Glenn Hoddle has again gone on record stating his admiration for Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer.
The former England striker, made captain during Glenn's reign as national team boss, appears to be back to nearing his very best since retiring from international football in the wake of Euro 2000.
The 32-year-old has already netted 17 goals in all competitions this season and forms a potent spearhead to the Newcastle attack with Wales hotshot Craig Bellamy. Glenn repeated his assertion that, if he had still been England coach, he would have pulled out all the stops to have boarded Shearer on a plane to the Far East in the summer.
"He hasn't surprised me," said Glenn. "I've gone on record saying that if I was England manager I would have tried to persuade him to go to the World Cup.
"The way he's played this season shows that he's still as good as anyone in international football.
"Having that rest could possibly be the reason, so he has done the right thing for his own career - it's proving to be that with the way he's been performing.
"I've got nothing but admiration for him - as a player and a person. I can see him going strong for another couple of seasons at his very best.
"There is not many that come through like him, you get one a decade if you're lucky. He's a terrific player and a good team player as well as a goalscorer."