Belfast Telegraph

It's Shear bliss as 'new-boy' Graeme forces Alan to up his game

By Billy Weir

Alan Shearer has been a regular pundit on Match of the Day now for over a decade, so I suppose by the law of averages he was bound to say something interesting eventually and it finally happened on Saturday night.

The cause of his ire was Arsenal's feeble display against West Brom, but methinks there was more to it than that as, let's face it, the Gunners have fired more blanks than the Army Cadets in that same period.

The cause of the unfriendly fire could be a case of friends reunited, or rerovered in this case, as his old Blackburn buddy, Graeme Le Saux, was back in the studio and delighted to be there, even though he did appear to come in his school uniform.

Le Saux was once the darling of punditland, although viewed with suspicion as he was articulate and could string a few words together without the merest hint of an 'at the end of the day' or 'the boy done good.'

With Shearer you get the feeling the only time he went through the school gates was to ask if he could get his ball back, but the arrival of the swotty new-boy meant he upped his game, although Le Saux refused to do his homework for him.

By law you have to mention Le Saux is from Guernsey, but he is also famous for having a punch-up on the pitch with another Rovers' team-mate, David Batty, so maybe that's why Shearer was a bit on edge, prepared for peace but ready to rumble if things kicked off.

Thankfully Neil Lennon was nowhere to be seen.

"There's been a lot of chat from the media, from the pundits about Arsene Wenger's future, there hasn't been a lot spoken from his players," growled Shearer, like Le Saux had nicked his carton of Um Bongo from his schoolbag.

"Well his players spoke today in that game and judging by that performance and recent performances they don't want him in that job.

"They lacked heart, they lacked fight, they lacked direction…" and they'll go a long way, we wanted him to say to reprise a classic Kit-Kat advert, but alas no, the over-40s viewing public was not his target.

"This was like watching an under-10s game, the way Arsenal defended. There's no leadership, no characters," he said, and clearly they breed the bairns differently in the north-east.

As for Le Saux, who rather annoyingly somehow looks the same as when he was playing, he was calm, measured and spoke sense.

He'll never do, send for Batty.

Belfast Telegraph

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