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Shearer Says: “Harry Kane should be the first name on the England team sheet.”

| 25.03.2016

Kane is a top quality player and is going to be around for a long time

As we sit here now, Harry Kane should be the first name on the team sheet for England. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. The questions now are who plays with him if you play two up front? If you don’t, then who plays behind him?

The pressure was on Tottenham yesterday after Leicester had beaten Crystal Palace on Saturday but after 40 seconds it was basically game over when Kane got the opener. I’m reluctant to criticise Bournemouth because they have been a revelation this season, however they looked like they were on their holidays in the game. Spurs were never tested but they did what they had to do. The England guys for Spurs were brilliant. Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Dele Alli were all absolutely superb.

Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League - White Hart Lane Stadium

Kane is just 22-years old and already has 45 Premier League goals to his name and counting. He’s a top quality player and he’s going to be around for a long time.

I’ve mentioned the core of English players in this Tottenham team, when you add Lloris, Vertonghen, Alderweireld and maybe two more quality players to that, then they could be serious challengers once again next season. We know over the years that Spurs have sold their best players. The big question for Spurs is can they keep hold of them all and their manager?

For a young kid to play as well as he did and Embarrass Demichelis was superb

It was great for the youngster Marcus Rashford to play in the Manchester derby at the weekend and then score the winning goal. He probably wouldn’t have had his chance if it wasn’t for injuries but he’s certainly taken it with both hands. He’s not been played directly as a centre forward recently so he has had to be patient but he got his chance yesterday to play back in that position. For a young player to do as well as he did and embarrass Demichelis in the way he scored his goal was superb. Demichelis had to be taken off after 55 minutes. He’s a local lad and it must mean so much to him.

Defensively City were very poor. I did not think the standard was great in the game. It just demonstrates how much work these two sides need to do in order get them back where they need to be. The two standout players on the pitch were Rashford and Lingard.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium

The result in the Manchester derby now opens up the race for the top four. Pep Guardiola did not sign up to manage a team in the Europa League. When they announced the deal a couple of months ago, City were going strong in four competitions. I know they have won the Capital One Cup but the way it is going, they might not get into the Champions League for next season. United reduced their deficit behind City with a win in the derby, West Ham are in the hunt and Southampton have an outside chance.

I feel for West Ham as they were robbed of the win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on Saturday. There is no way that was ever a penalty at the end of the game. If it was only a matter of inches, you could understand but this was a yard outside of the box. Their performance deserved more than a draw.

It looked like two poor teams fighting it out in the Tyne-Wear derby

In the Tyne-Wear derby it really did look like two poor teams fighting it out. Sunderland handled the occasion better in the first half and deserved to take the lead. They could have been a couple more in front. Defoe had a couple of chances and he eventually took the third one. Newcastle could have no complaints at all going into the break 1-0 down as it could have been more.

For the last 20-25 minutes though, Newcastle pressed on. They changed their system a bit and one or two personnel which led to the equaliser. The big winners in the bid to avoid relegation at the weekend were Norwich. It was a fantastic result for the Canaries picking up three points away to West Brom. That’s two clean sheets on the spin for them now as they held Manchester City to a goalless draw the week before. They will come back after the international break full of confidence.

Newcastle United v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park

Norwich’s next two home games are against Newcastle and Sunderland. That game against Newcastle is gigantic now. Norwich are three points ahead of Newcastle so even if the Toon win, they could still be behind the Canaries on goal difference, while a defeat would leave them six points behind with only seven games to go.

Benitez was a great appointment for Newcastle but unfortunately he is not a magician and as a fan I have not seen enough to suggest we can relax and that we will be safe. What hasn’t changed after this weekend is that it is still two from three who are in the relegation scrap. Swansea had a big win and I don’t think Palace will get sucked into it. For Newcastle and Sunderland, they might need four wins to survive which is asking a lot considering they have only won six games all season from 30 fixtures.

Roy needs to use upcoming friendlies to experiment

With friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands coming up over the next 10 days, it would not surprise me to see Roy Hodgson field two different teams. I don’t think the Premier League managers would be best pleased if he played their players in both games. I think it is right to experiment. He has to look at different systems as you always need a plan B if plan A isn’t working.

England v France - International Friendly - England Training Session - Enfield Training Centre

The game against Germany will be a good test for them. We shouldn’t take too much from the game though. If we get a positive result it will be a good confident booster for them.

Augusta Kate ran well but we were expecting a little better

Augusta Kate finished seventh last week in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. We felt she did OK and Willie Mullins was pleased with her, even though we were hoping she would perform a little better. In hindsight maybe we should have run her at Sandown on the Saturday before.

I am not sure if she is going to run again this season or be put away now for the summer. We had a great day and there is still a lot to look forward to with this horse.

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Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer played his entire career at the top level of English football, winning the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1994-95. The following summer he signed for his hometown club, Newcastle United, for a then world record £15 million fee.

He ended his playing career with a record 260 Premier League goals, which still stands today. He also won 63 caps for England, including 34 as captain, and among his 30 international goals were five scored at Euro 96, a total that won him the Golden Boot at that tournament.

Now the chief pundit on Match Of The Day, Alan was one of the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall Of Fame this year.