Football: Time-scale threat to Shearer's sharpness

Alan Shearer will have just over a month of top-level football for Newcastle United in which to prove to Glenn Hoddle that he is ready to lead England's World Cup challenge.

Alan Nixon delivers the depressing news.

It was not the early Christmas present England wanted. Alan Shearer, striker supreme in the finals of Euro '96 and with a track record of recovering quicker than most from even the most severe injury, was not saying the words the country wanted to hear.

The injured England captain revealed last night that he does not expect to return to Premier League action until March, which leaves him around seven or eight club matches to find his shooting boots.

Shearer is back in training after breaking his ankle and damaging ligaments in a pre-season friendly, but he feels he will not be ready for a return to serious action for three more months.

"I'm running in straight lines, but I'm still not able to do any twisting or turning," he said. "The pins have come out of the ankle and it is just a matter of mending in time. But I've not changed my mind. It's looking like March before I will play."

That time-scale is cutting things fine for Shearer to lead the line as England go for glory in France next June. The domestic programme finishes early in May, giving him just a handful of matches for Newcastle to help his club and boost his own chances of playing for England in the world's greatest football tournament.

Wether or not Shearer goes to France depends on the England coach, Glenn Hoddle. "Obviously I will tell him how I feel and I'll be honest about it," Shearer said.

George Graham yesterday signed a pounds 1m-a-year, long-term contract to manage Leeds then declared their title aspirations this season to be "ridiculous".

The agreement puts the 53-year-old Graham in the same pay bracket as Manchester United's Alex Ferguson, Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle and Blackburn's Roy Hodgson.

Graham, who has singled out a place in next season's Uefa Cup as his initial aim, said: "I'm not a dreamer, I'm a realist. I'm not kidding anybody. The championship? Not yet, no. It's ridiculous. Leeds are not ready for that yet."

Also signing a contract yesterday was Mick McCarthy, adding two more years to his tenure as the Republic of Ireland manager. His target now is to qualify the Republic for the 2000 European Championship finals in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Wimbledon have been offered the chance of new home at Gatwick Airport. The proposal is to house the Premiership club, who presently share with Crystal Palace, on land just off the M23. The move comes in the wake of strong opposition to the idea of the Dons relocating to Dublin.

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
His band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Art & Design Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Assistant Management Accountant -S/West London - £30k - £35k

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: We are working with an exciting orga...

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager required, S...

Bookkeeper -South West London - £25k - £30k

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: We are working with an exciting orga...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering