Let's make history, says Shearer
Monday 27 April 2009
Alan Shearer is not a man prone to emotional outbursts but Newcastle United's relegation crunch match against Portsmouth at St James' Park tonight has provoked Shearer to declare: "It will be the most important game these players have played for Newcastle and I suppose from my point of view as well – without question. There is a real opportunity for a group of players or an individual to make a real name for themselves so that in 10 or 15 years' time someone may be talking about this situation."
As fresh rumours surface regarding the future ownership of the club, Shearer knows the historic nature of Newcastle's predicament. They are second-bottom in the Premier League, four points off safety and go to Liverpool on Sunday. Newcastle have taken one point from Shearer's three games in charge and the 38-year-old did not spurn comparisons with a famous game from April 1992, also at St James', also against Portsmouth and also in a relegation battle.
Newcastle were 22nd in the old Second Division then, sandwiched between Oxford United and Port Vale, when David Kelly delivered a goal at the Gallowgate End that clinched a 1-0 win and is cherished on Tyneside.
Shearer was scoring the winner for Southampton that day against Oldham Athletic but said: "I read all the [Kelly] stories and reports though."
Portsmouth were also the opposition when Shearer broke Jackie Milburn's scoring record for Newcastle three years ago and Shearer hopes these are omens that will encourage Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka or Michael Owen to score the goals they so need. Owen has not scored at St James' since 10 January.
All three forwards are likely to start against a Portsmouth side on 37 points and who face Arsenal next. Alan Smith, who performed well as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend, is another probable starter.
It is the first of three home games for Newcastle, the others are against Middlesbrough and Fulham, and Shearer thinks all three must be won if Newcastle are to survive.
Newcastle have parted company with club doctor, Ian McGuinness, a significant development as it illustrates the authority given to Shearer by owner Mike Ashley: a temporary manager has terminated the employment of a permanent staff member.
Latest in Sport
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia