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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Alan Shearer’s Secret Of Success

10:06 pm, Sunday, September 4th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 42 Comments

It’s 20 years since Alan Shearer signed on at Newcastle from Blackburn Rovers for £15M – a world record at the time.

A year earlier Blackburn had pipped Manchester United  by one point – to be the Premier League Champions for the first and only time.

Bu in 1996 Manchester United were top again winning by 4 points from Newcastle United, who were 10 points ahead at the top of the Premier League on Boxing Day in 1995.


How times have changed with Blackburn bottom of the Championship with just one draw in their first 5 league games and Newcastle just having been relegated, but hopefully we are on our way back.

alan shearer scores

The great Alan Shearer

Shearer says he thrived wearing the tag of the world’s most expensive footballer.

Shearer has his weekly column with betting company Coral and he has been writing about the pressure of being the world’s most expensive player.

But Alan liked being that – and it’s one reason he could take the pressure and still keep scoring goals – now for his home town club Newcastle.

This is what Alan has written for Coral:

“My move from Southampton to Blackburn in 1992 was a British record at the time. Well worth the money I do add!”

“And then of course in 1996 from Blackburn to Newcastle was a world record fee for just over £15M.”

“The last thing Tim Sherwood, who was our captain at the time, said as I was leaving the changing room at Blackburn, he said to me: ‘How much was the fee that you’re going to Newcastle for?’”

“I said that it was £15M and that it was a world record transfer fee, and he looked at me and he gasped and said: ‘Jesus, good luck with all that pressure on your shoulders’.”

“I sort of enjoyed it. I thought to myself ‘No one’s worth that money’. Still no one is worth that money.”

“If someone is mad enough to pay that type of money then the pressure is on them not on me.”

“I enjoyed it. I thought it was great to live with that expectation of what was needed of me and the performances that were expected.

“I loved that ‘world record fee’ tag that came with it.”

“But £15M then and what is it now? £92M for Pogba, it’s just gone up a little bit, hasn’t it?”

“It’s crazy.”

Yes it is.

In Alan’s first season at Newcastle he scored a fantastic 25 Premier League goals in just 31 appearances so that was one of his secrets of success – he could take the pressure alright.

Alan went on to break the great Jackie Milburn’s record number of 200 in 397 appearances.

Alan finished up with a fantastic 206 goals for Newcastle in 404 appearances.

jackie milburn

The great Jackie Milburn

Both strikers averaged about one goal every two games for the club.

When  you’re good you’re good and Alan and Jackie were the very best.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Alan Shearer · Coaching · Records

42 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Not much news around since the window closed eh?

  • 2 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Hadn’t really ever taken the time to look at how similar the games played were between Milburn and Shearer. Shearer marginally better goals per game, incredible records for both. More than a goal every 2 games is phenomenal stuff over such a long period. When The injuries Shearer sustained are also taken into account, it looks even more impressive.

    No surprise that young strikers like Mitro were in awe of him growing up. Shearer had a nasty/aggressive streak to his game, not quite at Mitro’s level, but he was very clever/sneaky with it (most of the time). If Mitro could learn some of the tricks of the trade that Shearer employed to avoid unwanted attention from officials that would be a huge asset for him.

  • 3 jimmysmith // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Adam Lallana. Good footballer, great haircut. Runs around for 95 minutes, scores at the death, gets mobbed by teammates, and through it all his hair is perfect. Chiselled out wood immaculate.

    And then there’s Wayne Rooney, good grief, what’s going on there. Worst barnet in football.

  • 4 Mister Tuff // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Blackley – no – it was our first (and according to the missus) our last canal boat experience. Clearly she is not a budding Prunella Scales. We were on the Leeds and Liverpool -went from Snaygill (Skipton nigh enough) to just past Gargrave – and return.

  • 5 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Yeah, seems pretty slow on here. It is often like this during these international breaks though. I’m not sure I agree with doing away with qualifiers as someone suggested earlier, but it does seem like there needs to be a major shake up on the structure/format to make it more exciting/fan friendly. Far from convinced this ‘Nations League’ will be more attractive to people than friendlies.

    in reality International football is rubbish. Difficult to judge players ability on international performances/records. About 80% of the games played by the big nations are against very poor opposition. South America is probably the most exciting qualifying section because there are a large proportion of good sides, and all play each other.

