Shearer chooses television over McClaren's vision for England

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The Independent Online

Alan Shearer has turned down the chance to be part of the new England manager Steve McClaren's backroom team and will instead continue his media work with the BBC.

The former Newcastle striker was approached by McClaren just before the World Cup finals, but has decided to continue in his role as a television pundit.

"I was flattered when Steve telephoned me just before the World Cup and explained the role he visualised for me, working alongside himself and Terry Venables," Shearer said.

"I met him upon my return from Germany and was impressed with his plans and his vision for the future. However, I had already told the BBC that I would extend my contract with them and I did not want to break my word."

Shearer, who retired from the game at the end of last season, added: "I also want some time away from the pressures of football - I am currently on my longest ever family holiday and enjoying every minute of it. I spoke at length today with Steve and explained my situation and said if I could ever assist in any way he only has to ask. We have arranged to meet up for a game of golf when I get back.

"I am sure that Steve will do a great job for England - his choice of Terry as his No 2 s a clever appointment and I am certain they will prove to be an excellent management team."

McClaren said: "I fully understand the reasons behind Alan's decision. I would have loved to have had him on board, he is a top professional and a great guy. As you would expect from Alan he has chosen to honour a contract to which he had verbally committed - a true mark of the man."

The Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes has distanced himself from reports claiming that he wants a move back to Spain.

The 22-year-old was quoted at the weekend as reiterating that he has not settled in England and is hoping to join Real Madrid.

However, he said yesterday: "I don't know where these words have come from but what I would like to say is that I am very happy at Arsenal. I am excited about the new stadium and helping Arsenal challenge for honours."

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