Regrets? I’ve had a few!
Surely a quote that could be attributed to our much maligned, once erstwhile midfielder, Kieron Dyer.
In the latest extract from his autobiography, Kieron waxes lyrical about the great Sir Bobby Robson and how he mixed among the so-called Newcastle United ‘Brat Pack’ of the time in the early noughties.
The latest story is one of Craig Bellamy. The golf club wielding, club captain abusing, nuisance making, pacey forward that lit up St James Park for four years and could have had the Newcastle history books at his feet. Yet, he dared to challenge the club (while it was attempting to sign Wayne Rooney) and then his manager for asking him to play out of position. Aw, bless.
Back to Kieron Dyer. He has kindly divulged a story from where Bobby took young Bellamy off in a game to ‘save his legs’. The result was the Welsh upstart being the first to moan at the fact he had been howked from the field.
After explaining his decision the outspoken Bellamy continued his rant but, according to Dyer, the wily old fox Robson was unmoved.
“Who are you? Ronaldo, Romario, Stoichkov, Hagi, Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Gascoigne, these are the people I deal with and who are you?”
According to Kieron, the changing room “went quiet”. I bet it did. “Even Craig went quiet”. Now that would have been a first in his Newcastle career.
Apparently, Bellamy quipped “He’s got a point, hasn’t he?”. Yes, he had Craig, the moral of the story being, you shouldn’t cross or challenge a well-respected manager.
If only the so called ‘Brat Pack’ had performed on the pitch more often and fought their manager’s corner in games, they may have actually won something.
The best comparison I can give is our current manager, ‘Sir’ Rafa Benitez.
He is managing a madhouse club, with a crackerjack owner, who nobody can second guess.
Anyone criticising our manager is aiming their ire in the wrong direction. He’s doing his job and (unlike years gone by) the players are performing to the best of their ability and with no slip-ups off the field in the PR stakes with silly stories leaking out. Our former Welsh wizard was no stranger to chucking chairs in airports and allegedly texting abusive messages to the club captain, after all.
God bless Sir Bobby for what he tried to achieve in trying circumstances.
God bless Rafa as well, no manager deserves to manage under the conditions that this club has imposed on the manager over the last decade from this owner. He hasn’t been allowed to assemble the quality squad that Bobby did.
He’s doing his best and getting short-term gains. I’m sure Sir Bobby would compare both periods and be looking on admirably.