Thursday, October 22, 2020

Lazy GOAT: Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)

In today’s edition of Lazy GOAT, we’re focusing on Newcastle United. As a Geordie myself, it wasn’t hard for me to make my decision on who this would be. It was always going to be Newcastle’s all time record goalscorer, the one and only, Alan Shearer.

Pre-Newcastle

Big Al started his career about as far away from Newcastle as you can get geographically in English football. He began down on the south coast with Southampton after they picked him up from Wallsend Boys club in the east end of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. In his time there, he played 118 games and netted 23 goals. 13 of those goals came in his final season with the Saints – form which would see him earn an England call up and see the media link him with a move to Manchester United.

Following his stint with the Saints, Shearer moved north and found himself not in Manchester, but instead in Lancashire. He transferred to Blackburn Rovers for a then English-record transfer fee of £3.6 million. His time with Blackburn Rovers would yield the only actual silverware of his illustrious career as the team pulled off a miracle and won the Premier League in 1994/95. During his spell in the North-West, Shearer would score an impressive 112 goals in 138 games – in that time breaking the record the most amount of goals in a Premier League season with 34. Then, after four brilliant seasons with Blackburn, Wor’ Al came home…

Homecoming 

Once again, Manchester United sought the signature of Shearer but the Geordie lad ultimately decided that his hometown club was where he wanted to play his football. Shearer signed for Newcastle United on the 30th July 1996 for a then world record fee of £15 million. He would spend the rest of his outstanding career wearing the famous black and white. In the ten year spell on Tyneside, he would go on to become Newcastle United’s all-time record goalscorer with 206 goals – breaking the legendary Jackie Milburn’s previous record of 200.

In choosing Newcastle over Manchester United, a lot of neutral fans and Manchester United fans say that he made the wrong decision. Despite playing in two FA Cup finals and many Champions League campaigns, he would never win any silverware with Newcastle. In the same period of time, Manchester United won nine trophies including five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy. Despite all of that, Alan Shearer maintains to this day that he has absolutely no regrets in choosing the Magpies over the Red Devils. One of the many reasons why he is viewed not only as a Legend, but as a God in the North East of England.

In my own personal experience, like most others across the city, I grew up worshipping Alan Shearer. He was, and still is, loved so much across the city that at times I still find myself questioning whether the man is real – or whether he is just a figment of my imagination. My first game on the terraces at St James’ Park saw Alan Shearer bang in a hat-trick in a European qualifier – a memory which I will always treasure.

The importance of Alan Shearer to the Geordie nation is unparalleled anywhere across the country in my opinion. As a working class city, Newcastle United is where most of us look for an escape from our normal day-to-day lives. For 90 minutes a week, nothing else matters other than the events on that pitch. For ten brilliant years, Shearer made those 90 minutes a week so much more entertaining and joyous. As a result, the city was a wonderful place to be. The mood of the city is very much dependent on the performance of Newcastle United. Lets just say that while Al was here, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne was the happiest city in the world – thanks in no small part to that man.

Rightly so, Shearer is immortalised in statue form outside St James’ Park alongside Jackie Milburn and the magnificent Sir Bobby Robson. The statue is there as a permanent reminder to Newcastle fans, not that we need reminded, that Alan Shearer is, and always will be, the greatest player to ever grace the hallowed turf of St James’ Park.

Thank you for everything, Alan.

Records

It would be remiss of me not to mention the records Shearer holds – simply because there are so many of them. Here’s the list:

  • Most goals in Premier League history with 260 – 52 ahead of the next best (Wayne Rooney – 208).
  • Most Premier League goals in a season – 34.
  • Most Premier League hat-tricks – 11.
  • Most Premier League penalties scored – 56
  • Most Premier League goals scored from inside the box – 227
  • (Joint) Most Premier League goals in a match – 5
  • Most goals in Newcastle United club history – 206
  • Most European goals scored for Newcastle United – 30.

With 379 goals in 734 career appearances, as well as all of the records above, Alan Shearer is not just the best goalscorer in Newcastle United history, but the best goalscorer ever to grave the Premier League.

Alan Shearer – You truly are the Greatest Of All Time.

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