Where has the romance gone?

Shearer - A real local hero.
It was this comment: “Hitman – I don’t care about the No9. They can retire it for all I care now,” posted by Toonsy the other day that has brought about this article.

It was made while we were discussing the report that we were no longer chasing Daniel Sturridge. The actual comment itself is not on trial here, it is something else that has been bugging me for some time now. Toonsy’s comment really made me think that as supporters maybe we are living in an age where the romance has gone out of the game and we will no longer have heroes to call our own.

Football has become such big business that the little things that made it “our game” as fans are slowly being whittled away. Take the famous No9 shirt for Newcastle. Will we ever see another Alan Shearer playing out his career in Newcastle colours? I really believe that we have seen the last of this type of player. He was a true champion that held club loyalty closer to his heart than the search for silverware.

The likes of Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa have all the earmarks of becoming Toon legends, but I fear that we will not celebrating them as fondly as we should be in 20 years time. The nature of the game tells us that they will move on before we really get to see them make a huge impact on our team.

In reality though, we are not alone! Every fan of the modern game has the same issue. We need look no further than Porto. Chelsea have taken their manager Villas-Boas and it looks as if it will be followed by a mass exodus of their players. Even the biggest teams in the world ship players in and out at speed. Fan favourite or not, once a player is surplus to requirements, he is moved out.

I really think the current state of professional football reflects modern society. We seem to becoming more detached as some of the things we once held dear become less important. Maybe, it is a case of how much emotion can you invest into something that you have absolutely no control over?

Through it all though, the Premier League has grown in leaps and bounds and is considered one of the most exciting leagues in the world. So where does that leave us? We seem to be growing more and more disenfranchised as fans as the game grows stronger around us.

Is it all just about entertainment – 90-odd minutes of thrills on the weekend? Or is there still room for heroes in the modern game?

Note from Toonsy: Once again, thanks to Aussie Magpie Fan for giving us this article to ponder 🙂

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

37 thoughts on “Where has the romance gone?

  1. Theres a lot more money involved, football is now a huge business & is being ran accordingly which doesn’t allow for sentiment.

    This is fine in many respects as you have to adapt but it means players dont stick around for long for a number of reasons i.e agents although not exclusively.

    I doubt we’ll see heroes in the mould of shearer in top flight football again. They are a dying breed…giggs, scoles, Harper. Let’s face facts, there’s no way shearer would have been around for as long as he was had Ashley been in charge when shearer was here

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  2. My comment was more about the shirt meaning nothing to the players anymore. The No9 is only something to titillate the fans these days I’m afraid and the sooner people get over it the better. They may as well retire it and give it to the fans as nobody will do it justice like Shearer did and those who try will fail either due to the modern factors of the game (money etc, like Carroll) or through not being good enough to wear it (Martins etc).

    And on that cheery note…. 🙁

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  3. Aye you may be right Toonsy 😥
    The clubs are the big machine, and the fans are the least important thing these days. The difference between 20,000 fans and 50,000 fans used to be massive for a club, but nowadays it doesn’t matter if there’s less than 20,000. ie qpr’s ground only holds something like 18,000, but financially they are doing ok.
    It’ll all go full circle in the end, when the bubble bursts and the big money from sky dries up. Then the clubs will be begging the fans to come back, and will have to provide local hero’s once again.
    There is no soul left in the clubs anymore, no passion and no pride. But we keep going dont we 😕

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  4. Its true there will be no more Alan Shearers in this universe. We are one of the very few teams to have a player like Shearer for 10 years. True Legend.

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  5. Good question Aus, although I’m honest we have to consider Big Al isn’t short of a penny or two either. But I like to imagine it was definitely more than a salary bringing and keeping him here.

    Worthy sentiments though, it was one of the first subjects I wrote about on .org. Sorry t, I assume relations are good enough for reference?

    Here it is out of interest, http://www.nufcblog.org/2009/06/calling-all-the-heroes/

    Ironically, I think we’ve seen 2 of the bigger potential heroes leave in the last 6 months but maybe that answers our questions.

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  6. “I really believe that we have seen the last of this type of player” LIES we will always have the super Ameobi 😀

    I think if more financial control comes into football will help alot. Less teams will offer players big big wages it mite make players stick with the same team.

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  7. Hey BBM… Good to hear from you mate….I checked you article out, thankfully no plagiarism (hopefully that will stand up in court 😀 ) … My article is more about the state of the game and it’s relationship with the fans… I used Shearer as an example but it could apply to nearly any team in the EPL now…

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  8. to use Rooney as an example… As a Man U fan, could you consider him a club legend if you are paying the git over 200K per week. More like a loyal mercenary than a legend.

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  9. Interesting article but it sounds like you’re a bit deflated at the moment. It’s not all that bad. A lot of things are said in the heat of the moment but retire the No. 9 shirt, I don’t think so. A lot of kids still dream of wearing it and that’s what counts in my opinion.

