ALAN Shearer says Newcastle United have got it WRONG about the cups – as he feels the club should be targeting Wembley glory.
The board this week reiterated its policy of prioritising the Premier League at a Fans Forum meeting this week.
United officials pointed to “independent research” which showed that clubs from outside the top six which target the cups endanger their top-flight status.
The comments further angered an already disillusioned and disenchanted fanbase.
Newcastle, a club with a proud cup-winning history, has never made the fifth round of a domestic competition under Ashley, though it did reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League last season.
Shearer – twice a losing FA Cup finalist at the old Wembley with United in the late 1990s – can’t understand why the club does not place a greater emphasis on ending a 43-year trophy drought, given that the Premier League title is beyond the self-financing club.
The club’s all-time leading goalscorer has seen the likes of Sunderland, Hull City, Wigan Athletic and Sheffield United play at Wembley this season.
And Shearer would love Newcastle – who went out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage – to make a first visit to the rebuilt national stadium, which hosts Gateshead in the Conference play-off final on Sunday.
“Sunderland have been there and Gateshead are going there,” Shearer told the Gazette.
“Hull are going there in the FA Cup. Wigan went in the FA Cup last season and won it.
“It’s great to get there – though it’s horrible to get beaten – but at least it gives fans a bit of hope and something to cling on to. We haven’t had that for a few years now in cup competitions.
“It’s been a disappointing season for more than one reason, as Newcastle also went out of the cup competitions.
“When you look at the semi-finals of the FA Cup there was Sheffield United, Wigan and Hull.
“You look at the final of the League Cup, there was Sunderland.”
United’s third-round FA Cup exit at the hands of Cardiff City led to an angry reaction from supporters, as leading scorer Loic Remy had been left out of the starting XI by manager Alan Pardew.
“Newcastle got beat at home by Cardiff, which was a great draw, because they played a weakened team,” said Shearer, who feels significant investment is needed in this summer’s transfer window.
“So it’s disappointing from that point of view as well. All-round, it’s been poor, but what can people do?
“You can only look forward to next season, and you’ll only look forward to next season if reinforcements come in during the summer.”
Match of the Day pundit Shearer, part of the BBC’s World Cup team, was speaking at an event at Hedworth Hall, South Shields, organised by Wraith Promotions and Precision Sports.