy – thanks, I was still writing when your post came through.

  • Sam

    The ‘penalty’ hits the Hull defender in the leg first – Spurs now have 3 wins 1-0 with shaky penalties.

  • Super Singh

    Excuse me! Did you say Hansen is an expert football pundit? NO! NO! NO! He was just a footballer.
    What burk thinks you need a footballer to tell the rest of the world how to play the game and opinionate their drivel to all?
    Harry Carpenter was a good commentator on boxing, but he wasn’t a world champion?

  • victor

    Dont really understand your objection to what seems to be a flaw in our game at the moment. we have been caught on the break 3times this season all resulting in goals and sending off’s. Why would you send ten men forward for a corner kick when the scores is one nil ? it beggars belief. we saw the same instance in our game v villa which is something that needs to be rectified quickly. On the contary as a gunner i say thanks to Hansen for highligting what could become a potential flaw in our game. I hope some of our players watched match of the day because the opposition would definitely have seen that and would be trying to sucks us in, to catch us on the hop. I know the punditry on MOTD CAN BE A DRAG WHERE IT CONCERNS ARSENAL, but come on guys we shouldn’t be getting caught out like that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Steve bruce said the ref could not wait to give the pen! Need to see more to have an opinion if he is right but starting to seem like the spuds have friends in high places at least six points gained this season from what many are saying dodgy pens. This needs a close watch the question if things are happening ,who are their friends and why?

  • pistolpete

    Yes the penalties they are getting does look very dodgy, 3 times now they won 1 – 0 with a penalty.Levy????

  • SeedyJ

    Well, Man Ure were good enough to avoid too much media attention on this issue. With Fergie gone it looks like their deal is finished.

    Maybe spuds will need too many favours and make it too obvious, make the questions unavoidable. We’ll have to wait and see, but if they need too many ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ cards then they could be in bother, or the deal could end.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Fu@king Lucky Lucky Chelski!

  • Yassin

    A dodgy penalty? That wasnt even a penalty….
    If those handballs were given everytime, we would have won the league a long time ago.
    Why the double standards? Now i want someone here who say its not bias to explain this and the red card to Arteta, why apply the law one moment and forget it the other?

  • Mandy Dodd

    I believe today’s ref was Oliver Walters work here may explain a few things
    Still they only have 9 goals from open play so even with ref assistance which cannot go on forever unless managed by fergie ….they should not threaten us, but still intriguing questions to be asked and interested to see how motd views that decision. Is Oliver the new mike dean? Is there a changing of the guard as the new young bucks in black look to cement their place up Riley’s arse….sorry I meant in the pgmol hierarchy

  • Rupert Cook

    Hansen may well be bitter about 1989, he may not. I doubt anyone knows but him so let’s not jump to conclusions. On the whole Hansen is an average pundit who needs to retire which I think he may well do next year. He pointed out a basic defensive error which I must admit a team of Arsenal’s stature should not be committing. Pretty silly to dig up some from a few years back because obviously it’s not something we do every week but it’s certainly something we should sort out. I suspect the MOTD dismissal, imagined or real, of our achievements so far is down to the fact that we’ve played just one team in the top half of the table.

    The next month will reveal how strong we are. I fear we are still short and will be out of the top two by the new year. I think if we had a striker equal to Suarez we’d be definite contenders. We do not have the depth of talent in the squad that Chelsea or City have and see us battling for third among a handful of other teams.

  • Florian

    Stop fearing Rupert, that’s what’s keeping you down. And, look at what the other teams have achieved with an injury list far shorter than ours.

  • Pat

    After hearing crap on Match of the Day – i.e. dragging up footage from 2010 – it is so enjoyable to come on Untold and read an article like this one plus the comments.

    Honestly, sometimes I think I couldn’t stand it if it weren’t for hearing from fellow sufferers on Untold. It’s the best therapy.

    Still top performing Premier League team in 2013. They never said that on MOTD.

    A little ribbon across the top during the highlights said we were the only team in the PL to have scored in all their matches. No mention of that by the ‘pundits’.

  • Pat

    By the way, Rupert, I noticed quite a few misplaced passes from both teams in the Chelsea – Manchester City match. And then there was Chelsea’s final goal – ludicrous defending from Man City. But very funny – except that a draw would have been better for us.

