Alan Shearer was unsurprisingly unimpressed with Newcastle‘s shock FA Cup third-round defeat to Cambridge United on Saturday, slamming his former club’s performance as “pathetic”. The League One side dumped the Magpies out despite the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and new signing Kieran Trippier all starting for Eddie Howe.
Shearer is on punditry duty for the BBC for their coverage of Hull’s evening kick-off with Everton, and is working alongside familiar colleague Gary Lineker.
Lineker tweeted: “So @NUFC have lost at home League 1 side @CambridgeUtdFC and @alanshearer could be very grumpy tonight. We’re on @BBCOne at 5.22 with @HullCity v @Everton.”
The tweet was accompanied by a picture of a straight-faced Shearer looking thoroughly unhappy. Newcastle legend Shearer, quoting Lineker’s tweet and adding an angry face emoji, said: “Well done Cambridge. Pathetic NUFC. #FACup.”
After Lineker joked about Newcastle’s exit during the BBC’s coverage, Shearer reacted: “Come on, stop it! I’m trying to enjoy the atmosphere and you have to bring that up!”
Told by Lineker there could be time at half-time to discuss Newcastle’s result, Shearer added: “Do we have to?”
During the interval, the 51-year-old then commented: “I hope the players that were out on the pitch went and apologised and thanked those fans for their support.
“There were 52,000 there today for an FA Cup third-round game. Cambridge deserved it. They were superb. Congratulations to them. But I hope they went and thanked them because they deserve more than the rubbish that was served up today.”
Joe Ironside’s second-half strike was the only goal of the game at St James’ Park and his strike sent the 5,000 visiting Cambridge fans wild high up in the away end.
The Middlesbrough-born striker grew up idolising Shearer, owning a few shirts with his name on the back as a kid, and dumped his hero’s beloved Newcastle out of the cup.
Cambridge goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov was arguably the man of the match however and produced a brilliant late save to deny Joelinton in stoppage time.
Newcastle have only won one match all season across all competitions having also been dumped out of the Carabao Cup in their first match, then under Steve Bruce, when they lost on penalties to Burnley.
There has been increased optimism at the north east club in recent months under new boss Howe but even debutant Trippier could not help them here as they lost to a spirited Cambridge side. The U’s are 16th in League One but were full value for their victory, which puts them into Sunday’s fourth-round draw.
Goalscorer Ironside reflected: “I can’t describe it, I am a bit lost for words, it panned out how I dreamed about it last night. I am proud of every single one of us.
“I have got to play here and it it stuff I dreamed of, Alan Shearer was my hero, I grew up idolising him – now I have scored the winner at St James’ Park. It doesn’t matter how they go in, it could have been that or a worldie, I don’t care.
“We have all dug in together and it is a momentous day for the football club.”
And Cambridge goalkeeper Mitov insists he’d love to face Manchester United, who face Aston Villa on Monday, in the next stage of the competition.
The Bulgarian keeper said: “I am a Man United supporter, so I want Man United away! It is unbelievable what we just did today, but we always knew we had nothing to lose.
“We need to be the best verson of ourselves and that is what we did today. We always had that belief, look at how many supporters have come, we sold out. What a way to start the year
“It is not quite down to me, if we don’t score we don’t win the game. But on a personal note I am really happy – this is why we play football, to play against the big boys, to play against the Premier League teams.
“I love being a goalkeeper, I love diving around for a living, I am lost for words. That was something I will never forget in the first half, the save from Jacob Murphy when I tipped on to the bar and even the Newcastle fans clapped me.”