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Ex-Saints boss praises 'wonderful' Owen
1:14pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Sport
Former England manager Glenn Hoddle reckons Michael Owen is in the top four of the nation's greatest finishers.
Ex-Saints boss Hoddle gave Owen his debut in 1998, included him in his World Cup squad for the 1998 finals in France, and was rewarded with a sensational goal from the teenager against Argentina.
"He is in the top four of our greatest ever finishers, along with Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer," Hoddle said.
"Some might say he is at the top of that list.
"He was a baby-faced assassin. His finishing was amazing for a young man. He had that coolness in the penalty box. Some players get anxious but he seemed to get calmer and calmer.
"Michael also had that wonderful intelligence to make the right movement to stay onside. He must have been a nightmare to defend against."
Hoddle recalls Owen's wonder goal against Argentina with fondness - "it was such a wonderful way to announce himself to the world" - but admits that injuries curtailed his achievements.
"When you have that blistering pace you do have hamstring problems. It is a shame really that he didn't go on and eclipse a load of records."