Last updated : 08 August 2004 By Editor

An insider is quoted in The Sunday Mirror:

"It is an open secret that some players aren't happy with the way Sir Bobby is running the club.

"Everyone appreciates what the manager has done for the club, but there are influential dressing room figures who think he should have retired this summer. "That dissent first surfaced last season, but has got worse in recent weeks. "Sir Bobby has tried to keep the problems in-house, but as we saw at Celtic they are starting to come to the surface.

"Alan Shearer's body language when he was substituted told its own story and the dressing room row was clearly heard by people standing in a corridor outside.

"Sir Bobby knows he has got to tackle the doubters head-on and he badly needs to rebuild his relationship with Shearer.

"Shearer set the tone when he made his remarks about having a regular place in the team this season. Rightly or wrongly, some people took that statement as a direct challenge to the manager. Sir Bobby has responded to that by twice hauling Shearer off and showing that he is still the boss.

"But it is a difficult situation for the manager to deal with because Shearer is such an influential figure at the club and could well be the next manager of the club. "They are two very powerful figures and Newcastle desperately need them to work in harmony for the good of the club."

Let's hope Robson keeps picking him - we wanna give Alan a proper old send-ff before he hangs up his boots.