The return of Alan Shearer to Newcastle United was proclaimed as the ‘Return of the Messiah’ (MK II). Newcastle supporters far and wide rode the wave of optimism and turned up in their thousands to hail the saviour of their cherished club. Shearer, it seems, is the antidote to the cockney mafia poison. Now, it appears the healing properties of this former striker may take some time to cure this ailing club from the mire it finds itself in.
Being appointed in April fools day, I for one thought Alan Shearer becoming Newcastle manager was a wind-up. How wrong I was. His appointment was real and the Newcastle faithful heralded the arrival of a club legend, a man who would put right months of anguish. I was not fooled, and it doesn’t look like I will be proved wrong either.
In three games at the helm, Shearer has amassed one point and his team were very much second best in all three ties. When Chelsea turned up at St James’ Park, they did not read the script and looked comfortable as they brushed aside Shearers new look Newcastle. Stoke were next for the Toon and if it was not for Andy Carroll’s late equaliser, a spineless Newcastle would have lost once more.
On Saturday in North London, Newcastle were outclassed and outfought by a Tottenham side whose consistency has been called into question repeatedly throughout the season. Darren Bent scored the only goal for an impressive Spurs side, and the gamble of three centre backs did not work for the away side. This defeat left the Magpies four points adrift of safety and in a desperate situation.
Having not registered a win in eight games, it would appear Newcastle have an uphill struggle on their hands. Shearer has called for his precious Toon to win their three remaining home games. Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Fulham have all to travel north. Shearer said, “We’ll be expected to win those and we have to.” Whether this will occur, I have my doubts.
Holding an away record of two victories, six draws and nine defeats. Visiting Aston Villa and Liverpool will not be easy tasks. Given Liverpool dispensed Newcastle with their heaviest defeat of the season, a 5-1 drubbing in December, these are three points the Anfield club will surely take. Thus, it can be concluded Shearer has made one correct decision as manager … identifying three victories at St James’ Park are a must if salvation is to be achieved.
The players are behind him, Nicky Butt who has gone through more Newcastle managers than hot dinners, 10 in total, said of Shearer, “He’s brought a spring in the step in and around the club everyone’s buzzing,” Meanwhile, the ever injured Alan Smith has been promised a large role in the relegation run-in by Shearer. “I spoke to the manager when he came in and he said he wanted me to be a big part of his squad but I’d only played two games all season,” Smith said.
It remains to be seen whether Alan Shearer can save his beloved Newcastle United. A formidable effort will most certainly be needed.