Manchester United striker Michael Owen failed to impress in front of the watching England boss Fabio Capello last night. The English Champions hosted Valencia at Old Trafford last night in their final preseason friendly before the Community Shield against Chelsea on Sunday, and Owen missed the chance to stake a real claim for an England recall.
Owen and Wayne Rooney linked up well in the early exchanges, and indeed throughout the match, however the former Liverpool striker failed to convert any of the gilt edged chances the lively Rooney presented him with.
Intriguingly the match gave Ferguson and the United faithful an opportunity to look at reputed target David Silva at close quarters. The diminutive Spanish international came on in the second half, and impressed with some subtle movement and intricate passes.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the team’s all-round performance and in particular Antonio Valencia.
Ferguson told MUTV: “The important thing for me was Valencia’s performance; I thought he was very, very good,”
“He’s got great balance and he’s got power and speed. Coming to our club, he’s immediately taken the challenge well and with purpose, so we’re very pleased with what we’ve seen so far.”
The wily Scot also praised some of his younger players, all of whom will be given more of chance to shine next season.
He continued: “It was an opportunity to play a lot of the younger players,”
“Tom Cleverley scored, Darron Gibson had two fantastic shots from outside the box – he showed his power tonight, which is pleasing – and Ritchie De Laet and Fabio gave excellent performances.”
“I also thought Macheda’s movement in the last third was fantastic. For a 17-year-old, he’s something special.”
Ferguson was quick to praise Owen’s movement, despite missing some chances in front of goal. It was the first time Owen and Rooney had started a game together for United, and there were encouraging signs for the Premier League side.
Ferguson added: “Michael (Owen) showed marvelous movement.”
“Michael was unlucky. His first chance was a great pass by Wayne Rooney and marvellous movement.”
“He should’ve scored four, but he was unlucky with the first one that he just chipped it over the goalkeeper’s shoulder and by the post.”