Alan Shearer gives Newcastle survival verdict and Rafa Benitez’ biggest weakness
Alan Shearer has given his relegation verdict after watching Newcastle battle back to earn a point in the latest derby at St James Park.
Shearer believes that Newcastle are only heading one way and it isn’t up.
The United legend has also spotted a big flaw in the Rafa Benitez CV, Alan Shearer stating that when it comes to trying to save this Newcastle team, Rafa is only a ‘good manager’ and not a…’magician’.
Shearer says that a new manager can only do so much and when it comes to transforming failing players into Premier League players, he can only do so much.
The two key elements of football: scoring and stopping goals, obviously speak for themselves after 30 Premier League games. Only Aston Villa have conceded more goals tha Newcastle and have scored fewer.
Alan Shearer hopes that Sunday’s goal will give Aleksandar Mitrovic confidence to go on and score a lot more because as he points out, there doesn’t look like there is many other likely goalscorers in the team.
Alan Shearer writing for The Sun:
‘Why I Think Toon Will Still Go Down
Rafa Benitez is a good manager…but he is not a magician.
Newcastle’s performance yesterday proved just how tough a job he has on his hands – it is very difficult for a manager to go in and suddenly make players dramatically improve.
Newcastle’s problems defensively and up front are not going to disappear overnight, so I have not seen anything yet that stops me worrying about the prospect of my old team being relegated.
For an hour, they were really poor against Sunderland, as Sam Allardyce’s side handled the occasion much better than Newcastle in the first half and deserved their lead.
Jermain Defoe had two early chances and Newcastle were lucky to get away with it. I thought, ‘Don’t give him a third’, but they did and paid the penalty – Benitez then made changes in the second half and Newcastle went for it.
And I thought they were actually then the better team and deserved to get something out of the game – still, Newcastle really needed a win yesterday, but when you are 1-0 down with seven minutes to go, you will take a point.
And hopefully that late goal can give striker Aleksandar Mitrovic a little bit of confidence — something he badly needs.
Confidence is such a massive thing in football, just look at Defoe — he is full of confidence at the moment, so that strike might just spur Mitrovic on to get another couple of crucial goals between now and the end of the season. Newcastle can only hope so, because they still don’t look like scoring many.
Overall, though, yesterday’s match was between two poor teams and a draw was a result that neither side really wanted. Like Newcastle, Sunderland still have to convince they have enough to get out of trouble.’
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