Alan Shearer had to respond after Jermaine Jenas said he was “miles ahead of everybody” during his time at Newcastle United.
Jenas was explaining why he didn’t fulfil his potential during an insightful segment on BT Sport.
Yet his comment about his ability compared to the rest of his Newcastle teammates irked Shearer, who played alongside the midfielder at St. James’ Park between 2002 and 2005.
Jenas made 21 appearances for England but that number would have been more if not for injuries and the competition for places in the Three Lions’ midfield, with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes just three challengers for a position.
“I do live with some regrets. I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve,” Jenas said. “There were issues I had to deal with with regards to injuries and so on.
“I also ran into probably one of the most elite midfield generations of English history.”
‘I was miles ahead at Newcastle’
However, it was his comments about his talent in comparison to his Newcastle teammates that sparked a response from Shearer.
“When I came back from England, my levels went up. And then, I could almost feel them dwindle as the weeks went on,” Jenas added.
“Training with England was at such an intense level. Everyone wants to win, everyone wants to be in the team, and I’d come back to Newcastle and I’d be up here [gestures above his head] – miles ahead of everybody.
Shearer’s response went viral
“Then, literally, because the demand wasn’t as high at Newcastle as it was with England, my standards just dropped and dropped and dropped gradually throughout the weeks to the point where you bring yourself down back to Newcastle level.
“Whereas Steve would be Liverpool, Frank would be Chelsea, Rio [Ferdinand] United. They were winners, they won things.”
"I didn't achieve what I set out to achieve."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 3, 2018
"I don't blame anybody, I look at myself, I do live with regrets…"
An open and brutally honest @jjenas8 discusses his career.#PLTonight pic.twitter.com/Hvpv4kYRqO
Unsurprisingly, Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer, had something to say about Jenas’ words.
He wrote: “On behalf of me and my teammates at the time, we apologise @jjenas8 for not being up to your level when you returned from England games!!?🤣🤣”.
Jenas tweeted days later
Yeah, you can tell Shearer wasn’t entirely impressed.
It wasn’t just the Newcastle legend, who scored 260 Premier League goals, who came for Jenas, though.
There was quite the reaction from fans on Twitter and the midfielder posted a cheeky tweet about it a few days later.