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No excuses for Newcastle

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Phil McNulty | 21:23 UK time, Sunday, 24 May 2009

Alan Shearer was hurting and - in his words - "feeling raw inside" as he struggled to cope with the pain of Newcastle United's fall out of the Premier League.

No-one in close proximity to Shearer as he sat in an unforgiving spotlight at Villa Park doubted him. It was written on his face and evident in every word of a clinical, brutally honest analysis of why Newcastle's sentence for years of mismanagement was a place in the Championship.

Shearer admitted his own eight-week mission to save Newcastle from relegation had failed "for a million reasons." Not necessarily a gross exaggeration given the dysfunctional antics at St James' Park this season.

One thing, however, was not up for discussion. No hard luck stories can be told by Newcastle - they deserved to be relegated and anyone not sure only had to spend 90 minutes in their company on Sunday.

Shearer's obvious hurt would have been compounded by a Newcastle display that was an insult to every principle and value he held dear during his playing career and to the supporters who travelled in hope to Birmingham.

He did not publicly call out his players because there was little mileage in that. Plenty of others will do it for him and most of them will be nowhere near Tyneside when next season starts anyway.

On a day when a point would have preserved Premier League status, Newcastle degenerated from a promising start into an all-consuming lethargy that made you question whether they were actually aware of the prize they were fighting for.
Newcastle fans say they will support the team in whatever division
No fight. No urgency. No desire. No willingness to put limbs on the line to get the desired result. No wonder Shearer looked shattered in his post-match inquest. These were the basic starting points every time he pulled on a shirt.

Were they hurting like Shearer? It did not look like it.

Shearer was an impressive and dignified figure after the game. He took his share of responsibility while naming all the other guilty men in this fiasco - which is pretty much everyone involved with Newcastle in recent years.

He had no regrets about taking the job and revealed he even understood why so many found management addictive. Sadly for Shearer, like so many addictions there are bad side effects and in football management, relegation is one of them.

Could he have done more? Well, he failed to inspire Newcastle's players to make the final push to safety, but at Villa Park it was clear many of them were beyond inspiration.

Porous defence. Plodding midfield. Punchless attack. Put these things together and you can book your ticket to the Championship.

Newcastle were ponderous in all parts and no manager can give a player the pace required in the modern game. The only way Shearer could have seriously addressed Newcastle's problems was by buying new players and he came too late for that.

This is why owner Mike Ashley - we will come to him later - must make every effort to give Shearer the assurances he will demand when they meet this week to ensure he continues next season.

It was clear at the final whistle that Shearer's iconic status on Tyneside has not been seriously damaged by relegation as supporters, many in tears, chanted his name.

Where owner Ashley stands is another matter. Shearer will almost be testing the owner's commitment when he outlines the need for what he generously described as "an overhaul" at Newcastle in the summer.

Ashley has found it tough demonstrate a sure footballing touch despite ploughing an estimated £250m of his own money into Newcastle. The decisions he has made - or the people he has had making them for him - have proved flawed.

The appointment of Kevin Keegan was a populist move but it was doomed almost from the start by the presence of Dennis Wise. Keegan was well-known as a man who craves control and once it became clear he was never going to get it, the credits were rolling.

Joe Kinnear, who eventually succumbed to health problems, was plucked from obscurity to steer the giant club out of trouble. He is unlikely to return to Newcastle and the gamble of using Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood, two sound footballing men but without Premier League management experience, as a holding operation failed.

Shearer had no experience but there was a method in his appointment. It was an attempt at a quick fix, and even though it has failed he is still Ashley's best bet because if he could not sell Newcastle in the Premier League, he will not sell them in the Championship.

Ashley and Newcastle may well be stuck with each other. Shearer is the glue that makes the partnership workable, offering the opportunity for a long-overdue spell of stability.

The former England striker can grow into the job in a tough proving ground, while Ashley knows supporters will give him the sort of time and patience they would have given to Keegan.

Shearer warned Ashley that big decisions needed to made quickly. He apologised for the emotive language, but you knew exactly where he was coming from when he said: "Every day that goes by another room's burned down."

Michael Owen, like so much of his career at Newcastle, came and went in the blink of an eye on Sunday. No service, no goals, no serious future at St James' Park.

He will be one of the big earners who will surely leave. Newcastle have a host of players on huge, Premier League wages and it could be quite a trick to get rid of some of them.

Alan Smith and Joey Barton will surely be surplus, but where are the takers? Smith's best days are behind him because of the ravages of injury and Barton's behaviour hardly makes him a hot property.

Veteran Mark Viduka may not see his future in second tier football while Obafemi Martins could also seek other options.

Newcastle have been the architects of their own downfall. The accident waiting to happen finally occurred at Villa Park and the Championship is a true reflection of the club's current status.

Shearer looked like a man who will hurt for some time to come - but the conversation he has with Ashley will be pivotal in shaping Newcastle's future.

If Ashley says the right things and persuades Shearer to stay on, Newcastle may yet salvage something from the wreckage of relegation.

To lose one Geordie icon in Keegan could be termed unluckly, to lose another in Shearer would be careless - and the Toon Army do not need that after one of the blackest days in their recent history.


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

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  • Comment number 3.

    Shearer, and all of the "Local Hero, only a Geordie can manage this club" nonsense, is part of the problem and not the solution.

  • Comment number 4.

    luv it!, luv it that they have gone down!

    no-one has a right to Premier League football, this all started with getting rid of Allardyce - he would have kept them up - as KailashBobster points out - the Local Hero nonsense is just that... nonsense.

    Good riddance to a poor team and I sincerely hope you rebuild rather than bounce straight back up - there is so much dead wood you need to get rid of, coming straight back would be wrong.

  • Comment number 5.

    Where were they when they sacked Big Sam? 14th?. How they would love to be there now?

  • Comment number 6.

    Ever since they got rid of Sir Bobby Robson they've been slipping further and further so it is no suprise that they have got what they deserved. The fans love Shearer but what they need is a decent manager who can get the players to play.

  • Comment number 7.

    I genuinely feel sorry for the Newcastle fans. If the team showed half of the passion that the fans do on a weekly basis, they would have almost certainly stayed up.

    Not one player yesterday fought for the cause; no energy, no desire and, so it seemed, no awareness of the consequences for the club. Individually, you'd have to imagine that most of the 'bigger' players are now happy to draw a line under their time at Newcastle and move on.

    Whilst it's hard to criticise Shearer, I think his team selection contributed to such a damp performance yesterday. I'd have started with Gutierrez - granted, there's not always an end product, but there is boundless energy. He would have, at least, given Villa something to think about.

    In midfield, I'd have opted for Smith. Nolan appears to be playing the game at half pace these days. Again, Smith has his flaws, you can can bet that he'd have given everything in his tank and got in Villa faces.

    Evidently, you have to account for a season of antics by Mike Ashley. As suggested, he's ultimately shot himself in the foot.

  • Comment number 8.

    As a Liverpool fan I am saddened to see the Geordies get relegated. After all the reds have just lost 6 guaranteed points and a healthy positive in our goal difference! But joking aside, I think that it is the best thing that could happen to Newcastle right now as they desperately need some stability and a realisation that they are not a big club in anything other than the size of stadium. Maybe they should stop trying to look for a messiah with every appointment and actually get players and staff who want to play football, understand the game and care about winning. Watching them the past few weeks, with the exception of the Boro match, Newcastle have looked simply awful. Defensively they were (always have been) a shambles, whilst both up front and in midfield they have a couple of decent players but they are either passed it or very inconsistent, but most of all what I noticed is that there seemed to be no passion or desire at all and that from a fans perspective is unforgiveable. Your point Phil that they did not seem to realise what they were fighting for was spot on.

    Finally, good luck in the championship - I think you are going to need it.

  • Comment number 9.

    Shearer has come out and said what everyone has been saying for years - too late now.

