Writer: Mike Field
Date:Sunday May 24 2009
Speaking on the official site Martin O'Neill has stated that the Premier League will be weaker without the Geordies.
I can't fault his perspective there, for 90% of the season Newcastle have been there at the bottom of the table helping Albion prop everybody else up.
We've seen the table crumble before when the bottom 3 are full of small time clubs, sometimes they can't handle the pressure, so yes the Premier League did benefit this season from having such a massively supported and hugely successly club making sure those in the Top 6 are safe.
We will not have that benefit next season as 50 thousand regular supporters invade the Championship, they will be missed.
O'Neill, who has recently said he still hasn't forgiven Shearer for kicking Neil Lennon in the head actually encouraged his 'pundit pal' to stick with the job and do all he can to help the Toon Territorials (not really an Army anymore sadly) starve off consequtive relegations, although I accept he never actually said that, what he did say was:
'It's amazing to think they have been relegated. There are in turmoil at the moment but you get the feeling they will be explosive when they get it right.
'I definitely have sympathy for Newcastle. I think the Barclays Premier League will be weaker without them in it.
'He (Shearer) came in at a very difficult time. But I think it was the right decision.
'People spoke about his lack of experience but he came in for a short period and galvanised the team and the football club.
'I think it would be great if he did stay on. I genuinely do. It would be great for Newcastle and the game. In time, he could be a really class manager.'
All joking aside, yes I appreciate somebody will ask 'where were the jokes,' it's hard to imagine it's been 16 years since Newcastle were last promoted.
I still remember Shearer at Southampton before moving to Blackburn and then the Geordies. Not least the fact he turned down Man U in the process.
Really doesn't seem that long ago, but this season there is a huge lesson for all especially with Boro going down aswell.
Again, I remember Boro coming up and during the early years of playing them my memory tells me every match, home and away ended with a 5-1 defeat to them!
The money spent at Newcastle and Boro should serve as a warning to all clubs thesedays, it's not a cliche to say a club is too big to go down.
Our form since February has been relegation material, so in some ways maybe we should remember that for some perspective - that said I'm still peeved about Moscow so sod it.
Date:Sunday May 24 2009
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