Kevin Keegan, the second-choice Newcastle United manager, dipped into the transfer market for the first time today, to swoop for the ex-Newcastle and England elbow expert and centre forward Alan Shearer.
Shearer, who had indicated that he would be ready to talk to Keegan about a supporting management role, could hardly believe his luck when King Kev telephoned him at 3am yesterday and begged him to make a comeback in time for Saturday's FA Cup game at Arsenal.
Keegan knows he has a big job to do on Tyneside, and had gone on record as saying that, if he couldn't find a decent striker, than he would have no qualms about pulling on the no.9 shirt himself. The signing of Shearer, however, appears to have 'staved off' this disaster for the time being.
Shearer became the Geordie club's record scorer in 2006, when he surpassed the legendary Jackie Milburn and his total of 200 goals. Milburn, as a bizarre coincidence, was Shearer's uncle-four-times-removed, and was revered by the faithful at St. James Park for eating coal during the half-time interval.
Manager Keegan, who famously lost his rag with Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson on TV several seasons ago, said that "Shearer is just the sort of experienced striker that will show these young lads where the goal is", and assessed his team's chances at the weekend like this:
"I'll love it if we don't get a drubbing. Love it!"