“Worst Game In A Newcastle Shirt” – Alan Shearer Slams 24 y/o Defender After Arsenal Performance

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer did not hold back in his criticism of Sven Botman after Newcastle lost 4-1 to Arsenal at the weekend.

The 24-year-old gave away possession in the build-up to the Gunners’ third goal and struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. Speaking after the match, Shearer said that the centre-back had a nightmare:

“Botman had his worst game in a Newcastle shirt, he gave the ball away and they couldn’t recover. Good play from Arsenal, but there is just no pressure on the ball.”

While Shearer Botman did single out Botman, he could have named many other Magpies players who were well below their best on Saturday night.

What has happened to Newcastle’s defence?

The Magpies only conceded 33 goals in 38 league games last campaign. Their strong defence played a vital role in the team finishing in the Champions League places.

However, things have gone awry for Eddie Howe’s side at the back this season. After 26 matches, they have already let in 45; 12 more than last year.

Botman’s fitness problems

One of the keys to Newcastle being so solid last campaign was down to having a settled backline. Botman was partnered with Fabian Schar on a regular basis.

That hasn’t been possible this season though. Both players have had their injuries but Botman, in particular, has struggled to stay fit; sitting out 2 and a half months with a knee problem.

Since returning, the Dutchman has not looked the same, with the Magpies having conceded an incredible 23 goals in the last 8 league matches in which he has started. That is an average of 2.88 goals per game.

To stop that trend, Howe may have to consider dropping Botman or, at the very least, change how his team is set up.

You can watch the documentary – Newcastle United: The Road Back To Europe on Shots! TV here

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.