    Atsu is actually a decent example of this. People talk of his quality at international level, but if you really look at where he has scored and against who, it no longer looks as good. Lesotho twice, Malawi, Guinea twice, Niger, Mauritius twice. Egypt are the only reputable side he has scored against internationally. Hopefully Rafa can help him and he can finally prove himself in England.

  • 6 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    You’re not a Timothy West either then?

    What was the problem with the missus? Those lock gates look like hard work. Couldn’t be on with it.

  • 7 Jib // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Mr Tuff
    Alzheimers would defo be of great assistance living with you.

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    It sounds like Ritchie had another good game – played both wings and got assists from both as well. Ritchie is by far the best signing we made in the window in my opinion.

    I’m looking forward to him supplying the ammunition for Mitro – although I noticed Malcolm Macdonald in his Ronny article said that Murphy would be the player that leads the line for us this season. Not sure where he gets that idea from. I don’t see Murphy as much more than experienced back up, and an option off the bench if we need a bit more nous late in games.

    From the snippets I read it sounded like Hanley had a disappointing game, it will be difficult for him to continue his Scotland selection if he can’t force himself back into the starting 11. He didn’t have a great game against Fulham, and he has hardly been seen since. I think he is likely to be a ‘horses for courses’ type player, where he starts against certain more physical opposition.

  • 9 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    DRC are now confirmed as qualified for AFCON 2017, so that means Mbemba will miss 6-8 weeks in the New Year.

    Mbemba, Diame and Atsu. Won’t class Tiote, as I expect him to still leave.

  • 10 Mister Tuff // Sep 4, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Blackley – I managed ok – but the missus could not “get” operating the locks. I had fears of being lost in the Yorkshire countryside -for years. Marie Celeste job.
    Grand-daughter picked it up though straight away.

  • 11 Tsunki // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Tbf to Rooney though that hair isn’t actually his.

  • 12 Mister Tuff // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Jib Jibberish – you are truly an uncouth and ignorant fellow.
    Whilst I do not mind a bit of blog humour/gags –
    but trying to be funny by reference to anothers’ disability is really not very nice.

  • 13 lesh // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:11 PM


    We can only but wish that Rafa might be able to persuade Shearer to help Mitro in managing his (Mitro’s that is) aggression.

  • 14 lesh // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    Ahhh, welcome back Mr Tuff, you’ve been missed.

    But our loss was Yorkshie’s gain and now their good folk’ll be missing you.

  • 15 expatmag // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:17 PM


    What about Lazaars with Morocco? Do we lose him too?

  • 16 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    Can’t see it. Too much has been said publicly by Shearer for Ashley to consent to it, unless Shearer made some sort of public apology, and as both are stubborn, I doubt it would happen.

    I’m sure there are plenty of video materials though that could be shown to Mitro to help guide him. Rafa may well be already doing similar things to help him. There was an article in the Ronny where Rafa talked about the coaching staff working with Mitro to manage it, rather than getting rid of it altogether.

    Lots of the top players have a nasty streak to them, it is fairly understandable given the mental attitude you need to reach the very top, and the competitive nature that comes with. Mitro is a long way off being up there with the best players, and so it is more important he learns to manage it properly. It was easier for a fan/coach/manager to excuse Cantona’s issues as he was an outstanding talent. Mitro isn’t there, so if he doesn’t manage it he will be marginalised because of the risk and his career will fade away, with his potential unrealised.

  • 17 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    Yup, we will. Completely forgot we had him. Morocco are definitely there.

  • 18 yorkshire_magpie // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    Great night for Scotland and Ritchie who notched up 3 assists.

  • 19 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    That is 4 potentially important players from our side gone. Potentially as only really Diame is proven at this level, I think most would say Mbemba is definitely an important player but the other 2 are unknown quantities for the most part. I’d imagine that both the unknowns were signed to be a major part of first teams this season though, so will be big losses if they live up to that billing.

    Hanley and Clark should be good enough to cover Mbemba, Dummet is solid enough to cover left back. For Atsu you could say Gouffran, Perez or Aarons could step in. Diame though? He is unique in the squad in terms of what he offers to the side, and will be a big loss.

