Alan Shearer has given an interview in Australia, talking about his entire career.
Some of the Newcastle stuff is interesting, picking out his favourite games/goals, as well as talking about his reception when he arrived at St James Park.
Rather surprisingly, Shearer comes to the defence of Aussie striker Mark Viduka, describing his attitude as ‘absolutely fantastic’.
This is the same Mark Viduka who scored zero goals in 12 appearances during the relegation season of 2008/09. Shearer giving Viduka five starts and a sub appearance in the eight games he had in charge at the end of that season, Mark Viduka rewarding him with no goals and very little effort.
The best (Newcastle) bits below but go here to read the full interview with Outside 90:
I was looking for an Australian angle and I thought I’d ask you about one of our nation’s finest footballers in Mark Viduka, who joined Newcastle I believe the season after you retired, but you did manage him at the club for a short period of time?
AS: Yeah I had eight games with him (2008/2009) and I have to say his attitude was absolutely fantastic. Before I’d got in there they’d kind of written him off, the coaches beforehand and said he wouldn’t be fit enough for the rest of the season and we’d simply discard him. But to his credit I asked him if he wanted to be part of the fight and the battle and he got himself fit and tried his very best to keep us in the league.
Obviously it didn’t happen (Newcastle were relegated) but he was a prodigious talent and first class, and I have to say I got along very well with him.
I imagine the move to Newcastle a couple of years later, and the rock star-type reception you received from the fans, must have been the closest thing you ever felt to being a genuine rock star, and what a head spin that must have been?
AS: Yeah, it was great and I’ll never forget that day when I first signed for Newcastle when I went up and outside the ground, walked out and all I could see was this mass of black and white fans and nearly 20,000 of them. Just for a signing it’s worth noting! That made me feel very, very special and I feel it helped me get off to a terrific start with the club.
Your glittering career at the Magpies, the games and goals make for impressive reading, but is there one of either, a game or a particular goal that stands out with fond memories?
AS: Well I think my best goal was my volley against Everton at St James’ Park, was one of those where you just take pot luck and the vast majority of the time they go into the top row of the stands. But I just knew I’d caught that one sweet at the time and watched it go into the back of the net instead.
But as for the most memorable one, it would have to be the goal I scored to break the record (Jackie Milburn’s club goals record at Newcastle) my 201st goal, at home down at the Gallowgate End, it was just a very special feeling. Standing there with my arms aloft, I just didn’t want that moment to ever end, and if I could have bottled that there and then I’d have made an absolute fortune because it was such a great feeling!
Standout strike partners?
As far as strike partners go I had one season with Les Ferdinand at Newcastle and we got 49 goals between us despite two or three months with injuries.