Carry on scoring

Last updated : 07 December 2002 By Martyn Elliott

"I just see how I feel at the end of every season and if I feel I’ve got another season in me, I’ll give it a go," the 32-year-old told The Times.

"I feel I can. At the moment, I don’t think it will be a problem to continue playing for another 18 months and then I’ll judge it again. Maybe I could give it another year.

"You should never have a cut-off point. The advice that everyone gives you is to play as long as you can. They can’t all be wrong and I’d be a mug not to listen to that. I’ll play for as long as possible.

"But it’s been a great decision — although other people might think differently — for me to retire from international football. Hopefully my performances have shown that.

"Mentally, there’s a lot of pressure when you play at that level, and I was captain, too. I could handle that. It wasn’t a problem, but put that together with the playing, the travelling and everything else and it mounts up.

"I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it more now, but I’m enjoying it as much as I ever have, and what I do have is more time to enjoy it. I can reflect on things."

Already this season he has scored his 300th career goal, his 100th Premiership goal for Newcastle and arguably the best goal of his career.

Add to that the excitement of Rotterdam, his Champions League suspension and being described as the greatest player in the club’s history – you can see why he’d want to carry on.

Contrary to popular opinion, life is never dull when Alan’s about.