Shearer hits five on Robson's big day

Wednesday woe for Wilson as eight-goal slaughter at St James' Park leaves him in danger of imminent dismissal
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The Independent Football

ONCE UPON a time the extent of Danny Wilson's football ambition was to make it at Sunderland. Right now he will be doing well to make it to Sunderland next Saturday.

ONCE UPON a time the extent of Danny Wilson's football ambition was to make it at Sunderland. Right now he will be doing well to make it to Sunderland next Saturday.

Obliged to start his working life sweeping the floors of a Lancashire brickworks when Sunderland deemed him too small to offer an apprenticeship, Wilson may be forced to search the situations' vacant column again before Sheffield Wednesday make the return trip to the North-east.

The eight-goal slaughter at St James' Park yesterday left the Owls perched precariously at the foot of the Premiership table and their manager clinging less than securely to his job.

It was Bobby Robson's, Alan Shearer's and Newcastle United's day. Robson celebrated his first home match as Newcastle manager with his biggest victory in club management. Shearer, left out of the starting line-up by Robson's predecessor for the last match at St James' Park, claimed his biggest-ever goals haul in one match - five. And Newcastle, without a victory in the Premiership since April, enjoyed their most emphatic victory since Len Shackleton scored six on his debut in April 1946, a 13-0 win against Newport County.

It was a desperate day, though, for Danny as he watched his Wednesday being knocked into the middle of next week. He might not make it beyond midweek with his team. Stoke's visit to Hillsborough on Wednesday could be his last stand."Hopefully I'll have the chance to turn it round," Wilson said in the press room afterwards. "But I'm a realist. If you're asking me will I keep my job it's not a question I can answer.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm sticking in there. But I'm a realist. I can't keep getting results like that and keep getting the support I've had."If Wilson does become the Premiership's second managerial casualty of the season (following Ruud Gullit, an absent loser yesterday), it will be lack of support on the pitch that will have cost him his job, though Wednesday actually made the brighter start yesterday, Aaron Hughes clearing an Andy Booth lob from the home goalmouth in the third minute.

It was Kieron Dyer who sparked Newcastle to attacking life. The young East Anglian was not even born when Robson last sat in a dug-out for a league match at St James' Park, watching his Ipswich team beat Newcastle with a Clive Woods goal in February 1978. But he confirmed his arrival as a Premiership player of supreme quality, stirring Newcastle from their early post-Sofian lethargy with the inspirational touches that led to their opening goal and evoking memories of Peter Beardsley in black and white as he orchestrated creative operations in his roving role behind Shearer and Temuri Ketsbaia.

Drifting wide on the left in the 12th minute, Dyer jinked effortlessly inside his marker and delivered a precise right foot cross into the heart of the penalty area. It was aimed towards Hughes and the Northern Ireland defender - a 66-1 shot to open the scoring - duly planted his header inside Kevin Pressman's left-hand post.

The half-hour mark had just passed when Nolberto Solano dispatched a curling cross from the left and Shearer, with the deftest of right-footed touches steered the ball into the far bottom corner of the net.

It was the first of three Shearer goals in 11 minutes. Two minutes later Emerson Thome handled as Warren Barton attempted to cross from the right and Shearer crashed the penalty past the diving Pressman. Then, three minutes before the interval, Dyer broke free again on the left and curled the ball to the far side of the box, where Shearer, having ghosted past Des Walker and Emerson Thome, applied the finishing touch with his outstretched right boot. Two minutes into the second half Dyer scored the fifth, a close range header teed up by Shearer. It was a mercy for Wilson that his crumbling side held out for the next 31 minutes but they were finished off with a one-two-three in the final 12 minutes.

First Gary Speed rose to head in a right wing corner by Solano. Then, in the 81st minute, Pressman punched a Solano free-kick out to Shearer, who fired a low reflex shot into an empty net. It was the first time the Newcastle and England captain had scored more than three goals in a game and his fifth followed in the 85th minute - from the penalty spot after Gerald Sibon was punished for a tackle from behind on Dyer's replacement, Paul Robinson."I've never scored four goals in a match before, never mind five," Shearer said. "Bobby said to me at half-time that if I got six he'd buy me a Mars bar. I'll have to get my own now."

It was a first for the new Newcastle manager, too. "The biggest win I had in club management was 7-0 against Southampton when I was at Ipswich," Bobby Robson said. For Danny Wilson, though, it may well have been a last.

Newcastle United (4-3-1-2): Harper; Barton, Goma, Hughes, Domi (Glass 82); Solano, Lee, Speed; Dyer (Robinson, 63); K,etsbaia (McClen, 79), Shearer. Substitutes not used: Beharall, Wright (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Newsome, Thome, Walker, Nolan; Donnelly (Sibon, 86), Alexandersson, Sonner, Rudi (Haslam, h/t); Booth (Carbone, 28), de Bilde. Substitutes not used: Sibon, O'Donnell, Srnicek (gk).

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe).

Man of the match: Dyer.

Attendance: 36,619.