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  10. Its true we probally wont see another player like shearer in our team, its all about financiall matters now days theres a lot to think about the agents,wages,transfer fee,compensation. It is no longer about playing for pride or what the fans believe in its all whether the player is getting a pay rise or more wages at another club.

    Big Al true legend to the game a real hero in many ways than just wearing the no 9.

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  11. Mehdi Abeid has been confirmed as signed… another promising youngster..

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  12. Aussie – I feel bad because I’ve just published that article, so soon after this one. Sorry bud. I’m sure you understand though 🙂

    We’ll just have to keep this article ticking over between us 😉

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  13. Give shearer the no9 shirt he deserves to keep it or frame it and put it up at newcastle after all everybody talks about legends and the old traditional players but dont forget shearer’s overall total of goals is still the biggest record in the league after all these years he still holds it. So that proves there will never be a player of his calibre around for some time,or never. You look at all the good players ie rooney,drogba,defoe, etc but they probally wont touch his goal record that is still standing. After all the no9 didnt score all those goals shearer did and something else.

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  14. If its any consolation I had the Abeid article done an hour ago but I was just waiting for someone to mention it before I put it up 😉

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  15. Good article Aussie, unfortunately money takes the romance out of everything…..which is strange because when wor lass wants me to do something romantic it always involves me spending money, go figure eh? 😉

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  16. Does anyone think part of the feeling is because nobody could ever really live up to Alan Shearer?

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  17. We can’t have any heroes. Cos to be a hero means the player has value, that in turn means we will sell him.

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  18. In fact to add to that, nobody could live up to Shearer but we got so let down by the persona who could have come close?

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  19. Craig….Shola will have to be our hero then 😥

    Toonsy….it’s not just the goals, it’s as Craig said if anyone is any good the club will either sell to for the cash or the players himself will want go or both 🙁

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  20. I don’t think a number 9 has to live in Shearers shadow at all. All the fans want is some heart and some goals thrown in.. Nobody I don’t think is expecting 30 goals a season.. Just a good goal scorer that leaves it all out on the park each week. I know he hasn’t got the number 9 but I reckon Ba will be warming a few fans hearts during the season.

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  21. If we had retired the no 9 shirt after Jackie Milburn what number would MacDonald have been given and then Shearer?
    We would be retiring shirt numbers on a regular basis.
    One day, hopefully sooner than later, we will have a great centre forward to wear the shirt again.

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  22. i think toonsy was a bit peevedwhen he made that comment 😉
    we should never retire the no9 shirt,its part of our heritage..

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  23. And if it was retired it would stay a part of our heritage, with no greedy twat getting their grubby gypsy paws on it ever again 😉

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  24. No offence to anyone, nor disrespect to what big Al has done for the club. But I am sure we could still be able to sign a top top striker and very likely to be able to hang on to them in most casrs if we offered similar terms (IN VALUE) offered to Shearer. Ie. Match the highest earner, top 3% earner in Pl

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  25. @18

    That’s not romance mate! 😆

    People forget about the markets Shearer opened up for us when he was England number 9 and captain too.His stock in Asia and particularly Malaysia was through the roof and gave us a lot of fans we still have to this day.

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  26. I know Man U were sniffing about… whether they presented a contract or not is another matter..

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  27. Yes, too much $$ involved. Who is to say that a “hero” will not hold the club to ransom? And has anyone heard of any employer in this world who has to “appease” his employee? If today’s players feel that they are like “slaves” (think c. ronaldo), they themselves are the ones who created the situation with their insatiable demand for more $$$, constantly using other clubs and players in comparison to ask for more $$$ (e.g. if it is to be believed, carroll asking for ‘that’ new contract before being shipped off to liverpool. If owner relented, would player pull the same trick again if a bigger club comes calling?) In the selfish struggle between owner and player, they will still get their $$$ regardless of who wins/loses and fans will be the ones stuffing $$$ into their pockets. Maybe it’s good that fans’ adulation do not become someone’s leverage, be it to sell silly overpriced merchandise or to ask for more $$$ and power.

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  28. Moreno,

    Not sure if my message was 18, but just to make sure my points are a bit more well constructed.

    I admire big Al for choosing us over Man U, we all know how hard a decision it must be. But so did Ginola, KK has said he convinced David to stay with us, didn’t’t he? I mean, to convince a player with outstanding ability and reputation to join (or stay) us always require a lot more than loyalty and ties. Shearer did something romantic (and indeed fantastic)in coming home, but would he still choose to come home had we being a mid table team and offers financial packages that was only half or one third of what top clubs were offering to their players?

    Loyalty is one thing we all value , but it can only do so much.

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  29. Widowmaker,

    All by the by for me though. I am not going to tarnish his memory by questioning whether he would have come back!

    I remember him getting that injury which effectively ended things, he was lying on the pitch and struggled to his feet to attempt to tackle the player running past. That was what he was all about and I haven’t seen that sort of commitment or determination since.

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  30. How many teams can lay claim to having a player like Shearer stick with them? Basically none, Shearer was the exception rather than the rule, unfortunately. As for retiring the number 9? It would still mean something to some players imo, just hope for the future.

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