Alan Shearer is in an unenviable position.
Not only does he have to sit there and describe a shocking performance by Newcastle United, as the main man on Match of The Day, he has a massive additional problem now.
The Magpies were terrible against Norwich and the 3-1 scoreline was very flattering, the reality was that Newcastle were second best all over the pitch and could/should have lost by more. Shelvey’s late goal in the final seconds after Norwich had the game well won, making the score marginally more respectable.
Asked by Gary Lineker his view on Newcastle’s display, Alan Shearer was brutal but honest: ‘Where do you start? Terrible defensively, no creativity at all. And scoring goals will be a big problem…”
Can’t disagree with any of that, nor his analysis on Joelinton and Almiron (see below) and what needs to happen if Newcastle are to have any chance of scoring goals.
However, one very big elephant in the room wasn’t mentioned.
Alan Shearer has said any number of times about how he’d pleaded with Steve Bruce to not take the job and work for Mike Ashley.
The worry for all Newcastle fans was that this was an appointment of somebody clearly not up to the job and who would make everything even worse, whilst for Shearer he had this huge additional concern of one of his best mates putting himself in a position where he was all but certain to come under a lot of stress and criticism, if/when it all falls apart.
In all of his criticism, Alan Shearer didn’t mention Steve Bruce one.
Gary Lineker didn’t press him on it but if things continue as they look very very likely to do, the likes of Lineker will have no choice but to pose the question(s) to Alan Shearer about his mate.
The shambles last week against Arsenal once Steve Bruce made changes and then yesterday at Norwich, the team looked a total mess.
We all know Mike Ashley is at the very top when it comes to who to blame but Steve Bruce is now going to rightfully come under full scrutiny. He talked a good game before the season started about how great everything is and what a magnificent owner Ashley is, so any criticism that comes his way, including from one of his best mates, will be fully justified.
Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day:
“Where do you start (with Newcastle United)?
“Terrible defensively, no creativity at all.
“And scoring goals will be a big problem for Newcastle unless they start and change things.
“And they have to change this, they did it last week against Arsenal as well, look at the distance between Almiron and Joelinton.
“Any support, he (Joelinton) has got to hold hold hold (the ball up) and there is no one within 50 yards of him.
“Almiron hasn’t scored for Newcastle as yet and this is one of the reasons why, look at his lack of movement.
“I spoke about players getting into the box and gambling, he (Almiron) has got to do that. He’s a forward,
“Newcastle need him to score and assist.
“No one near Joelinton, no one supporting him, he (Almiron) has got to get further forward if Newcastle are going to score goals.”
“They (Newcastle) didn’t really look like scoring anything today, they (Almiron and Joelinton) could have been there for another three or four hours and I wouldn’t have fancied those two to combine.
“They have got to work as a partnership better.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 17 August 3pm
Pukki 32, 63, 75
Possession was Norwich 63% Newcastle 37%
Total shots were Norwich 15 Newcastle 10
Shots on target were Norwich 8 Newcastle 3
Corners were Norwich 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Newcastle team v Norwich:
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Ki (Longstaff 74), Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Muto 67)
Darlow, Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Willems
Crowd: 27,059 (2,000 NUFC)
(Watch official match highlights HERE)
(Steve Bruce comments after match are more worrying than the scoreline – Read HERE)
(Daniel Farke says ‘Only one team in it’ – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)
(Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Make no mistake this was shambolic and major problems ahead – Read HERE)
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