Former Real Madrid and Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes that the current crop of globe conquering young English footballers is not as good as the famed ‘Golden Generation’.
It has been a magnificent year for England’s youth teams. The Young Lions have managed to win three major tournaments in 2017 including the U-17 and U-20 World Cups and the U-19 UEFA European Championship.
Owen, however, has the opinion that despite winning every tournament they enter, the current youth internationals still lack the individual brilliance of players like Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard, among others.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of good players, just look at our players coming through as well,” Owen told Omnisport at the Golden Foot Hublot Award in Monaco.
“We seem to be winning every youth tournament that’s been put on at the moment, which is brilliant.
“I don’t think anyone’s ever questioned the capability or the qualities of our teams. Some of our players, going back to my generation, were winning Champions Leagues and all kinds of big trophies.
“They were some of the best players in the world. Is this generation better? I would probably say not.
“I think the likes of [Paul] Scholes, [Steven] Gerrard, [Wayne] Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, [David] Beckham, myself. I don’t think this generation has got as many as those types of players. However, I think they’ve still got players capable of going far in a competition, certainly much further.
“As I say, the quality of player would be the least of my worries, it would be the mentality going into a tournament and looking as if we can play as well in a competition as we do in qualification – we seem unbeatable in that.
“We shall see. I think the question mark all around England is there because we’ve all been really disappointed with the last couple of competitions.”
Meanwhile the senior England national team ended the international break on a fairly positive note after drawing 0-0 against both world champions Germany and the excellent Brazil side.