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Opinion

Gary Lineker and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have fun at Alan Shearer’s expense but the (bad) joke is on Newcastle United fans

10 months ago
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Gary Lineker  was excellent as always on Monday night.

The presenter hosting the Chelsea v Man Utd FA Cup fifth round game on BBC.

A high quality game saw two sides pretty much cancel each other out, apart from two pieces of Man Utd inspiration paired with poor Chelsea defending.

The visitors deserving their two goal victory.

Gary Lineker was in the studio with Alan Shearer, Phil Neville and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as guests.

After the final whistle they spoke to the victorious manager:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

“The FA Cup is one of the best trophies you can win.

“I played in 1999 and I think Alan, you also played…”

(Amid much laughter in the BBC studio from Gary Lineker and pundits) Alan Shearer replied:

“Thanks Ole, I was having a great night until then!”

Gary Lineker:

“Thanks very much for reminding us that Alan Shearer never won the FA Cup.”

Sitting there watching it, it was good TV, even though Alan Shearer and Newcastle United by association, were the butt of the joke.

Then I started thinking…

We all know how long it is since Newcastle last won the FA Cup (64 years) but it then hit me just how quickly time is racing away with the club not even getting as close as a final, or a semi-final, or a quarter-final…

We keep saying about not reaching even the fifth round under Mike Ashley and the stark reality is that for Alan Shearer to laugh along last night with the other TV people, is pretty easy up to a point, because it is fully 20 years ago. It is 20 years since Newcastle last got to an FA Cup final.

When checking up, even the years between that 1999 FA Cup final defeat to Man Utd and Mike Ashley taking over in May 2007, were a relative feast for Newcastle fans.

The FA Cup years after 1999 (2000-2007) were:

Semi-Final, 3rd rd, Quarter-Final, 3rd, 4th, Semi-Final, Quarter-Final, 3rd

Under Mike Ashley, 2008-2019, it has been:

4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th

Newcastle went out tamely to Watford at home, Rafa Benitez left with an underfunded squad facing a relegation fight and Man City in the Premier League only a few days later. The manager protecting Rondon, Dubravka and others for that PL game.

Watford won 1-0 at QPR at the weekend and last night pulled out a home draw against Crystal Palace (other ties are Swansea v Man City, Wolves v Man Utd and Millwall v Brighton) for a place in the semi-final.

We can but dream…

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