'England`s Michael Owen` speaks
It seems Lil Mickey has taken the hump on the whole hype surrounding the England v Estonia/Russia games this coming week, coming out and firing a very public broadside about his involvement with the Three Lions. Owen said:
"People who label me as someone who is just trying to do this or that are wrong. I have always pushed myself. I have played when I have been hurt for club and country. My career is short, so I am hungry to play every game and score every goal. I just cannot fathom the way things have snowballed. I thought people would think it was fantastic that I had got back in eight days. I thought they would be talking about how I had gone through the pain barrier to get back so quickly.
Instead, it has been turned into a negative. Maybe the speed of my recovery has contributed to people thinking it cannot be right. If I was only interested in playing for England, I would not have bust a gut to get myself fit and be available for Sunday.
This has been stirred up for quite a while, right back to my Liverpool days. I scored for England in the World Cup at such an early age at a time when Liverpool were coming fourth and fifth in the league. My room-mate was Jamie Carragher, who is a Liverpool fan. All his family are Liverpool and Everton fans as well, so they are right in the thick of things within the city.
I remember him saying that because I made my name with England, I would always be associated with them - that the fans would think I was England's player rather than Liverpool's until I won something with Liverpool. When we won the (2001 cup) treble, I definitely felt a warmth towards the fans but unfortunately that label has stuck with me right the way through my career."