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Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Who can replace Shearer for England?
Has Shearer gone too soon?
Shearer's England record ranks with the best
Some people felt Alan Shearer's international retirement was long overdue, but now that he has officially quit the England scene will his country be able to replace him?

At his peak during Euro 96, Shearer seemed to be the perfect all-round number nine, with pace, power and an unerring finishing ability.

But a number of serious injuries have taken a heavy toll on England's Euro 2000 captain.

Michael Owen will now take the leading role in the England attack and the likes of Emile Heskey, Kevin Phillips, Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole have the chance to claim a place alongside him.

Yet all of them have question marks over their international pedigree, and some people think Shearer has called it a day too soon.

His record ranks with the best - with 30 goals from 63 internationals, only Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves have scored more times for England.

So where do you think Shearer ranks in the list of all-time greats, and do we still need him, or can someone take his place for England?


Replacing Shearer is not a problem if you want a like for like swap, either Phillips of Fowler could produce better performances as a goal scorer but these players need the service. The only world class striker England has is Andy Cole and he has proved this with high quality solo goals and solid performances in the Champions League.
David, England

Alan Shearer came into Euro 2000 having scored 30 goals in the 1999/2000 season, many of these goals against defenders of the calibre of Leboeuf, Desailly, Stam, etc.

He's made the right decision to retire, as he's constantly being blamed for poor results, when the inadequacies are obviously elsewhere.

Gary Aston, Newcastle, England
The fact that he didn't set the world alight with England would therefore suggest that the team were not playing to his strengths. He's made the right decision to retire, as he's constantly being blamed for poor results, when the inadequacies are obviously elsewhere.
Gary Aston, Newcastle, England

Shearer has in my opinion been an excellent striker and captain of England. Not only does his goals/games ratio stand up to scrutiny but his leadership qualities also appear excellent. Having said that it is certainly time to give Phillips and Fowler a chance together. Fowler is the most natural goalscorer this country has ever produced and if he can get his 'head' in order and gets a good run in the team he will score 50 plus for England.
Jason Dean, UK

Kevin Phillips isn't international class, Andy Cole is good but getting old, Michael Owen isn't complete yet and Emile Heskey isn't good enough. This leaves Robbie Fowler, the best natural finisher in England.
Daniel Peters, England

Shearer is totally replaceable. Fowler should have been given a chance in Euro 2000 - he is England's most natural striker. Owen will be great, and there is also Heskey and Cole. England have no shortage of strikers.
Dermot Brennan, Eire

I sincerely believe that Shearer is one of the best players England has ever had. He was really proud to play for England, always gave his best and I would not rule him out completely. If England want to start looking for the future there are many players like Bridges, Owen and Fowler, but Phillips is the ideal front man.
Marvin, Malta



Come on Keegan, put Cole's name on the team sheet first, just like you did with Shearer

Steve Murray, U.K
In his day Shearer single handedly led an average Blackburn side to the title. For the last couple of years though he has looked slow and off the pace for England. Hopefully now we can get over the "England plus 10 others" mentality and build a decent team.
Jamie, England

Owen and Heskey are overrated. They both keep falling down all the time, and they don't score enough goals. Why ever Andy Cole and Kevin Phillips didn't start for England in Euro2000 I'll never know. Both were in form and both can score loads of goals. For the last 3/4 seasons, Andy Cole has played at the highest level in Europe and has proved he can live with the best. So come on Keegan, put Cole's name on the team sheet first just like you did with Shearer.
Steve Murray, U.K

History will judge Shearer as a hard working, honest player, but not a great one. He had the odd purple patch, but for the last couple of years he's been holding England back.
Andrew Roberts, Norway

All the best to Shearer whatever decision he makes. He was the best English striker I have had the pleasure to see play.
Ted Baker, England

This is quite simple - the best naturally gifted English striker in the game today is Stan Collymore. He can strike the ball very well with both feet, heads the ball better than most, has good ball control and creates chances from nothing situations.
Steve, UK

Time to look at how the French have built their team. Shearer is great, but he is only one man. We need to sort out the team. If you read how Aime Jacquet prepared the 98 World Cup squad you will see that the overall team must come first. Remember he left out both Cantona and Ginola. Get the team right then a good striker becomes the bonus and the match winner. Shearer is great, but we were never able to exploit him fully.
Paul Imre, UK



England will definitely miss Shearer

Alan Cassidy, Switzerland
Henry, del Piero and Kluivert combined would have looked average given the service of the England midfield. Shearer has always been England's best striker and replacing him will be tricky.
Paul Berry, Scotland

