Alan Shearer On Whether Rafa Can Keep Newcastle Up – But The Manager Will Leave This Summer

As we often point out Alan Shearer is first and foremost a Newcastle fan – and it just so happens when he playing he was a world-class striker who spent the last 10 years of his career at Newcastle – his hometown club.

Alan ended up beating Jackie Milburn’s goalscoring record at Newcastle and scored 206 in 405 total appearances over those ten years.


And Alan has said whether he thinks Rafa can keep Newcastle up this season.

This is some of what Alan has said today in his Sun column:

“We are staying up. Just! It will be tight and may even come down to goal difference but I firmly believe we will do it.”

“I saw the draw at Palace and there is no lack of fight and commitment among the players.”

“But more crucially, we have a top class manager in Rafa Benitez.”

“Someone whose love of the Newcastle fans has kept him at the club through a tough time.”

“He will not desert the ship and let it sink but nobody could blame him given the lack of support he has had from the helm.”

“Newcastle should be bigger and better than this but under Ashley, we never will be.”

“The 52,400 that attend St James’ every week is not down to him either but a deep-seated loyalty which he will never understand.”

“Unfortunately Benitez recognizes it too and we will probably lose him at the end of the season.”

“Another huge chance has been missed.”

Alan seems to think there will be no new owner in by the summer – and he could be right.

Ashley has ruined the club over the last almost eleven years – but he’s tried twice before to sell the club before pulling it off the market.

He could do the same again this summer.

That would be the last straw.

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Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 5, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #1

    Rafa is definitely gone in the summer as long as Ashley is at the helm. This much is guaranteed.

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 5, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #2


    From previous thread

    And what league we’re in!

  • jayphoto

    Feb 5, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #3

    If we stay up on Goal difference I think SKY need to make Gary Neville rewatch the Man City game again and do a new commentary on rafas tactics with hindsight… Especially if its at the expense of stoke or Watford who got hit for 7 and 6 by attacking them….

  • jimiley

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #4

    How can shearer firmly believe we will stay up on goal difference??????? Joke comment.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #5

    Also..our positive goal difference stopped us going into the palace game with even more pressure of being in the bottom 3 yesterday… its a 38 game season and Rafa actually plans for the whole of it.
    Actual think our fixtures are kind as we don’t really have back to back top sides so less chance of falling into a rut…
    Chelsea at home last game of the season might be a blessing… manager gone, most likely guaranteed 3rd, the whole starting 11 focused on a world cup and we’re usually pretty good at home on final day… Our season is in all likelihood going to come down to home games against Southampton, Huddersfield and West Brom which we need to win and then look at points at away to Everton, Bournemouth and Watford. That takes us to 37, fancy us to beat Chelsea which would be 40 but in all likelihood we could just as easily lose to Huddersfield but beat Watford or get a freak result against Arsenal etc I can definitely see us conjuring up 38-40 points though from the remaining games

  • toon kk

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #6

    I think Shearer could be right, we have three alternatives stay up though enough points (which are difficult to win), stay up by goal difference or relegated.
    Which one will it be?.
    Tough one to call to be honest.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #7

    Munster from previous (and Funki from earlier) I think whether Rafa knows his best 11 players is a moot point – he has a squad of 20-odd and will play the best 11 on any given match day to get the most from the opposition line-up, having taken into account form, injuries and the balance of the team. It’s what makes it so hard to predict what side he will put out but also the reason why certain players are rarely played together. I think this is why Murphy has played less recently as he wants more strength on that side if he is to play Kenedy on the left

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #8


    Thank you for your kind words but honestly anything Jail says, or anyone else for that matter, is water off a ducks back as far as I am concerned. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, if someone wants to be offensive then I’ll either ignore them or treat it with humour.

    The poor chap was obviously getting very agitated with my KO countdown so I thought I’d put him out of his misery.

    And to be honest I was getting a bit fed up with it myself so happy to stop.

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #9

    In 2003, Newcastle had a higher revenue than Barcelona. In 2017, we had a lower revenue than Bournemouth.

    From 2007 to 2016, Newcastle’s match day income dropped by 26%. Over the same period, Arsenal’s increased by 10%, Spurs by 32%, West Ham by 59% and Liverpool’s by 62%.

    In 2007, NUFC had the 13th highest income in the world. In 2017, we didn’t feature in the top 30.

    From 1892 to 2007, NUFC were relegated 4 times. In the 10 years since, we’ve been relegated twice and escaped a further two relegations on the last day of the season.

    Newcastle’s gross debt in 2007 was £76.6m. In 2017, it was £144m.

    From 2007 to 2016, Newcastle’s commercial income dropped by 9%. Over the same period, Spurs increased by 81%, Liverpool by 177%, Arsenal by 181% and West Ham’s by 233%.

