Alan Shearer - a Selfish Opportunist?
I will set out from the outset that I have never been Alan Shearer’s biggest fan. I also accept that this article is not fact-based as it is based on my own perceptions and because there is no way of knowing what goes on in the board room at Newcastle United. However, I do believe that there is more to Shearer’s appointment to Newcastle today than just his love for the club.
Shearer was an extraordinary player, the most talented out-and-out striker that England has produced in a long time. However, I always felt that he welded too much power, both at Newcastle and with England, and I was alarmed at how comfortable he felt in having such a dominant influence as a player. The prime example of this was his role in almost single-handedly sacking Ruud Gullit as manager at Newcastle.
I have been even more unimpressed with Shearer since he hung up his playing boots. His analysis with the BBC has never, to my mind, been insightful or thought provoking. Instead he has resorted to clichés and old fashioned football mantra – “they need to have passion”, “they don’t like it when it gets rough” etc etc. For me, he does not have what it takes to be a modern football manager.
But what has riled me most is the overbearing influence he happily enjoys over Newcastle from the sidelines. Graeme Souness, Sam Allardyce, Glen Roeder have all had their tenures and indeed appointments undermined by Alan Shearer’s refusal to declare his intentions regarding his inevitable approach to manage the club. I would very much doubt that any one of these managers would say that Alan Shearer actually supported their efforts with the club and yet he has declined to accept the mantle and responsibility of managing Newcastle himself. I feel that this is because he has been fearful of the harm to his reputation as the prodigal son should he not prove to be a “success”.
And now we have the situation where Shearer has finally accepted the accepted a role to manage Newcastle until the end of the season. For me, this is typical of the opportunist that is Alan Shearer – for this is a situation from which he cannot lose. If Newcastle get relegated, then he will argue that it was not his fault as he came on board at the tail end of the season with only a few games remaining. However, if Newcastle survive, he will be heralded as a saviour upon whom all credit should be bestowed. In effect he is using the next couple of months as his own personal management training ground – and well renumerated at that.
I have nothing against Newcastle as a football club, but I fully expect most Newcastle fans to disagree with my opinion.
What do you think?