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Owen wouldn't snub England recall
Published : 25 Sep 2011 13:35:45
Manchester United striker Michael Owen insists he would never snub an England recall even though he feels hurt at his treatment by Fabio Capello.
Owen quickly fell out of favour when Capello took over as England coach in 2008 and featured just once, as a substitute in a friendly against France, before losing his place in the Italian's squad.
A series of injuries and a lack of regular opportunities at United have also undermined his chances of a recall and Owen admits it has been hard to come to terms with his international exile.
"I was in every squad for over a decade and all of a sudden it stopped one day," he told the Observer.
"Fabio Capello picked his first squad and I was on the bench. I thought: 'This might be a sign that he doesn't fancy me.' The next time I wasn't in the squad, and that's just been that.
I think he came to watch me twice in a year when I was at Newcastle, both times at the Emirates.
"Arsenal were one of the best teams in the league. We got tonked, and whoever was the striker for Newcastle away at Arsenal wasn't going to get too many touches, so I did feel a bit sorry for myself at that point."
But the 31-year-old, who has 89 caps and 40 goals for England, showed his class with two goals in United's 3-0 win at Leeds in the League Cup in midweek.
Owen has scored 11 times in only 12 starts for United since October 2009 and his clinical finishing prompted some pundits to suggest Capello should bring the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle player back from his international exile.
He admits he would relish the chance should Capello change his mind.
"I would never turn my back on it, but obviously there's a scar there that still hurts a bit," Owen said.
"But I don't get upset now when I'm not in the squad, like I used to. If I got a call-up I'd be there within five minutes."