Plenty of people try to have a little piece of Alan Shearer to boost their own credibility.
The latest being Dean Saunders, one of the people responsible for ruining the Sir Bobby Robson legacy at St James Park.
Saunders was part of the Graeme Souness backroom team, as the Shepherd/Hall administration made the astonishing decision to appoint a manager who was busy destroying Blackburn Rovers. Somehow thinking it was a good idea to employ this loser AND pay millions in compensation to Blackburn, just as they were preparing to sack him!
Dean Saunders arrived as Souness’ striker coach, then somehow ending up as first team coach – little surprise that Sir Bobby’s talented team was ripped apart, rather than fine-tuned, fans seeing some of the most dire football witness for years.
A disastrous 18 months later and the 2005/06 season saw Newcastle struggling with only seven wins in 23 games, Graeme Souness and Dean Saunders belatedly sacked in early February, with their final six Premier League matches seeing five defeats and a draw.
Glenn Roeder took over with Alan Shearer in a player/assistant role, the pair of them inspiring Newcastle to 10 wins in 15 PL games, a surprising finish of seventh and qualification for the Intertoto Cup.
As for Alan Shearer, Dean Saunders has came out with a very dodgy sounding story from that period.
He claims that Alan Shearer decided to retire after being ‘rag-dolled’ and ‘out-strengthened’ by a ’17 or 18 year old’ Steven Taylor.
Shearer had obviously decided to retire at the right time, his body having taken so much punishment and also some serious injuries, so little surprise he fancied calling it a day…but to claim it was because he couldn’t handle Steven Taylor is surely laughable.
For starters, Steven Taylor turned 18 two and a half years before Alan Shearer’s time at Newcastle United ended and several months AFTER Taylor’s 18th birthday, the legendary number nine was still more than matching the best the Premier League had to offer.
In April 2004, over two years before his retirement, Alan Shearer gave John Terry and Marcel Desailly a torrid time in a game at St James Park. Newcastle winning 2-1 and Shearer scoring one of his very best goals as he held off Desailly with ease and turned and put a right footer in the top corner.
In addition, before Saunders/Souness even darkened our door, Steven Taylor was already training with the first team and had played in the Premier League.
If the likes of Graeme Souness and Dean Saunders hadn’t ruined the Newcastle team, maybe under a different manager there would have been a side created and an environment where Alan Shearer could have been persuaded to keep on going in some capacity. Clearly though, the state Newcastle had ended up in, had dragged even this Newcastle great down.
Dean Saunders speaking to Talksport:
“Steven Taylor, who was 17 or 18-years-old, came to training with us – he started rag-dolling Alan Shearer in training, out-strengthening him, so Alan retired.
“Graeme (Souness) offered him another contract and said listen, ‘You don’t need to play as much, just sort out the dressing room,keep everybody in order’.
“Alan said ‘No, I can’t look at myself in the mirror, I know when my legs have gone and if I’m getting out-strengthened by a young lad, then it is time to pack it in’.
“He didn’t play for money, he was offered a massive contract to not even play and he said no.”