Sir Bobby Robson has given a long interview to Setanta Sports and itâ€™s a very good interview. Freddy Shepherd sacked Bobby in August, 2004 and weâ€™ve struggled ever since then. But we’ve always thought there’s an opportunity to get Bobby back on the payroll at Newcastle United, in some capacity, once his health improves.
Bobby Robson – disappointed at Newcastle’s progress since he was sacked
Bobby was sacked by Shepherd presumably because 5th place was not good enough, which is where we finished at the end of the 2003-2004 season. But weâ€™ve been nowhere near ever since that time, although Glenn Roeder did get us up to 7th place a couple of seasons back.
Bobby is still respected within the game but battling ill health with the energy and effort he displayed as both a player and manager,
Robson started by talking about when he was manager of Newcastle – appointed in September, 1999:
â€It was wonderful,â€. â€œI was home. I enjoyed every single moment of it.â€
â€I took over when we were bottom of the league and finished, in my last three years, third, fourth and fifth. You had Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle â€“ a top five. We were in the top five for the last three years and going very well. I was slowly getting the team up to speed, slowly building a squad and making Newcastle quite a powerful side.â€
â€Then I lost my job rather abruptly. It was a shock to me. I couldnâ€™t believe it and, since then, Iâ€™ve stayed out of it. I did have offers to stay in the game at other clubs but they were not for me.â€
â€No doubt about it I couldnâ€™t believe it. I didnâ€™t lose two consecutive matches and lost my job. I lost my job in August so Iâ€™m very rare. How many managers lose their job in August? I didnâ€™t even get to September. It shows you how crazy, absolutely crazy, it was.â€
â€Without being egotistical, the club has suffered ever since. The club are a long way from where they were so itâ€™s going to take time to get back up there.â€
Bobby Robson can still be seen at Newcastle’s games and we know that Chairman Chris Mort has talked to him quite a bit. Bobby was at the Birmingham match and is looking forward to Setantaâ€™s live clash against the first club he ever managed – Fulham. It was also the first club Bobby ever played for. But Bobby does not believe the Newcastle fans can be too demanding, as Joey Barton has said recently.
“Itâ€™s been very mixed to be honest,â€ â€œWe had a good start. Obviously people say it was the best start for 10 years or whatever but that was only the start. In some cases, in some of the games, weâ€™ve played pretty poorly really.â€
“There was a slight improvement in the draw with Arsenal and they couldâ€™ve won the game. For me, it was the best performance all season. At least there was fervor and bite, passion and a will not to lose in the team that night against Arsenal. I was delighted about that.â€
â€Theyâ€™ve picked up four points out of six so itâ€™s a bit of a revival and letâ€™s hope they can go on from here.â€ â€Youâ€™ve got to live with the expectations. 52,000 screaming Geordies go there every Saturday in hail, rain, shine or snow, if the team is playing great, moderate even poorly. Itâ€™s a one-city team. Everyone going in is black and white. Itâ€™s Geordieland.â€
â€Obviously the club has changed hands,â€ he added. â€œFor years it was in the hands of Freddy Shepherd and the whole family has now been bought out. Mike Ashley has taken over and, presumably, heâ€™s a rich man.” â€He wonâ€™t throw money away. No clever man does that. He will want value for money and I donâ€™t blame him for that either. So itâ€™s a question of the acquisition of some players Sam can maybe bring in.â€
â€The team, at the moment, are not good enough. Thatâ€™s for sure. If they were good enough, they wouldnâ€™t be 10th. If they were good enough, they would be fifth. They wouldnâ€™t be first, second, third or fourth. Theyâ€™ve already been labeled and we know who will get those places.
â€But fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth are available, where Newcastle should always be – where I put them.”
â€Itâ€™s a fantastic, phenomenal club. I donâ€™t blame the public for expecting it. Theyâ€™ve not had a Wembley appearance or winning silverware for years and years and years and we should do better.â€
Spoken like a real Geordie and if truth be known Bobby was one of our best-ever managers. He had the lads playing great football and he would only have continued to have us high up the league, if he had continued in the job. But a drop of form at the strart of the 2004-2005 season give Shepherd and Douglas Hall a chance to sack him, which they did. They replaced him with Graeme Souness, enough said.
As we’ve said before it would be great oif Newcastle could find some position for him at the club. He did attend training recently to buck the lads up, and we all know he’s a great motivator. Come on Chris, we’re sure you can find Bobby a suitable position at the club, he certainly deserves it.