Andy Cole is his replacement without a doubt
Adam Tighe, England

England will definitely miss Shearer. He was England's best centre-forward and also one of the best England players in the Romania match. As a Newcastle United supporter, I hope Shearer will continue scoring goals in the Premiership. I'm sure we'll see him scoring another 30 next season. Keegan should bring on Owen who looks like the number one striker now and Phillips or Heskey. Perhaps Cole should be given a chance, too.
Alan Cassidy, Switzerland

Shearer is right to resign. He would never win a major tournament with this England team!
Linh, Vietnam

The next World Cup qualifying matches will be crucial as to how we bounce back from this. I fear that only then will we realise what a effective striker and calming influence Shearer really was for us. He will be missed, I guarantee it.
Matt Francis, England

Once Robbie Fowler is fully fit then he is the person to replace Alan Shearer up front. He has natural goalscoring instinct. He is good with both feet and a great header of the ball.
Kevin Bath, England

Striking is about partnerships and everyone was tired with Shearer in the last 18 months and nothing was effective. Cole and Heskey must be the future with Dublin and Joachim waiting in the wings.
Bob Massey, England



Alan Shearer was a great player but now his time has passed

Robert Best, UK

Despite the abundance of criticism levelled at Alan Shearer, 30 goals in 63 internationals clearly puts him up there with the all-time England greats. Michael Owen will replace Shearer as the goal-scoring maestro in the England strike force. However, for the future, England should look for an experienced player capable of scoring goals and having the technical ability to cope at this level; someone like Andy Cole or Robbie Fowler. While there is no disputing that Kevin Philips scored a lot of goals last season, like Shearer he needs a partner who will provide him with service. Cole, Owen and Fowler are players who can create goals out of nothing. As far as Heskey goes, perhaps a midfield role? He is a good holder of the ball but still lacks that finishing touch to score goals.
Mike, England

There's no doubt that Alan Shearer was a great player but now his time has passed. We have to look to Fowler and Cole to spearhead the push of World Cup 2002 with Owen and Philips as back up.
Robert Best, UK

Owen is the only other international class striker we have in England, all of the others mentioned have far too high a shots-to-goals ratio to cut it at this level. Shearer will be begged to come back before the year is out and I hope he will.
Phil Shaftoe, UK

Shearer spoiled us in Euro '96. Whoever takes his place has some huge shoes to fill. I will miss him.
Ying, Holland



Shearer will just be a distant memory by the time World Cup 2002 comes along

Ryan Becker, England

Every honest English fan must surely now admit that Shearer's retirement should have been made one tournament earlier. Great players become great by knowing when to call it a day before their decline overshadows their achievements.
Rikki Ferguson, Russia

Only time will tell how much, if ever, England will miss Shearer. We must respect his decision to retire from international football but my personal point of view is that there is no current English striker who can be as good a target-man as Shearer. I would think Phillips would be the closest to him in terms of overall ability.
Jonathan, Singapore

Michael Bridges will be the successor to Alan Shearer. With Michael's pace, skill, and finishing Shearer will just be a distant memory by the time World Cup 2002 comes along.
Ryan Becker, England

One of the reasons Shearer has lost fans' confidence is because he turned up in places where a striker is not supposed to be, like on the goal-line for Romania's first goal. As for replacements, Phillips, Owen and Fowler is not a long list. Heskey is not international class. Cole might one day be, Joe Cole, that is.
Colin B, England



I sincerely hope he reconsiders his retirement plans

Jason Hill, Yorkshire, England

He's still the best all-round striker we have and he never misses penalties. It is a shame that injuries have cut his international career a couple of years short. But cheers, Alan - the nation owes you their thanks for your efforts.
Steve, England

England will struggle in the World Cup qualifiers without the undoubted leadership qualities of Shearer, who has been unfairly made a scapegoat for problems elsewhere. True, his knee injuries have resulted in a loss of pace, but how many opportunities did he fail to convert in Euro 2000? His cool head is going to be missed. At 29, he is hardly a pensioner and I sincerely hope he reconsiders his retirement plans.
Jason Hill, Yorkshire, England

He is going at the right time - he certainly looked out of his depth in the three matches but somehow summed up the malaise of English football. The problem is that there is no obvious replacement; Heskey looks like a pub player, Owen has had a serious loss of form and Fowler always seems to have injury problems. Perhaps Phillips should be given a go but there is no one out there who looks like they are good enough at the top level.
Simon, UK

Robbie Fowler is the only replacement for Shearer. He is the best natural goalscorer in the country and is a natural partner for Michael Owen. One day Heskey may frighten goalkeepers as well as defenders, but not yet. Fowler has never really had a chance with England.
Nik Colman, Ireland



