Big Sam? Nope. Kevin Keegan? Don't be silly. Joe Kinnear? Almost. Alan Shearer? Not quite. Who would have ever guessed that Newcastle's messiah would be….Phil Brown. Hull are in one hell of a freefall after the dizzying heights of their early season form that saw them register victories in both sides of North London. It was enough to have some people suggesting they had accumulated enough points in that first part of the season to guarantee survival. Others quietly knew they would implode. And what an implosion.
They now appear to be the most likely escape route for the Geordies. Alan Shearer, I'm afraid to say, looks like he might survive the drop and make a triumphant return to Match of the Day next season, meaning I will be stuck with having to watch Football First as an alternative to avoid the stern smugness of his experience as saviour and miracle worker. He'll forever use examples of his managerial stint when analysing highlights, telling us how he knows what it’s like for a manager to be under pressure. Even though, on the strength (or lack of) his sides current form (which is a continuation of their previous form) they will survive if they manage to steal the points in the North East Cup final against the miserable Boro. It’s do or die stuff. But it's not down to tactics. Just luck and circumstance. Beat the team that's as bad as you and you live to fight another day. Not magic wand here. Just a simple case of throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick.
Boro are miserable and Newcastle are a mess, no different to the one that existed prior to Shearers arrival. And he has done little to aid them thus far. Two points in five games has the touch of Ramos about it.
And what exactly did he expect exactly by selecting Joey Barton? Tenacity and passion? I guess he got it, just not in the right part of the pitch. A red card and a post-match bust-up (they called each other 'shit' - it's like something out of The Sopranos innit) he couldn't honestly believe having him in the side would make a world of difference. The tackle, for what it's worth, was clumsy and stupid - considering where it was committed it was also completely unnecessary. But it’s not half as bad as some recent flying boots we’ve witnessed in games.
But this is Barton. So it’s going to make the wrong type of headlines.
As for the dressing room outburst, Shearer has to blame himself for thinking he could say what he said in front of the whole of the dressing room and not expect Barton to react. Take him aside and have a quiet word. Massive case of the Billy Big Bollocks mentality here with the MotD pundit trying to assert a disciplinary shake-down which back-fired. As if Barton was going to hang his head in shame and apologise.
All this has resulted with some rather convenient tasty pro-Shearer spin that the media will lap up, deflecting attention momentarily with the suspension of the hot-headed ready-made scapegoat. I'm in no way defending Barton. He's a melting pot of destruction. But the whole thing has turned into a circus faster than you can say 'love it'. If anyone else had made that tackle would we be talking about it as much? Probably not, but then it’s the fact it was Barton that leaves no-one surprised. When has he ever just gone out there and done a job for his club and manager without disgracing himself? But even if he was well behaved, it’s doubtful he could do anything to aid Newcastle’s plight. Only Phil Brown can save them now.
With Hull doing their utmost to get sucked into the bottom three and Sunderland struggling to pull away from it, there is time left for another twist and turn that will no doubt leave me emotionally shattered, reaching for a bottle of anything above 40% if Shearer makes a triumphant return to television.
Disclaimer: Don't take life too seriously.