Newcastle pair `ideal for England'

Alan Shearer has told Glenn Hoddle that his Newcastle United striking partnership with Les Ferdinand could propel England to World Cup qualification.

The pounds 21m pair both scored - Ferdinand twice - as Newcastle moved up to second place in the Premiership with a 4-3 victory over Aston Villa at St James' Park on Monday night.

As well as the goals, the strike force that Kevin Keegan brought to Newcastle in the hope that they would help to end a 70-year wait for the championship gave the potential England centre-back pairing of Gareth Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu a torrid time.

When asked about their international prospects, Shearer said: "We can't do any more. We have both been playing reasonably well and both been scoring goals. That's all we can do at club level and now both of us have to hope that we get the call. But the rest is now up to the manager. Only he can answer the question of whether we will play together for England and only he can decide."

Shearer, the pounds 15m man who was made England captain before the opening World Cup qualifying win in Moldova last month, has scored five goals in his black and white No 9 shirt after returning "home" from Blackburn in the summer.

His place in Hoddle's selection is not in doubt, but Ferdinand needs performances like Monday night's to put him uppermost in the England coach's thoughts. The double against Villa took his tally for the campaign to eight in nine matches and he looks the perfect foil for Shearer, making nonsense of early-season suggestions by critics that they were an unsuitable pairing for club or country.

Keegan was naturally delighted with their showing. "Their partnership up front looked everything I knew it could be," the Newcastle manager said. "Alan's arrival has helped take some of the burden off Les, who was absolutely superb. It wasn't just his two goals - he will always get goals - it was his work-rate that stood out."

Ehiogu has also joined the Shearer-Ferdinand fan club and admitted he was relieved that he does not face such power every week. Villa's captain said: "We won't come up against the likes of those two very often and I'm glad because they are something special. We helped them with some indifferent defending, but you've got to give them credit because they took full advantage."

However, scoring honours on the night went to Aston Villa's Dwight Yorke. The Tobagan striker went into the game without a goal this season after scoring 25 in all competitions last term. He looked back to his best against Newcastle, hitting a brilliant hat-trick, having another late strike ruled out by a marginal offside decision and also hitting the post.

Ehiogu said: "His goals showed what a good finisher he is and it's nice to see him finding the net again because he is such an important player for us."

It was a sentiment echoed by Villa's manager, Alan Little, who adopted a similar view to Keegan in that his striker's performance pleased him more than the goals. He said: "It's nice for Dwight and it's a reward for the effort he has been putting in. His all-round performance was good and that was the most important thing. The goals were just a bonus."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test