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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.

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Shearer Says: “My feelings towards England’s prospects this summer haven’t changed, my concerns are with our defence.”

I expect Hodgson will leave out Wilshere, Delph, and Rashford

There were no major surprises in today’s squad announcement although with Welbeck’s injury, Marcus Rashford’s inclusion has drawn the most attention.

It was sensible for Roy Hodgson to look at Rashford, although it is doubtful that he will take him to France. Nonetheless, it will be great experience for him to be around the squad. He’s risen so quickly to get from where he started at the beginning of the season to where he is now, with an England squad call-up.

England v Netherlands - International Friendly match - Wembley

It is no surprise to see Theo Walcott left out as he hasn’t done enough this season to be considered. Raheem Sterling is very lucky to be included but gets in because of a lack of midfield options, as is Fabian Delph.

Hodgson still has to leave three out and I suspect he will pick just one of Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, or Danny Drinkwater to bring to France. I can’t see him taking all three with Henderson and Wilshere having injury concerns.

I think the other casualties will be Delph, and of course, Rashford who I mentioned earlier.

Bringing Wilshere to the Euros would be a big gamble

Soccer - UEFA European Championship Qualifying - Group E - Slovenia v England - Stozice Stadium

It would be a big gamble to take both Henderson and Wilshere as they’ve both been dealing with injuries. Out of the two, Wilshere is the biggest liability especially as he has only started in one game. There is no way that he can be in top-peak physical match fitness for the Euros. I know that he will go into it refreshed but he certainly won’t be match fit so bringing him would be a big risk.

If it was my decisive I’d have Kane upfront with Alli, Rooney and Lallana in behind

Wayne Rooney should start, despite others disputing his place. It is too early to discard Rooney and say he can’t do the job for England. He is no longer our number one centre forward because Kane and Vardy are ahead of him. However, I still think he can do a job. If it was my decision, I’d have Kane upfront, with Alli, Rooney, and Lallana, in behind and then I’d have Dier and Henderson if fit, in midfield.

My feelings towards England’s prospects this summer haven’t changed and my concerns continue to be with our defence.

Our defensive problems have been the theme over our last few tournaments and that is why I think we will struggle again this year. With the players we have upfront we can score goals, midfield wise I think we are reasonably content, but our defence is my one big worry.

There is no excuse for being tired during a big tournament

I played in three European Championships and a World Cup and when I hear that some of these players are tired, it annoys me. I just can’t have that as an excuse for underperforming at a big tournament. I understand it when players tire around November or December, after they’ve played in the Euros or a World Cup, but there’s no excuse for being tired during the tournament.

Lithuania England Euro Soccer

A lot of these players will be going into the Euros full of confidence and on a high. Harry Kane has just won the Golden Boot, Jamie Vardy has had the season of a lifetime, Eric Dier and Deli Alli have been superb, and so a lot of these players will be going to France full of confidence.

I have never ever gone to a tournament feeling tired and I would never use that as an excuse and I don’t think anyone should use that as an excuse for England this summer either.

50,000 screaming Geordies asking a manager to stay is just incredible

As for Newcastle, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on Sunday when they beat Spurs 5-1. I mean where have those players been for the majority of the season? The atmosphere at St James’ Park was incredible for a team that have just been relegated. Not many teams in the world would have a reception like that after the season they have just had. I was amazed by the performance and by the reaction of some of the players who were celebrating as if they had just won the FA Cup. It was much too little too late. My only take on yesterday’s extraordinary performance is that there was nothing left to play for, which tells you a lot about the character of some of these players!

If he stays, Rafa can bring Newcastle right back up

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League - Anfield

If Rafa wanted any questions answered on whether they want him to stay or not, then he certainly got his answer. I mean 50,000 screaming Geordies asking a manager to stay is just incredible. Rafa knows the size of the club, he knows the passion of the fans, but I’d be very surprised if he was still the manager at the beginning of next season. I’d love him to stayof course, I think it would be brilliant for the city but he’s not used to championship football and the schedule right throughout the season. If he is to stay, he has got to get 100% assurance from the club that he can manage them the way he wants to because he knows what’s gone on with previous managers, with players coming and going that haven’t been their choice.

Judging from what he has said and reading between the lines, I’m sure he is looking at all the options and weighing up against his discussions with Newcastle. The If he does stay, I think he can galvanise the club and bring them right back up straight away. He has an unbelievable CV.

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