No change of heart from Shearer

Last updated : 11 December 2002 By Martyn Elliott

The Swede has admitted that he would love to pick Alan, but recognises that his number one priority is now Newcastle.

"I think it's been the end of that story for a long time," the England manager told Sky Sports when asked about Tord Grip’s comments that they may attempt to persuade Shearer out of retirement.

"Since I came to this country he [Shearer], has said that he wants to concentrate on the Newcastle job. He is doing that very well and I say congratulations to him.

"I shouldn't like to take in a player if he doesn't want to be there, I think it's not right and, if you do a thing like that, you must let him play always - I do not want to commit myself to that.

"If he changed his mind some day, it might be discussed but, today, no.

"I think he's had an extremely good season scoring goals, wonderful goals, with his head and his feet.

"Of course if he always plays like that he should be in the squad I guess..."

Alan’s decision is a great one for us, but you can sum up Sven’s frustration with the situation in two words – Emile Heskey.

Meanwhile Shearer has criticised the ease with which players have been given caps recently.

When asked about the England prospects of Southampton’s James Beattie, he told Sky Sports: "A lot of caps have been given out for players who haven‘t earned them.

"Beattie has done it for two or three months. If he can do it for seven or eight then maybe.

"He is a powerful player with a tremendous shot and is very good in the air.

"The signs are good, but he has to be more consistent.

"He has had purple patches over the previous two or three seasons and died off. But this year he is more prolific, and I hope he keeps going.

"If he does he will get a chance for England."

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