Derek Llambias, who effectively is the Newcastle United Chairman, has today hailed Alan Shearer’s start to the biggest job in English football.
Derek Llambias – Alan was the only choice
Derek told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:
“It’s been a tremendous boost for everybody in the town and around the stadium.” “The players are very upbeat and looking forward to the next game.”
“We had to weigh up the situation. We were in a position where we had to make a move, and Alan was the best move.” “He was the only person we approached – we felt that was our only choice.”
“He has made a difference, he’s a straight talker. I like that about him. There is no nonsense, I’m really upbeat about it.” “He’s got the respect. He’s loved in this town and so he should be.”
There was some news over the weekend that Mike Ashley had first approached former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, but Gerard was too tied up with the French Football Federation and turned the opportunity down, although we don’t know how true that story was.
And apparently even last January (2008), Alan was keen on the job when Sam Allardyce was sacked, but once Kevin Keegan came in that was it, and Alan obviously wanted to manage himself, even though he has no previous experience.
Llambias has admitted that staying up is the only thing on anybody’s mind at the Newcastle club right now (that’s good), and anything else will need to wait until we know our fate at the end of May.
“This is basically a new page. It’s imperative we stay up. Alan is the man to do that.” “The energy he’s got into the club already and around the town is great.”
Llambias watched, along with 7,500 fans at St James’ Park yesterday at the Newcastle’s open training day, and saw the former Newcastle number 9 scoring two goals before wheeling away with a trademark celebration.
“I should have signed him as player-manager!” “But on a serious note, Alan will have the team right for Stoke and we can move forward.”
“Alan has got Iain Dowie with him and that’s a good balance, but Alan is making the decisions. Iain is assisting on the football side of it and the energy within the training camp.
“I’m really encouraged by it all.”
That’s what we have in place until the end of the season, and we think Derek has made the right move, if a few games late.