Another reader submission for From The Terraces, as COS reader James ponders the best partnership of the Premiership season.
Alan Hansen clearly hates Adrian Chiles, and this Sundayâ€™s MOTD 2 was a brilliantly awkward show.
The absence of Sunshine Lawrenson left the two of them alone in the studio and it appeared from the off that Hansen had no idea what to make of the situation.
Was he wrong-footed by the lack of a fellow pundit? Was he aghast at having the geeky West Brom supporter for company? Or â€“ controversially â€“ was he afraid that Chiles would offer better banter than the crap that Lawrenson regularly serves up?
It soon became clear as Mr Chiles announced: â€œAlan Hansen and I only have each other to rely on â€“ a frightening experience for both of us.â€
Letâ€™s just have a quick look at both of their backgrounds.
Hansen: celebrated Liverpool central defender, only player to have won all club honours at least twice, captained Liverpool to double in 1986.
Chiles: University of London graduate, News of the World sports reporter, presenter of â€˜Wake up to Moneyâ€™ on Five Live and â€˜Working Lunchâ€™ on BBC 2. Now MOTD 2 presenter.
Clearly, the odds were stacked against Chiles as soon as he started presenting MOTD 2. He seems like a good enough presenter and a likeable person, but you have to wonder about his credentials when it comes to his footballing past (i.e. no credentials) and his history of presenting finance shows. Is passion for the game enough? Did Des Lynham prove that as The Premiership anchor? (My opinion: No)
Anyway, back to the programme.
Both menâ€™s body language differed remarkably during the opening exchanges – Chiles was bright but nervous, Hansen confidently arrogant (as usual).
Hansen was giving off the dominant signals: he was relaxed, reclining and looked intently at Chiles whenever he spoke â€“ probably looking for the first error.
Chiles always seemed desperate to please: leaning forwards, butting in with questions and murmuring agreement.
But all it takes is a crap Liverpool performance.
A few probing questions about Liverpoolâ€™s chances in the title race (zero), a table comparing Premiership away form (Liverpool are bottom), and a flashback to Gerrard and Riiseâ€™s arguments following the Gallas goal (they blamed each other) was enough.
Chiles carefully â€“ and without being obvious â€“ brought Hansen to his irritated best. When he told Hansen that the Premiership was out of sight for Liverpool, Hansen replied hopefully that the Champions League and FA Cup were still within reach. Chiles didnâ€™t need to reply to that one.
Now Alan Hansen clearly hates Adrian Chiles more than ever.
As for the next Chiles-Hansen MOTD? Ideally, West Brom will have just dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup at Anfield. I think itâ€™s actually possible that, because Hansen will hate him so much by then, there will be a fight. But judging on current form, Chiles will win that too.
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