Saturday will mark the Opening Day for the second Alan Shearer Era at Newcastle United.
The first era started in August of 1996 when Shearer signed with Newcastle for a then world record £15 million. He had rejected an offer to join perennial English champion Manchester United to play instead for his hometown club. Newcastle last won a league title in 1927 and the FA Cup in 1955 and Shearer aimed to finally bring a title Tyneside.
It was not to be.
Shearer retired at the end of the 2005-06 season after scoring 206 goals for the club in 395 matches. Newcastle finished 2nd in the league in 1996-97 and reached the FA Cup Final twice (1998, 1999) but they are still waiting for their next major title.
Now Newcastle faces relegation from England’s top division (the Premier League). As Shearer takes over, Newcastle sits in the final relegation spot, two points from survival with eight matches remaining. Their first match under Shearer is at home against Chelsea today. While there’s renewed hope for the Toon Army with their “Local Hero” now at the helm, Chelsea faces a must win situation itself. Chelsea must win all their remaining matches in an effort to stay in the championship hunt. The first match for Newcastle will not be an easy one for “the sheet metal worker’s son”.
The meeting is the featured match this morning on Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) at 10:00am ET/7:00am PT.