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20 Famous Quotes From Sir Bobby Robson

8:55 am, Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 33 Comments

We thought it would be fitting today – which would have been Sir Bobby Robson´s 83rd birthday – if we listed some of Bobby Robson’s famous quotes – most of which he made when he was at Newcastle from 1999 until 2004.

Sir Bobby was one of the greatest coaches England ever produced and of course he took England to the quarter finals of the World Cup in 1986 when that Maradona hand ball knocked us out – and to the semi-final against Germany four years later.

That´s when we lost on penalties after we had been 1-0 up.

jose mourinho and bobby robson

Sir Bobby Robson taught this man everything he knows about coaching

He joined Newcastle in 1999 when we had a much worse squad than we have now and he saved us form what looked like relegation when he took over the side that had one point from the first 7 games of the season under Ruud Gullit.

In his first home game against fellow relegations strugglers Sheffield Wednesday we won 8-0, were 5-0 up at the half and Alan Shearer scored a record 5 goals.

And this is was the same side that had struggled earlier in the season.

Sir Bobby gained 51 points for us in 31 games and we finished on 52 points in 11th place.

Over 38 games that record would have been equivalent to 64 points and would have had Newcastle in 6th place that season.

Note that we have only beaten 52 points once in all our nine eason under Mike Ashley, when we got 65 points and finished 5th in 2012.

Oh to have Bobby managing the club now.

There are some of his very classic quotes:

  1. “We put some good subs on to hang onto the fort.”
  2. “Manchester United dropped points, Liverpool dropped points, Chelsea dropped points, Everton dropped points, so in a way we haven’t lost anything at all really, although we dropped all three.”
  3. “I’m not going to look beyond the semi-final – but I would love to lead Newcastle out at the final.”
  4. “We didn’t underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought.”
  5. “He’s the only man I know who could start an argument with himself” (talking about former Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy)
  6. “Eighteen months ago Sweden were arguably one of the best three teams in Europe, and that would include Germany, Holland, Russia and anybody else if you like.”
  7. “He never fails to hit the target. But that was a miss.’”
  8. “Nobby Solano discharged himself from hospital after the Tottenham game and he’s driving, living the life and aware of who he is.”
  9. “We can’t replace Gary Speed. Where do you get an experienced player like him with a left foot and a head?”
  10. “With Maradona, even Arsenal would have won the World Cup.” (talking about the 1986 World Cup)
  11. “If you count your chickens before they’ve hatched, they won’t lay an egg.”
  12. “Alan Shearer has done very well for us, considering his age. We have introduced some movement into his game because he has got two good legs now. Last season he played with one leg.”
  13. “Football’s like a big market place, and people go to the market every day to buy their vegetables.”
  14. “No team won anything without a dodgy keeper.”
  15. “The first ninety minutes of a football match are the most important.”
  16. “Well, we got 9 and you can’t score more than that.”
    Speaking after the game in which Newcastle beat Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 in his home debut as manager at St. James’ Park on 19th September, 1999.
  17. “He’s very fast and if he gets a yard ahead of himself nobody will catch him.”
  18. “We’ve got great speed in the team, not just Gary Speed, but great speed!”
  19. “We’re flying on Concorde. That’ll shorten the distance. That’s self-explanatory.”

And of course the last one which should be hung in the Newcastle dressing room.

“What is a club in any case?” “Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.

It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.”

“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.”

“It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”

Maybe our players and coaching staff can take some inspiration from Sir Bobby in the final 12 games of the season?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Premier League · Press

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 9:03 AM


    That’s the original tweet sent out on the occasion of SBR’s birthday in Feb 2010 after his death the previous July.

    They obviously used it to provide the foundation link , but you think someone would have noticed the text needed updating.

  • 2 Rotonda heights // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Last paragraph still chokes me up.

  • 3 lesh // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:08 AM


    Yup. And it’s indicative of the way the Club’s being run – sloppy with no attention to the fundamentals, the detail.

    Sloppy and incompetent come to mind.

