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I was raging when Sir Bobby left me out but the way Ruud Gullit did it was wrong

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has recalled how he was left ‘raging’ by Sir Bobby Robson’s decision to leave him out of the Magpies starting line up for a Premier League game at Aston Villa.

The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer was omitted from the starting XI for a game at Villa Park in August 2004, in what would be Robson’s final game in charge of the club. However, while Shearer didn’t agree with the decision, Sir Bobby still took the time to come and speak with him beforehand – unlike Ruud Gullit five years earlier when leaving him out of the infamous 1999 derby-day clash with Sunderland.

The Magpies goal hero was discussing Mo Salah and Jurgen Klopp’s very public spat on the touchline of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with West Ham last weekend, with the pair appearing to clash before the Egyptian was brought on. Salah had been left out of the starting line-up after a difficult period in front of goal, and while, as former striker, Shearer understands Salah’s frustrations, he can see both sides.

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“There’s an argument for both sides,” Shearer told this week’s The Rest is Football podcast. “A lot fans will say he hasn’t been at it and his body language is not great. If that’s the case then because of who you’ve got around you, you can be left out. Fine, I get that. But I also understand when you need a little bit of backing, when you need a bit of help, support, then you’re looking to your manager to say ‘OK, it’s not going as well but stick with me and we’ll get throught it’, because of what he’s done for that football club.

“Absolutely I would have the hump for being left out, but then he was left out the previous weekend and they got the result, was brought back for the derby (a 2-0 defeat to Everton) but didn’t perform, so there’s an argument for both sides.

“I think if it had been left at what happened on the touchline then it could have been turned around to say ‘yeah he was disappointed and didn’t want to be a substitute’, that’s fine, that’s everyone. But Mo poured more fire on it when he went through the media and said ‘If Is speak now there will be fire’ so that added more fuel to it. It got a bigger story because of what he said there.”

Turning to memories of when he was left out of the starting line-up at Newcastle, Shearer added: “I remember we were playing Aston Villa away and I was sharing with Steve Harper and I just had a feeling. I said to Harps ‘I think the manager’s going to leave me out tomorrow’. I’m not kidding, 30 seconds later there was a knock at the door.

“Harps got up and answered the door and there he was, Sir Bobby saying ‘Is Alan there, I need to have a word with him’. I knew what was coming and I was raging. Obviously I didn’t agree with him but he left me out and we went to Aston Villa and he played Patrick Kluivert instead of me.

“Kluivert scored and I’m thinking ‘What do I do? Do I sit and clap wth a big smile on my face?’ We were getting beaten in the game and he looked over and told me to get warmed up and it’s like ‘OK, you left me out but now you want me to go save the game’. It’s human nature, you’re going to be angry and disappointed, so I totally get how Salah would have been feeling.”

Shearer was famously left out just by Robson’s predecessor Gullit five years earlier – this time for a huge Tyne-Wear derby against arch-rivals Sunderland, with Big Al benched alongside Duncan Ferguson at St James’ Park. However he says the way the Dutchman went about it was different to Sir Bobby.

“That was the huge difference,” he added. “Ruud didn’t tell me at all until an hour before the game when we all walked into the dressing room and it was on the sheet. He didn’t say a word to me and that, I think, is wrong.”

Gullit would leave Newcastle in the aftermath of what turned out to be a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, with Shearer retiring in 2006 after scoring a record 206 goals for the club.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/raging-sir-bobby-left-out-29085406

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