Professional race horse owner Michael Owen questions the pedigree of the national side from the familiar surroundings of his living room.
Skimming across the latest tweets from the big shots of the footballing world, I couldn’t help but notice an unusually controversial outburst by the consistently bland Manchester United ‘player’ Michael Owen.
On a day after an inexperienced England side battled back from two goals down to draw level with the Dutch, only to be foiled in the last minute by a rampant Arjen Robben, the 32 year old ranted on much publicised social networking site “surprised at the reaction after last night’s match. Experimental team or not, surely losing at Wembley is disappointing?”
“I mean, it’s hardly like we were brilliant and were unlucky to lose. No matter what team is out there, losing has to be frowned upon.
Have we slipped that far behind other teams that people now accept getting beat as long as we ‘show some pride’? I hope not.”
Strong words indeed by somebody who’s essentially retired from the game in his early 30’s. Owen, a man usually accustomed to spouting off about the weather and what he’s having for dinner, clearly believes he’s on to something in not only criticising the team, but the media and public too. Having been a member of the glorious golden generation, (who can forget those magical quarter-finals we’d all been waiting for?) Owen is most certainly in a position to tarnish a young up-and-coming group of players, intent on restoring some pride to the nation.
Nobody can doubt Holland were the far superior side last night. With Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder linking up with the world’s hottest striker in Robin Van Persie, England dominance was never going to be on the agenda.
However, what did keep me watching for the duration of the encounter (for the first time in years) was the fact England were clearly striving to pass the ball, attack with pace and of course showed a dogged determination to get themselves back into the game, something all too often lacking in the ‘golden era.’
England won’t win anything this summer. For the first time in the lead up to a major tournament, I think most fans can agree on that. But what last night did bring was the hope that we could participate and add to a finals, mixing English grit and determination with a youthful verve and spirit.
We want to see Sturridge taking on his man, even if invariably he’ll end up shooting from a ridiculous angle. We want to see Micah Richards bursting down the wing without defensive shackles, we want to see Adam Johnson dancing around his man and we certainly want to see Ashley Young continue to reproduce world class finishes like his effort last night.
This side are far from the real deal yet, but with more experiences like the one they endured last night, and less ridicule from lazy has-beens, they might just surprise all of us.
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