Ferdinand Fears For Newcastle – Unless Shearer Is Manager

Les Ferdinand, the former Newcastle United striker in the good years of the 1990s under Kevin Keegan,  has talked at length today about Newcastle, a club he still obviously cares a lot about.


Sir Les – move heaven and earth to bring Shearer in

But Les believes it is just too easy and rather unfair to make a scapegoat of any one person, for instance owner Mike Ashley, because Newcastle being relegated needed lots of things to go wrong – and they all did:

“It is a crying shame what has happened at Newcastle and absolutely unbelievable really. And the way it happened, with Alan (Shearer) at the helm, was even more cruel to the fans and everyone associated with the club,”

“I have discussed this quite a lot this season and the thing that really sticks out is just how quickly things have deteriorated up there.”  “In my second season, we were battling it out with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal for the league.”

“Chelsea were in the mix as well but it was mainly those three teams and Newcastle were on an equal footing with them all.”   “We could have taken players from those teams, we were able to sign players that they all wanted as well.”

“But while they’ve established themselves, Newcastle have moved backwards so quickly. It can’t all be down to Mike Ashley or a few bad transfer decisions.”  “The problem is getting back up there now is more difficult than it was back then because of the money involved.”

“How many managers have the other teams in the top three had since then? And how many have Newcastle had?”

With Newcastle having had Souness, Roeder, Allardyce, Keegan, Kinnear, Hughton and Shearer in as managers since the great Bobby Robson was sacked, it’s clear that some stability – at least with the manager, is required if Newcastle are going to come back to the big time.

Les today has urged Newcastle to move ‘heaven and earth’ to make sure Shearer remains in charge and is allowed to rebuild the club in his own image – of guts and glory with professionalism at the core:

“Without a shadow of a doubt, he is the man for the job,”   “People have talked about the record that he had when he was in there and there will be no one more disappointed than Alan that the results weren’t better. But it was a bigger job than maybe he realised it was.”

“The one silver lining for Newcastle at the moment is that he does want the job and he is willing to hang around to wait and see what happens with Mike Ashley and the takeover business. He’s out there, ready and available to manage.”

“Does he need experience? Not necessarily. Managers with experience have gone in at Newcastle and found it difficult.”   “Alan is the only manager who could go in there and hit the ground running. The advantage of Alan is that he will get a very long honeymoon, the players and the supporters will give him as long as it takes.”

“This is an opportunity to get things right. Newcastle cannot let it go begging.” If he gets the job, Ferdinand feels that it is inevitable that Shearer will preside over a mass clear-out at United.”

Many players will leave the club in the summer including Owen, Viduka, Coloccini, Martins, Barton, and Smith and the vast majority of supporters will not miss them and believe they let the club down.

Ferdinand, however feels those accusation are a wee but unfair,  as he continued:

“I know from my time at QPR that when you’re struggling, there’s a massive lack of confidence in the players and that it can look like you’re not trying. People said it about us when we were down the bottom and we were – things just weren’t coming off for us,”

“But believe me, the players were trying. The bottom line was they just weren’t good enough for the majority of the season.”  “The game at Aston Villa was such a disappointment because of the way it went. But if you strip away the disappointment of it all, it was the same problems that Newcastle have had all season.”

“The biggest thing was there were no legs in midfield. They’ve struggled there all season, no one has been able to get forward and they’ve just not created enough.”  “Alan probably looked around at who he had in the squad and wouldn’t have seen many other options, to be quite honest with you.”

“It’s important that people learn from the lessons of what happened to Leeds United,”   “I didn’t think it would ever happen again but there are so many similarities. Newcastle are a bigger club in terms of attendances but there is a chance that the same thing could happen and they could tumble down the divisions.”

“It’s so important that they don’t make the same mistakes.” “The next week or two are so important for the future of the football club.”

It’s true that we could go from bad to worse next season, and that becomes more likely the longer the owner has the club’s hands tied behind its back this summer.

The other possibility is we could come straight back up, and next year at this time, the club could be stronger than we have been since Bobby left the club.

Only time will tell, but we’d put nothing beyond the Newcastle club – anything is possible right now.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Partizan

    Jun 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #1

    How do most of you rate Alan Irvine from Preston?

