Alan Shearer finally received call to get off the Match of the Day sofa and become Newcastle manager, depriving us of his tactical acumen but it is his man-management that will really define the club’s status.
It could all just be a big April Fool’s joke except Alan Shearer doesn’t do funny while at Newcastle United everyday is April 1st, effectively rendering the day insignificant. Yes, the Match of the Day pundit but more appropriately, the highest golascorer in Premiership history is to become the Magpies fourth manager in fourteen months.
In his prime Alan Shearer was the allrounded number nine who could bully defences, cross and power in more than the odd goal. Someone that wouldn’t go amiss in the ever growing dynamic nature of the Premier League and could easily fit in as the lone forward England are looking for. However this is an all together different challenge for Shearer but he has been prepared; sitting on the couch and analysing for Match of the Day.
Alan Shearer is no fool but gaining ones theoretical knowledge as a pundit rather than taking the UEFA Pro badge is surely not the best preparation for such a big job. Van Basten and Klinsmann may be examples of young ex-pro managers making the grade but both took substantial time out to study the game and unlike Ince and Southgate who rushed in, do not base their game on principles.
Still if the measure of football is approximately 33 % mental, 33 % technical-tactical and 33 % physical then it is the former which will determine the outcome of Newcastle. They have tough games at Chelsea and Liverpool but also potential relegation six-pointers against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Stoke. The Magpies showed against Arsenal and Man United they have the talent but it is the management of talent that Newcastle need greatest at the moment.