NUFC are going to unveil a 9ft statue of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson before the Man City game on 6th May. However, does he deserve it? In my honest opinion, no.
Not because he wasn't a great man, not because he wasn't a great manager, not because he didn't do a great job on his time on Tyneside...but because their is a queue I am afraid, and Sir Bob isn't first in line.
I'm all for the club celebrating Sir Bob and I thought they had done that adequately with the bronze bust of him that he unveiled himself a few years ago before he died. This was great and did the job perfectly.
So why now a statue? When you consider certain NUFC legends who don't have any kind of commemorative gesture's to speak of, it's all a bit strange.
Joe Harvey must surely be first in line for any talk of a statue being erected next to the great Jackie Milburn, which in itself has been dragged from the pointless position it has stood for ages back into the front of St James' Park. This man not only played and captained NUFC to two FA Cup Final victories but also managed the club when we won our infamous Fairs Cup win in 1969. I mean, what more does a man need to do to get himself a statue? Build the stadium with his bear hands?
Seeing as there is nothing coming from the club itself regarding this great NUFC legend, or ever has, the fans themselves are putting together a fund to pay for a statue to sit where it belongs. Which in itself is somewhat disappointing considering our illustrious leaders seem to be on a statue erecting frenzy all of a sudden.
As regards to Alan Shearer I think he will have to make do with a bar named after him for a while, especially when the club's current MD says things like, 'Who is Alan Shearer?'. Nice touch Derek.
Which of course leads me onto this man, who also has no chance of being respected by the current regime, but that is definetely ahead in the queue, Mr Kevin Keegan. Did he win anything? No. Did he walk out on the club for reasons that don't exactly wash? Yes. Did he walk out again in 2008, suing the club and Mike Ashley? Yes. But to be perfectly honest, I couldn't give a toss when you consider what he actually achieved for this football club we all love.
I'm not looking to give a history lesson, but basically when KK took over the club in his first ever managerial role back in 1992, the club was a shambles. It was nose diving straight into the old Division 3, until this ex-NUFC player yanked on the handbrake. Not only did we survive relegation that season but the following year KK's Entertainers steam rolled the league an won it with a record amount of points and burst into the newly formed Premier League in style. But he didn't stop there. We didn't just quietly go about our business back in the top flight, we smashed it up. Beating all comers in a style that had the whole of Tyneside foaming at the mouth and the rest of country watching in amazement. 42 games later with 40-odd goals from a certain 22 year old Andy Cole, NUFC finished 3rd in their first season in the Premiership. Unbelievable. Oh, and he wasn't a bad player either helping us get back into Division One in his time. Something that Bobby Robson the player never did, but I am not trying to make this into a contest. These are just facts.
To then actually challenge for the Premier League in the fashion we did, never finishing outside the top 6 was the stuff of make believe. In his 5 years at the club he totally transformed it from a potentially division 3 outcast, to an elite force in the English game. Simply without Kevin Keegan there would be no 50,000 seater stadium, no title aspirations, no Champions League memories, no European nights, no Shearer, no Beardsley, no Howay 5-0, no top flight football at all potentially and a hell of a lot less of entertainment, joy and resounding pride in our football club.
Now I am not bashing Sir Bobby Robson in anyway whatsoever and I am sure the statue will be a beauty, but if our current decision makers want to do such things as celebrate our heroes...than do it right.
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