    As a Newcastle fan, looking at Blackburn Rovers surviving comfortably under Sam Allardyce, Tottenham flourishing towards the end under our one-time managerial target Harry Redknapp, and Aston Villa sending us down under Martin O'Neill, who we should have got instead of Glenn Roeder a few summers back, is only part of the mistakes we have made.

    It's time for this club, and Mike Ashley in particular, to realise the humbleness of the situation. I would drive like Owen, Barton, Smith, Viduka, Coloccini and Enrique away from St James' right now and our more talented players such as Martins, Taylor and Gutierrez will move on.

    This is going to be one of the biggest rebuilding jobs in football and we'll probably be in the Championship for a while now. And for all you gloaters, I don't blame you because watching our supposedly proud, defiant club crumbling before my eyes is no accident or misfortune, it is as the result of years of arrogance, idiocy and plain stupidity.

  • Comment number 10.

    its the fans i feel for. shearer is a hero for them. rightly so.
    hope he stays in the job just for the fans sake.
    hope the rest of the board & 80% of the players dont.
    their supporters are up there with the best of them.
    look forward to seeing them in the fa cup next season & back in the epl asap

  • Comment number 11.

    Whatever Phil! I am for one dissapointed to see Newcastle go down. They have contributed greatly to the Premiership and their fans are amognst the best. The Premiership is a poorer league without them especially in terms of global audience. I worry we won't see them back like Charlton, Nottm Forest and Leeds when the big clubs fall they struggle to recover.

    How costly was Howards Webb decision to rule out a genuine goal and deny Newcastle the point they needed to survive?

    Anyway Gazza, Keegan, Shearer, Beardsley, Cole, Albert, Ginola, Asprilla we will remember you. All the best.

  • Comment number 12.

    The fa needs to make a rule that every club that goes trophyless for a specific number of years should be relegated.i dont see any point playing top flight wen you dont win laurels, except the clubs are only interested in the money benefits.the championship isnt bad so many teams there deserve to come up than some that just participate witout trophyies.its better to be a "big team" down there than be a points giveaway up there

  • Comment number 13.

    Allardyce would have kept them up. He would also have sorted out the deadwood - big style!

    The fans and management were very foolish not to back him. Still, they've got a bit of time to reflect on that now.

  • Comment number 14.

    No one deserves relegation more than the Geordie fans do. They've shown time and time again that they know nothing about football. The first mistake was sacking Allardyce, but the biggest mistake was bringing in Keegan. The guy is clueless and had been found out years ago. Yet still the Georgdie faithful welcomed him back. Yes, bringing in Wise was a mistake. He's just a little hooligan that no one has any time for. It wouldn't be sad never to see him in football again. But to hail Keegan as the messiah shows a complete lack of knowledge of football, and for that, they deserve to go down. Everyone more than 5 miles from Newcastle was amazed at his hiring, and knew it would end in tears. Why didn't the Geordies see this?

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry Phil, I know Shearer is a Geordie legend but I do not see what he possesses apart from that status to take the Newcastle job. He has won 1 games in 8, losing 5. Not great form. True, it is not by any means his fault, but to say he is blameless is also silly. He as failed to stay up despite having two sides in Sunderland and Hull who practically gave Newcastle an opportunity to stay up with ease, which they have purely thrown away.

    The reason for Newcastle's demise is a long term one, not solely this season. Newcastle, and this includes many of their passionate fans, do not have a sense of realism in them. They lose Bobby Robson, one of the finest managers to herald from this country and replace him with Graeme Souness, who up til that point was leading Blackburn into the First Division. After being given a blank cheque to buy a lot of players who have just not done it for Newcastle (Boumsong, Amdy Faye, even Owen), they then get rid of him and bring in Glenn Roeder, who led the best side tat has ever been relegated, in West Ham. After a year floating around below mid-table, they then bring in Allardyce, a man who with virtually no resources at his disposal, turned Bolton into a top 5 side. An incredible achievement. After 6 months however, Allardyce is removed and Kevin Keegan, a man who had not managed for a number of years. Keegan was brought in. For once, the fans fully got behind the manager, but rather than embracing this, the club go and lose him by bringing in as director of football a guy with Leeds' relegation to League One on his C.V. And what has happened since then has been written about ad nauseam I see no reason to go on by repeating it.

    All I am trying to say is that Newcastle have given too much freedom and time to bad managers and not enough time and freedom to the better ones they have enlisted. No one person is to blame with it, though some are more culpable than others. Nine managers in 3 years is not a blueprint for success. Fans, directors, players and managers have all played their part in Newcastle's downfall. This has been coming for years. Newcastle need to realise (like Everton, like Fulham, like Villa) their limits and give a manager with a decent record, time. How does a baby become a marathon runner? First it learns to walk step by step.

  • Comment number 16.

    Rarely has a team and its supporters been more deserving of relegation. The boards of Newcastle have consistently failed to run the club properly, in large part because they pay too much attention to a fickle and misguided fan base. In Robson and Allardyce they have had two of the most succesful english managers of recent years. But for this club only keegan and shearer would do, two managers who would struggle to get an interview for a job at most championship clubs.

    You asked for it, you got it.

  • Comment number 17.

    If the likes of Owen, Martins et al had any decency and feeling for the FANS, then they would be playing in the championship next season for a championship players wages, to help pay back for their lack of understanding of what it means to play for the toon; but somehow I doubt it though!

  • Comment number 18.

    Glad to see Newcastle go down, also this myth of the Newcastle fans being the best, sick of hearing this rubbish. if you look back at their attendances when they were down before they dropped the same if not more than every other club, if they were the "most passionate fans" this would not have happened. The best supporting fans in recent times has to be man city and Leeds hows support has stayed strong despite relegation.

  • Comment number 19.

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  • Comment number 20.

    I'm not a Newcastle fan, but part of my family is, and I can not believe the players, during yesterday's game they showed me everything that Newcastle isnt, they had no passion, no belief, no enthusiasm to play football, and I dont even think they actually cared whether they stayed up or not.

    Hiring Keegan was a mistake, and the fans have to take a part of the responsibility. Its no good getting your heros to manage a club when they are clearly not up to the task. Especially one who has shown in the past that when the going gets tough, Keegan runs away.

  • Comment number 21.

    In 2008 if I were buying a football club, I would have bought Newcastle utd long before I considered Man City, the new owners would have seen a great deal more enthusiasm for their money. The huge squabble about bringing back Keegan last year was the ruination of the club and the fans have only themselves to blame for that. Now they are left with ageing players on big contracts and who wouldn't fetch much money in the transfer market. Someone good needs to sort the wheat from the chaff on the playing field otherwise Newcastle could do a Leeds Utd.

  • Comment number 22.

    As a Leeds supporter I understand what Magpies fans are going through. I'm glad you went down. I don't mean that maliciously (means we won't have to take as much of the flack for being a major big name club not in the top flight) but it just shows that no one except the top four should feel comfortable with their top flight status. I hope you rebuild and the club is better for it just like I hope Leeds will be better for their experiences. Hopefully we'll soon be meeting each other in the premier league again. Good luck

  • Comment number 23.

    Wise was the mistake. He took Millwall to the FA Cup Final, then promptly stripped the team, selling our best players such as Cahill to Everton for a pitence, whilst taking a nice fat pay check. He gets found out, and trundles off to Swindon with his pal Gus. Gus excells training the team but Wise holds on to those coat tails and makes himself look good. Swindon however, as a club, get nothing in return except a dent in their pockets, exactly what a league one outfit does not need. So next its Leeds for Wise, where he helps them to relegation into League one. And still, after all this, Ashley hires him. As what? 'Director of Football'? I wouldnt trust him to direct traffic. So Wise gets a cushy job at Newcastle, where he gets to leech a pay packet for doing nothing, like most of the Newcastle 'stars'. Wise must talk a good game because he has no talent as a manager, has nothing to back up any claims of being a 'good manager'. He simply took advantage of a vulnerable club who believe in messiahs and miracles, and were conned by a nasty little thug of a man. His transfer policy at Newcastle showed no signs of football knowledge, he probably got their names off of Football Manager. And to top it all off he resigns on April Fools Day, like the whole thing has been a massive joke.