  • 4 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I mentioned earlier something about statistics and why Newcastle seem reluctant to fire a failing manager in a sadly failing system mind you.

    Maybe it’s because statistics shows sacking rarely save teams from ‘fate worse than death’ so to speak!

    But in my opinion that’s because Ashley and his minions only read the first chapter and not the whole book.

    I’ll paraphrase something from an article back in 2014:

    “The League Managers’ Association says that while a new appointment at a Premier League club brings in an average 2.5 points for the following match, a honeymoon period fades after 12 games and a team’s form usually deteriorates further.

    n each of the past five seasons, at least one club that has changed manager midway through the campaign has been relegated. Last year of the six clubs to change managers two were powerless to avoid the drop, while in 2009-10 all three teams that went down changed their manager.

    There are notable exceptions where a change has proved successful. In November 2011 Steve Bruce’s departure from Sunderland resulted in a rise of three places by the end of the season, while Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking at West Bromwich in February 2011 saw Albion climb to 11th from one place above the bottom three.

    Tony Pulis’s fine work at Palace this season, taking the club from bottom to 15th, indicates that it can be a gamble that pays off. However, in the majority of cases the effect is detrimental.

    Last year, Sunderland maintained their Premier League status but dropped one place after Martin O’Neill’s departure and Reading remained in 19th following the sacking of Brian McDermott.

    Harry Redknapp could not save QPR after Mark Hughes left and in February 2012 Wolves slid two places and finished bottom of the league after the sacking of Mick McCarthy.

    Richard Bevan, the chief executive at the LMA, has urged clubs to take a more “pragmatic” approach.

    He said: “Verifiable data has shown that the gains from changing football managers are marginal, if indeed there are any at all, and without doubt the sacking of managers is a costly business to football clubs, not to mention the other effects that the upheaval brings.”

    Maybe in here lies the problem for Ashley. The effect can be marginal, but can you really just swallow stats like that. There’s more to it anyway.

    “Evidence from other sports shows that this honeymoon boost in performance often happens after a downturn, even when a club does not change manager. For the good of the game, I believe it is necessary for all stakeholders to take a more pragmatic approach by looking to the medium term.

    “The LMA believes that, in order to give the coach education and development programmes a chance to prove their worth, the owners have to examine their recruitment process, set realistic targets for the manager and coaches and then take responsibility to manage expectations both within the club and among the supporters.

    “Millions of pounds have been lost to the game resolving contractual and employment law disputes and payments to agents. Sacking football managers can therefore be an expensive and reputationally damaging business for both clubs and managers.”

    This is not an issue solely related to the Premier League. In total, only 3% of managers have been in post for more than five years at the 92 professional clubs in the English game. In the last 12 months there have been more than 100 managerial and coaching dismissals.

    With increased TV revenue available to top-flight clubs, owners are more desperate than ever to stay in the Premier League. For managers, that is set to only mean one thing.”

    So there’s no evidence that sacking a manager will have an effect. And it looks as though Ashley needs evidence in order to act.

    The point I find interesting is the paragraph about the 12 games honeymoon. How many games have we left? 12! I’ll take that honeymoon right now then please! 😉

  • 5 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Discuss 😀

  • 6 lesh // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:40 AM


    You’ll take a punt on a change? Might it not be too late – especially as we have no defence to speak.of?

  • 7 Blackley and Brownlie // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Hahaha. PMSL. Sir Bobby. Still providing pleasure long after his death.

  • 8 posada // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    On SM I’m not really bothered about what stats say relating to staying up or going down, after the appointment of a new manager.
    He’s an embarrassment and should be sacked for that alone.

  • 9 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    I am sure that Gary Speed quote has been parraphrased.

    I think it was more along the lines of “We have a great team, because we have speed. Not Gary Speed, we’ve got him as well and he’s good, but great speed…” et.c. Something along those lines anyway.

    I remember hearing it on the pre match build up on the radio.

