The Axis of Evil will need to act quickly to strengthen their squad when the transfer window opens again in January if they are to compete on the global stage in 2012, according to TV pundit Alan Hansen.
'2011 was a terrible year for them' said Hansen. 'They've lost the backbone of their team through assassinations and deaths - Bin Laden's gone, Gadhafi's hung up his boots and now their top goalscorer (according to him) Kim Jong Il's dead as well. They need to bring in some quality despots if they're going to carry on wreaking terror on the Western world.'
Hansen also questioned some of the succession decisions made by the Axis of Evil countries recently. 'Kim Jong Un is no replacement for Kim Jong Il' he complained. 'He's only 27, and he's got very little experience of suppressing the human rights of an entire country and threatening his neighbours with a fledgling nuclear capability. You’ll never blow up anything with kids.'
The Scot also believes that the problems have been building for the last five years. 'They never replaced Saddam Hussein when he died in 2006, and the writing's been on the wall since then' he said. 'They didn't have the strength in depth to cope with the tough schedule brought about by the Arab Spring, and now they're paying the price. Now they're left with an aging squad that's badly in need of fresh blood, and new signings as well. There's too much reliance on Ahmadinejad, and Assad's form's been woeful so far this season.'
Hansen wasn't sure however who the Axis of Evil should be trying to sign. 'There's not a lot of talent out there to be honest. Most politicians and leaders are used to democratic formations these days, and they probably wouldn't be able to cope with a dictatorial set up. The rumour mill is saying that Sarkozy could be seeking a new country in the Summer, and of course Berlusconi's been transfer listed, but they're both coming towards the end of their careers now and quite frankly wouldn't last five minutes. Putin might be a safe pair of hands, but Nick Clegg might be a good option for them. He's fallen out with his current gaffer, and he's always handy to blame all your problems on if nothing else.'
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini agreed with Hansen, and was quick to suggest Carlos Tevez as a possible signing. 'His salary is on a par with the GDP of most third world countries, he's very good at falling out with people and he seems to like having other people to all the running around for him whilst he just sits on the bench' said Mancini. 'He'd be a perfect despotic dictator.'