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.
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:
- “We put some good subs on to hang onto the fort.”
- “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.”
- “I’m not going to look beyond the semi-final – but I would love to lead Newcastle out at the final.”
- “We didn’t underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought.”
- “He’s the only man I know who could start an argument with himself” (talking about former Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy)
- “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.”
- “He never fails to hit the target. But that was a miss.’”
- “Nobby Solano discharged himself from hospital after the Tottenham game and he’s driving, living the life and aware of who he is.”
- “We can’t replace Gary Speed. Where do you get an experienced player like him with a left foot and a head?”
- “With Maradona, even Arsenal would have won the World Cup.” (talking about the 1986 World Cup)
- “If you count your chickens before they’ve hatched, they won’t lay an egg.”
- “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.”
- “Football’s like a big market place, and people go to the market every day to buy their vegetables.”
- “No team won anything without a dodgy keeper.”
- “The first ninety minutes of a football match are the most important.”
- “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.
- “He’s very fast and if he gets a yard ahead of himself nobody will catch him.”
- “We’ve got great speed in the team, not just Gary Speed, but great speed!”
- “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?