    So the moral of the story is DO NOT TOUCH WISE - HE IS PURE POISON

  • Comment number 24.

    There's always a lot of guff about teams not deserving to go down, or supporters not deserving such bad service, etc. But let's face facts:
    1. The team, as most people seem to agree are not good enough. Worryingly there appears to be no unity, and as with Boro, no fight.
    2. The fans deserve a bit of the rap simply because of all that dewy-eyed Messiah crap. Why is Newcastle the only club that needs a religious leader? When they get a decent manager with a good track record (Big Sam), where was the show of support? He may not have been ideal, but he should have been given as much of a chance as all the saviours we keep tripping over. What next? Shay Given for manager?
    To temper my criticism a little: Kudos to the fans at the end for their post-season show of devotion.

  • Comment number 25.

    As my daughter lives in Newcastle I visit regularly and the blind optimism never ceases to amaze. I watched Blackburn away at Newcastle in March last year I saw Blackburn score a last minute winner breaking upfield after defending a Newcastle free kick (sound familiar). All the Toon fans said was they didn't know how they lost it, well it should have been 5-5 poor defending led to chance after chance for both teams. In September (before the Paul Ince wheels came off) I sat in a pub in Newcastle and could not believe that the Newcastle fans thought that 3 points were easy pickings we won 2-1. You cannot blame all the previous managers, Sam Allardyce was sacked in the January with Newcastle in 11th, a position not achieved since. Allardyce has led Blackburn to safety 7 points ahead of Newcastle from a position of being 6 points behind when he took over at Christmas. Now the blind optimism continues with talk of bouncing straight back, in 1999 Blackburn went down and I thought we would bounce straight back it took 2 seasons and Jack Walkers millions. Ask Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Southampton etc about bouncing back. I will miss my football trips to St. James (especially the 3 points) do come back soon but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Comment number 26.

    It seems incredible to me that after all the money invested in this club and i'm not just talking about the last two or three years that they go down so tamely. The reason seems obvious the constant change of management and folls at the top and that includes the man before Ashley. I'm not sure Shearer is the man for manager. I think they need an experienced man who knows what he expects from his team and the players he needs and what exactly he expects from them. I don't think many of the Geordie fans will be too disaponited so see ten or so players go. A mixture of youthful talent and experienced players who have passion and desire is what's needed. There have been several digs at the fans over their high expectations. But i think this is all too common in the modern game for fans and owners alike and stability is one key to success in the future. Patience is required and the expectation that deserving this or that is a waste of time, you have to earn it and not just over 1 season or half a season. Ultimately this needs to come from the director and manager so i'm not holding my breath on that. Very interesting next season including the summer coming up. Newcastle fans will expect to bounce straight back up, if they don't will this mean more changes? Prioity number one is bring in some stability and i while i think that Shearer is not the best man for Newcastle, he is the one man who will get the time if he sticks it out himself. Chin up Newcastle fans, the EPL is poorer without ye.

  • Comment number 27.

    blueShidoshi - How many teams do you envisage in your new big 4 league then? Are you threatened by teams who have history and passion that stretches beyond their becomng an oligarch's plaything?

  • Comment number 28.

    we (newcastle) deserve to go down but i think hull do as well . they had a good start ill grant them that but only getting something like eight points since boxing day is appauling and they are lucky but i hope they stay up next season though. newcastle wont bounce back and will stay in championship for 2-3 years

  • Comment number 29.

    The reasons for Newcastle's demise are clear enough. But is Shearer the solution? His only apparent qualification for the job is his status as an iconic Geordie. No coaching badges or experience and 46 tough Championship matches next season will find him out.

    What Newcastle need is a sound manager with a proven track record of success. Then they need to give him five years to create the team.

    Shearer has failed and will kick himself for succumbing to the temptation of leaving the comfort of pundits' sofa.

    Alan Hansen has much more sense than that!

    An old Chinese proverb says it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

    Apart from some inspired substitutions in one match, Newcastle's form dipped even lower under his management.

    Newcastle don't need another Messiah. They required an experienced manager to stabilise the club and then push for promotion.

    The Toon Army may think it can't get any worse. If the wrong manager is chosen, it could be disastrous.

  • Comment number 30.

    The first mistake was bringing in Allardyce at a time where we could have got Sven-Goran Eriksson. Allardyce's style was poor and it wasn't how the fans wanted to see their team play. They wanted to be the entertainers, and Mike ashley made one of the best moves possible bringing in Keegan, but then a terrible one bringing in Wise. Keegan got off to a slow start butt eventually got us playing good football, winning 2-0 against Fulham, 4-1 away against Tottenham, 3-0 against Reading, and 2-0 against Sunderland. Then came a draw against Portsmouth, a UEFA Cup team under Harry Redknapp, followed by defeats against two top-five teams: Chelsea and Everton.

    Chris Mort left during pre-season and Derek Llambias was brought in as his replacement. This was a bad move, as Mort was regularly speaking to the fans, what Llambias didn't do.

    Then the bad move to bring in wise showed, as Keegan resigned. He was forced out, and that can't be denied.

    Then they made another mistake. Instead of acting quickly and bringing in a replacement (should have been Shearer), they waited for weeks with Chris Hughton managing the club as they slipped down the table. Meanwhile, Tottenham, who had sacked their manager Juande Ramos, brought in Harry Redknapp from Portsmouth, which worked out very well for them. They were soon out of the bottom three.

    Then they decided to bring in Joe Kinnear, who was certainly not the right man for the job.
    In early 2009, Kinnear was forced to leave his post due to illness. Again, they did not act and kept Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood in charge.

    On April 1st, Alan Shearer became manager. When I heard this I believed it to be an April fool. Fortunately it was true. But the inexperienced boss had only eight games to save the club.

    It wasn't enough, and on May 24th, 2009, Newcastle United were relegated to the championship after a one-nil defeat against aston villa. The week before, Howard Webb disallowed a perfectly good goal against fulham, which would have kept us up.

    There is only one reason why we were relegated.
    and that is Mike Ashley.

  • Comment number 31.

    I am an Arsenal fan, but have always enjoyed watching Newcastle play football.....until this year. Most of the players Newcastle currently have are on the whole a disgrace to the proud traditions of the club. I watched the game yesterday and I honestly could not tell you who was captaining the side. There is no onfield leadership, no passion, no pace, no desire, hence relegation.
    As Alan Shearer said relegation is not the result of yesterday but the result of probably 3 years of decline.
    I hope the right people make the right choices for this proud club and that they start to rebuild and return to the Premier League once they are good enough to do so.......and please Arsene Wenger don't be tempted to by Martins!

  • Comment number 32.

    ooh, and I missed a bit out.

    In Summer 2008 we sold two players that could have helped save us. Emre Belezoglu and Abdoulaye Faye. Two more poor decisions obviously made by Wise. The departure of Milner we could not prevent- he betrayed us.

  • Comment number 33.

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  • Comment number 34.

    Ant & Dec, Jimmy Nail, Donna Air, Sid the Sexist, Spuggy - Your boy's took one helluva beating!

  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

    From a complete neutrals point of view I have to say I really fear for Newcastle. As a Wolves fan I have seen MANY MANY years of championship football and a number of former premiership teams come and go. It is a fact that the percentage of clubs who get straight back to the premiership in their first season is quite low, certainly below 50% and this decreases further which each year that passes. Swindon, Bradford, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Leeds, Charlton; I'm sure there are others.

