The Ruud Gullit and Alan Shearer clash at Newcastle United was remarkable.
As in remarkably stupid from the point of view of the Dutchman.
Ruud Gullit arrived at St James Park in August 1998 to take over from the departed Kenny Dalglish.
It became abundantly clear that the new manager didn’t like having star players who had so much sway, embarking on a ridiculous campaign against Alan Shearer to try and get hm out of the club.
Gullit dropped Shearer’s best mate Robert Lee to seemingly get at the number nine, then on that fateful night left out Alan Shearer himself, as well as Duncan Ferguson, preferring to play rookie striker David Robinson instead.
Kieron Dyer gave Newcastle the lead against Sunderland and if things had stayed like that then who knows how the future would have worked out.
However, the mackems ran out 2-1 winners at St James Park and Ruud Gullit quickly resigned, almost exactly a year after taking over at NUFC. Sir Bobby Robson came in and Alan Shearer scored five on the new manager’s home debut, the rest as they say is history.
Moving forward to the present day and Shearer & Gullit have a good rapport on Match of The Day, the NUFC legend (Shearer not Gullit…) having previously revealed the change in relationship.
Alan Shearer in an interview related how at a party in Rio for the 2014 FIFA World Cup he bumped into Ruud Gullit once again.
Shearer saying: ‘I introduced him to my wife and I said this is the fella who left me out, he said look ‘I am really sorry, I was Dutch, I was young and I was arrogant, I am totally different now, I got it wrong and I apologise’ and we have been good friends ever since.’
Today sees Ruud Gullit turn 56, meaning he had only just turned 37 when resigning from Newcastle United.
Age/time does things to a lot of people and Alan Shearer has wished Ruud Gullit all the best but says ‘Just a shame you wasted two of those years…’, the Dutchman was of course only in charge for one year at Newcastle United although it felt a lot longer at times.
“56 today but still feel as young as on this picture!
“Very happy with how the first 56 years have gone and looking forward to spending another 56 with the people I love around me.”
“Happy birthday lovely boy!
“Just a shame you wasted two of those years….
“I knew you must be a decent bloke really, as you share a birthday with (my son) Will Shearer.”
That pretty much finished Ruud Gullit as a top level manager although five years he managed one season at Feyenoord, then later brief spells at LA Galaxy and in Russia.
Ruud Gullit was a brilliant player and just maybe he could have achieved something special as a manager at Newcastle United, if he had taken Alan Shearer on as a confidante and used his help to get the club heading in the right direction again.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) September 1, 2018