    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC averaged 8th place in the Premier League. In the ten seasons since, they’ve averaged 15th place.

    In 2007, only 30% of NUFC’s revenue was generated by broadcasting income. In 2016, NUFC were reliant on broadcasting for 59% of their revenue.

    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC averaged a net spend of £9.5m per season on transfers. Since then, we’ve averaged £3.4m whilst receiving over £0.5b in TV income.

    The average net spend on transfers by other club owners – Lerner : Aston Villa (£17m), Abramovich : Chelsea (£55m), Henry : Liverpool (£19m), Hicks /Gillett : Liverpool (£8m), Glazer : Man Utd (£45m), Abu Dhabi : Man City (£87m)

    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC qualified twice for the Champions League and twice for the UEFA cup. In the ten years since then, we’ve qualified only once for the Europa League.

    Sports Direct’s share price has increased by 33% since 2007. They have not paid a penny in stadium advertising to NUFC over that time.

    Since 2007, every Premier League club have broken their transfer record. Except Newcastle United.

    In 2007, Newcastle had the third biggest stadium in England. It’s now the 7th biggest.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #10

    Finding it a bit amusing to see people saying that Dummett has improved, I think he has always been a good player but they are only just realizing it.

  • toon kk

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #11

    Interesting post, shows how MA regime clearly is an absolute failure.

  • firebug666

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #12


    I think he has improved marra, under previous managers he would hoof the ball forward at any given opportunity just to be rid of it no matter where it went, usually to the opposition, now he gets his foot on the ball and looks to play it down the line, trying to find a team mate.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #13

    I also feel a little sympathy for Yedlin, he had by far the toughest job Saturday having to mark both Zaha and
    VanAanholt for most of the game and has low votes in the MOM poll which make it look as if he was hopeless.

    Although it does tend to make a lot of the other players look hopeless as well and not just the genuinely poor performers.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #14

    Frank pingles come sock @9

    Where did you get that lot from, it needs to be more widely available.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Link was posted last night and I am just listening to the journalists saying exactly what a lot on here say, week in week out.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 5, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #16

    IMO the f@t tw@t will pray that Rafa keeps us up so he can deal at the best possible price with the much increased Sky money, but as soon as it looks unlikely that we won’t beat the drop ,F@tty will snap Staveley,s hand off if the250.Mill offert is still on the table.He won’t want to invest over 100Mill to regain promotion that would be a big gamble and not guaranteed. without a big injection of cash we won’t be coming back to the Prem anytime soon and a couple of yrs stagnating in the Championship where will see the valuation of NUFC shrink to about 80 Mill. I hope we don’t go there but if we do I will be gloating in smug mode at Ashley’s demise.

  • lesh

    Feb 5, 2018 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #17

    I think Shearer’s assuming that Ashley won’t have finalised the club’s sale by the start of this summer and that his greed and spite’ll mean that if we stay up, he won’t deal with PCP – unless they come in with £350m with no strings attached. But even then, if they did, the greedy git’s want more!

    Ashley’s supposedly trying to tie Rafa down to a new contract? Shearer warned him about Ashley and sure as hell, Ashley’s been shown yet again to be a liar whose aim is to run the club on the bones of it’s arris.

    So on that basis, the uncertainty would tempt Rafa to walk if he received an offer big enough to cover any, if any, severance payment. Who might be interested? We’ll, it seems that West Ham’s owners are getting some stick from it’s fans who are peed off with the owners’ lack of ambition and spending. And they think they’ve got problems? Ffs, compared with us under Ashley,they’ve got comparative luxury. A move for Rafa from WHU wouldn’t surprise me.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 5, 2018 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #18

    Toon KK #11
    going back only 3 yrs ago on this blog , we were a well run club “financially” anyone that dare question that, were shouted down. Back then some people couldn’t distinguish between a well run club and a Fcuking tight Tw@T

  • Geordie-john

    Feb 5, 2018 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #19

    Sorry I know this has nothing to do with the above article but I have just read the crap and this was the first opportunity to vent myself.
    What the f##k is Jamie Rednap having a go at Rafa for ? Who do you think you are ? What qualifications do you have to question such a fantastic manager like Rafa Benitez ? You are a nobody compared to Rafa,Not even your corrupt Daddy is near Rafa ! And you Sourness, You definitely have no room to talk as you are up there with Coco the clown and The Wally with the brolly. I always remember what you said to the local TV when you came to NUFC, The team just needs a bit fine tuning. Some fine tune that was , You totally demoralised the team and got rid of the rest. So you are another one that’s needs to shut your gob. You know nowt apart from how to bully you lads and talk shite.

  • jimiley

    Feb 5, 2018 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #20

    I was saying mr Ashley was a cancer 7 years ago and got slaughtered for it. The clever people have changed their tune now. Too late. Far too late. Club is screwed.


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