Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
Can England`s most prolific strike partnership force their way back into the team?
Michael Owen has been reunited with Peter Crouch at the Britannia Stadium to reignite an impressive partnership which blossomed at international level, but neither player has been involved in an England squad for some time.
Michael Owen was last involved in an England squad back in 2008 whilst Crouch last received a call up in 2010.
This week Roy Hodgson stated the reasons behind why Peter Crouch was not in his immediate England plans but admitted that there was a way back into the England fold for the Stoke striker.
England manager Hodgson stated that Crouch had rejected the opportunity to be a back up for his squad to Ukraine and Poland to compete in Euro 2012 on the grounds that he only wanted to be involved if he was in the initial squad.
With this in mind, the former Fulham, West Brom and Liverpool manager decided against calling Crouch into the England set up even after the injuries to Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney.
Hodgson said: "I'm not going to bring him here [into the squad] to fill up the bench. The day Crouch gets in the England squad is when I think he should be in the original 23.'
With this statement it suggests that if Crouch can recapture any resemblance of his previous form which allowed him to win 42 caps in which he scored 22 goals for the Three Lions, then there would be a place available in a Hodgson squad for the beanpole striker.
Crouch, 31, believes that the recent acquisitions at the Britannia Stadium, especially the one of his former England strike partner Michael Owen could help him and his former international team mate add to their England caps.
"If we`re scoring regularly in the Premier League for a successful team, why shouldn`t we be considered again?"
The 6 foot 7 striker admits that he is enjoying his football in Staffordshire and that this could help him regain his spot.
"I`m playing well and I`ve scored in my last couple of games. I play most weeks and I`m really enjoying my football again. Michael coming here is another step forward.
"I`ll just continue to enjoy it. If the England call comes, great. If not, I`ve got Stoke to concern myself with."
The chance to link up with Owen could mean that Stoke`s supporters could be in for a real treat this season if the duo could rekindle any kind of the form they`ve shown before.
The pair has notched up an incredible 16 goals in 16 games together with a 100% win record too boot whilst playing for England, making them England`s most prolific strike partners ever.
If both Owen and Crouch can play and score regularly then there is no reason why the pair can`t stake a claim to be in an England squad in the near future, especially with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck not being regulars in their domestic sides.
Hodgson has given both Stoke strikers a glimmer of hope by admitting that no one is out of contention for his squad if he thinks` they merit a place.
"I've not dismissed anybody, even Peter Crouch."
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
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