It was a disappointing week for Alan Shearer but here we look back on his five favourite England goals.
It might have been a disappointing week for Geordie legend Alan Shearer but here we look back on his glittering England career and the five goals goals Shearer picked out as his favourite.No.1: England v France, Friendly, Wembley, 19 February 1992
France, enjoying a resurgence under Michel Platini after failing to reach Italia 90, had gone 19 games undefeated when they came to Wembley to face an England side in which a 20-year-old Alan Shearer was making his debut.
"To represent your country is the dream of any footballer," Shearer says. "The fact it was at Wembley made it extra special. Wembley will always be special for footballers, certainly when I was growing up that was where everything happened."
Two minutes before half-time, it got even better for the then-Southampton forward. "Geoff Thomas took a corner and Mark Wright headed it down to me," he remembers. "I had my back to goal, but I swivelled and hit it and the next thing I knew it was in the back of the net."
Up went the arm and away to the corner-flag he ran in what was to become his trademark celebration: "The only difference then was that I had a bit of hair."
Gary Lineker added a late second and France’s unbeaten run was over.
No.2: England 1-1 Switzerland, European Championship, Wembley, 08 June 1996
Shearer’s goals had helped Blackburn to the Premiership title the previous season, but after 12 internationals without a goal, his England place was under threat in the Euro 96 opener against Switzerland.
"I was under a lot of pressure for that game," he recalls. "Terry Venables had said to me that I was his first-choice for the tournament, but as a forward you know it’s your job to score goals."
Midway through the first half he did, ending a 21-month drought. "Paul Ince played it through to me on the right side of the box.
"I could have squared it, but I hit it from what was a reasonably tight angle and in it went."
Kubilay Türkyilmaz equalised from the penalty spot seven minutes from time, but crucially Shearer was up and running. He went on to score four more in the tournament.
"I still wonder what might have happened if I hadn’t scored then," he says. "I might really have been struggling."
No.3: England 4-1 Holland, European Championship, Wembley, 18 June 1996
Victory over Scotland had set England on course for the quarter-finals, but it was the third group game that remains the highlight of that summer.
England destroyed the Dutch 4-1 and the third goal, Shearer’s second, was simply one of the most memorable goals seen at Wembley.
"In terms of the quality of the strike, the 25-yard volley I scored against Poland in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley that autumn might just have been better, but this was a special goal because of the occasion," Shearer says.
"It was the best atmosphere I played in at Wembley and knocking four past Holland was unbelievable. Everything seemed to be going for us."
Teddy Sheringham’s extravagant dummied shot and casual lay-off for Shearer was typical of their understanding.
"That was the best partnership I was involved in for England," Shearer says.
"Teddy wasn’t the quickest player, but he had the first two or three yards in his head and he played in that deep position that seems to cause problems for defenders.
"We didn’t have to work at it - we just gelled straight away."
No.4: Poland 0-2 England, World Cup Qualifier, Silesian Stadium, Chorzów, 31 May 1997
Chorzów will always bring back memories of defeat for England in 1973 and failure to qualify for the World Cup, but five minutes in to this game, Shearer put England ahead.
"Paul Ince played it through, I got there first, hit it with the outside of my foot and it went in off the post," he says.
He could have wrapped it up on the stroke of half-time, but his penalty struck the foot of the post.
"I still think it was my best performance for England," he says. "We seemed to play Poland a lot then, but under Glenn Hoddle we had a good record against them.
"They were always tough, physical games and that was one of those battles where the ball just seemed to stick."
Sheringham added a second in injury time. The win, followed by a heroic draw in Rome, meant England were in the World Cup Finals.
No.5: England 1-0 Germany, European Championship, Stade du Pays, Charleroi, 17 June 2000
It was 15 years since England had last beaten Germany and 34 years since they had done so in a competitive game, but eight minutes after half-time, Shearer headed the goal that got England back into the tournament after an initial defeat to Portugal.
"It was a David Beckham free-kick from the right that beat everyone," he recalls.
"I was left on my own at the back post. It had already bounced so there was no pace on the ball, but I managed to loop it over Oliver Kahn."
It was Shearer’s last goal from open play for his country as, although he converted a penalty against Romania in the final group match, England lost 3-2 and went out of the tournament.