Owen, the abandoned mother
'I cannot recall all of the signs of the apocalypse, but England midfield players hitting left-foot screamers at will in big tournaments is surely among them.
' Quote from a brilliant
article by Martin Samuel in The Times today.
Samuel argues that Owen remains integral to England and that what he is going through at the moment is an adjustment of role analogous to that undergone by a mother whose teenage children have just flown the nest. Once, the whole team depended on Owen. Now, with Rooney and Lampard regular scorers, and Scholes hitting the net again, the team can fend for themselves.
Owen's new role - supporting team-mates, providing assists, making runs, creating space - is less glamorous and much more unselfish than that of the sole provider. Yet, Samuel says, Owen will be needed in that role again.