Like every other Newcastle fan, Alan Shearer watched Sunday’s 90 minutes in sheer disbelief.
Whilst Newcastle had nothing to play for apart from ‘pride’, which is a word you haven’t had to use much this season, Tottenham had everything to play for as their fans were desperate for this rare chance to finish above Arsenal.
Yet…Newcastle United dominated the whole game, from start to finish.
Tottenham may have had more possession but from kick-off it was Newcastle who looked as though they could score throughout the game.
Even when down to 10 men for the final quarter of the game, it actually looked as though it was Spurs who had had a man sent off, not the ridiculous Mitrovic for Newcastle.
Even in those later stages, the likes of Sissoko, Janmaat and Wijnaldum were busting a gut to make the difference – United scoring three more goals when a man down, remarkable.
It was almost as though they were trying to impress in this final ‘shop window’ of the season…
No wonder Alan Shearer was moved to ask ‘where they have been all season’, clearly knowing like the rest of us that relegation would have been out of the question if this ‘passion and commitment’ had been on show earlier.
Shearer once again pointed out the folly of giving Steve McClaren so long and not appointing Rafa Benitez earlier, comparing it to his own experience in 2008/09 which clearly still really annoys the Newcastle legend to this day.
Whether it is a realistic possibility or not, if these players were still all around and showed this same kind of commitment and ability in the Championship next season, then the cigars would be out celebrating promotion not long after the turn of the year.
Alan Shearer says that the proof is there that Mike Ashley obviously hadn’t learnt by his (numerous) mistakes.
The big question is that after meeting Rafa Benitez after this crazy game of football, has Ashley now accepted that his way of running the club is guaranteed to lead to disaster and that he needs to put the major decisions in the hands of professionals like the talented Spanish Manager, rather than believing like goons like himself, Dennis Wise, Graham Carr and Lee Charnley know better?
Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day:
“Very good performance, a superb victory, but the question you would have to be asking is where have those players been all season – for the vast majority of that season?
“If they had shown as much passion and commitment for the rest of the season as they did today…you see players rolling their sleeves up, shouting and screaming when they scored goals.
“Where have they been all season?
‘Maybe it us just the fact that Rafa has gradually got them where he wants them, they have got to keep him (Benitez) haven’t they, they have got to try?’
“Oh they have got to try, if he had been given more time, more games to have managed them, then there is no doubt that they wouldn’t have been relegated.
“They made the exact same mistake, I was the fourth manager in that 2008/09 season and they still haven’t learnt by their mistakes, making the exact same mistakes.
“If they had given him more time they would have not been relegated.”