Interview: Alan Hansen talks Liverpool under Rodgers, Can, Sakho & “unbeatable” fans

Legendary Liverpool defender Alan Hansen made 620 appearances for the club on the way to eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups and four League Cups. Here he speaks to This Is Anfield about Liverpool past, present and future.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 28, 2010: Liverpool legend Alan Hansen sees his side take on Sunderland during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)2015_03_11_600x150

This Is Anfield’s Jack Lusby asks the questions in association with The Football Pools.

TIA: You played under legendary managers Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish in your time at Liverpool – how does Brendan Rodgers compare, and can he be anywhere near as successful?

Brendan is doing a very good job. The three managers I played under managed in an era where Liverpool were omnipotent, trophy after trophy after trophy. These are totally different times at Anfield. After a blip earlier on in the season Liverpool have entered a stage where they are getting back near the levels of last season. If we continue in the same vein not only can we get Champions League football but a trophy on the table.

TIA: With Steven Gerrard retiring this summer, who do you see as Liverpool’s next captain and vice-captain?

It looks as though it is going to be Jordan Henderson as captain, well deserved and he is not only a fantastic footballer but looks as though he could be a great leader.

TIA: The loss of Gerrard this summer leaves a lack of local presence in the Liverpool squad, with Jon Flanagan the only other first-team player from Merseyside – from your time with the club, how important was it to have local players in the side?

It is very important to have local players on the team. The crowd automatically has a lift when they are playing and usually those players understand more than most the importance of Liverpool Football Club.

TIA: You played with Liverpool until your retirement at 36, how important is it to have players of such experience in a squad? Kolo Toure, for example, is 33 and a Premier League winner.

Well for someone who has had the famous quote, “You’ll never win anything with kids”… experience is still everything.

TIA: Mamadou Sakho has become somewhat of a fans’ favourite this season after coming back into the side, how highly do you rate the centre-back?

Sakho has done really well. He looks a bit ungainly but his performances have impressed everybody.

TIA: Emre Can has impressed in a centre-back role this season, how well do you think he’s doing, and what advice would you give him in adapting to the position?

Can looks to be a bit of a utility player. Mark Lawrenson and Stevie Nicol were two examples of the best utility players ever at Liverpool. Can looks like he can play right across the back four and in midfield, still only young,it looks like he will become an integral part in the Liverpool side.

TIA: Do you think the standard of defending has lowered significantly since your playing days?

Obviously! Every ex-player will say the standards have dropped since they played but generally the standard of defending has been very, very poor this season.

TIA: Which of Liverpool’s top-four rivals (Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Southampton) represent the biggest threat to their chances of Champions League qualification this season?

Man United and Arsenal. We play the two rivals end of March and that will probably determine whether we get Champions League football. The way we are playing, Brendan and his team should be super confident.

TIA: Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson are both in talks with the club at the moment with regards to extending their contracts, what would you say to convince them their future lies with Liverpool?

Liverpool look like they could be the team for the next five years. It doesn’t matter where anybody goes when they leave Liverpool, it wont be the same. The club, the crowd, the ground…. unbeatable.

TIA: What can you tell us about your work with the Football Pools, and why should fans get involved?

I have been working with The Football Pools for a few years now and it’s fantastic to be working with a brand that has been partnered with Football for so long and is not only a British institution, but also working hard to ensure it is providing a modern experience for its existing and prospective customers. The new website platform offers great opportunities for customers to play a range of games and have winning experiences every week! Fans should get involved, as The Pools bring your weekend Football experience to life and offers daily chances to win at footballpools.com.

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