Alan Shearer’s 14-word defence of Newcastle United trio amid Manchester United star fury

Alan Shearer’s Premier League Team of the Season so far has sparked a debate.
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Alan Shearer was forced to defend his decision to include five Newcastle United players in his Premier League Team of the Season so far. The 2022-23 campaign is on hold until late December to make room for the Qatar World Cup, which gets underway on Sunday.

The Magpies legend named Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron in his XI, while Manchester City trio Joao Cancelo, Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland, Arsenal duo William Saliba and Granit Xhaka, plus Leicester City James Maddison also made the cut.

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And one opposition supporter in particular took issue with Shearer’s decision not to include Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez. The tweet has since been deleted but the Premier League’s record goalscorer had a simple explanation: “Trippier, Schar and Pope are in there for a reason!! Look at goals conceded.”

Indeed, the trio, alongside Sven Botman and Dan Burn, have formed the joint-best defensive record in England’s top-flight this season, keeping seven clean in their opening 15 matches and conceded just 11 goals, a total only league leaders Arsenal have matched.

Martinez, meanwhile, a £56million summer arrival from Ajax, has been part of a defence that has shipped 20 goals in 14 matches. The stats, as they say, speak for themselves.

While there is no denying that Shearer has probably been a little biased towards his former club, anyone who has watched Newcastle this season knows the 56-year-old’s choices are easily justifiable.

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Bruno Guimaraes has established himself as one of the division’s leading midfielders, while Miguel Almiron was October’s Premier League player of the month following six goals in six games - taking his season tally up to eight.