Updated: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 6:20am

Michael Owen blames omission of Manchester United's Paul Scholes for England's Euro 2012 defeat to Italy

Michael Owen blames omission of Manchester United's Paul Scholes for England's Euro 2012 defeat to Italy

By Dean Wilkins

Former England hero Michael Owen is claiming Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes was the missing link in England’s penalty shootout defeat to Italy yesterday.

The Three Lions crashed out of Euro 2012 after losing their fifth consecutive shootout as a dominate Azzurri side set up a semi-final meeting with Germany.

And throughout the match England failed to keep possession and Owen took to Twitter to condemn the absence of Scholes in midfield.

He said: "Pirlo was awesome but we have a player of a similar age and equally as good. Unfortunately he wasn't there. #Scholes.

"Easy for people to say 'until we keep possession better we will never win anything'. We are not as good as others at doing that.

"We played to our strengths but are just not quite good enough. We were hoping to 'do a Chelsea'. If you are not the best team then you have to find an alternative way to win. The other option is to forget results for a while and start from scratch playing a different style.

"Doubt we have the type of players to do that though. Answer has to be to start coaching our youngsters a different brand of football."

Rio Ferdinand also identified with the players but praised the magnificence of Pirlo as being the difference between to two countries.

Ferdinand said: "Wow, out on penalties again. Gutted for the lads man.

"On a pure footballing note Pirlo just put on a pure footballing master class + the penalty was too much".