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Makes it sound like when Ruud Gullit was leaving out Alan Shearer and Rob Lee

12 months ago

Ruud Gullit was a brilliant player but a less than brilliant manager.

Resenting Alan Shearer being the main man at Newcastle United, Ruud Gullit ridiculously started a battle of wills against the greatest striker of the Premier League era.

First of all he totally sidelined Shearer’s best mate (and England midfielder) Rob Lee, then he left out Alan Shearer himself (and Duncan Ferguson).

Defeat to Sunderland then followed and Ruud Gullit resigned.

Gullit has been man enough since then to admit his ego got in the way when in charge at St James Park and that he was in the wrong, apologising to Alan Shearer, which the Newcastle and England great graciously accepted.

Moving forward 20 years to the present day and we once again have players returning to the team/squad after a manager has departed.

Whilst it was Shearer, Ferguson and Lee back in 1999, in 2019 it is Jack Colback, Achraf Lazaar, Rolando Aarons and others.

However, it wasn’t ego getting in the way of Rafa Benitez’ judgement, it was simply he didn’t rate them…

With this disastrous summer played out it as so many fans sadly expected it to do, Newcastle supporters had predicted a raft of ‘could be like a new signing’ mentions/interviews by the club and friendly media.

Sure enough recent weeks have seen them flow, with fans told how Lazaar, Colback, Aarons and others could suddenly become key players and prove Rafa wrong.

Steve Bruce also happy to go along with this storyline as Mike Ashley has starved the club of essential new signings throughout the summer, leaving NUFC in this desperate position 10 days before the transfer deadline and 13 days before the season kicks off.

It’s a sad case all round really because the likes of Aarons, Lazaar and Colback should all be moving on to clubs at their level, which isn’t Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Rolando Aarons speaking to The Chronicle:

“We are grateful for it [a chance under a new manager after Rafa’s departure], me especially.

“I did not play much under the previous manager.

“I’m hopefully now looking to get another opportunity.

“It [training under Steve Bruce] has been good.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes.

“Training is harder than it was in previous years [under Rafa Benitez] due to a different manager but the boys are loving it.

“We’re getting used to it and it’s good.

“It’s strange as he’s only been here a week but the boys are listening and looking to adapt to how he wants to play.”

After playing up front with Muto in the first half on Saturday at Preston:

“It was a slightly different position for me.

“I just enjoying being on the pitch.

“That was a new one and I am learning how to play there and looking to get better.

“It was tough for us at Preston as they are starting their season for real next week.

“Fitness wise they probably had a slight edge.”


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