Back
  • Biography

About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

More postsBack

Shearer thinks Rashford’s time has come for England

Ahead of England’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Malta, Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer spoke exclusively about temporary boss Gareth Southgate and recalled Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.

“Gareth’s come a long way from that guy who missed the penalty in Euro 1996”

Gareth Southgate has effectively got the best possible interview for the England manager job, as he is now in charge for four games that we are expected to win.

It is an unbelievable opportunity for him to stake his claim for the permanent job. He has to decide if he wants it first. I listened to his press conference and he said that he had no choice but to step up and take on the role because his country needed him.

He’ll bring honesty and integrity to the job, he’ll being a freshness and he’ll definitely bring enthusiasm. He’ll know many of the guys through his work with the Under 21s.

Even when England have been training at St Georges Park over the years, Gareth would have been around the camp, as he was based there for the Under 21s.

He’ll know the system, he’ll know what it’s all about, and he’ll know a lot of the players. So it won’t phase him, and he’ll be the proudest man around on Saturday afternoon when that ball is kicked off at Wembley.

Gareth’s come a long way from that guy who missed the penalty in Euro 1996. That tells you an awful lot about his character. He comes across as a nice, well-spoken guy but he’s got a bit of steel about him too and I respect him for that.

“I’d expect us to win the game by four or five goals”

Shearer gives his thoughts ahead of Southgate's first match in charge of England.

Shearer gives his thoughts ahead of Southgate’s first match in charge of England.

It’s a great game for him to start with. It’s a game we will win. It’s just a matter of how many we win by. And that for him, and for the nation, is the type of game we need after everything that’s just gone on.

He will play his best team. He can’t afford to think about next Tuesday and rest players. He’ll worry about that on Saturday evening after the Malta game. It really is the best match to get off to a good start.

I’d expect us to win the game by four or five goals. When I’ve played in these games against smaller nations you want to get off to a good start and score the first goal in the first 20 minutes.

They will put eleven men behind the ball and try and frustrate England, and not give away an early goal. It’s the exact opposite for England, and Gareth will be asking the players to start well, keep a high line, and a high tempo, and get a quick goal, and then the rest will follow.

“Now is the time for Rashford to be let loose for England”

Speaking from my experience as a centre forward, when you go in to a match at home, against a team that you know you are much better than, as a striker you are licking your lips because you know you are going to get loads of chances.

That as a centre forward is a great feeling so you look forward to matches like these. And Gareth should definitely start with Marcus Rashford up front. Now is the time for Rashford to be let loose for England.

We need to take the reins off him and get him out there and see what he can do. There are only so many times you can keep a young player like him on the bench, and say we are keeping him back, we are keeping him back, we are waiting for the right opportunity to play him.

Well I think this match is the right opportunity and he must play. Whenever he’s been asked the question at one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United, he has always come up with the answer.

Shearer thinks that Southgate should start Rashford against Malta to get some more international goals under his belt.

Shearer thinks that Southgate should start Rashford against Malta to get some more international goals under his belt.

Now is the time for him to be unleashed on the international scene. When you have a player of such talent at a young age, they have no fear. Yes, people are looking at him, and have hopes and expectations for him, but there still isn’t the pressure on him that there is on the more established players.

That’s one of the reasons that I’m saying to Gareth just get him out there against Malta and get him scoring some goals.

“There really is only one way for England to go and that is up”

We have to be positive now as there really is only one way for England to go and that is up. I thought we’d hit rock bottom when England got beaten by Iceland, but then we had last week’s revelations and Sam’s departure, and it got even worse.

I’m really pleased they have given the job to Gareth. It is my strongly held view that an English manager should manage England.

I’m glad that Gareth has that opportunity and I really hope he does well because he is a nice, honest and genuine guy, who has worked very hard to get where he is.

Related

The Shearer says archive contains more top views like this one.