Bargain Shearer does it again

Last updated : 18 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby Robson

"It’s quite impossible to score a quicker goal than 10.5 seconds in the Premiership. You couldn’t run that far in 10 seconds, let alone score.

"It was obviously a fortuitous goal, but you have to give credit to Alan. He chased the back pass – he could have said ‘I won’t run, I won’t press it, I’ll let him have it’, but he got close to him and when he banged it against him he scored with his left foot, one of Alan Shearer’s rare left-foot goals.

"I thought it was a wonderful game from a spectator’s point of view and as a football match. It was highly entertaining because it see-sawed from one end to the other.

"They were, apart from the early goal, more or less equal to us in the first half. They gave us some problems and we gave them slightly more problems. We were slightly the better side, but I think the second half was a different story."

Kevin Keegan

"He (Shearer)’s the best, it’s a simple as that, not because he’s outrageously skilful, not because he’s got tremendous flair, but because every single week when you go out there and play against Alan Shearer – it doesn’t matter who you are as a defender – you know you’re in for a tough afternoon.

"If you keep him quiet, you’ve played exceptionally well. He’s their leader and most teams would die for leadership like that.

"It’s lacking in the game today. If you look back 20 years, there were quite a few about. They’re a dying breed. He was tremendous today. He and Bellamy were tremendous.

"It’s easy to make a signing like that if you’ve got the money. We paid £15million in one hit for Alan Shearer and people questioned it at the time.

"But you might look on it as the bargain of a lifetime even in the present transfer market, not because of what he’s done, but also what he’s still capable of doing.

"It was disappointing, obviously, it was very hard with the start we had to talk of it as a normal game.

"You go out there, you’ve got the kick-off and the first of their players to touch the ball is Alan Shearer and he puts it in the net from an error.

"But I thought Newcastle thoroughly deserved to win. We didn’t get much of a head of steam up today, I don’t know why, but we still had chances.

"I think we were hanging in more than playing well.

"They’ve got a game in hand and you put the three points on and then look at it, and they’re right up there. People were talking about Chelsea as title contenders, weren’t they?

"There’s a long way to go still, but I think last season, Newcastle had a chance of winning the title. There was a period just about February when, if you looked and the table and they’d won the big games, they could have won it.

"Nothing would please me more for the fans here – but I think Arsenal are exceptional."