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Anorak | Bobby Shocker

Bobby Shocker

by | 31st, August 2004

‘IT is not yet September and already two Premiership managers have been given their marching orders.

Can Shearer pick a winner?

But where the departure of Southampton’s Paul Sturrock raised few eyebrows and caused fewer tears, the dismissal of Sir Bobby Robson by Newcastle is something of a shock.

The Toon may have had a poor start to what would have been Sir Bobby’s final season in charge, but one can’t help but feel that his sacking is somewhat premature.

Especially as Newcastle don’t seem to know the identity of their preferred replacement – or, if they do, they aren’t telling the papers.

The Guardian says that Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce and former England skipper Alan Shearer are favourites to take over.

The Independent, however, says the club are considering an approach to Terry Venables to work alongside Shearer until the end of the season.

Otherwise, they could make on offer to former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier (who is also said to be a target for Southampton).

The Times notes that, like Ruud Gullit, Robson was dismissed immediately after leaving Shearer out of the starting XI – although Robson insists that had nothing to do with the decision.

Typically, the 71-year-old left with great dignity.

“Newcastle is my club, where my father brought me as a kid,” he said. “I’ve had five fabulous years there and I’d like to wish everybody all the success in the world.”

With a managerial wish-list including Venables, Shearer and Houllier, success is not something that Newcastle are likely to be acquainted with in the near future.

Although, fans will be delighted to see that the departing manager’s namesake, Geordie Bryan Robson, isn’t one of the names mentioned.

Calling time on his own career at the top level is England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, who will announce his decision in a press conference this morning.

The Telegraph says the back-row forward told coach Sir Clive Woodward of his decision at the end of last week – less than a year after taking over as captain.

“He has come to realise that the calls on his time are proving more and more demanding,” the paper explains.

“Dallaglio has a young family with three children under the age of 10 and he is all too aware that the pressures of the coming season are not going to get any easier.”

Also to be announced today is the £26m transfer of Wayne Rooney from Everton to a Manchester United side that has already fallen off the Premiership pace.

The Guardian says the clubs are confident a compromise can be reached over a performance-related clause in the 18-year-old’s contract.

It will be another disappointment for Newcastle fans, who had hoped to see Rooney line up in their colours this season.

And it will be made worse by news in the Guardian that the teenager only decided against a move to the North East when he learnt of the sacking of Sir Bobby Robson.’



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