Retired England striker Michael Owen says the country has lost faith in the national team.
England national team has failed to perform according to the expectations off late and Owen claims that fans are losing the patience.
England failed to even qualify for the second round in the World Cup in Brazil. And Owen feels that something must be done urgently to restore the lost pride of the national team.
“Everyone in this room, the fans, us, we have all lost belief in the national team,” Owen said. He was speaking at the Soccerex Conference in Manchester.
“I don’t think we will get that back until we do something significant at a major tournament.”
England won against Switzerland by 2-0 yesterday and Owen said that while the result of the qualifier was encouraging, it is not enough to turn the tide after this summer’s early World Cup exit.
“It has been pretty poor for a while now,” Owen said. “One good result doesn’t just change that.
“But there were chinks of light there against Switzerland and the encouraging thing was [there were] players that will be around for many years to come.”
England boss Roy Hodgson has decided to give chance to youngsters and Owen also give his opinions about the upcoming talent. Owen said that Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Everton’s Ross Barkley have the ability to have a long-term impact. “Sterling could be absolutely exceptional and Ross Barkley could go right to the very top of the game,” he said.
“I can see those two taking us quite far and being pivotal points in our team for years to come.”
Owen also slammed the Premier League clubs for not giving enough opportunities to young English players. He said that too much money is not helping the cause. “The only way you can make it is to go on loan, unless you are a freak of nature,” Owen said.
“We want for nothing in this country. We have top coaches or we bring them in, we have fantastic facilities, we are financially the wealthiest football nation in the world, but if you are at a big club it is virtually impossible to go from youth team to first team, even if you are one of the greatest prospects in the world.
“If you are a young player at Man City, how are you going to replace Yaya Toure or Vincent Kompany in the first team?”