Is Shearer the only hope for Newcastle United?
Not for the first time since Newcastle United tumbled away from the Premier League's top four I experienced another "what if" moment in the game with Wigan.
They occur quite frequently for me and the thoughts of "what if Shearer had have been playing here" or "what if Shearer was manager" have been nagging away for quite a while now with Newcastle slumping to rock bottom.
The incident in question stems from the game with Wigan when Lee Cattermole was running the show at St James's Park.
Cattermole was just doing his job on Saturday and he did it very well.
In midfield battling terms, the engine room if you like, Cattermole had already wiped out Joey Barton in the middle and the opportunity to do the same to him wasn't taken by Nicky Butt or Danny Guthrie.
Back in the day at St James's Park, I'm quite sure that Shearer would have simply dropped back into midfield for a while and reminded Cattermole exactly where he was, exactly who he was dealing with and which club he was playing against.
And that didn't happen against Wigan - Newcastle let him do what he wanted and Wigan picked up a point but probably should have had three.
Shearer wouldn't have accepted that.
Subsequently the lack of a crunching tackle from a black and white shirt and the lack of will to stop Cattermole running riot in the middle of the park didn't give the crowd something to feed from.
And instead the reaction from the stands was of quizzical nature.
For example, why are Wigan kicking us around our own stadium?
Why aren't we going for the throats?
Where is the leadership?
Who is dishing out the kicks up the backsides of those not doing their jobs?
Who is offering the side a rallying call?
Obviously, in Shearer's day as a player it would have been him.
Shearer the manager would surely make all of this crystal clear to his players and probably deploy a captain or a team of players that would deliver just what the crowd have been raised on.
In turn, Shearer's influence as a boss and respect in the game would give most players a big reason to sign for the Magpies, just like Keegan did when he captured most of the Entertainers.
And after the national papers served up Rob Lee's interview with the Mag for a second time about Shearer, this all comes to light once again.
Shearer has always been cool on the job but with Roy Keane and Gareth Southgate doing OK at Sunderland and Boro, Big Al must be wondering if players from his generation are doing it now, then surely his time may be on the horizon.
Only yesterday, this Blog defended Joe Kinnear and while it's accepted that the former Wimbledon boss is not bulletproof, the job he's done so far amidst farcical conditions and adverse media attention is nothing short of magnificent.
Indeed if new owners come in, they may feel obliged to keep on Kinnear in some capacity.
Whoever comes in though must ask, who is going to take the club back to where it should be?
Most Toon fans know that apart from Keegan, Shearer is the only man probably capable of taking Newcastle back to the top four.
He is probably one of a handful of candidates who they know fully understands the area and what Newcastle teams can and can't do in front of their public.
Oh so complex, but oh so simple for a Geordie, a sheet metal worker's son from Newcastle, who has lived the dream and has a goalscoring record that probably will never be beaten.
You couldn't rule out a Keegan/Shearer dream team if new owners come in.
But Shearer alone has the experience of both Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, who are the only two managers who can hand on heart say they made Newcastle United a force in the Premier League and in Europe.
It's understood Mike Ashley will not appoint Shearer during his time at the club but with For Sale signs still in the ground on Barrack Road, new owners will be more than aware they can buy themselves plenty of time by bringing back the legendary number 9.
Who knows, we might even be in danger of a bit of success and a chance to put right plenty of wrongs in the last few months.
For now though, we'll probably just have to keep on hoping and praying that one day the man who could have Newcastle playing the way most Geordies dream it every night will make a monumental return to the club.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?