Sunday, October 05, 2008

Owen still out in the cold

Michael Owen's omission from Fabio Capello's squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus doesn't really come as any surprise in light of the comments the England coach made yesterday: "It's not a good moment for players at Newcastle. Sometimes, confidence and form depends on the results of your team". You could spin the same facts the other way: the fact that he's scored five times despite our recent results being so poor is a reason to include him. That said, he did look out of sorts against Everton.

Capello continued: "He is fit, but it's not enough only to score. Not contributing for 89 minutes then scoring a goal is not enough. Goals are very important but other things are, too". On that reasoning, Owen is unlikely to regain his place in the squad as long as Capello's in the hot seat - his game has always been about the basics of putting the ball in the net, rather than being a team player.

Still, England's loss is our gain. If we can keep him fit and significantly improve the service he's given, he can be relied on to haul us out of trouble just as he did last season.


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