Alan Shearer visited the Kingsley Hotel in Cork recently and Ger McCarthy sat down with the former England international and current Match of the Day pundit to discuss a wide range of topics.
‘Speedflex is a unique, results-driven, circuit-based training concept which will transform your exercise regime, and help you achieve your goals,’ according to the company’s press release.
Brand ambassador and one of the company’s founders Alan Shearer certainly appears a wise choice when it comes to promoting the product as the 46-year-old former Premier League record goal-scorer looks fit enough to lace up a pair of boots once again, if ever asked to come out of retirement.
Shearer scored a whopping 260 Premier League goals and netted 30 times for his country during a magnificent playing career, briefly managing his hometown club Newcastle United before becoming a television pundit for the BBC’s flagship Match of the Day programme.
On a rare visit to Cork, the former England international doesn’t hold back when asked why successive English managers have been unable to replicate a club-like atmosphere similar to Martin O’Neill’s and deliver success at international tournaments.
‘I think you need a bit more than just a club atmosphere,’ Shearer stated.
‘England had that type of atmosphere back in 1996 (Euro 96’) and went all the way to the semi-finals. You need ability to get you that little bit further. At the same time you can’t keep saying that England have been unlucky because, at the end of the day, we haven’t been good enough over the years.
‘You can’t have won anything since 1966 and just keep saying you’ve been unlucky. We haven’t had the ability to progress as far as we wanted at major tournaments. The vast majority of times at major international tournaments England just simply haven’t been good enough.’
A proud Geordie, Shearer became manager of his beloved Newcastle United (taking over from Chris Hughton who was in temporary charge while manage Joe Kinnear recovered from heart surgery) for the last eight games of the 2008-09’ season. Alas, Shearer was unable to prevent his side from relegation but looking back, doesn’t regret the experience.
‘I absolutely loved the experience, loved every minute of managing Newcastle United despite what happened,’ said the Match of the Day pundit.
‘It was a tough, sometimes hard experience but I really enjoyed it. Making decisions, rightly or wrongly, I always knew I was eventually going to go into it. It was always my plan to go into management once I had retired. I finished up after what happened at Newcastle, had one or two offers but just felt they weren’t right.
‘Then, the longer I was out of the management cycle I just started to love punditry a bit more. I thought I’ve got to knuckle down and stick it. I’ve done that the last four or five years and love what I’m doing now. I’ve no plans or interest in going back into management and would be amazed if I ever did.’
Finally, as Shearer is an avid golfer, it seemed appropriate to ask if the picturesque golf courses of West Cork and Kerry might entice the TV pundit back for another visit in the near future.
‘I was unaware I had actually been in Cork before until one of the guys from the Kingsley Health club and gym informed me I once played England U21’s against Ireland (at Turner’s Cross),’ Shearer admitted.
‘We won 2-1 on that occasion and I managed to score as well but I will have to come back here and get a round of golf in. Everyone tells me the area has many beautiful golf courses so that’s something I will definitely have to do.’
Alan Shearer; brand ambassador, former international and Premier League footballer, manager, TV pundit, Geordie and an absolute gentleman.