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About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

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Shearer says: “Clubs are so desperate to avoid relegation.”

Newcastle hero has his say

I wasn’t surprised when Tony Pulis was dismissed by West Brom earlier this week though on Match of the Day I said I would have stuck with him.

The West Brom board and fans knew his style of football and if the club wanted to change things, they should have done that in the summer after they had secured their Premier League safety and when the incoming manager would have time to change the style of play and bring in their own players to fit that style.

It’s not easy to just replace your man particularly when you are in a poor league position and the fans are demanding not only results but a change on the style of football too.

We’ve seen with Everton that there isn’t just a list of suitable and available candidates ready to step in as they sacked Ronald Koeman a month ago and they still haven’t replaced him.

We all know what Tony Pulis is good at and let’s not forget we are only twelve games into the season, so he had plenty of time to turn their season around.

Clubs are so desperate now not to be relegated, given the money that is in the Premier League, that they panic so early and the first thing they do is change the manager.

We’ve already had five managerial sackings this season in the Premier League and we are not even at Christmas yet. Paul Clement is under pressure now at Swansea too.

He was good enough to come in to save them last season but once you don’t win in four games, clubs get nervous and owners press the panic button. 

Brilliant Burnley

Take away Manchester City, who have blown everyone away so far, the team of the season so far for me is Burnley.

They are seventh in the table, level on points with Arsenal and Liverpool. Last season their home form kept them up, this year they are getting results home and away so you have to give Sean Dyche a lot of credit too.

Their football has been brilliant. We have highlighted it a number of times on Match of the Day.

It is also worth remembering that Burnley stuck with Dyche when they got relegated.

Not many clubs would do that but now they are reaping the rewards of that patience in their manager.

 The end of diving

Oumar Niasse became the first player in the Premier League to be banned for diving retrospectively this week and I really don’t have any problems with the decision.

Anyone who understands football knows that was a clear dive.

Fans are the first to complain about opposition players diving so they can’t then moan when one of their own players does it and is punished. The FA have to take action to eradicate it.

Niasse ran into the player and threw himself to the ground. He was clearly trying to deceive the referee.

There was only contact because he flung himself into the incoming player.

If a defender attempts to make a challenge, doesn’t get the ball and makes contact with the player, then the referee has a big decision to make, in this instance though, it was never a penalty and Niasse got what he deserved.

Players will now know that they can’t get away with diving. This is the only way to stamp this out of the game otherwise it will keep on happening.