Michael Owen silenced his critics with a superb hat trick in Germany last night as Manchester United saw off Wolfsburg 3-1 in the final group game of the Champions League.
Owen who had been drafted into a makeshift United side was hailed for his ‘fantastic performance’ by manager Alex Ferguson.
“It was a fantastic performance, Michael’s finishing and positional play were superb. He has proved his worth and I’m delighted with his performance.”
With Owen looking sharper than he has for a long time and Fabio Capello insisting that the England door is still open, what are the chances of the striker making the plane for South Africa for the World Cup finals next year?
The truth is that while it is encouraging to see Owen play a full competitive game and scoring goals, time is surely running out for the player to prove his worth to the England team, unless he can first hold down a regular place in the United team.
Manchester United travelled to Germany for last night’s game without fourteen senior players, thirteen of them suffering from injuries and the other, Ryan Giggs been rested for this game.
Strikers Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov should both be available for this weekend’s Premier league game at home to Aston Villa, so what are the chances of Owen making the starting line up for that game?
As an England supporter I would like nothing more than to see Owen emerge from the personal hell of the past few seasons and earn his place in the England squad and his only chance to do so will be to play regular football for United.
Owen has proven in the past that he can play effectively alongside Rooney for England and he must now prove that he is the first choice for his club. In my opinion time is against Owen making it to South Africa, but I also believe that after scoring a hat trick last night he deserves to start for United this weekend.
If he gets that chance, then the future is all down to him.