Sir Bobby treated me like a son then I betrayed him, says Dyer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Kieron Dyer has revealed for the first time his deep regret over the role he played in Sir Bobby Robson's sacking as Newcastle manager earlier this season.

Kieron Dyer has revealed for the first time his deep regret over the role he played in Sir Bobby Robson's sacking as Newcastle manager earlier this season.

The England midfielder admits in an exclusive interview with The Independent that his conduct contributed to Robson's dramatic departure from St James' Park last August.

"When I think about it now, I feel like I betrayed Bobby," Dyer said. "That's the worst thing about it. He treated me like a son and I let him down. I have to take some responsibility for him getting the sack."

Dyer regarded Robson as something of a father figure to him during most of the five years they spent together in the North-east, but their relationship fell apart following a season of frustration for the 26-year-old, who had been played in a variety of positions rather than his favoured central midfield role.

Club insiders suggest that Dyer was not the only player to refuse to play on the right wing in the build-up to Newcastle's opening match of the Premiership season, at Middlesbrough. Craig Bellamy and Lee Bowyer are the two most likely fellow rebels, but Dyer realises he was completely wrong to follow suit.

His stance became national news and helped create the atmosphere which precipitated Robson's sacking. "There were things which went on in the build-up to it that people will never understand, or know about," Dyer said. "I'd spent the previous season playing out of position, filling in wherever there was a gap. It always seemed it was me who did everyone a favour.

"I was being told by critics that I was rubbish and had lost my way, but nobody ever mentioned the fact I wasn't playing in my best position. I had a poor season, I admit that, but there were reasons for it.

"He knew I was frustrated from the previous season, but I should have just played that game. He had stuck by me through everything and he even tried to defend me after the Boro game. He told the press I had a tight hamstring, he tried to shield me and when I think about that, how I let him down, it's the biggest disappointment of my career. I'll have to live with that feeling for the rest of my life.

"It hurts me. When he got the sack, he told me I was one of the only players to ring him and wish him the best. I said thank you for all he'd done, but that's little consolation. I regret letting him down so much."

Despite his regrets over Robson's departure, Dyer has recovered his form and fitness this season and featured as a second-half substitute for England in the victory over Azerbaijan at his home ground of St James' Park last Wednesday. Unlike his previous international appearance in Newcastle, when he was booed during his country's friendly with Ukraine earlier this season, Dyer was given the warmest of welcomes by the Newcastle public, which is testimony to his improving reputation among his home supporters.

Comments