  • Whumpie

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #2

    Well said, Sir Les. His usual, balanced view and another well-qualified person backing Big Al as the man.

    It’s be nice if he could come back to the club in some capacity; he’s obviously got the passion and intelligence that’s been missing for years.

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #3

    “The biggest thing was there were no legs in midfield.”

    We all knew it so why wasn’t this addressed in the transfer window. Emre was never really replaced.

    Some good comments by Sir Les.

  • Bill F

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #4

    Got to agree with Les about us not having the legs in midfield, it showed up in spades in the majority of our last few games in the latter stages. The one bright spot for me was Guthrie. We should have given some more of the youngsters a run out in the last third of the games. Easy to say now but the end result was relegation anyway so nowt would have been lost in trying it.

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #5

    Bill F,
    I totally agree that the younguns should be given a run out, however, the last 8 games would have been cruel on their confidence. If it worked, they owuld have been revered as gods, but if it didnt. The sceptical fans out their would have crucified them….and the Manager!!

    So I can understand why Big Al tried to stick with experience.

    As for the midfield having no legs, it has never been addressed since, love him or hate him, Kieran Dyer left!! At least if he got the ball to feet, he wouldnt waste it and he would go forward and make things happen!! Emre was a home player only……………….

    And as for our much maligned defence…………if you have a kieran Dyer occupying the opposition up the other end of the field then the defence, dare i say it may have an easier time of things!!!!!!!

  • Rangerman

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #6

    We all knew it so why wasn’t this addressed in the transfer window. Emre was never really replaced.


    I would hardly describe Emre as being the legs of midfield, most of the time he played deeper than Parker.

  • Rangerman

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Spot on about Dyer, Angryman.

    Another player that the fans drove out.

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #8

    I meant that when Emre was available he was our creative player in mf.

    Legs in mf were sold , Milner, Zog and as said Dyer. Jonas was brought in, Guthrie but then mf was weighed down by Butt n Nolan.

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 5, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #9

    Oh and don’t forget the bad boy Barton and his 7? games this season.

  • Bill F

    Jun 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #10

    Angryman, well if had been a youngster watching what was happening, I’d have been champing at the bit to get onto the pitch. The thing about youth is that they probably wouldn’t have had their confidence knocked back as you describe. It is more likely that the older experienced players suffered more in that respect. And it certainly showed in some of the performances.

  • Ericles

    Jun 5, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #11

    On another note I am disgusted with the remarks made by Steve Bruce about NUFC. He said it was never his dream job. No? I can remember the twat saying his ambition was to manage us. At least you now know which side of the divide you belong Bruce! Might be an idea to saty there eh?

  • OHurley

    Jun 5, 2009 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #12

    Steve Bruce is a Mackem tw@t.

    And agreed, Angryman. We’ve lost our legs in midfield like crazy. Honestly, I’d take an American midfield over Butt and Nolan… we actually looked like an MLS team most of the time when Viduka wasn’t playing. Our defense was good, but could have been better. It was nice to see Steven Taylor come to life a bit toward the end of the season. Maybe he’s got the experience he needed.

  • chuck

    Jun 5, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #13

    No legs, we had N`Zogbia and Jonas, who could run for the entire game, before that we had Jenas Dyer and Parker to put his foot in plus Emre to create.
    What happened ?
    We end up with Guthrie and Nolan, great !
    A combination of events took place, lousy managers (part of a managers job is to keep the players content) dumb ass owner , dumber money manager (Llambias).
    Face it we sold off a group of decent players who were unhappy at the club due to the chaotic system and gradually deteriorating of a club in crisis.
    Adding to the problem a certain bunch of loudmouth fans who drove both players and managers out (count them) but refuse to recognize their role as such.
    Yeah, Ashley played a major role in events, but it was`nt entirely his fault, that certain fan base played a significant part.

  • chuck

    Jun 5, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #14

    On Steve Bruce, do you think following his appointment to the Sunderland post he is going to come out and say “well I got the Sunderland job but I would really rather have the job at Newcastle”.
    Grow up !

  • ende

    Jun 5, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #15

    I’d take Les as our striker coach under Alan. 🙂


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