    Whilst I am not of the opinion that Shearer is blameless, (as someone pointed out his record isn't great and he failed to motivate the players over 8 games) I do think he is the man to take the club forward but only if he has complete power and that idiot Mike Ashley steps away from the club and lets him get on with it. His presence at matches must infuriate the fans; for me the best way to win them back is to stabalise the club and stay away. Something tells me his ego won't allow him to keep his grubby fingers out the club and this could mean they get dragged further into trouble.

    Finally I really do wish you well Geordies. Try and accept the fact that you will need to buy whole new players, some you may never of heard of, and also that the Championship is not the same quality as the Premiership. You will see your team lose to clubs who you consider to be way, way beneath your standard. That said, I believe your club will be better for a change and maybe in a year or two Newcastle will be back where they belong.
    All the best.

  • Comment number 37.

    As a Charlton supporter,it is a sad day when Newcastle are relegated.Yes,the board should be blamed for their incompetence in this debacle and maybe resignations should start now.
    But i think most of the blame should lie with the players who have given shameful displays this season not worthy of this great club.If ever there was a case of an easy pay day, these under achievers should be embarrassed with their displays,but i suppose it will not matter as they can now go and under achieve with another premier league club next season .becaue there is no way these so called big name players could play in the championship.
    I think these big name players should be banned from playing top league football anywhere.They are too lazy to "play" for their massive wages and should be made to suffer like the clubs fans.
    I hope every club in the premier league will think about signing one of these embarrasing players and paying big wages,but sadly we all know this will not happen.Any club that signs one of these under achievers deserves what they get.

  • Comment number 38.

    Phil, your point here seems to be that because Shearer had no chance to motivate players Ashley 'must make every effort to give Shearer the assurances he will demand when they meet this week to ensure he continues next season.'

    I completely disagree, we need to start employing managers on experience and Shearer is not proven at all. Yes he is passionate and was a great player for us but that does not make him a good manager necessarily, we need man management and a good eye in the transfer market (we will lose many players.) Yes some sentimental Newcastle fans want him to stay on but there are many of us who want a unglamourous but proven man in place.
    Ashely does not HAVE to do everything to keep Shearer, even the mess the club is in I'm sure there exists a good manager or two (maybe not high profile but we are no longer high profile either) out there who would see us as an opportunity.

    Would Villa, Everton or Wigan appoint an ex-player with no experience I wonder, probably not because they are well run clubs who don't take massive gambles (whose example we should be following).

    You are right that we deserve to go for years of mismanagement all the way from the Hall/Sheppard regime to today.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't know about who are the world's best supporters but the most effective have got to be the stoke city supporters. they go to an away game and drown out the home supporters, lol. i think the newcastle fans yesterday were really disappointing, they never got behind the team in the way that pompey and stoke fans do.

  • Comment number 40.

    The problem I have with Newcastle is they always look for a new Messiah. Perhaps if they looked for a manager and the fans gave him a chance then maybe they'll get somewhere.

  • Comment number 41.

    Very pleased that NUFC got relagated, delighted in fact.

  • Comment number 42.

    One thing is for sure, NUFC need a TOTAL facejob. First, clear out players. From what I've seen this season, and yesterday was the last straw, I'ld rather remain with Beye, S. Taylor, Bassong, Harper and Carroll. I'ld get rid of the rest.

  • Comment number 43.

    A shame to see Newcastle going down, but they've made many bad decisions over the years. It may be a good thing, though - it will hopefully lead to them realising that they aren't a 'big club'. They need to extensively restructure (and alter their mind-set).

    It sounds harsh, but I have no sympathy for them after they sacked Allardyce earlier in the season. I couldn't understand it at the time & it looks even more bizarre in hindsight. It may have been a blessing in disguise though - he would undoubtedly have kept them up, but relegation may in fact be the best thing that could have happened.

    I'm a Liverpool fan, but I hope in years to come Newcastle supporters will look back on this as a defining moment. Take some time to rebuild your club.

  • Comment number 44.

    Yet again a whole load of nonsense here.

    It is the media who labelled Keegan as the returning Messiah not the fans. To blame the fans for the return of Keegan is ridiculous - it was a complete shock and not one fan I know even considered his name when Allaradyce was fired!

    To say we should have stuck with Allardyce can never be proven - look at the slide Newcastle were on when he took over, look at his record in the transfer market (awful) and consider the further effect Dennis Wise would have had when he was appointed by selling the best players and replacing the wrong positions with garbage.

    Re: attendances - they are affected by many things such as board protests, the state of the economy in the area and the context. You'll find all attendances were lower at those times. Though obviously we do have a large number of glory hunters. Oh, hang on that's right - we haven't won a domestic trophy since 1955.

    Finally the last point I can be bothered to make (there could be many more) is that Newcastle fans do not have high expectations. The mood yesterday was that we hope to come straight back up but nobody was optimistic and some fear we could fall straight through the championship. Newcastle fans expectations is that the players earn their wages and play for the shirt - anyone who saw the game yesterday will understand that hasn't been happening for some time.

  • Comment number 45.

    Re: 27 leastworst i see a kind of situation that allows hungrier teams in the lower cadre to represent england in europe the rotation should be such that highest point representation should be replaced by that that looks at match statistics i tell you not every team that wins a game is the better side.

  • Comment number 46.

    Sorry, but I'm not upset to see them go. Ashley built an empire on making shrewd business decisions so it surprises me that he took on Newcastle, a club with an inflated opinion of themselves where the fans think they know more about running the club than experienced businessmen. They wanted rid of Big Sam, they wanted Keegan and they wanted Shearer- maybe they should have remembered the old saying "be careful what you wish for".

    And to cap it all, Shearer can't exactly go to the FA these days and threaten them that if they don't let Newcastle stay in the PL, he won't play for them any more...

  • Comment number 47.

    Feel very sorry for every Geordie and Toon supporter.. the club has definitely provided plenty of moments during its 16 year run in the Premiership - it's a club which has become so synonymous with the Premiership thanks to its golden run between 1993 and 1997 with Kevin Keegan and their superb football which almost won them a title.. but sadly this is the Premiership and this is a results business and this year's Newcastle side just didn't deliver enough of them.. a tremendous downfall for a club that was very much pushing the likes of Man United Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal not too long ago.. but possibly the best thing that could happen.. Newcastle should look at what Harlequins and Northampton did in rugby and build a team out of local young players that would serve them for a long time and chuck out the has-beens and wanna-bes that have brought this once proud club into the unthinkable depths of English football..

  • Comment number 48.

    I can't believe a team as poor as Hull has stayed up.

    Newcastle were only one point behind them.

    That's gotta be the lowest survival tally ever.

    It's just gonna be another Derby, which was rubbish for everyone, whereas Newcastle could have perked up next season.

    So, the top of the league is predictable, and the bottom is rubbish. And mid-table teams can't compete, so eighth place is considered 'avoiding relegation'.

    The Premier League is a joke.

  • Comment number 49.


    Blinkered comments my friend. Newcastles biggest mistake this season was allowing the fans to dictate policy. Allardyce would have kept you up, but you wouldnt give him the time because he wasnt a Geordie.

    Its not Ashleys fault - he did what you wanted. Its not Wises fault, he didnt influence the players on the pitch. (many of whom were not recruited by him)

    If you had got Harry Redknapp would you have sacked him as well? Cockney Mafia? Look what he did at Spurs.

    The only people responsible for the relegation of your club are the people you idolise, Keegan, Shearer and the 11 players on the pitch who aren't good enough and show no passion.

    Mike Ashley has dumped millions of his own money into a failing concern - no wonder he wants out.

    No-one doubts the passion of the Geordie fans, but successive teams have let you down, and poor management and indeed mis-management has contributed to your downfall. Just think back on some of the players you have had and let go and then look at the current team and you have your answer...

  • Comment number 50.

