Manchester United striker Michael Owen can regain England place says Peter Beardsley
12 August 2009 10:11
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Beardsley has tipped Owen to force his way back into England head coach Fabio Capello's plans ahead of next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa by demonstrating that he remains a "natural goalscorer" at Manchester United.
"Joining United is a brilliant move for Michael and for England," said Beardsley, who played at the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals.
"We have got a brilliant chance of reaching the World Cup finals and I think for our country's chances they will need Owen. Wayne Rooney is a great player and I'm not knocking him in any way but we haven't got a player you could guarantee would score you goals.
"When you look back at the big tournaments we have always had one big goalscorer whether it be Gary Lineker or Alan Shearer. They can score the goals at the right time and without being disrespectful to Emile Heskey or Peter Crouch, who are good players in their own right, they are not natural goalscorers which is how you would describe Michael.
"I don't mean this to sound bad but that's all he does. He scores goals. That is so important."
Owen lost his place in the England set-up due to a loss of form and injuries sustained in his four-year spell at Newcastle United.
Like Owen, Beardsley played for Newcastle and Liverpool but only after failing to make the grade at Old Trafford as a youngster but he is confident the 29 year-old will not suffer a similar fate.
"I rate Owen very highly, I really do.
"He has now got to start scoring goals for Manchester United but I don't see that being a problem.
"It was one of those situations last year where he did not score enough goals but to be fair on both sides we [Newcastle] didn't score enough goals as a team or create enough chances and that for me was the biggest problem.
"But when you are a striker you get the blame.
"Signing Michael was a fantastic move by Sir Alex Ferguson. It was a no-lose situation. If the worst came to the worst, he has cost them nothing. They will have done some sort of deal and he won't be on the money that Rooney is on.
"Plus, if anyone is allowed to take a chance on a player it has to be Sir Alex. When you look at his record it is second-to-none. He is certainly the best manager I have ever known in terms of stats and facts and figures.
"But I don't really think that in his own mind Sir Alex will feel as though he is taking a chance. I might be wrong but I would be very surprised if things did not go according to plan for both club and player."