NEWCASTLE: Kevin Keegan hailed Alan Shearer as a £15 million bargain after watching him equal the record for the fastest ever Premier League goal with a strike after just 10 seconds in Newcastle’s win over Manchester City.
The City boss signed Shearer for Newcastle for then-British record amount when he was in charge of the Magpies and it is a decision the fans have never had cause to regret.
“He’s the best, it’s a simple as that, not because he’s outrageously skilful, not because he’s got tremendous flair, but because every single week when you go out there and play against Alan Shearer – it doesn’t matter who you are as a defender – you know you’re in for a tough afternoon,” he said.
“If you keep him quiet, you’ve played exceptionally well. He’s their leader and most teams would die for leadership like that.
“It’s lacking in the game today. If you look back 20 years, there were quite a few about. They’re a dying breed. He was tremendous today. He and Craig Bellamy were tremendous.
“It’s easy to make a signing like that if you’ve got the money. We paid £15 million in one hit for Alan Shearer and people questioned it at the time.
“But you might look on it as the bargain of a lifetime even in the present transfer market, not because of what he’s done, but also what he’s still capable of doing.”
Shearer’s quickfire goal matched the achievement of Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King, who scored equally quickly in a 3-3 draw with Bradford City on Dec 9, 2000.
While Shearer and King are the fastest scorers since the launch of the Premier League in 1992-93, the record for the fastest goal in the top flight of English football remains seven seconds.
That was how long it took for Bobby Langton to score for Preston North End in a match with Manchester City on Aug 25, 1948.
Three other players have scored goals after six seconds in the lower divisions of the English league while Colin Cowperthwaite was unofficially timed at 3.5 seconds for a goal he scored for non-league Barrow in a match against Kettering in 1979.
Astonishingly, Shearer’s goal will not even hold the record for the fastest goal scored by Newcastle. This is held by legendary striker Malcolm McDonald, who had a goal timed at five seconds in a pre-season friendly against Scottish side Saint Johnstone in 1972.
The record for the world’s fastest goal is held by Argentinian Ricardo Olivera, who managed to score after 2.8 seconds for Rio Negro in a Uruguayan League match against Soriano in 1998.
Shearer’s quickfire strike was the result of some sloppy defending by City.
Former Newcastle defender Steve Howey received the ball from the kick-off and passed it back to his goalkeeper, Carlo Nash, whose poor initial touch allowed Shearer to close him down and block his clearance before slotting the loose ball into the empty net.
Shearer’s 14th Premier League goal of the season set Newcastle on their way to a 2-0 victory that was rounded off by Bellamy’s second half strike.
“We got off to a great start and sometimes when that happens you feel it is going to be your day and in the end it was a very good three points for us,” Shearer said after the match. – AFP