It was interesting that Alan Shearer was paired with the great Guus Hiddink for his first game in charge at Newcastle.
Alan Shearer with the great Guus Hiddink on Saturday
Newcastle fans are hoping that’s it’s the first game in charge of a very successful run for Alan at Newcastle, but anything is possible in life, and it could be that Alan is less of a manager than he was a player, and he was a fantastic player.
But Guus Hiddink was impressed with the way Newcastle kept going after they had presumably lost the game at 2-0, and who knows if that Michael Owen “goal” after 72 minutes had stood, as it should have, things could have been different. But that’s all woulda coulda shoulda – which means absolutely nothing at the end of the day. In fact Chelsea also missed some late opportunities that Steve Harper did well to keep out.
Guus, who has to be one of the all time greats in coaching, said after the game:
“Alan is very intelligent, a great personality and with eight games to go he knew he couldn’t win all the games.” “It is always difficult against a good team like Chelsea but they fought back and this is the basic for the time coming. He can manage it.”
“I remember as a very young manager, I made a very big mistake in my first game and promised a young guy of 14 or 15, that he would play the second half. The team went well and the same team stayed on after the game.”
“That was one of my mistakes and I made others and I learned you make changes with your substitutions and it might not be a mistake and don’t promise players they will play because you will give yourself a problem.”
“Now I talk very directly to players and even with a world-class player, I will tell him if he’s not starting. I am very direct.”
The good thing with Alan Shearer is that he’s used to all the publicity, along with all the utter nonsense that is written about him.
When he was captain of England they pulled him to pieces , but then when he got that knee injury around 2000, before the European Championships they changed their tune, and it was all about how England couldn’t win without a fit Alan Shearer.
England journalists seem to delight in pulling to bits their best players – why? – we have no idea.
But that experience will stand Alan in good stead, because he has his feet firmly on the ground right now, and knows what he doesn’t know about management, which is a big help.
He has brought in Iain Dowie, an experienced manager and friend to help him, but he has attributes of his own that must be put to work quickly, so our terrible run of form can be turned around.
Alan can do it, but it will not be as easy as many Newcastle fans think, but look for local lad Steven Taylor and Sebastien Bassong to be at the heart of the Newcastle defense from now on.
And local lads Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll will very likely get some playing time up front too, as Alan tries to bring more Geordie pride into the team.
We also think that Danny Guthrie is one who can play a big part in the remaining games of the season, and it was good that Guthrie got a run-out in the second half on Saturday, after recovering from his groin injury.
But it’s still going to be a very close thing if we are indeed to survive this season.