Newcastle United have sacked footballing icon and manager Sir Bobby Robson after the club’s poor start to the season…
After five years of management under the enthusiastic knight, fans on Tyneside will no longer see Sir Bobby in the St James Park dugout.
The magpies have taken just two points from four games which has left them 16th in the premiership.
Newcastle have seen a massive upturn in fortune since 71-year-old former England manager Robson took over from the sacked Ruud Gullit in 1999 when they were flirting with relegation.
But they have since failed to win any silverware… something that Robson craved.
A statement from the club showed reserved gratitude to Sir Bobby…
"The directors wish to thank Sir Bobby for the way in which he has worked tirelessly over the past five years to try and bring success to the club. The club agreed early in 2003 to extend Sir Bobby’s contract by one further season,” it said.
"However, after careful consideration the club decided it was in the best interest of all concerned to revisit that decision. The club will no doubt continue to benefit from the knowledge and experience he has given during his time here".
In response, Robson explained through a statement: "I am massively disappointed not to be able to finish the job I came here to do.
"At the present moment I have absolutely nothing to say except to thank the Geordie fans for their tremendous enthusiasm, loyalty and support," he added.
It’s been a hectic week for Newcastle United and Sir Bobby. They sold centre back Jonathon Woodgate to Real Madrid for £13.4m, a move which angered some on Tyneside even though the central defender only played 37 out of a possible 128 games due to injury.
Then Sir Bobby moved for Everton’s Wayne Rooney, which also baffled the toon faithful as they felt the huge void left by Woodgate needed to be filled. Whether the club will still pursue 18-year-old Rooney now remains to be seen.
Newcastle forward Craig Bellamy voiced his discomfort at the club’s move for Rooney stating he would have to “reconsider his position”, he later apologised to Sir Bobby after he was promptly told to "shut up"!
Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer also refused to play down the flank so was left on the bench by Robson… he also later apologised. All this and you would be forgiven for forgetting there was actually football to be played.
Bobby’s last game in charge saw a 4-2 defeat at Villa Park to Aston Villa. He left talisman and captain, Alan Shearer on the bench, which would appear to be a curse.
Former boss, Ruud Gullit also left Shearer on the bench and was then also sacked.
There is huge respect across Europe for Sir Bobby Robson who has managed PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Barcelona amongst his wide ranging career.
Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd must be prepared to face some stern questions from the Newcastle fans, most of whom cherished Robson.
The club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League hasn’t helped; that coupled with player unrest and a poor start to the season has seen the sacking of the gentleman of football.
Inevitably, names are now being thrown into the hat for the vacant position on Tyneside. Gerard Houllier, Birmingham boss Steve Bruce and Newcastle’s very own Alan Shearer are among the favourites.
Shearer will no doubt be a popular choice with the fans, although there are some rumblings about just how much influence the striker has within the club. If he does become manager of Newcastle United, good advice would be: "Don’t leave yourself on the bench".