While many people are describing Fabio Capello’s decision to leave Michael Owen out his 23-man England squad as controversial, others less prone to knee-jerk reactions can see the reasons behind this decision. After all, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst had excellent scoring records for the national team, although nobody would think about picking this duo for the Kazakhstan match (although they might nick a goal each if they did play).
The point I’m trying to make is that simply because a striker has a fantastic international record, it doesn’t mean he should be an automatic selection in the England squad. Setanta report that Capello has defended his decision to leave out the Newcastle forward, claiming that he has been impressed with Jermain Defoe’s performances for Portsmouth, and has decided to plump for him and Peter Crouch as a result.
“I saw a lot of games and I decided on Crouch and Defoe. Defoe is the best scorer now in England, in this division,” he said on Setanta Sports News.
“I saw (Crouch and Shaun Wright-Phillips) play very well and chose them for these games.”
He added: “Michael Owen is a good player. It is possible that he is back next time.”
Many have pointed to the fact that Owen has scored five goals in a Newcastle shirt this season, despite the team being pretty rubbish. Do you think he still has an international future, or are the likes of Defoe, Heskey and Crouch likely to remain ahead of him in the pecking order?