OWEN: ENGLAND MUST PLAY WITHOUT FEAR
Retired England player Michael Owen advices the national team of England set to play at the Euro 2016 in France not to have any fear. The former Newcastle and Manchester United player told the team that fear would be the only thing limiting the team as they are set to conquer.
England will begin their continental campaign against Russia on the 11th of this month, then they will trade tackles with Wales and Slovakia. According to the latest StanJames betting market odds, England are fourth favourites to win the competition, behind Germany, France and Spain.
Owen told BBC Sport "There's been a fear over the years because we all see someone missing a penalty or someone getting sent off and costing the team. The whole country then almost gangs up on that player.
"There's a fear amongst the squad - or there certainly was in my time - whereby you just didn't want to be that person everybody castigates, gets vilified, and you're the one that misses a penalty and they make a pizza advert about you."
Owen represented The Three Lions in five major tournaments. He represented the country at Euro 1996 and witnessed how they lost in the semi final to Germany after a defender lost his penalty kick played after extra time at Wembley. The game finished after 1-1 but the hosts didn’t win the penalty shoot-out and the player was humiliated.
Two years later at the world cup in France, midfielder David Beckham was sent off against Argentina for kicking out at Diego Simeone. England went on to lose at the penalties at the last-16 stage. In 2006, Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho as England went out in the quarter-finals, again after a penalty shootout.
The player also asked for support for John Stones, saying he admires his style of play. The former Liverpool, Newcastle United, Real Madrid and Manchester United forward added that the players need to shun negativity to be successful.