Owen Hails His Fellow Scouser

Last updated : 14 November 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor
So much so, Owen has tipped himself and Wayne Rooney to lead England to World Cup glory in the summer.

Owen: "Wayne is the sort of player where it doesn't matter whom he plays against to be honest. I'd like to think most of the players in our teams are the same. If anything, you rise to those big occasions. He is definitely a big-game player.

"That's what you need in the World Cup finals. You don't just need a player to score a hat-trick against the smaller nation but also against the 'proper' teams and to pull out performances like the one he showed against Argentina.

"Even if he has a quiet first 10-15 minutes in a game, you know he is going to pull a rabbit out of the hat somewhere along the line and make a difference because he is just so confident about himself.

"The partnership is developing but even from minute one I was thinking 'who couldn't play with him?' We dove-tail with each other really well. Every one of his strengths is totally opposite to my strengths.

"We showed that in Euro 2004. I had a slow start to the tournament but then started picking up. Wayne was on fire from minute one but in general we are opposites - and when you are opposites you seem to gel quite quickly.

"My game is not Wayne Rooney's. My strengths aren't coming off people and linking play up. My strength is seeing opportunities, knowing where a ball is going to go, sniffing out a chance, and when I get that chance, obviously scoring.

"No-one in the starting 11 today is like me but other players have different strengths. I am always on my toes for the 90 minutes.

"Wayne plays differently to anyone else. He has got virtually everything and it is important that other players understand his strengths so we don't knock long balls to him.

"I try to understand his strengths and I try to clear out of the way for him. He is better than me in that hole so why do I want to drag defenders in there? We have all got to understand different players' strengths.

"People have got to understand mine, and I'll never lose that knack of finishing, and that is what you get with playing with and against each other all season."