England assistant coach Stuart Pearce has backed Fabio Capello’s decision to exclude striker Michael Owen from the squad.
Owen hasn’t been called up since last March’s 1-0 friendly defeat in France, after which the striker told reporters to “ask the manager” about his selection policy.
However, Pearce has backed Capello’s pragmatic approach. “My view is the same as Fabio’s, he hasn’t played enough football,” he said. “If the manager says that’s the reason behind Michael not playing, then that’s the reason.”
Pearce was also quick to quash rumours that Capello has decided Owen’s international career is over. “The one thing Fabio doesn’t do is shut the door. It has been mentioned that certain individuals have had the door closed, but they are not Fabio’s words.”
Following injuries to Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole during Saturday’s friendly romp over Slovakia, Tottenham striker Darren Bent was called up ahead of Owen for Wednesday’s qualifier against Ukraine. The new issue of FourFourTwo is out now, featuring:
• Interviews with Kaka, Arshavin, Terry, Motty, Stam, Dave Mackay & the Chuckle Brothers • The Top 50 Football League Players • Football’s Top 20 Hoaxes • The Best Youth Team Ever • Inside The Damned United • Swansea vs Cardiff
Plus a FREE 36-page England supplement ENGLAND FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: One on One Kevin Keegan, Sven-Göran Eriksson, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright Web Exclusives Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Glenn Hoddle, Wayne Rooney Q&A Fabio Capello, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Michael Mancienne, David Wheater Ask A Silly Question Sir Geoff Hurst, Alan Ball, Bryan Robson, Peter Crouch, John Barnes, Peter Reid, My Secret Vice Jimmy Bullard What Happened Next? Carlton Palmer Perfect XI Sir Bobby Charlton, Graham Taylor, Bryan Robson, Ian Wrightcomments