Gary Pallister vs ShearerThe ever impressing defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic has caused plenty of reds to look fondly upon our strongest defensive pairing of the past, Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce. Debate has arisen time and again over which duo is the best, with no firm conclusion given as yet.

Pallister, like Rio Ferdinand, was once Britain’s most expensive defender, when Sir Alex Ferguson signed him for £2.3 million in 1989. In 1992 he was voted the PFA Player of the Year and had become a regular full England international. Pallister won four Premiership titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup and a European Cup Winners Cup in his nine years with the club.

Before the appointment of Kevin Keegan as Newcastle manager, Gary Pallister spoke to about the possibility of his former team mate, Mark Hughes, taking the position. “Sparky could definitely do a job at St James’,” Pallister said. “He’s shown what a good manager he is already at Blackburn, even at this relatively early stage of his career, and I think he’ll only get better over the next five or 10 years. The big question is whether he’s fancy it because of the Alan Shearer factor. Everyone knows what the Newcastle fans think of Shearer. It’s like a love affair and they’re desperate for their favourite son to come back and save them. The problem is, every other manager knows this and that’s got to make the job less attractive. If Sparky took the job and six months down the line they go through a sticky patch, you know the fans are going to start singing Shearer’s name in the stands. His spectre will haunt any other manager.”

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