Get off Telly's Cosy Sofa and Pass on Your Skill, Shearer; Dynamic Duo: Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker

Daily Mail (London), June 10, 2008 | Go to article overview

Get off Telly's Cosy Sofa and Pass on Your Skill, Shearer; Dynamic Duo: Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker


Byline: DES KELLY

ALAN SHEARER is facing a career decision. Does he finally remove thecreosoted fence from his posterior and plunge into the world of management, orsettle back on to the television sofa and allow the upholstery to soothe thosesplinters for a little while longer? The former England striker, adistinguished and formidable centre forward in his playing days, has apparentlylet it slip through intermediaries that he would be prepared to give up hisrole as a full-time TV pundit to become Blackburn Rovers manager.

Excellent. I hope he is serious. I hope it's more than some leak designed toremind people he is in demand. Actually, I hope Shearer gets the job.

Because it would not only be a welcome deviation from the tiresome script ofthe past nine years that says he is Newcastle United's manager elect, but alsoprovide a welcome reminder of what a footballer's career priorities used to be.

There was a time when famous No 9s passed on their knowledge without the needfor a slow-motion replay or a pen to scribble on a graphics screen. It wascalled being a coach.

Today many prefer the sanctuary of the TV studio to stepping on to thetightrope of club management and who can blame them? Easy money, easy fame, noenormous demands on their time, a voiceover on some PlayStation game and thechance to wheel a supermarket trolley through Morrisons for extra cash are onoffer.

It's an understandable choice, but the British game is probably the poorer forit.

Gary Lineker is a fine presenter these days, but would England be continuallywaiting for the injury bulletin from Michael Owen if his predecessor hadlearned how to pass on his goalscoring tricks to the next generation ofstrikers instead of conquering an autocue? It would have been interesting tofind out.

Shearer declined the chance to fill this very role for Steve McClaren, which isunderstandable. But what a loss to England these two pre-eminent strikers are.Between them, Lineker and Shearer have 143 international caps, which is anextraordinary wealth of experience to let slip down the back of the sofa. …

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