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Why Owen’s England future looks grim under Capello

October 23, 2008

Capello and Owen

Fabio Capello said Michael Owen’s England career is not necessarily over after omitting the Newcastle man from his squad again for the Kazakhstan and Belarus World Cup qualifiers.

But the manager’s history in Serie A suggests it’s going to be mighty tough for Owen to get back.

Capello was in charge of similar footballers during his stints at AS Roma and Juventus in Vincenzo Montella and Alessandro Del Piero.

Like Owen, they are small, fast technically polished forwards with highly prolific track records.

And, like Owen, they were consistently pushed down the pecking order by Capello.

Although a past-his-best bit player at Roma now, Montella remains one of Serie A’s all-time top scorers and he was at his peak at the start of Capello’s time in the Italian capital.

The coach’s insistence on using the tiring Gabriel Batistuta at the end of the 2000-01 season instead of the on-fire Montella smacked of pure obstinacy to many Roma fans at the time.

At Juve, Capello regularly substituted Del Piero when he didn’t leave him on the bench or in the stands, with David Trezeguet and Zlatan Ibrahimovic his first choices in attack.

The impression is that Capello is simply not keen on short strikers and only overcomes his reluctance to field them if they can chase back and contribute in other areas.

The good news for England is that results back Capello’s policy. Roma won the 2001 Serie A title despite a major late-season wobble and Juventus took back-to-back championships under him in 2005 and 2006, although the Turin club was subsequently stripped of those honours because of Italy’s match-fixing scandal.

The picture is not so bright for Owen. While he can take comfort from the fact it is nothing personal, Capello just seems to prefer another type of forward.

And, in Del Piero and Montella, Michael is in good company.

PHOTO: Fabio Capello stands in front of Michael Owen during England’s friendly against Switzerland at Wembley, February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Comments

Well,if this is true,if he`s not keen on short strikers, I have to say, he`s making the biggest mistake.Michael is not just a “short striker”, he is “the best striker”.There`s a huge difference between these two words.

Posted by sara | Report as abusive
 

Owen is still a great striker but unfortunately the main reason Capello doesn’t like him is that he is not match fit. He has had too many injuries and is in decline. I would be surprised if he plays much more for England, whoever is in charge.

Posted by martyn herman | Report as abusive
 

Michael Owen used to be a world class striker but the game seems to have moved away from him. It’s difficult to argue with Capello’s logic and Benitez even turned him down for a return to Liverpool after his period in Madrid.
I love Michael Owen but I think his best years are behind him.

Posted by Dom | Report as abusive
 

Micheal Owen’s best years are behind him??!! Ridiculous, he is the best striker england have. Prediction, the others now in front of him will cool, england will loose a few games, Michael will get his chance, will deliver and if capello still refuses to put him in the first team, the natives will start baying for the italian’s head on a pike.

Posted by sisyphus | Report as abusive
 

I think Michael owen is your old fashioned strike who is simply a victim of the game’s modernisation, where one by one the traditional roles are dissapearing. Cappello might shout from rooftops about owen’s Fitness but we all know its a tactical move and Owen does not offer much when things need to be switched around. But the boy can score goals. Maybe as a Kop fan am Biased but I’d have him in the bench atleast

Posted by njau | Report as abusive
 

Capello’s head on a pike? Ridiculous. It’s a beautiful image indeed but a bit too surreal for your average football fan. Owen is still a great striker (and quite possibly one of England’s best out and out strikers) but the point is that the game has moved away from his style of play – why didn’t United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal snap him up when he returned from Spain? He went to Newcastle where, let’s be honest, you can’t see him winning a great deal. At Liverpool in 1998 he won PFA player of the year while being the joint top scorer in the Premiership, he scored 20 goals the next season. In 2001 he won the FA cup, Uefa Cup and the Carling Cup which leads me to think that, yes, his best years are behind him. Capello is no fool and has had the best start that any England manager has enjoyed, Owen or no Owen, England are on the rise.

Posted by Dom | Report as abusive
 

I disagree completely, Capello wants fitness, fitness, fitness (look at his own fitness at 62)and when there’s many players to choose from, you better be the fittest.
Del piero is playing some of his best soccer (top scorer Serie A 2007-2008)at 33- why? because he has a personal trainer – Cannavaro is also ripped at 34. They never looked this fit in their 20′s. The brilliance in this sports begins to show up at 25 but the body starts breaking down at that time and if you throw in booze and women (Ronaldo, Ronaldinho)then you see how fitness is the key for these superstar players.

Posted by GG | Report as abusive
 

i hate capello he has no right to drop englands best striker and i do not see why benitez does not want him he scores england score they win. Rooney is not a striker

Posted by joe | Report as abusive
 

Owen isn’t the player he was before he set off to Real Madrid and Capello isn’t going to let anyone live on their past reputation, no matter who is he. He’s proved that many a time, ask Beckham. Owen has to stay fit firstly and prove he can still score goals at the highest level. I think he can but if he isn’t playing consistently for his club he’s got no chance.

 

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