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Opinion

Sir John Hall calls out players who treated Sir Bobby Robson so badly – Should look closer to home

8 months ago
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Sir John Hall has been speaking about what happened when he was the major shareholder at Newcastle United.

Specifically, the man who sold out to Mike Ashley has been recalling what happened with Sir Bobby Robson.

The former owner calling out players who he said treated the then manager ‘with disrespect’ and declares ‘it was a shame what some of the players did to him.’

Back then, you basically had two groups of players in the dressing room.

The likes of Shearer, Given and Speed in one corner, with then Bellamy, Dyer and others at the opposite end of the spectrum/dressing room.

Amongst Newcastle fans, there is little doubt who would now win in any popularity contest.

However, at the time it was a mixture that produced some great times, finished of fourth, third and fifth in the Premier League and great memories of nights in the Champions League and UEFA Cup.

The likes of Bellamy and Dyer have since held their hands up to at times not behaving as they should have done. It doesn’t excuse it but young players who are full of it, acting themselves, was hardly unique to Newcastle United.

The Bellamy and Shearer double act kind of sums it up, clearly they can’t stand each other but they were brilliant together for Newcastle.

To be honest, I find it incredible that Sir John Hall can slag off these daft younger players without holding his hands up to the far worse that himself and Freddy Shepherd did, with regard to Sir Bobby Robson.

They treated him disgracefully.

Newcastle fans at the time felt that it was probably coming towards the end of Sir Bobby’s time in charge and looking for him to maybe identify a longer-term successor.

However, instead we had Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd sacking Sir Bobby Robson after only two defeats and 16 days into the 2004/05 season.

Only four games in total had been played, with draws against Norwich and Middlesbrough, as well as a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham and then a 4-2 loss at Aston Villa.

A bad start to the season but not a crisis, nobody thought Newcastle were going to be relegated. The fans knew the manager and players were far better than that.

Changing players or even a manager is something supporters know will happen at some time but timing and choice of replacement is everything.

For Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd to sack Sir Bobby Robson after 16 days of the season and replace him with the walking disaster that was Graeme Souness….

Blackburn were reportedly set to sack Souness because he had been a disaster for them, only for Newcastle to come along and pay them compensation for him!

Sir Bobby’s last full season saw the team finish fifth, after Souness took over that became 14th. There is no way we would have ended up so low if Sir John Hall and his mate hadn’t sacked Sir Bobby.

Some people will say that Sir John Hall was no longer Chairman, which is true. However, to think that Freddy Shepherd didn’t get major shareholder Sir John Hall’s agreement before sacking Sir Bobby, would be insane.

Sir John Hall speaking to the Chronicle:

“It was a shame what some of the players did to him (Sir Bobby Robson).

“In some ways, he lost the dressing room because of some young players who treated him with disrespect, and it caused a lot of problems for him and the club.

“I’ll never forgive those players.

“I look at them today, pontificating on television, they’ve probably learned their lessons but they were young people earning good salaries thinking who is this old man trying to teach us football.

“But Bobby knew everything.

“He was a fanatic for the game.

“He lived for it, it was in the blood.

“It was just disappointing when it all went wrong.”

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