  • 10 Blackley and Brownlie // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Interesting article. Makes sense. Here’s the thing. Rodgers had Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling. If he could bring those three with him, I’d be excited for the first time in many years. We are where we are because of our poor recruitment. Sir Bobby, King Kev and even Honi the Circle Drawer would struggle with our shower.

  • 11 Rotonda heights // Feb 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    I just think our club has a very flawed mindset. All the top clubs, even the mid range ones have seen the value and currency to be had in investing in modern progressive foreign coaches.

    We have had the misfortune and lack of foresight and initiative to employ 3 out these 4 below:-

    AP currently 13th
    TP currently 14th
    SM currently18th
    SA currently 19th.

    Arguably out of that lot SM is the only one who ever comes close to trying to play football, albeit only at SJP.

    The 4 listed are seen rather ironically in some cases as a ”safe pair of hands”. It is this falsely identified risk free comfort zone that is in all probability taking us to the championship.

  • 12 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    lesh…I believe the right manager can lift a poor team mate!

    …that defense is not as bad as it’s made out to be. Circumstance if you will?

  • 13 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Blackley…poor recruitment plays a part no doubt.

    But we are at a crossroad the way I see it. The stats will show us that we are on relegation road regardless of what we do. So the question is, will we take our chance with McC or the 12 games honeymoon change with a new manager…not any manager of course.

    I just think when Charnley shows Ashley some stats, he should him all of it…not just the once that underlines his case 😉

  • 14 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    *show him

  • 15 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    I’ll take the 12 games honeymoon because I don’t think we anything to lose by doing so!

    I’ll rather be proactive and reactive! What’s the point in doing something when the season is over and we are a Championship club.

  • 16 Ron Knee // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:12 AM


    Yes but McClaren will take us straight back up! No?

  • 17 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Ron…that’s a very good question. Seeing as our form from last season transcended into this season, I’ll assume that will happen once again 😉

    Even more reason to pick the 12 game honeymoon if you ask me 🙂

  • 18 Ron Knee // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Ashley’s last throw of the dice?

  • 19 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Ron…I believe so mate 😉

  • 20 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    It’s a golden opportunity. There’s no certainty in football so it will be a throw of the dice as you said!

  • 21 Ron Knee // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Charmless must be a very nervous man at the moment!

  • 22 beermonkey // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:32 AM


    who out there has a decent record of turning things round

  • 23 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    I don’t consider McClaren an embarrasment at all.

    I find I have grudging admiration for his adherence to his footballing principles no matter what.

    I really hope it doesn’t backfire.

    People mention Pulis , Fat Sam etc. and they are good pragmatic points winners.However
    McClaren is the only current Brit manager who has had experience managing foreign clubs.

    It’s all very well saying give the good young coaches a go but Garry Monk and Paul Clement are down the road and so will Eddie Howe be shortly if Bournemouth don’t start turning around.
    I don’t think our squad are a shower , there’s a definite improvement over last May with a promise of more to come.
    This winter break has come at a brilliant time for NUFC , I hope that our rearranged last fixture of the season against Man City will be of no significance and have no bearing on our survival !!

  • 24 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    A manager desperately clinging on to his last tuft of ginger hair constantly photographed with his head in his hands or grinning inanely is an embarrassment!

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:06 PM


  • 26 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Jibberish you smart ar$e, who’s the player pictured in the competition picture. You can’t Google that one !

  • 27 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Good tribute

  • 28 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    I didn’t consider the new Robert Lee aka Scotty Parker as a REAL Toon player he was only here 2 years and wasn’t very good.

  • 29 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    You thicko
    I hope I have won a bobble hat for you.
    You’ll look lovely cleaning the toilets on the rig wearing that !!!!

  • 30 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Very good Jibberish, it was pretty easy mind and took you 12 minutes C-.

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    13 minutes even!

  • 32 Jail for Ashley // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    I bet you’re a dead ringer for Benny with your bobble hat Jibberish, thick as mince!

  • 33 Jib // Feb 18, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    There’s no way an ignoramus like you knew the answer 😀

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