Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wunderkid, meet your replacement

In the 1998 World Cup against Argentina, Michael Owen announced himself on the international stage. It's a goal people remember. And rightly so, it was backed up by several years of fantastic poaching and predatory instinct for both club and country. Injuries have slowed the now 28 year old Michael Owen. At a time, he was much more popular in America even then publicity machine David Beckham. Now, Michael should be entering his prime as a striker and could have been the veteran piece upfront that England need to make an impact internationally. But, with struggling form and too many injuries, Owen, the old speedster, is left in the cold again as England set off on World Cup qualification.

And so, along comes this picture. I'd heard of it, but never seen it before. Theo Walcott, the new England wunderkid (details in this quick article from the Daily Mail) who was left on the bench for the vultures in the press at the 2006 World Cup in Germany after an ill-advised selection by then England manager Sven Goran-Ericksson,  has long said that from an early age he looked to Michael Owen as an early idol. Owen has now lost his England place to Walcott and the new wunderkid has dazzled this year after taking baby steps through his late teens. So, how nice to see this while reading the papers today.

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