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Newcastle legend Shearer: Man Utd's Rooney inspired by Ferguson retirement

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer says Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement is great news for England.

Wayne Rooney almost quit champions Manchester United in the summer - and former Three Lions skipper Shearer says the rift was down to an irretrievable breakdown in relations between the national team's pied-piper and Ferguson.

"I said on Match Of The Day at the weekend that I'm always reluctant to praise anyone for hard work alone," Shearer told the Mirror.

"As a footballer, that should be the norm. You get lads who work their socks off for a Sunday morning pub team, so why shouldn't Premier League players do the same?

"But the workrate Rooney put in against Arsenal on Sunday, whether helping out his defence or in midfield or up front, was exceptional. Not only did he work incredibly hard for his team, but he brought the ability with it.

"Fergie said his fitness was going - well, there has been nothing wrong with his fitness on Sunday, or this season, for United.

"For whatever reason, they had fallen out. He didn't like the manager, and the manager didn't like him. Whether Fergie thought he was playing well, badly or whatever, their relationship had gone. And that was the reason (Rooney was unsettled).

"Credit to David Moyes, but I don't think it took a genius to work out that Rooney still had ability.

"You would be amazed how much of a huge difference it makes to a player's confidence, even one with huge ability, when someone puts an arm round him, tells him that he loves him and says he wants him to stay.

"There's a huge difference between that and the body language which says, 'I don't want you, I don't believe in you any more.'

"Rooney is now playing with a spring in his step again, and up front he is first pick for the World Cup, no doubt about that."

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