Kieron Dyer, the former Newcastle player was unable to attend Bobby Robson’s memorial service at Durham Cathedral last week, due to Carling Cup commitments with West Ham United.
Kieron Dyer – while at Newcastle
Kieron is often the player who was thought responsible for undermining Robson’s job at Newcastle, because of the way he went on before the Middlesbrough game in August of 2004. We drew that first Premier League game 2-2 on August 14th, 2004.
Stories that Dyer had refused to play for Robson on the wing, were vehemently denied by Bobby, but Kieron has admitted Bobby did that to protect him.
The 30-year-old winger was very open as he told the Daily Telegraph today:
“I was in China on a pre-season tour with West Ham when Warren Barton broke the news to me that Sir Bobby had died.” “We were at a stadium for a friendly and they organised a minute’s silence for him.”
“I broke down during that silence because I couldn’t stop thinking about that Middlesbrough game.” “I couldn’t stop thinking about what I cost him. If there was one thing I could go back to and erase in my life, it would be that. Just to have played that game.”
“What was so horrible about Middlesbrough was that he got sacked a couple of games after. I took that on my shoulders.” “He understood my reasons and there’s a lot more to that story. I’m protecting a friend of mine so I can’t tell it all.”
“But I still should have started the game where he wanted me to start. I can’t believe now that I acted the way I did.” “Afterwards, the press got stuck into me for letting Sir Bobby down. But he would not hang me out to dry.”
“Instead, he came straight out of his press conference and said to me ‘they’ve got a story brewing but I’ve just told them you didn’t play because of your tight hamstring’. I was thinking ‘I’ve just let you down and here you are still protecting me’. It was unbelievable.”
“Soon after that, we had Norwich at St James’s Park in a night game. I started. I had 52,000 people booing me every time I touched the ball because of what I’d done to the manager.”
“The gaffer put me out of my misery after 60 minutes and I ran straight down the tunnel and jumped in the bath. Sir Bobby came into the bathroom after all the lads had gone.”
“He sat down and he was upset because he thought he had let me down because of all the stick I was getting and he couldn’t protect me.”
In August, Newcastle drew two and lost two in their first 4 league games, and after the Aston Villa defeat (4-2) on September 28th, Bobby was very surprisingly sacked by then Chairman Freddy Shepherd, and his cohort Douglas Hall.
In September, Newcastle won all their 5 games, but Bobby was gone!
It says something of Dyer’s maturity that he is able now to admit he was wrong at that time. But Kieron was young at the time, and we all do some daft things when we are young.
But it also demonstrates clearly why players would run through a brick wall for Bobby – what a guy – what a manager!