He's still got another six years in him

Chris McCormack, Leeds, England

No matter what is said about Shearer, he is still the best striker we have and is pretty mad to quit now. He's still got another six years in him. Before Germany, he had gone six games without scoring and has now scored in two successive games. Before Euro '96, he went 12 games without scoring and went on to be top scorer. The point is that he is one of a few players that get the goals when needed most. As for a successor, they have got to give Andy Cole a go sometime.
Chris McCormack, Leeds, England

Shearer has always been a danger to the opposition despite his age and injury problems. I'm sure all will agree he will be missed but we all have to move on. It's time for the youngsters to prove themselves.
Dan Seldon, UK

Shearer has had a glorious international career. In the big matches you always had the feeling that he would score. His comments after the defeat against Romania have been very honest. I truly admire his dignity and I think he has taken the right decision to retire. England has an excellent track record of producing quality strikers and I have no doubt that there many waiting to perform his role.
Punitha, India

He's done his country proud! Scoring in his debut game as a young player with all the potential to grow into the one of the greats, along with Sir Bobby Charlton and the rest of them. Alan Shearer, the England captain, must now depart from the international stage and allow the Liverpool boys, Fowler, Owen and Heskey to follow in his footsteps. The critics of Shearer are now looking back on a career which has done England proud!
Steve, Bucks. UK.



Kevin Phillips definitely has the potential to replace Alan Shearer

Lorraine, England

Kevin Phillips definitely has the potential to replace Alan Shearer. He has the will to win as he proved with all his goals last season for Sunderland. I can't understand why Keegan didn't give him a try at Euro 2000.
Lorraine, England

Alan Shearer is arguably the most complete centre-forward to play for England in many years including Gary Lineker. He is competent on the ball, defensively aware and his finishing is second to none. Given the right ammunition in Euro 2000, he would have achieved what he did in Euro '96. He didn't get that service and so we went home. I do not see anyone who can replace him at the moment.
Trev, UK

The most important thing is to appoint a captain from the defence or midfield - an attacker should concentrate on goalscoring. As for a replacement striker, let's at least give Phillips a go although if he never gets the ball he'll never score!
Jonathan, Denmark

I have long been a critic of Shearer in the run up to Euro 2000 but I still think that the England team will look empty without him. I thought Keegan was right to pick him in the team. He has been a good professional for England over the years. I say give Andy Cole and Kevin Phillips a chance.
Liam Steed, England



The England team will look empty without him

Liam Steed, England

Thirty goals including many penalties and a sterling performance against Luxembourg! We're going to miss the best flying elbow in the business. He's managed to fool Hoddle and Keegan for the last four years. Very underhand of Eusebio to describe him as the best centre-forward in Europe. Sneaky old guy!
Karl Chin, Malaysia

Shearer should have gone a long time ago. Fair enough he had a good goal rate but at this level more is required from the strikers than simple tap ins or headed goals. The only possibility for a replacement at this stage seems to be Phillips. But what England need to compete with the likes of Holland and France is players with outstanding pace & technical skill such Henry and Raul. Surely there is someone in England fitting these credentials but is there time to find this player before the next World Cup.
Gurnny, England

England will miss Shearer. When the ball went over Martyn and into the net for the first Romanian goal, he was the one on the line. When did you last see Kevin Phillips or Michael Owen heading out of their own box? His experience will be missed but I agree that we have plenty of talent in Cole, Phillips, Fowler, Owen and Heskey. These players have a lot more to learn. Scoring goals was only a small part of Shearer's game and someone needs to mirror his determination and workrate in younger, fresher legs. Shearer has made his decision, silenced his critics and done his part, but now we have to look forward and not back.
Dave Wright, England

Shearer may have lost pace due to his knee injury and is often caught out of position, however, England don't have anyone with the same strength, as Shearer, who is as physical a player as Shearer, and no one who can finish anywhere near as good as Shearer. It will be some time before we can fill the gap he has left
James Harvey, England



It's the right time for Shearer to retire - he has lost his predatory instinct

Shazali Samsudin, Malaysia

Kevin Phillips is the natural successor to Alan Shearer and should have been selected to start at least one Euro 2000 game. He may not have the natural ability of Robbie Fowler and he certainly plays for a less fashionable team but goals win games and Phillips will always score goals.
Simon W, Watford, UK

It's the right time for Shearer to retire - he has lost his predatory instinct. Maybe all the injuries and age has taken his toll. Bring on Owen and Phillips!
Shazali Samsudin, Malaysia

Overrated. A good finisher with a cool head but he lacks the overall spark of genius that truly great players have.
Pete Barnard, England

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See also:

21 Jun 00 | Sportstalk
Where does Keegan go from here?
20 Jun 00 | Sportstalk
Where did England go wrong?
20 Jun 00 | England
Sad farewell for Shearer
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