    39. At 09:03am on 25 May 2009, Mo_food wrote:
    I don't know about who are the world's best supporters but the most effective have got to be the stoke city supporters. they go to an away game and drown out the home supporters, lol. i think the newcastle fans yesterday were really disappointing, they never got behind the team in the way that pompey and stoke fans do.


    I won't comment on Stoke fans as I can't remember them at all from their trip to Newcastle this year but don't embarrass yourself with silly comments about other clubs. Take a look at Martin O'Neil's post-match comments quoted on this site. He certainly didn't use the word disappointing.

  • Comment number 51.

    As a Posh supporter who has lived in Newcastle and watched Newcastle in some of their good days (the sixties) I am heartened to think my team will be facing such a giant but saddened to see a club I am fond of in such a state.

    They looked absolutely dire yesterday. They had every chance to stay in the Premiership (just one goal!) but did not take it. Aston Villa missed two or three sitters, they could not have been more generous. I watched the League One play off final earlier and I think Scunthorpe will eat them up next season. If Newcastle continue with in the same mode they should be contacting Leeds to ask how to beat the likes of Brentford and Exeter, maybe Burton. I am serious.

    Over the years the pressure from the fans for immediate success has resulted in a short term mindset at Newcastle. They are unlikely to turn the present mess around in one summer. They must plan for the next five years and tell the fans not to expect miracles. They have first of all got to somehow get rid of a team of overpaid players and avoid bankruptcy. That will be difficult.

    The only players I would keep from the present team are Harper, Taylor and maybe Martins but only Shearer knows what their characters are like and who really fits. You certainly need a team of fighters in the Championship and I did not see much of that yesterday.

    This is really a good thing for the club if it makes them go back to basics and really sort things out from the bottom. I am not sure that Alan Shearer is the man for that, he does not have the experience. What you need is a man like..... er... Sam Allardice.

  • Comment number 52.

    The people I feel most sorry for in this whole situation are the fans. I'm a Norwich fan and we are in a similar situation to Newcastle. We are a team with history, a 'big' team in our division, with a stadium that sells out most of the time. I don't know the Newcastle situation, but we have sold more than 18000 season tickets for next season despite the rubbish we've had to watch for the last few seasons. However, like us, Newcastle fans must know deep down that they simply didn't play well enough over the season, lost too many games.

    The situation at the two clubs is similar again in that both hired a club legend with no managerial experience to try and save them (Shearer and Gunn) and both failed. A succession of managers at both clubs again links the two clubs and their fate. The situations that the two legends inherited at both clubs are the result of years of mismanagement, and hopefully these relegations are a wake-up call to the owners. It will force the clubs to get rid of their under-performing 'stars' and rebuild. It is then a case of how well they do it. Newcastle are on a sounder financial footing than Norwich, so if this is handled in a progressive manner, they should be able to build a good Championship team - it could be a long-term benefit.

    One thing is sure though. Lessons have to be learned from the relegations. They also act as stark warnings to other 'big' clubs. Reputation gets you nowhere in this game. Not team is too big to be relegated.

    Good luck to all relegated teams. I understand your pain. At least it gives an opportunity to see some new fans and grounds.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have a season Ticket at both Sunderland and Newcastle and I now fear for Newcastle. I remember Sunderland going down and the fire sale that followed.........Phillips, allegedly worth £15m 6 months earlier going for less than David Bellion just to get his wages off the books. We were stuck with Phil Babb and Marcus Stewart, the latter actually managed to perform in the championship but Babb was an expensive waste of time. Unfortunately too many Newcastle players are on salaries that forbid anyone taking them even on free transfers.

    I would love to be proved wrong but I don't think Shearer is the man for the job unless someone like Dowie stays (where is Shearer's scouting network and what does he know of players from lower divisions that will do a job at Newcastle?).

    When the (understandable) gloating finishes the region should wish Newcastle back up there. The region needs premier league football as part of it's DNA. A team getting promoted with a bit of Style would quickly restore some pride and then perhaps the fans would temper their unrealistic aspirations a bit and enjoy the football instead of bellowing because they aren't natural rivals to Man U.

    Which let's face it, they only were for a couple of seasons out of the 16 they were in the top division.

  • Comment number 54.

    I hope Shearer stays to do the double, ie taking Newcastle down to Div 1.

  • Comment number 55.

    I know this may hurt a large number of people, Geordie or not but unfortunately for Newcastle it's about time a 'big' club goes down through what only can be put down to arrogance.

    Yes they may have loud fans, a heart for their club but can anyone else tell me they don't feel the same for their club whether that be Manchester United or Luton Town.

    Anyone who tells me that Newcastle are too big to go down have been sorely proved wrong, it's Leeds United all over again and if it wasn't for recent event at Eastlands, Man City could well be going in the same direction. We can study tables, analyse facts and draw graphs till our heart's content, so what that Newcastle had the third largest avg attendance what really matters is they finished third from bottom, and with that we relegated.

    The Premier League will be better without fans and plays who believe they owed something and maybe if they get promoted they will realise that winning something is a privilege and not a right.

  • Comment number 56.

    Why did that fool - Ashley - sack Allardyce in the first place? No offence meant but Newcastle are not Arsenal and will never play like Arsenal.

    He ought to have stuck with Allardyce for a few season, with the kind of money available to Newcastle and the proper dialogue and management, he could have got Allardyce delivering the kind of football Newcastle crave or at least close to it.

    This hiring and firing frenzy of managers must just stop! Let people work hard and be good managers of the resources at their disposal rather than always looking for quick fixes.

  • Comment number 57.

    As a Newcastle fan, I'm sick of hearing about Sam Allardyce. Newcastle would not have gone down under Allardyce, but avoiding relegation isn't really the summit of our ambitions, and wasn't so when he was fired. Of course we don't (and didn't) expect to be competing to win the league, but we do hope to see some good, entertaining football played (like most fans). Has anybody watched Blackburn play since he took charge? It's out and out long ball football, awful to watch. I remember when he had Bolton in the top half of the Premiership and their stadium was still only half full. It isn't what most fans want to pay money to see. Allardyce proved in his 6 months at Newcastle that, even when he was given a bigger chequebook and a more talented squad to work with, he only knew one way. His legacy is a series of awful big-wage signings who have helped drag the club down. It was absolutely 100% the right decision to get rid of him when we did. What then followed was a different matter.

  • Comment number 58.

    Farewell, Newcastle.

    You had a good run, but all good things must come to an end.

  • Comment number 59.

    A very accurate and fair summary of the debacle the toon has become. For me the clear lack of passion shown by nearly all of the players had us doomed from the start...THEY ARE NOT FIT TO WEAR THE SHIRT, let alone command the kind of salary they do. As for Ashley and the board...

  • Comment number 60.

    Newcastle deserved to be relegated; that's obvious. But what cracked me up on Sunday was seeing that muppet Phil Brown singing and crowing like he'd won the Champions League. The only reason Hull stayed up is because there was one team that was even more unbelievably rubbish than they were. While I think it justice that Newcastle got dumped, if they had survived and Hull got relegated, that would have been fine with me too. Brown is an idiot--8 points since Boxing Day proves that, and if Hull want to make life in the PL a reality after next season, they would be well advised to dump him now. There's no way they are going to survive with that clown in charge.
    It's almost coming to the stage where there are too many also-rans in the PL. We can do without the likes of West Brom and Hull and Sunderland and all a lot of others (e.g. Bolton) that are just there to make up the numbers and who lower the standard of the PL. There's no sense in a league where teams like Hull and Sunderland can survive, in a pretense that they are somehow justified to play against the likes of MU and Liverpool.

  • Comment number 61.

    "Local Hero, only a Geordie can manage this club"

    Where on earth did you get that quote from? I've lived in Newcastle for three years and have missed any notion of their supposedly delusional fanbase. They're passionate, and desire success, but don't expect it, and knew they weren't in the league by some divine right.

