ALAN Shearer believes Alan Pardew has “earned the right” to make amends for last season, but warned the Newcastle United manager he will be under even more pressure than usual at the start of the new campaign.
Although they reached the quarter-finals of last season’s Europa League they finished 16th in the Premier League, only avoiding relegation on the penultimate weekend of the season.
Pardew’s performance last term split the fans, with some calling for a change of manager. Shearer, though, is with those who believe Newcastle are right to stand by a man named manager of the year by both the League Manager’s Association and the Premier League 12 months ago .
“I think he deserves to keep his job because of the season before, he bought himself time,” said the club’s record goalscorer.
“The nature of the game is he’s under pressure and he knows that, but I’m delighted they stuck with him. You don’t become a bad manager in one season.
“I’m pleased they stuck by him. He’ll feel they have to get off to a good start as you always do, but fingers crossed that will happen.” Shearer believes the key to Pardew’s chances will be making good signings early in the transfer window. The failure to do that last term was a big factor in Newcastle’s difficult campaign and Shearer – who managed under Mike Ashley in 2009 – hopes the owner does not make the same mistake again.
“It was a disappointing season, everyone will tell you the same thing,” he reflected. “But they’ve got a chance to try and rectify that next season and hopefully they will purchase some players in the summer that will allow them to come strong again.
“I don’t know how much they’ve got available to spend, if anything, I wouldn’t like to say. Hopefully there’s some money for the manager to spend and I’m sure he’s hoping that as well.
“He needs to get them in as soon as possible so he can get his preparations started.”
Shearer was speaking at a golf day for Stephen Harmison’s benefit year. The former England fast bowler is raising funds for the foundation set up by Shearer’s old Newcastle manager, the late Sir Bobby Robson, for the early detection and treatment of cancer.
“He’s a good lad Harmy, he’s done a lot for North East sport and given a bit to charity as well, so I’m only too pleased to help him,” he said.
“The fact he’s giving money from his benefit to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation just sums him up. I’ve known him for a number of years. It says a lot about the guy that he’s willing to give a bit back.
“He left a legacy, Sir Bobby, and everyone’s only too willing to help as much as they can. That includes Harmy and myself and a lot of other people around the country.”
Meanwhile, the uncapped Gaël Bigirimana has been named in England’s squad for the World Under-20 Cup in Turkey, but Magpies club-mate Adam Campbell has missed the cut.
Both were named in Peter Taylor’s provisional squad, but only the Burundi-born midfielder has made the final 21-man squad.
Midfielder Bigirimana has yet to wear the Three Lions at any level, but impressed in his first season on Tyneside after joining from Coventry City.
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley – son of former winger Stuart – is also in the squad, along with defender Adam Reach and forward Luke Williams.
Preparations begin at St George’s Park on Monday, and the squad fly to Turkey a fortnight today for training and acclimatisation.
England have group games against Iraq (June 23), Chile (June 26) and Egypt (June 29).
SQUAD: Sam Johnstone (Manchester United), George Long (Sheffield United), Connor Ripley (MIDDLESBROUGH); Sam Byram (Leeds United), Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest), Danny Potts (West Ham United), Adam Reach (MIDDLESBROUGH), John Stones (Everton), Tom Thorpe (Manchester United); Ross Barkley (Everton), Gael Bigirimana (NEWCASTLE UNITED), Conor Coady (Liverpool), Larnell Cole (Manchester United), John Lundstram (Everton), James Ward Prowse (Southampton); Chris Long (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Alex Pritchard (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Williams (MIDDLESBROUGH).