Michael Owen tells 'opinionated' ex-Liverpool teammate he is wrong with England assessment

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen branded ex-teammate Didi Hamann 'opinionated' following his recent England assessment
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images))

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has hit back at one of his old teammates following their latest England assessment after the Three Lions' Euro 2024 quarter-final victory over Switzerland on Saturday.

Gareth Southgate's side came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with their opponents and force extra time, before a Jordan Pickford save and a 100 per cent conversion rate from the penalty spot secured a 5-3 shoot-out success in Düsseldorf.

England did improve on recent performances but still failed to really set the game alight, despite Southgate changing to a 3-4-2-1 formation to accommodate both Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden in the no.10 role.

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The performances of both players left former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann suggesting that only one of them should start the next game against the Dutch, with Real Madrid star Bellingham the one to be dropped from the teamsheet.

However, this didn't go down too well with some and none more so than his former teammate Owen, who said it was no shock that the "opinionated" German made such comments. He told entertainment website CSGOLuck: "I'm not surprised Didi made the headlines with his comments on Bellingham, he's very opinionated.

"He's very knowledgeable about the game so I always respect what he says. It's a different take on things. I'd try and squeeze Bellingham and Foden into similar positions and he's talking about taking one of them out so the other has more room."

Foden had been used on the left wing in England's first four games of the tournament but has struggled to make a real impact, despite his remarkable form for Manchester City last season. Rather than dropping one, Southgate switched formations against Switzerland to accommodate both.

Michael Owen and Dietmar Hamann celebrate while at Liverpool -Credit:Getty Images
Michael Owen and Dietmar Hamann celebrate while at Liverpool -Credit:Getty Images

And Owen believes Southgate should continue to do more of the same, claiming it is "essential" both remain in the side. He said: "I personally like the idea of just having one 6 and having more in forward positions. But Didi thinks less is more, perhaps, but I personally think squeezing Foden and Bellingham into the team is essential.

"Didi's always been unconventional and sometimes he really makes you think. It's not a stupid point and he's very intelligent and knows the game. I'd go the opposite and play one number 6."

The Netherlands will pose the toughest test yet for England at Euro 2024 thanks to their caliber of player and quality on the ball. The Three Lions have struggled against the likes of Serbia, Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and Switzerland already this summer, and will need to step up their game if they are to make a second consecutive European final.

Bellingham will be hoping to add to his tally of two goals, which included that remarkable overhead kick to take England's last 16 tie with Slovakia to extra-time, while Foden will aim to finally get off the mark if he retains his place in the side.