Saturday, March 25, 2006

Let down

My first reaction to former Mackem striker Niall Quinn slagging off Newcastle in his Guardian column was to bristle and mutter some choice comments about the gangling oaf.

But, reading his article more closely, it's hard to disagree with much of what he says. Shearer didn't have the best of games on Wednesday, but as Quinn says he seemed to be continually out on the wings or tackling back, doing the jobs of other players. And he's also right that during his time at the club our skipper has played his heart out only to be repeatedly let down by those around him, forced to bear a burden of responsibility too great even for his shoulders.

That said, Quinn is wrong about Bellamy - he was a very important player to us, yes, but once he'd labelled Souness a liar in public he had to go. That wasn't mismanagement, though the decisions that had led Bellamy to sound off were. Neither will Shearer have many regrets - certainly not about not joining Man Utd. He hates 'em. He might have hoped for better in terms of trophies (and he's certainly deserved better), but he's still immensely proud to have captained his hometown club - as a Geordie, playing for the Toon is as good as it gets.

One final thing. "The sheer determination of Chelsea not to lose was impressive and as they walked off you could tell that their players were exhilarated by their hard work". Really? I thought their performance was lacklustre, and the enthusiasm with which they (and their fans) greeted the final whistle was practically non-existent.


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