    The premiership has lost one of its most exciting clubs, and for that I'm disappointed, but they'll be back. Stop trying to stick the knife in unneccesarily.

  • Comment number 62.

    The way forward is clear. The fans are not going to change, (and I don't believe they should), so the club needs to ensure Shearer is appointed as he is the ONLY manager that the toon army will give significant time without difficult questions being asked. This consistency is key. With big crowds, (I hope the poster quoting our 91/92 attendance figures is a Man utd or Arsenal fan, otherwise they should keep their pointless stats to themselves), and some cash to strengthen the team we may reach a stage where we are actually better than a mid table PL side. This of course last happened under the care of 'clueless' Kevin Keegan who, if i remember rightly, had similar managerial experience as Shearer when he turned us into one of the best teams the EPL has seen. For all those that seem to hate us and blame us for our teams demise we simply say... we are the geordies, the geordie boot boys and we are mental and we are mad, we are the loyalist football supporters the world has ever had!

  • Comment number 63.

    "The players have not performed to their best but when Alan Shearer came back, team spirit came back," insisted one man wearing the black and white colours of his team.

    "There just hasn't been enough games to show it. All we can do is back them and hope for the best."

    Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense... team spirit did not come back, how can anyone say that after yesterday?

    This could be the best thing to happen to Newcastle for years, there are young players in the squad who should now be given an opportunity to play regular games in the Championship - Edgar, Carroll, Krul et al. Keeping hold of the Taylors and Guthries of the squad is what will solidify the team's position in the Championship (and that is what needs to be considered a success - West Brom will be far better prepared for an attack at the title next year)

    Its a long road back and the priority has to be to build a side who can win the Championship - and hopefully play for the shirt, not the money...

  • Comment number 64.

    Wake up and smell the Championship coffee boy's it's been a while in coming but has finally arrived! You now need to take the blinkers off and realise you are not the greatest club in the world but just have some passionate supporters with a good ground - same as numerous other clubs. It's time to get down to the serious business of re-building but to do that you have to come down out of the 'geordie nation' clouds and set some realistic, achievable and meaningful (to Newcastle FC) targets like ditching this 'messiah' rubbish and getting in a proper football manager (exit Mr Shearer) as well as showing the door to several of your prima donna palyers, otherwise there is another trap door waiting at the next level - please see Leeds United FC, Charlton etc!

  • Comment number 65.

    Newcastle fans got everything they deserve yesterday.
    They feel they have a right to be in the premier league and to win things because they think they are a 'big'club. I would say Everton, Villa, Tottenham are all bigger clubs who have a history of winning things.
    The fans treat Sam Allerdyce disgracefully, turns out they were the ones who didn't know what they were doing.
    The club sacking Bobby Robson (a born and bread Geordie who would have died for the club and a world renowned football man) when he'd got them to two 5th positions and 1 year in the Champs League but had a shaky start to a season, shocking.
    And amongst all this, the fans put more effort into hating Man Utd and Sunderland than they do even supporting their own team. The fans need to look at themsleves instead of pointing the finger to anybody else they can find.

  • Comment number 66.

    Yesterday I was ecstatic that Newcastle had been relegated - inflated big club syndrome..... make your own list ad nauseum.
    Today Newcastle seems a little sad, a little the big braggart in the playground who has been made to cry in front of the nerdy kids.
    Its not nice, but perhaps now the self-styled (and media) 'Geordie Nation' will pick it-self up, stop sniffling and face up to reality in the Fizzy Pop league.
    Actually chaps its quite exciting down here - difficult to get out of - but exciting. And anyway as a Derby Ram I'd had quite enough of the Premier League - thank you.

  • Comment number 67.

    I am not a Newcastle supporter however have nothing personal against them as a club. All I will say is that the constant 'we should be challenging for silverware' line every season is wearing. No club should have a devine right for this.

    Some of the decisions made begger belief from someone (Mike Ashley) who with such a terrific record in business. He is not alone and where do these commercially successful people become unstuck? Are they simply deluded by the size of the prize and forget all rationale which has made them successful? When Keegan was appointed, I went straight to the bookies the next morning and got a short price on whether he'd still be there by Christmas. The bookie stated to him that it was one of the most sought after bets that morning!! Tells you everything.

  • Comment number 68.

    What Newcastle need to do is go and get a good manager who has experience of promotion and knows his trade. Curbishley would be the perfect appointment and maybe he would drop into the Championship for what is a club with potential if run properly. Maybe even someone like Neil Warnock, who for all his antics has won 6 promotions in his managerial career.

    But if they go the "legend" Shearer they are taking a huge gamble. The guy needed to get 6 points from 8 games, lower than the average they managed across the season, and couldn't manage it despite an easy run-in.

    Horrendous management from top to bottom and the fans must take their share of the blame. Their expectations of style when Newcastle were not in a position to demand anything more than results and rebuilding drove out Allardyce who would have got them fighting for Europe in time and their protests over the "Messiah" who had not seen a game for 3 years before taking the job landed them with Joe Kinnear.

  • Comment number 69.

    Phill, I think you were putting it nicely when you wrote, "No fight. No urgency. No desire. No willingness..."

    I think those Newcastle players on Sunday were a complete disgrace to not just their team but to football in general. Man U's third 11 gave more fight they anyone of those players.

    Even their reaction after the whistle had gone was somewhat strange. None of them fell to the ground in tears, none of them were inconsolable.... none of them really cared.

    It was almost as if they felt a sense of relief that they were personally finally out of this mess and they could now move on.

    I really hope that no Premiership Manager looks at these so called stars as they obvioulsy dont care much about who they are playing for... so long as they are getting a salary for it.

    To a certain extent I feel sorry for the fans who had enough class to still stand up and applaud Shearer... I'm sure those fans will be back next year wacthing them in the Championship. I say to a certain extent however as the fans should also remember they were once booing Sam Aladyce telling him to move on. Blakburn anyone?

    Like you said.... Newcastle didn't deserver to stay up.

  • Comment number 70.

    It's interesting to see how Newcastle fans blame players for being "uninspired" and "having no passion for the club".

    In honesty, how could a player really be passionate and inspired to play for a club that has been run like an amateur carnival for the past years? Nine managers in three years means that the players can never count on having the same boss when they come in to training the next day and when the club finally gets a boss that seems to have a clue the fans turn on the boss and his players because they aren't "sexy enough".

    If you never know who's going to be calling the shots it's pretty easy to stop giving a damn and start looking for a new employer, the current one obviously doesn't have a clue.

  • Comment number 71.

    To all these people saying that Ashley should simply walk away, who would want to be harnessed with all your debt. I'm sure Ashley would love to simply "walk away".

  • Comment number 72.

    Why all this incessant heart searching about Newcastle going down? They have been mismanaged in both fottballing and financial terms for many years. Their only hope next year is yet another mega bailout from Ashley, who despite his faults cannot be criticised for the money he has made available. Lets face it; the only team going down who can look forward to next season are WBA, and thats simply because they are solvent, have a great academy and a manager who believes in football. And I am not just a blind WBA supporter - I would never have said this under the previous managers. Newcastle need to spend 3-4 years in the wilderness to rebuild their team, organisation and attitudes.

  • Comment number 73.

    Can't believe it has come to this. Everytime you have been to Anfield you have been the best supported club, closely followed by Portsmouth...where has the passion gone, on the field?? the best thing Sheeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaarer!! could of done was pull a shirt on himself!! Good luck for next season, let's hope you don't go the same way as Leeds?
    YNWA !!

  • Comment number 74.

    We deserved it, simple as that. hopefully we can now start a rebuild and get it out of our heads that we are a top 4 club anymore.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've said it elsewhere, but with Ian Dowie on the bench, the chances of success were seriously diminished. Who really took the tactical decisions about formation and who played, and who tried to kick start some of the under performing players?
    I have visited St James once and really enjoyed the experience. As a Charlton supporter, it may well happen again in a few years, but I wouldn't like to predict which division we will both be in.
    BTW, Charlton only aspire to be a big side, but it was good to be included in the list.
    We know our place and maybe Newcastle will find theirs.

