Ruud sticks the boot in

Last updated : 07 March 2004 By Martyn Elliott

It’s hardly a secret that Gullit and Shearer did not see eye-to-eye during their time working together, but then the Dutchman did not appear to have a good working relationship with any of the decent players.

Fittingly, the man who signed Marcelino, Alain Goma and Silvio Maric chose the News of the World to air his views / indulge his pointless vendetta.

The Michelle McManus of sexy football told the scandal sheet: "He thinks about himself all the time. It's always about his goals and not about the team.

"If we were going to succeed as a team I knew we had to change the way Alan Shearer played but he didn't want to change.

"The problem was that he had too much power. In the end it became a battle I could never win.

"He was England's favourite, England's captain and he was playing for his hometown team.

"All of that meant he was bigger than the club itself.

"What could the board do? If they back the manager and kick him out they will have everybody against them.

“They decided to try another coach instead but nothing has changed.

“Sir Bobby has done well but the rotten apple is still there, the damage is still being done.”

Gullit continued:
"There's a clique of mediocre players who think if they stick close to him they will stay involved in the team.

"As manager I wanted him to play well and to score goals, but I wanted to use him in a different way.

"Unfortunately, for some reason he didn't want to try. He's a good player, but he will never win trophies.

"He has won one, when he was at his best, but after that, what?

"He scores some great goals but it's the players who score goals and win trophies and championships that receive the real recognition.

"I told him to his face 'you are the most overrated player I have ever seen' but he didn't reply.

"Maybe that's why they call him Mary Poppins because he is so innocent. But I know how powerful and ruthless he can be."

When quizzed about his former manager’s comments, the Premier League’s record goalscorer laughed:
"I can do nothing but chuckle about it (the story). I leave it up to other people to judge me and it's not for me to comment on this."