Everything Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has said about the club so far this season
It has already been an action-packed season on and off the pitch for Newcastle United.
The Magpies could well see their relegation go right down to the wire this season.
Steve Bruce couldn’t get his side off the ground early in the season and paid the ultimate price, while Eddie Howe hasn’t had it easy, either.
Spirits have lifted off the pitch following the arrival of the new Saudi owners, and we have already seen some very interesting transfers, who have already helped Howe’s men climb out of the relegation zone - significantly raising the optimism around the club following wins on the bounce.
But amid all the change, there is one thing you can guarantee through any Magpies season, and that is some very interesting commentary from club legend Alan Shearer.
Still a huge Magpies fan, Shearer is one of the go-to voices on happenings at St James’ Park.
And below we have rounded up what the former United striker has said about many of the key topics from the season so far:
September woes and Mike Ashley (September)
After a disappointing start to the season, Shearer didn’t hold back.
"There’s no hope or ambition and I’m pretty sick of it to be honest. It’s copy-paste-repeat every season,” he said on Match of the Day.
"They give players who have been at the football club new contracts because they can’t sell them on.
"Then they have an excuse that they can’t bring other players into the football club because those players are being paid a salary.
"It’s cheaper to keep them on the books rather than buying other players. The fans deserve better. Every manager has the same problems - as I said, it’s copy-paste-repeat every season."
On Steve Bruce (October)
Steve Bruce was sacked in October after a disappointing start, and Shearer had empathy with the now former Magpies boss:
"I know how tough it was for any manager at Newcastle for the last 14 years [under previous owner Mike Ashley],” he said on Twitter. “I also know how badly Steve & his family wanted it to work.
"In difficult circumstances for everybody, he kept #NUFC up for two seasons. It’s a new era now, but thank you, Steve, for your effort and commitment."
New ownership (October)
Speaking about the new ownership when it was first completed, Shearer said: "Newcastle fans haven’t mattered for 14 years.
"There has been no investment and the fans have never been consulted, we now have owners that will invest and that is very important for fans. It will take patience, we don’t expect to win the league or the Champions League in the next few years."
Transfer warning (December)
Here’s what Shearer told the new owners about what their January plans should be:
"Two wins [against Norwich and Burnley on Saturday] are imperative because that would at least put them in touch with the teams just above the drop zone, with an extremely tough run of games to follow.
"Otherwise, Newcastle are facing a scenario where they are well adrift come the start of January, which could affect the calibre of players who arrive when the transfer window opens.
"Not many top players will want to commit to a team who, by then, might look a lot like they are going to be relegated.
"I know there is the loan market as well, but I think it is really key that, come January, there is some hope of staying up in order to attract the players Newcastle will need to try to keep the club in the Premier League."
FA Cup exit (January)
The FA Cup exit at the hands of Cambridge United did not go down well with Shearer:
"I hope the players that were out on the pitch went and apologised and thanked those fans for their support,” he said on Match of the Day.
"There were 52,000 there today for an FA Cup third-round game. Cambridge deserved it. They were superb. Congratulations to them. But I hope they went and thanked them because they deserve more than the rubbish that was served up today."
Relegation battle (January)
Assessing the relegation battle in January, Shearer told the Watford Observer: “I wouldn’t like to choose who will go down; I’d say it’s three from four
"Norwich got a great result from a struggling Everton at the weekend, Burnley have got games in hand and I know they’ve been weakened by the sale of Chris Wood to Newcastle, but I’m sure that given time they’ll get someone in.
"Claudio Ranieri’s certainly got the experience, you’re talking about a title-winning manager there. But then again if you look at Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche and Dean Smith, there’s an argument for each club. I couldn’t call it."
New owner progress (January)
The new Saudi owners have a lot of work to do at St James’ Park, and assessing their efforts so far, Shearer told Optus Sport: “The owners are talking up the football club, the communication has been so much better.
“Everyone wanted the takeover to happen, it had to happen and they’ve said they want to try and compete within three to five years which is a huge statement and one that we all hope comes true.
“For far too long, there’s been no investment in the club so hopefully bigger and better things are to come.”
Chris Wood (February)
Chris Wood was snapped up from Burnley in the January window in a move that didn’t please everyone. But Shearer sees the value of the striker:
“Yeah, I think it’s needs must, we needed a forward in,” he added. “It’s a difficult market in January anyway, so they needed a forward in and they’ve weakened Burnley.
“I would hope Wood gets more service than then he got, and I’m pretty sure he’s hoping for the same.”
Callum Wilson injury (February)
Speaking about Callum Wilson’s injury blow, the Match of the Day pundit said: “He was Newcastle’s goalscorer, so to lose him for any period of time is a blow
“However, I think with Callum’s career you know, at some stage of the season, you’re going to lose him for at least a quarter of it anyway.
“That’s sort of what’s happened right throughout his career and sometimes a bit more. It’s probably no surprise that he has picked up an injury because that’s what his body is like, I think.
“But he’s the one player in the Newcastle team that can get a scruffy goal from two yards out, he can sniff that opportunity where to be so there’s no doubt it’s a big blow for Newcastle having him out injured.”
Relegation chances (February)
Shearer recently addressed the relegation picture. Speaking before the win over Aston Villa, he said: “The turnover of players has been nowhere near what it should have been and could have been so they’re in that scenario, but of course Eddie was brought in to try and keep Newcastle up.
“He wasn’t brought in to take them down, he was brought in to help keep Newcastle up and they’ve spent. I’m pretty sure that if you go and ask Burnley, Norwich or Watford if they can have that money then they would snap your hands off for it.
“Newcastle are in a very fortunate position in terms of what they’ve got financially now, and the players that they signed, but they need more in.
“The evidence is there for all to see. There’s every chance we will be relegated but that’s where they are.”