  • Comment number 76.

    Elven_highlord: "Has anybody watched Blackburn play since he took charge? It's out and out long ball football, awful to watch."

    Yep I've watched them, and I'll be watching them in the Prem again next year - sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have. You dont have the players to play like Arsenal or Man U, so you have to adapt your game and thats what he has done at Blackburn

    You might be sick of hearing about Allardyce, but you would still be in the Prem and now he would be clearing out all the dead wood he inherited, starting with Owen.

    My only criticism of Allardyce is his seemingly blind faith in Barton

  • Comment number 77.

    Bringing Shearer in was just to please the fans and generate some buzz.. not to keep them club in the PL.. I think Ian Dowie was the one calling the shots..
    Imagine what would have happened if they appointed Dowie as manager..? He would now be even more of a hate figure for the supporters after what happened Allardyce.. But that wont happen to Shearer..
    Selling Given was also a mistake..
    A little stability wouldnt hurt them now.. they have a season to get themselves sorted out and get back to the PL..
    Seems like the Newcastle supporters just want their Messiahs joining the club with no real regard for experience or quality.. The way things are going they'll have Shearer managing the team next season with Gazza being the cheif executive or something..
    Get a manager with experience and quality.. Give him total control and money shouldnt be an issue with all the players about to leave..
    Alan Curbishley/Peter Reid anyone..?

  • Comment number 78.

    The fact Shearer is being viewed as the Barcodes hope really highlights their problems.

    They need a proven manager who can rebuild the team, stamp their authority on the team and rebuild NUFC from the ground up. The fans also need to stop being do demanding of matching attractive football with success, unless you happen to be obscenely wealthy or obscenely in debt you're not going to get the two combined in a season.

    You take a look at the disgraceful handling of Bobby Robson, for only managing a UEFA place in 03/04 and a bad start in the 04/05 seasons.

    Same with the much maligned Roeder, who actually got the Barcodes some silverware with the Intertoto Cup.

    Newcastle are in their current predicament through a combination of terrible ownership trying to placate unrealistic fans, and until both sides learn how to deal with that the Barcodes will remain in trouble.

    As for the future, well Man City found themselves in a similar state of turmoil around a decade back, and eventually returned and established themselves in the Premiership, so here's hoping we'll see a stable and sane Newcastle United lighting up the Premiership in a few years.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well written Phil, the Club needs a leader not a steward, with the passion and mangerial qualities to bring us back - Shearer has this. No world class player talks about their managers ability to take a good coaching session or devise in game tactics - that is the job of the team of coaches all with their own strengths in areas working with the manager. Its the ability to man manage the talent and ensure it produces the best team result: thats what makes a great manager. Experience can only come given the opportunity and Shearer can get this over the coming seasons.

    Many critics have demonstrated again and again over the 8 game spell that Shearer has no experience to manage at the top level. We're no longer at the top level and this can be the time for him to mature and bring back belief to the club by doing this his own way. We were no where near good enough this season and deserve everything that came to us, however all is not lost - a leader is needed and Shearer is it.

  • Comment number 81.

    Phil is right. Watching Newcastle this season you can't run a club like that. It had to happen at some point. As for reading some of the comments about this blog, the knifes are truly out. Well do your worst, we'll be back sometime soon.

  • Comment number 82.

    Its a shame to see one of the teams who have shaped the Premiership past fall from grace. Hopefully they can bounce back straight away or we could be looking at another situation arising like the one at Elland Road

  • Comment number 83.

    Newcastle need to bring in a manager who knows the Championship and what it takes to get out of it and give him free rein to recruit the sort of unglamorous players who will get them promoted and off-load all those players who're completely unsuited to the task, regardless of how blameless they might be for the relgation.
    If not, the club may have to get used to a long spell out of the top tier.
    Next seasson they will be the team every other Championship side will look forward to beating.

  • Comment number 84.




  • Comment number 85.

    I feel very sorry 4 Newcastle and Newcastle fans cause I really know what being relegated means.
    Hope them to bounce back next year and a brighter future cause a team with those passionate supporters deserve more!
    C'on Geordies!
    From a Torino Fc fan

  • Comment number 86.

    People need to stop thinking that just because people used to be great players and support the team they're in charge of, it will guarantee success.

    As a Spurs supporter, we appointed Glenn Hoddle, a great player and fans' favourite, but he was a poor manager. Just because he supports the club doesn't somehow mean he'll try harder or become a better manager.

    I think if Newcastle keep Shearer it will be a bad decision. And as most people on this blog have alluded to, Newcastle fans' stupidity and clouded vision on having to appoint someone who's from the area will probably persuade Ashley it's the right idea, even though Shearer has no experience, no coaching badges and hasn't been proven in the transfer market.

    I disagree that he would be the right appointment. Newcastle fans, stop all this insular "he bleeds black and white" nonsense when appointing managers and get behind someone with experience and who is proven. Allardyce didn't exactly do a shabby job with Blackburn, and take a look at what league they'll be playing in next season.

  • Comment number 87.

    Im not sure why you are so adament that shearer is the right man for the job.Yes he is a lcal hero, Yes he was a great player but he has no experiance at managment.Playing and managing are 2 entirally differant things.It has been said many times that a good player does not always make a good manager and visa versa who ever heard of alex ferguson or arsene wenger as players?I hope shearer is successfull but appointing an inexperianced manager who had no time to settle in when the club was in freefall was surly beeing thrown in at the deep end.Its not easy even for good experianced managers to come in to a club and stop the rot.Surly another one of ashleys many blunders

  • Comment number 88.

    The great man? What goes round comes around. Think back to the days when Shearer played under Hullit. No passion no commitment sulking on the sidelines until Hullit was sacked.
    He has now found out himself the poison he started with his attitude. Newcastle deserve better than what they have been served. I would like to see Newcastle in the prem along with Leeds. But to have Shearer who single handedly nearly took them down in his fued with Hullit? Is that the kind of manager you want at the helm?
    Shearer, the great goalscorer? What is his record if you take away the pens he scored?
    Newcastle deserve a world class manager, but name me one which will go to a second tier club? You now have the same problem as Leeds.
    Shearer to have quit by Christmas, Newcastle not to get automatic or a play off place.

  • Comment number 89.

    In response to: howdyneeber (Letter number 18)I would like to see other clubs support if they had to put up with all the broken promises and the pain and suffering that the toon fans have had to put up with for over FOURTY YEARS - and STILL support their club. It is so easy to criticise from the outside, but even though we may be down - we will never give up on our club; let's just see how many fans the toon get next season, and if it is less than an average of 38 thousand, you and the likes of so many expert 'pundits' within the media can have your schedenfraude.

  • Comment number 90.

    Having seen the game yesterday it is fairly obvious that its not only the players and board that are to blame its also the fans who will hopefully be brought back down to earth as relegation sinks in. The majority believe that Newcastle should be playing in the champions league when actually in reality they should and now are, playing in the championship.

    Their influence has seen allardyce sacked, the man who'd have kept them up and undoubtedly got them into europe given more time, Keegan the bottler hired and then Shearer, the most inexperienced and uninspirational manager hired, who naturally got them relegated.

    See you later toon fans!

  • Comment number 91.

    Newcastle fans are still dining out on the keegan glory days of Ferdinand, Ginola, Asprilla, the 5-0 win over man utd, the asprilla hat-trick....there's a theme that occurred in the previous millenium.

    Move on, stop living in the past and the 'old days', its the 21st century and you can't run a football club like newcastle have.

