Alan Shearer points finger of blame within Newcastle United
Alan Shearer was in great form on Friday night.
Just as the Newcastle United team were…well for the final two minutes of the match anyway, in their case.
Amazon Prime may not have chosen (or been gifted) the best match to cover but they certainly had the right expert on the sidelines.
Alan Shearer talking about both the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, as well the more important wider issues concerning the football club he has always supported.
The NUFC legend thinks that this victory will give the players ‘confidence and belief’, no doubt head of that queue in Shearer’s thinking will be Joelinton, it may have been yet another poor weak shot from him but the defender’s deflection gave him an invaluable third goal in the Brazilian’s 47th Premier League appearance.
The only thing I would take issue with is when Alan Shearer declares that Newcastle United are always either ‘brilliant or rubbish’, well we have seen plenty of rubbish, especially in the 16 months Steve Bruce has been at the club BUT very little, if anything, you could describe as ‘brilliant’, including / especially Friday night.
Newcastle were ok up to a point, as were Palace, but this was a match of two mediocre teams on the night, both with a negative outlook, only the key opening goal having anything approaching the ‘brilliant’ about it, as a clever Joelinton pass was expertly finished off for Wilson’s seventh goal of the season.
Alan Shearer though was keen to get to the heart of the problem at Newcastle United, that when it comes to players and managers they aren’t what it is really all about as the club staggers from week to week, month to month, season to season.
The former number nine saying that it is of course only when Mike Ashley is no longer with us (at Newcastle United..) that the club will once again have a chance of doing anything other than existing.
Obviously with it being one of his best mates, Alan Shearer is very protective of Steve Bruce. He is right that Bruce isn’t the biggest problem at the football club, however, Newcastle fans clearly think that Bruce is most definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution.
So whilst Alan Shearer says that this isn’t about Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce, he is right on one level but not maybe on another.
Steve Bruce isn’t capable of managing a big club successfully, nothing in his CV remotely suggests that he can.
However, Rafa Benitez does have the CV and if only 18 months ago Mike Ashley had sat back and thought, just maybe this Champions League winning, double La Liga winning, double Europa League winning, FIFA Club World Cup winning, UEFA Super Cup winning, FA Cup winning, Coppa Italia winning manager might know a little bit about how to get things done…then given Rafa Benitez the freedom to get the players he wanted with the £100m+ net spend that has been allowed under Steve Bruce this past 16 months, even under Mike Ashley there was a realistic chance that Rafa Benitez could have delivered relative success.
For lasting success though, Newcastle United are of course only going to have any chance of unleashing the potential when owners are in place who see the value of long-term proper planning and investment in the Academy, the training ground, St James Park, the first team and indeed the entire infrastructure.
In the meantime, Alan Shearer and the rest of the Newcastle United fanbase grab the odd feel good moments wherever they can.
Alan Shearer speaking on Amazon Prime on Friday (27 November 2020) night:
“That [beating Crystal Palace] will give them [Newcastle United] confidence and belief.
“In terms of the way they play, they [Newcastle] were certainly more positive…but I do also have to say, I have said it before, Newcastle United are literally black and white. They are either brilliant or rubbish.
“Tonight they worked hard and created one or two chances.
“I keep hearing this rubbish about comparisons between Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez – you have got to forget that.
“Newcastle are a club that finishes in and around 13th or 14th [in the Premier League], they got relegated under Rafa Benitez also.
“They get good results and they get bad results but those two [Rafa and Brucey] are not the problem at Newcastle United.
“The problem has been there for a long time and they haven’t won anything since 1969.
“What they can do though is attract thousands and thousands of fans, week in and week out, who want to see their team try and work hard.
“When Steve [Bruce] came in, after three or four months [in December 2019] Newcastle had to give away 10,000 season tickets away for free.
“That wasn’t his [Steve Bruce’s] problem, that is the club’s problem…someone else’s problem.
“They have an owner [in Mike Ashley] who doesn’t want to be there and he has made that clear, he wants to sell the football club.
“The problem is not Steve Bruce or Rafa Benitez, so forget the comparisons.
“You have a set of fans who want to be entertained, who want to see their team do well, they don’t want a yo-yo club who are relegated one year…fighting relegation every single year.
“That is where Newcastle United will continue to be until something happens [with a takeover].
“When you pay your money you want to be entertained but we know that’s not always possible with what Newcastle have, that has been an issue for a while now at Newcastle United.
“They will continue to get good results and bad results, as they did under previous managers, not just Steve [Bruce] and Rafa…Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew – so that is where we are.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – Friday 27 November 8pm
Wilson 88, Joelinton 89
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Crystal Palace 58% (58%) Newcastle 42% (42%)
Total shots were Crystal Palace 12 (3) Newcastle 14 (6)
Shots on target were Crystal Palace 3 (2) Newcastle 7 (3)
Corners were Crystal Palace 7 (3) Newcastle 3 (1)
Referee: Graham Scott
Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis, Shelvey, Hendrick, S Longstaff, Almiron (Ritchie 68), Joelinton (Schar 90+3), Wilson
Gillespie, M Longstaff, Yedlin, Murphy, Anderson
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)
(Happy Thanksgiving – A step in the right direction as the Turkeys came out ok in the end – Read HERE)
(Trolls attack Newcastle United fans after 2-0 win at Crystal Palace – Read HERE)
(Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – Watch HERE as Wilson and Joelinton clinch it in official match highlights)
(Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s victory – Read HERE)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]