Shearer Says: “Van Gaal will need all his experience to handle the scrutiny he will be under from the British press.”
There was no leadership or organisation from Man Utd
It was a huge win for Bournemouth on Saturday getting the better of Manchester United in the Premier League, but when I saw the teams before the game, I wasn’t actually surprised as it may have been Manchester United football club but it wasn’t a ‘Manchester United team’. They were never going to get a better chance of beating United and that’s how it turned out and nobody can say Bournemouth did not deserve it. There was no leadership or organisation from Manchester United. From every set-piece, Bournemouth looked like they were going to score and perhaps should have scored more than they did!
I thought Bournemouth had pace, power and direction, everything Man United didn’t have. It’s been a great week for them. First, going to Stamford Bridge, defeating Chelsea and then beating Manchester United. They’ll probably never have a better week in their lives. Good luck to them, it is great to see!
This might be scrutiny Van Gaal has never seen before from the British press
This latest defeat for United adds more pressure on Van Gaal, especially on the back of his side going out of the Champions League in the group stages. He’ll be used to pressure because he has managed at big football clubs before, however, this might be scrutiny he has never seen before with our British press. It’s been an incredibly disappointing week for Manchester United.
I was surprised with the team Van Gaal fielded, especially when you look at their bench and the experience they had on there with Schneiderlin, Jones and Young. I am not sure what has gone on with the manager and Ashley Young because he has played him at full-back a lot this season but then to throw the inexperienced Borthwick-Jackson in, not only in the Champions League, but also on Saturday, was odd. He seemed to struggle at left-back where Young could have comfortably played. I also felt McNair struggled in the middle of defence where Jones could have played. If they are fit to be on the bench, then they certainly can start the game.
Mesut Ozil has had a superb season with all those assists
It’s been a very good week for Arsenal. First, to put in the performance and the result they did in Olympiakos and then to come back and show the energy they did at Aston Villa, was impressive. Mesut Ozil has had a superb season with all those assists. There is no doubt he is one of the best players in the Premier League at the moment. I thought he struggled when he first came to England but he looks very comfortable now and very much part of the Arsenal set up. They have a very good player on their hands.
Olivier Giroud once again found the scoresheet at the weekend. As a centre forward it has to be good playing in that Arsenal side because they do create so many chances. Giroud got a hat-trick in Greece and he has followed that up by scoring the penalty against Villa. He is full of confidence at the moment. He still has his critics, but he is on a very good run, however I still think Arsenal will want to sign a striker in January. Wanting and being able to do so is a different story though. How many clubs have a top class centre forward who they are prepared to let go of in the next transfer window?
It’s a bit of a mess at Aston Villa at the moment
I really can’t see Aston Villa surviving this season. With their points total and the effort they are putting in, it’s a bit of a mess at the moment. They spent £50 million in the summer on players with either a lack of experience or lack of Premier League experience. I know Tim Sherwood very well and I know he would not have signed all of those players. The signing system and recruitment at the club leaves a lot to be desired.
There have been five seasons that Villa have been poor now so if you don’t improve, the inevitable will happen and I am afraid that looks like it is going to be this season with Villa.
If you are going to be champions you have to win games when you are not playing well
There are two ways of looking at Manchester City’s late winner against Swansea this weekend. One is that they were very lucky, while the other is great credit to them for giving everything to the end of the game. If you are going to be champions you have to win games when you are not playing well. They definitely did not play well on Saturday. It was a lazy and tired performance but ultimately it was enough to get them three points. How many times over the years have we seen Manchester United do that against teams late on in stoppage time?
The most important thing for City last weekend would have been to get three points, particularly after losing to Stoke a week earlier. It didn’t matter how they did it, they just had to do it. So in the end it has also been a good week for them, topping their Champions League group and following that up with a win in the Premier League.
Well done to Steve McClaren for the changes he made during the game
It was another fantastic win for Newcastle, this time on the road at Tottenham and they deserve a lot of credit for that. They have taken a lot of stick and people, including me, have questioned their character recently, rightly so because it was justified. They went 1-0 down but they did not fold. It was another excellent performance from Rob Elliot in goal. He would not be playing if it wasn’t for an injury to Tim Krul so he did very well with some top class saves. I thought they thoroughly deserved to win.
Mitrovic came off the bench to score the equaliser. Steve McClaren has come in for criticism but you have to say well done to him for making the changes. The substitutes Mitrovic and Perez both got the goals. It was great illustration of team character because they were not playing a side in the bottom three, it was a team who could have potentially gone into the top four with a win.
Mignolet has to take responsibility for his mistake
It was a disappointing result for Liverpool and Mignolet has come in for criticism on the back of it. I know his manager has been reluctant to put the blame on his shoulders, which I totally understand, but it was his mistake for the equaliser. If you come for a cross in the six-yard box, you have to get it. He flapped at it and West Brom scored. He has to take responsibility for that.
You have to be pretty poor not to qualify for last 16 of Euro 2016
It’s a great draw for England and Wales at Euro 2016, especially for both sets of fans. When I look back on the games I played against Scotland and Republic of Ireland, they were great occasions. It will be something for the players to look forward to. Bale and Ramsay have been superb for Wales and they will certainly be excited to face England.
Let’s face it, it is almost impossible not to qualify for the next stage. The top two teams go through and then the best four third place teams also make it to the last 16. You have to be pretty poor not to qualify!
I would say quarter-final or semi-final would be a realistic aim for England. We have some good young players in the squad but we don’t necessarily have any superstars in the team. I think it is too early for us to win it but if we can go there and show some promise ahead of the World Cup in Russia, then I think the fans will be happy with that.
I’m very honoured to have a road named after me
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) December 14, 2015
And finally, our very own official brand ambassador Shearer, who helped the Blackburn Rovers win the league in 1994/95 and scored a whopping 130 goals in 171 games for them, has had a road named after him near the club’s Ewood Park ground – ‘Alan Shearer Way’.
“It is a great day, I’m very honoured to have the road named after me,” Shearer said. “Never did I think in 1992 when I signed here when the Premier League started that one day I’d have a road named after me, but it is here, I’m delighted.”
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