Michael Owen's Goal Scoring Tips

michael owen
(Image credit: Unknown)

What are your three career highlights?

One of my career highlights, and probably my most recognisable acheivement, was my goal for England against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup. I was only 18 at the time and I think it’s fair to say that the goal announced me to the world as a top class player and changed my life in many ways.

Scoring two goals in the FA Cup Final against Liverpool was another career highlight. We were one goal behind and I scored two late goals to snatch glory from the jaws of defeat. As a young boy I always dreamed of winning the FA Cup Final, so to actually do it was amazing.

A third career highlight would be winning European Player of the Year Award. It’s a really unique trophy so that was very special. There have been some phenomenal players to have won that trophy (and not many English players either) so it was a great honour to be awarded that. Kevin Keegan was the last English person to win it before me.

What are your three career lowlights?

Tearing my hamstring against Leeds in 1999. This has had lasting effects on the rest of my career and although I maintained my career at a high level, I found that it effected my performance.

Getting knocked out of the World Cup in the 1998 World Cup against Argentina. That was very hard to take. I obviously felt at the top of my game at the time and would have loved to have continued in that competition. We had a really good team at the time and if we had gone through on penalties, I think we could have gone on to do great things that year.

Getting knocked out of the next World Cup four years on to Brazil was devastating. We genuinely thought that if we won against Brazil we could have gone on to win the World Cup in Japan. Turkey and Germany would have been our next opponents who we had beaten previously so we would have had a great chance of bringing the trophy home.

Can you give three top tactical tips for strikers?

It’s always difficult talking about tactical tips because every striker is different. Everyone has a different way of playing.

My dad always used to say to me that every time you had a chance to have a shot on goal, take it. Make sure that you are always following in on the goal keeper. You unsettle the defence and the goal keeper and it can lead to unexpected goals.

To amplify your goal scoring abilities, make sure you are timing your run into goal well and get in front of the defender. This is especially important when crosses are coming in. Most goals are scored from crosses, so it’s really important to practise this.

Another top tip is to practise in front of goal. It’s really important to feel comfortable by the goal and be able to finish the ball well. Playing for school was a great starting point for me as I had the chance to have multiple shots at goal during every match. When you transfer to a bigger club and go onto the world stage, you have that confidence behind you so if you only have one or two chances during a game you are far more likely to score.

Can you give three exercises/drills for building and maintaining pace on the pitch?

Gym based work is very important. I would recommend doing lots of squats and lunges and doing them with heavy weights. This builds up your fast twitch fibres and explosive strength and in turn will transfer into speed on the pitch.

Speed endurance is also very important for the game of football. You need to be able to sprint at multiple occasions during the game. Again this can be improved by spending time in the gym and with your trainer.

Finally, just playing the game of football and spending time on the pitch will help you improve your speed, endurance and fitness as well as your skills. 

Michael Owen is working with Shell V Power Nitro+

Coach Staff

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