Alan Shearer on the season ahead for Newcastle


"I do think he’ll stick around. He’ll stick around in hope that one day someone might come and buy the football club because I know for a fact he realises the potential of it. He knows there are 52,000 fans who love that football club and are crazy about football and want to have hope. I think it’s his wish that he can give them that one day so he’ll stick around. If nothing changes come the end of the season that’ll change I’m sure.

"Nothing changes at St James’ Park does it? It happened last season with the players bonuses, it happened four or five years ago and it’ll continue to happen. Rafa is obviously angry and upset at it because the owner promised him all of the funds that were generated he would give him to spend on the team and that hasn’t happened. I think at the minute, I might be out by a few quid here, but it’s a profit of around about £25million with transfers and that’s very difficult to keep going when you’re making a profit on transfers year in and year out when all your rivals around you are spending big money. I understand Rafa’s frustrations totally, and the fans frustrations because they want to have hope. They work all week in Newcastle to have a good time at the weekend and spend their money and a good time is going to St James’ Park and watching their team and being loyal and supportive and being encouraged and having hope. And they don’t feel that at the minute.

"They’ve got a top manager and that will give me hope that they will avoid relegation again this year, because of him and what he did last season. It would be incredible if they finished tenth again this year because in December last year they were in the bottom three so to finish tenth was incredible.

"Gayle’s record in the Championsip is exceptional but he found it hard to break into the team and clearly the manager would want more from Joselu. He didn’t fancy Mitrovic and his attitude I don’t think so he made the decision to sell him for a big profit to Fulham. In Rondon they’ve got someone who works very hard, who will ask questions running in behind. Let’s not forget he’s been playing in a very restricted system under managers at West Bromwich Albion. Hopefully he might be a bit freer in his play this year.

"I wanted to say to him on Twitter: ‘If you work your socks off, if you try incredibly hard in a black and white shirt at Newcastle the fans will love you’. That’s all he has to do, if he can add a few goals in there that will be a big bonus. It was around £3m or £4m for the goalkeeper and he made a big difference. He repaid that fee alone for his performance against Manchester United when he was brilliant at St James’ Park when he almost single-handedly kept them at bay. That’s a very good signing, Kenedy gave them hope as someone who can travel with the ball, can drag the team forward and you need someone who can do that, to carry the ball into the final third and that should create chances for other players. Those were two very good signings for Newcastle.”

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