August 19 – ‘You’ll Never Win Anything With Kids’

WE ALL like to make brash predictions when we’re talking footy with our mates. And more often than not we’re wrong, which leads to a ribbing and possibly the loss of fiver. But none of us here have ever had these predictions broadcast to millions of football viewers – that would be awfully embarrassing if you got it wrong, wouldn’t it? One man who knows how this feels is Alan Hansen, who on this day in 1995 announced on Match of the Day that “You’ll never win anything with kids” after a young Manchester United side lost the season opener to Aston Villa 3-1.

Since his retirement from football in 1990 Alan Hansen has become one of the most respected pundits in the game. The BBC poached Hansen from Sky in the early 1990′s and he soon became an authoritative voice of the technical side of the game, with a penchant for spotting “diabolical defending” and the like. So when Hansen dismissed United’s title challenge he found no shortage of people who were disagreeing with him. However, we now all know that Fergie’s team of youngsters including David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were able to wrestle the title back from Blackburn Rovers, and also win the FA Cup, securing the first of what was to be two consecutive double-winning seasons, a feat never before seen in English football.

Hansen’s statement was to famously inspire a t-shirt slogan that became popular with the Old Trafford faithful. At the time Hansen tried to qualify his rash prediciton by claiming that the great Bill Shankly had said it back in the 1970′s, but he has since admitted this to be the biggest blunder of his media career. This even beats the time when he said that Ian Rush “can’t head it, and he hasn’t got a left foot or a right foot” after he joined Liverpool, and the one where he said “the Argentine defender wants shooting for a mistake like that”, in 1994, shortly after the Colombian defender defender Andres Escobar had been shot dead following his own goal which saw his country knocked out of the 1994 World Cup. Whoops.

Sadly, it seems as though Hansen has tried to airbrush this mistake out of history, as no footage exists on YouTube of Hansen’s famous statement. Instead, you can see Baddiel and Skinner bantering with the dour Scotsman below. Oh, and by the way Arsenal fans, you’ll be pleased to know that earlier this year Hansen said that Wenger’s current bunch of youngster won’t win anything either. Time for the suits at Ashburton Grove to stock up on some polish methinks!

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Manchester United History « Fadhilhazmi’s Weblog  on November 21st, 2008

[...] On This Football Day, 19 August [...]

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