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What a Clash! - 14/04/2002

   Alan Shearer
   Branko Strupar
   Laurent Robert
   Derby County
   Newcastle United
   Pride Park Stadium

Some people thought it was shocking, I just thought it was funny! Seriously though I can’t believe that of all the players on the pitch, Rob Lee and Al would clash so badly that neither of them finish the game. I wish I’d have had money on that – would have made a fortune!! I’m glad there’s no serious problem, they’re just a bit more uglier than before. I was talking to Paul Ferris, the Newcastle physio, after the game and he asked me if I’d seen Rob. I told him that he seemed OK and then he said “I bet he wanted to give Al one lat kiss”, I said “No, if he wanted to give him a last kiss it’d be on Al’s backside!”.

But what a game, once Newcastle got the speed merchants on the pitch, they battered Derby. You could see the confidence drain out of Derby and although two of the goals were offside, you couldn’t argue that Newcastle didn’t deserve to win it. They hit the woodwork a few times and had numerous other efforts whereas Derby only had the Ravanelli miss. Did you see Strupar? I’ve never, never seen a slower player in my life – and that includes goalkeepers. OK he scored a couple of crackers against Everton, but he runs backwards. The result will do so much for Newcastle’s confidence, but all in all, a strange game that turned on it’s head when Rob and Al collided.

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