    We’re not the only team that makes mistakes.

    But our passing is pretty damned good.

  • WalterBroeckx

    What Hansen forgot to acknowledge was that the images shown from the Everton game and the Aston Villa game was that we were behind in the score and throwing everything forward in order to make the equaliser.
    And it got punished at the end. Such things happen.

    But being 1-0 in front, then they shouldn’t happen. I have said that minutes after the game and that is correct: it shouldn’t have happened that Arteta was out there as the last defender.

    But the evidence shown by Hansen was irrelevant. Completely different situation and circumstances.

  • bjtgooner

    Agreed Walter, also the defender retained at the half-way line should be one of the faster ones.

  • Double canister

    Does he have a point that Arsenal do leave themselves vulnerable to fast paced counter Attacks from our own corners that go Amiss? Yes.

    Does he notice how many goals or defenders score from corners and sent piecs? re, probably no.

    Has he ever heard of statistics and that managers and coaches use them? 4.33% chance.

  • Double canister

    After 2004 Arsenal managed to loose some football matches.
    The shame, the shame.

    In other news, bears continue refuse to buy toilet paper.

  • Double canister

    Rupert Cook.
    We will see if our squad depth is up to it on Tuesday night.
    I don’t jump to the same conclusions as you do.

    considering there are half a dozen top players still out.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yep even the motd pundits confirmed it ref assisted win for the spuds again today. Ref Oliver is either incompetent a bottler or something even worse

  • Mick

    What I did notice on MOTD was the extraordinary amount of time devoted to the post match Hansen and cronies celebration of Liverpool’s victory over WBA. And why, as Arsenal are league leaders, are we still 3rd match shown (same as last week) in the running order.

  • bjtgooner


    What’s the betting that if we lose we will be first up on MOTD?

  • Mick

    I have just seen the Spurs penalty against Hull, an absolute travesty. They must be the luckiest team in the Premier League this season.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Pat, I despise Chelsea so much I can’t stand to watch them play unless I know they’ve lost so I missed that game. There are always many misplaced passes in any game, even we do that a bit too often in the final third. Sometimes though we can play sublimely like the match against Norwich but they’re a team that play to our strengths by playing open football, I doubt Chelsea will let us have so much space.

    Re MOTD if they hated us so much I doubt they’d even put that statistic about scoring in every game on the screen. Some of you are just too sensitive.

    @Double Canister, there are three top players out that will actually contribute this year, hopefully, Podolski, Flamini and Walcott. Remind me if I’ve forgotten anyone. I don’t think Ox or Diaby are due back to the new year.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Hansens having a bash at the Gunners again today in the Torygraph. All speculation is a bet anyway,made even more ludicrous by such an early stage in the season,but perhaps hes actually the great Mephisto Floaterinthepool ?,- the famous 19th C clairvoyant who can spy into the future with a crystal football.
    In which case I recommend Alan you put a few bets on and make some cash on the 2.30 at Kempton park, the tip is on a horse called Billy Soy. Perhaps you could leave footicus alone altogether and wander the countryside predicting the future…”hear ye hear ye”
    In fact I predict he will become the new Criswell and predict that Edward D Wood jr shall come back to this dimension and make a sequel to Plan 9 from Outer Space, it shall be called Plan 10 from Scouser Space-starring green eyed zombie pundits apparently…

  • para

    The jive or jiving:
    In Ballroom dancing, Jive is a dance style in 4/4 time that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s. It was originally presented to the public as ‘Jive’ in 1934 by Cab Calloway. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance.
    Glenn Miller introduced his own jive dance in 1938 with the song “Doin’ the Jive” which never caught on.
    Please try to get these things right today, to counteract the many achievements that have been buried over the years.

  • AL

    Yes, read that nonsense of an article too on the DT. If anyone still fails to see Hansen’s bitterness (89?) then they should go to specsavers.

    I am absolutely convinced we will be shown first on motd the day we lose.

  • bjtgooner


    Nice description on the Jive – did you write the similar Wikipedia version as well?

    The modern competitive Ballroom Jive has developed a lot from the early days and is a very exciting dance to perform and also as a spectacle.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Don’t be a jive turkey. When I was growing up to jive some one meant to bullshit them- tell them something patently untrue.