Shearer Says: “So much at stake in Tyne-Wear derby”
So much at stake in Tyne-Wear derby
Tyne-Wear derbies are always massive games to play in. You get a bit of leeway from referees in terms of the challenges you can make. The passion, commitment and atmosphere are all just brilliant. It is just a game you cannot be beaten in. It means so much to the supporters.
Sunderland have had the better of Newcastle now in the last five games between these two sides. It’s about time something changed so fingers crossed.
Both teams are at the wrong end of the table and can’t afford to be beaten. It will be tight, it might not be pretty but it is all about the result. Newcastle come into it on the back of a very good win, while Sunderland were beaten last weekend. If I know Big Sam as I do, he’ll be desperate to get one over on Newcastle. Sunderland have appointed Sam for one reason only, that is to keep them in the Premier League. He is very good at that.
Last week’s win and performance for Newcastle proved they can do it. There were glimpses of that in the first half against Chelsea and Manchester City but last week it all came together for 90 minutes. They need to produce performances like that week in week out if they are to get out of trouble.
As soon as last weekend was over, all the talk has been about this game. If you are unfortunate to lose this game, you are in your house for a week because it is not nice. If you win though, everyone wants to congratulate you. Derby games are totally different from any other in the Premier League.
My last kick of a football came in a Tyne-Wear derby, we won 4-1 and I scored so that is my fondest memory of this fixture! Mind you, I also missed a penalty once at St James’ Park in this fixture but that’s not something I like talking about so much! I played in 11 derbies and I only lost two, so I didn’t have a bad record in them.
Old Trafford clash will show if United are ready to win title
We might know a little bit more about whether Manchester United are going to be realistic title challengers after their derby against City on Sunday afternoon. That is the benchmark that they have to set themselves and challenge for. If United come out victorious, there is no doubt they will have an excellent chance of winning the Premier League. If they can’t, the accusation will be that they are not ready to win the title.
Everybody expects Manchester City to be challenging this season but there are still one or two question marks for me about United. Yes, they are getting results but they have not been spectacular. They got battered inside 20 minutes at Arsenal but then they went to Everton and put in a great performance and win. They have to be more consistent.
There should be no excuse about coming back from Moscow in the Champions League. The players have an extra day as they are playing on a Sunday so I don’t buy into the thought that there is not enough time to recover.
I’ve been very impressed with the way Martial has made an immediate impact at United. He looks a really intelligent player. He played on the left side against Everton where he nullified the threat of Seamus Coleman. It will be interesting to see where he starts this weekend. He’s exactly what United needed as they lacked pace in their side which he now offers.
For City, De Bruyne has done exceptionally well. Of course, he has been in the Premier League before with Chelsea but he did not have the same impact there.
There will be no Aguero and Silva for City in the derby, two world class players but they do still have plenty of quality. Sterling look dangerous last weekend and Bony can score goals up front. I expect it to be close, maybe just the odd goal between them.
Managers can lose the dressing room – As Gullit showed
From my playing career, I’ve experienced the situation where the manager has lost the dressing room, that does happen, it is not just a phrase the media have invented. I remember when Ruud Gullit came into Newcastle and he rowed with a lot of players and alienated them.
Ruud, for some reason, did not want senior players in his squad whether that was Stuart Pearce, Robert Lee, Warren Barton, John Barnes or myself. Some of us had to train with the reserves and a lot of the players did not like that. It was not a healthy dressing room because of the unrest in it. But, at the end of the day, the be all and end all of football is about getting results and Gullit did not get them and that is why he was dismissed.
It was a much healthier dressing room once Sir Bobby Robson came in. He took us from the bottom of the Premier League into the Champions League with more or less the same squad. He was the master at man-management, whether you were 16 and coming into the team or 35 and been around forever, he got the best out of you.
Kenny Dalglish was superb at Blackburn, Sir Bobby at Newcastle, Glenn Hoddle and Terry Venables with England, I’ve been lucky to play under some great managers. Kevin Keegan was another one. He was emotional, but he let you go out and play your football.
Management is a thankless job but some are addicted
You don’t realise how difficult it is until you go into it. It is a thankless job! Some managers see it as a drug though and they can’t live without it. I am very lucky in the position that I am in that I can sit and talk about football. I have no desire to go back into management at the moment, as I am very happy doing what I am doing.
Management styles do have to be different. Some players do need an arm around their shoulders and others a kick up the backside. I’ve seen that in dressing rooms. Every player is different, they all have their own personalities. That is a manager’s job when they arrive as they have to get to know their players. The best managers do that well. In particular, in today’s age where players are earning a fortune. You can’t treat everyone the same as they all have different needs. There is no one size fits all way of managing.
It is a little different with the top players as they tend to manage themselves. The players that have been playing well for a long time, people like Aguero, Rooney, Silva and John Terry, they give their all every game and are easy to look after.
Sir Alex Ferguson is a manger who was an absolute genius. When you consider the numbers of eras he went through and the number of players he had to deal with over that length of time and be at the top. He built an empire and he was the top boss. Only now that he has retired do you look back and think wow, what an achievement to do what he did for so long.
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