  • 20 jimmysmith // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    I’m looking forward to seeing how effective Atsu is.

    Like Ritchie he prefers the right but can operate either side, so they can both play in the same 11. He has all those caps at a young age, and was the Afcon player of the tournament.

    Against that of course, is the number of loans he’s had, none fantastic, and perhaps by now suggesting they weren’t so much for his development but that he is considered a poor signing by Chelsea, and that they are perhaps struggling to get rid of him.

    It’s the Championship though, a level he should cope well with, and there’s Rafa to mentor him, a good side to play in and the crowd roaring he and the team on. Could do very well for us.

  • 21 Mister Tuff // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    lesh – thank you -very kind of you.

  • 22 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 4, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    I’ve mainly watched Atsu playing for Ghana. He has flashes of brilliance, but his bad days make it seem like Ghana have just 10 men. Most of his good performances have come against weak opposition, although against both Egypt and Senegal he has done well. The Senegal game in particular he played very well, although Ghana failed to make the most of a lot of his good work.

    On loan, he has general done quite well when not on loan in England, Vitesse and Malaga seemed happy with his performances, and his stats would support the notion that he did well there. It doesn’t seem to have translated to any loan in England though, or at Chelsea, where at 24, and 3 years there, he is yet to even make an appearance.

    He has something about him, and has a lot of pace. But he failed at Bournemouth 12 months ago, and his spell at Everton the year before could hardly be classed as a success. I would have expected him to do well under Martinez, but he didn’t.

    Does he just not suit England? Maybe, but the differences in styles in England and Europe are becoming less and less given the managers in the Prem. Hopefully Rafa can get the best out of him, cause if we can’t we are still short on creative players.

  • 23 jimmysmith // Sep 5, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Yeah, it’ll be interesting. Lazaar and Yedlin are similar propositions in that they may also spark some real attacking intent and impetus, particularly at home. They are not players though you’d perhaps expect to handle the Premiership so well, and we now have quite a few in that category, so it’s not just this season but also next that is interesting. Never the less they have landed a great opportunity at Newcastle, and you’d hope they are of the type to put there heads down and work

  • 24 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 5, 2016 at 12:15 AM

    I do agree that quite a few of the signings are mid to lower table Prem starters at best. That isn’t ideal, but looking at the type of player and character, I’d imagine all would be willing to fight for their place, and if they aren’t first choice, to still give it everything and be capable deputies when they are required.

    We would probably need 5 or 6 top level players to take us to where I would think Rafa wants to be in the next 3 years. But the players brought in now represent a blend of strong Championship ability, work rate, experience at this or higher levels, with a few who have the potential to continue to develop. These players will be a stronger set of back up/competition for first team spots (in my opinion) than what we have had over the last few years.

  • 25 jimmysmith // Sep 5, 2016 at 12:40 AM

    Yeah, its not a criticism, there’s no ideal outcome to be had out of relegation, and the restructuring achieved quite remarkable in the circumstances. I wonder though if the club can find the 80 to 100 million you might need to bring in the right quality after shipping 5 to 6 out at the end of the season. Possibly yes, if you consider the 70 million parachute payment, savings on wages this season, the Sissoko money, transfer fees in, and a top up from the owner.

  • 26 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 5, 2016 at 12:47 AM

    We might have that sort of cash, but I would think next summer we would look to deal well, but cleverly rather than flashing all our available cash.

    Rafa’s deal is three years I think. Next summer (should we go up) will be a stabilisation of our league status, probably brining in 2 or three top players, with a couple of other first team challengers and a success being safely mid table. Then building again the following summer with a view to pushing for Europe that season.

  • 27 jimmysmith // Sep 5, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    Ha, yeah that does seem entirely probable. I’d love a potential top 8 side straight off the bat though, being rather greedy and impatient and I suspect it’ll be largely down to what Benitez asks for, and whatever it is, if he takes us back up, Ashley might well find it for him.

  • 28 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 5, 2016 at 1:08 AM

    I’m sure we would all love a top 8 side straight away! Football fans aren’t generally known for their patience!

