Owen: England needed Scholes

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Football News

England would have stood a greater chance of progressing past the quarter-final of Euro 2012 had Paul Scholes featured in Roy Hodgson's midfield, according to Michael Owen.

Sunday's defeat to Italy meant England failed to progress past the last eight for the seventh successive tournament, as the Three Lions suffered penalty heartache once again.

England were dominated in all departments by Cesare Prandelli's side in Kiev, particularly in midfield, as Juventus maestro Andrea Pirlo cut Hodgson's team apart with his incisive passing.

The 34-year-old also scored an outrageous penalty in the shootout as England failed once more from the spot, and Pirlo left Ukraine with the man of the match award.

Owen, however, believes England could have been able to dominate the Italians in similar fashion had Scholes been in the squad.

"Pirlo was awesome but we have a player of a similar age and equally as good. Unfortunately he wasn't there. #Scholes," the former Manchester United striker said on Twitter.

Owen also lamented the lack of technical players available to England and suggested shortcomings in this area were a key factor in another exit at the quarter-final stage of a competition.

"Easy for people to say 'until we keep possession better we will never win anything'. We are not as good as others at doing that," added Owen.

"We played to our strengths but are just not quite good enough. We were hoping to 'do a Chelsea'. If you are not the best team then you have to find an alternative way to win.

"The other option is to forget results for a while and start from scratch playing a different style.

"Doubt we have the type of players to do that though. Answer has to be to start coaching our youngsters a different brand of football."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Manchester United
Paul Scholes

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