In a move designed to wrong-foot the pundits, Alan Shearer timed
the announcement of his decision to retire from international football
to coincide with the week in which England played Argentina and
’discovered’ a new striker in Emile Heskey.
Journalists had been united in their praise for Heskey, with the
implication that Shearer was ’off the pace’ in the current international
set-up. A few brave voices said that he should go straight away, but the
mainstream opinion was fulsome praise for his role as England’s main
striker throughout the 1990s and agreement on his patriotism and
strength of purpose.
With the exception of Graham Taylor, all recent England managers came
out behind Shearer. Many commentators felt that the decision would
benefit Newcastle in the short-term with Shearer able to concentrate on
the club, and in the medium-term setting himself up as the heir apparent
to Bobby Robson as manager. Shearer capped the announcement with the
news at a press conference on Monday that his wife was expecting their
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research. Cuttings by Durrants. More
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