    I think Rafa can probably get what he wants to an extent, but I don’t see Ashley changing his thoughts on the club being self sustainable and living within its means. I think Ashley has it right on that. Hopefully, now with a student of football like Rafa having a large say in all football related matters, the model has more chance of delivering relative success to the club.

  • 29 lesh // Sep 5, 2016 at 1:19 AM


    I think you may be right about the Ashley-Shearer rift. The only ray of hope I can see is that Ashley’s said to have left the running of the football side of things to Rafa and Charnley. A Rafa-Shearer conversation might do the trick, leaving Ashley seemingly uninvolved.

    Where there’s a will……

  • 30 lesh // Sep 5, 2016 at 1:28 AM

    Mr Tuff

    Must say I go with Blackley about the lock gates. Even Timothy West and Timothy Spail (albeit not canal lock gates in his case) seem, like most blokes, to assume that the tiller’s a man’s job. Surely that’s easier than leaving the hard work to the good lady.

    A bit like bloke’s insist that it’s only they who are capable of burning things on a barbecue!

  • 31 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 5, 2016 at 1:29 AM

    I’d imagine Rafa and Shearer have spoken since he took the job. Whether Shearer coming in to help was mentioned, who knows. I thought Shearer had confirmed he wouldn’t be going back to management, whether that included coaching, either part or full time wasn’t really mentioned.

    I doubt Ashley has no say in what happens mind, regardless of what is said publicly. That is fine, provided he employs capable advisors and people capable of working in the roles and doing the duties appointed to them.

  • 32 Mister Tuff // Sep 5, 2016 at 1:38 AM

    lesh – the missus was offered the choice of what her preference was – operating the boat or the locks. She chose the locks (and swing bridges).
    Equal input in our household mate.

  • 33 expatmag // Sep 5, 2016 at 2:14 AM

    With so many potentially being away for several weeks, I would imagine Rafa might try to get a couple in just to refresh numbers.

    We do have some loanees who will return in January too, I believe.

  • 34 expatmag // Sep 5, 2016 at 2:16 AM


    Bollox and double bollox

    You forget, old man. I know your missus and I doubt that there has ever been in a day in your marriage where she has met you on an equal footing.

    C rules the rost in your household mate……lol

  • 35 expatmag // Sep 5, 2016 at 2:17 AM


  • 36 lesh // Sep 5, 2016 at 4:45 AM

    * …. most bloke’s – grocer’s apostrophe!

    Silky me!

  • 37 lesh // Sep 5, 2016 at 4:46 AM

    * Silky me? Silly me!!

  • 38 Jib // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    Lesh to Mr Tuff @14

  • 39 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Clark, Murphy, Mitrovic, & Dummett could be playing tonight.

  • 40 martoon // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Lesh & Lil – re Shearer. On a recent stadium tour the guide told us that at the moment Shearer is not welcome at the club. Probably for the reasons you’ve mentioned but so much so that they would not allow the Shearer statue to be on their land which is why it is where it is which is apparently land owned by the council that used to be a public toilet!

  • 41 Mister Tuff // Sep 5, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    The source of Jib Jibberish’s football “knowledge.

  • 42 Ian Toon // Sep 5, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    Yo- I was responding to something of particular interest to me posted on the blog. I wish I had let the subject matter pass by as I usually would have. Forgetting tha this is a football blog – hence to satisfy your curiosity . I was not going to respond because of encoraging you to resort to further I’ll- founded assumptions. The subject matter is viewed as beyond a lay persons range, levels of understanding.

    My general conclusions were evidence based on case studies and not as you imply. Any such use of the source(s) you imply to establish or justify such findings would again be ill- founded; on the grounds of undue influence on the part of NUT or other vested educational interest groups.

    However to emphasise It’s evidence led.. One thing you did get right was the divisions within the Uk educational system. But as this is not educational/ schools based it’s an irrelevant point.

    I am not planning to respond further to you because you’re suffering from in lay person terms, groupthink. It’s adopting an amiable, soft line of criticism in order to conform and have complete concurrence with chosen people. Equally found on a football blog , as in the school playground or the staff common room.

    Your comment addressed to me on Ritalin is beyond reproach. A little learning is a dangerous thing. I think it best if you don’t correspond further with me.

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