    Once bobby robson left in 2004 (when they had a stunning team, its must be said, with Solano Dyer Bowyer Robert in midfield, and Shearer & Bellamy up front) after they lost that CL qualifier on penalties, it has been downhill from there. That cost them millions and gave Graeme Souness the job, then the nightwatchman Glenn Roeder. Its just laughable, it really is. I thought Leeds was bad but at least they had decent managers in charge and good players who they had to sell, just their owners overspent and gambled.

    I can't see them coming up for 3 or 4 years now with the championship next season, West Brom, Reading, Preston, Cardiff, sheffield united, Swansea are all strong, established teams then you have Ipswich, Derby, Leicester. Its going to be incredibly tough next year for Newcastle.

  • Comment number 92.

    Unless they sort out the club and make major changes, I see them going the way of Charlton etc. They are in such a mess and it all started from the top.

  • Comment number 93.

    I'm sorry to see Newcastle go down.
    Certain players have to look at themselves and ask some questions.
    Blaming Shearer is not sensible. Blaming the chairman is an excuse.
    The players are to blame. But many will walk away to other clubs and will not have to face trying to get NUFC back into the premiership.

  • Comment number 94.

    I am not sad to see them go. I think Kinnear deserves more credit than you are giving him, or anyone else for that matter. The Geordies were doing ok under him. Chris Hugton and co are little bit like Southgate, too nice.
    Yes Newcastle deserved to go, but as for the players being aware of the prize on offer, what was it? To stay in the premiership and have another year of nothing but rubbish management, abusive ownership and the dwindling star of a career. I am not talking just about Owen. Look at other guys like Duff, once the next Ryan Giggs, Brilliant at Blackburn, Outshone at Chelsea, by Robben if I remember correctly, and then plunged into obscurity at Newcastle. Given was lucky he got out when he did. This season showed just how important he was to the club. They are gone forever in my opinion. The will go further south than Leeds.

  • Comment number 95.

    Why are peeps saying that they should have kept Big Sam?

    Remember it was Big Sam that bought Barton and sold Scot Parker to my team West Ham. You won't find a more committed player on the pitch than Parker, something that Newcastle sorely needed.

  • Comment number 96.

    Yet again a whole load of nonsense here.

    It is the media who labelled Keegan as the returning Messiah not the fans. To blame the fans for the return of Keegan is ridiculous - it was a complete shock and not one fan I know even considered his name when Allaradyce was fired!

    To say we should have stuck with Allardyce can never be proven - look at the slide Newcastle were on when he took over, look at his record in the transfer market (awful) and consider the further effect Dennis Wise would have had when he was appointed by selling the best players and replacing the wrong positions with garbage


    The messiah thing i am not sure you understand, of course you never expected him to return but what happened when he did? Thousands turned up to cheer him on and hailed him as the messiah. Just look at the banners when he rejoined!

    So you are saying that Allardyce, who kept up a blackburn side 6 points behind yours at christmas, wouldn't have kept up newcastle who were about 13th when he left!!! A temporary dip in form was no reason to hit the panic button. His signings would have worked for his style but he wasn't allowed to do that, another reason why newcastle struggle. Loads of big name players who have had their time in the sun with nothing much left to prove, players who have been bought to play in one system then suddenly playing in a completely different style and under a different manager no wonder they had no passion.

    They weren't interested in newcastle and the local toon boys were just as abject. Time for some self reflection and if the fans don't get their "we play this way and thats it" and big club attitude out of their heads you could be there a while.

  • Comment number 97.

    lets stop knocking the championship and branding it as the last chance saloon or a bargain basement bucket shop. My allegiances are split between Manu and the Swans, did anyone see the Swans play Fulham off the park at the Liberty in the FA Cup? This is why the Toon Army will not be bouncing back either. St James's is a mess and a once very credible club are represented by numerous gutless wonders on too much money along for the ride, does any one now question Capello's decision to ignore Owen and for this very reason we will be in the world cup final next year.

    There are many other reasons why it was such an abject failure asides from the pitiful display yesterday and mindful of the number of managers since 2006. The Toon Army need to realise there is no messiah and their impatience and the weight of expectation may well have precipatated their downfall as well as the loss of Big Sam to retaining that idiot Barton (which rests, I feel, with Keegan) who should have been kicked out at what was a pivotal time of this season. A big clear out is needed and the Toon Army need to be talking about building blocks not big money signings. What way forward though when you have a chairman on national TV downing a pint in 3 seconds and their main sponsors experienced the first run on a bank since 1866, just about sums it up.

  • Comment number 98.

    Good blog Phil.

    I'm a Newcastle fan and am devastated, but I don't think we deserve any more sympathy than other bigger clubs that have been mismanaged and driven into oblivion (Leeds, Sheff Wed, Norwich etc.). The fans, as ever when a club is destroyed by bad management, are the blameless victims, no matter what our detractors say about Newcastle fans dictating club policy (just not true - you think we wanted Keegan to go? Milner and Given to be sold? And fans were divided about Allardyce). It's another example of fans ploughing their hard earned money into a club and get only heartache and disappointment in return.

    Ashley did exactly the right thing by clearing the debt when he came in and adding financial stability to the club. There's not doubt that if we'd been relegated under Shepherd and Hall we'd be in a much worse position, and there's no way we'd be back in the Premier League in 2010. As it is we stand a chance - if there's the right kind of investment. But Ashley's much-catalogued string of errors have resulted in a patched up team which in turn has led to our relegation.

    Shearer's right when he says the reason for out demotion lies in the dressing room. The group of players we have are just not good enough. There are some decent individuals, but not enough quality through the squad to compete in the Premier League. Coupled with individual complacency that comes with sky-high wages and gigantic egos, they just did not perform this season. And, of course, a huge injury list played its part.

    But the ultimate blame lies with the club's management - not enough investment in the team, and the wrong players brought in. It has always been difficult to attract top players to Tyneside, especially when the team's fortunes aren't good. We've often relied on sentimentality and local talent to attract and keep hold of top players, and this just isn't enough.

    It was achingly obvious that we needed to inject some pace into the team in January, but instead we signed Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor, two players not noted for their pace or attacking skill. We have too many plodding, average midfielders. Duff's pace has gone, Gutierrez has failed to live up to his promise and my God we've missed Milner this season. Nicky Butt has done his job the best he can despite frequently being exposed by the incompetency of those around him. There's just been no flair, no invention.

    We happened upon a rare pair of decent defenders in Sebastien Bassong and Habib Beye, but when injury kept them out of the team we were dangerously exposed. Steven Taylor, as ever, tried his best, but makes too many individual errors. I think a season in Championship will be good for him.

    Viduka has looked useful in the last few games since coming back, but his crippling lack of pace means he needs a Craig Bellamy type next to him for his presence to really pay any dividends. Martins has been his usual combination of hard work and frustrating inconsistency.

    Owen wants chances on a plate and is prepared to work for the team to a degree, but if a team doesn't have a creative midfield, he's lost at sea. He's part of a dying breed of strikers - top class forwards today have to make their own chances rather than limiting their game to making darting runs between defenders. It's a shame because he was improving in a deeper role under Keegan. Why was that not continued?

    The simple truth is the team is a patchwork based on panic buys, half-ideas of previous managers and whichever fools they could persuade to come to our beleaguered club. When Shearer says the problem lies in the dressing room, that's what he means.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm irritated with all this fuss over Newcastle. Its simple - you finish third from bottom and you get relegated - that's the way the tables work - and the tables don't lie! We (coventry) deserved to get relegated when we did - everyone scored more goals than us and won more matches than us - heartbreaking - yes - but you get over it!

  • Comment number 100.

    32. At 08:53am on 25 May 2009, shearer9II wrote:
    ooh, and I missed a bit out.

    In Summer 2008 we sold two players that could have helped save us. Emre Belezoglu and Abdoulaye Faye. Two more poor decisions obviously made by Wise. The departure of Milner we could not prevent- he betrayed us.

    This is the sort of trype that makes people glad you lot have gone down.


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