MICHAEL OWEN: THE ART OF FINISHING!

One of England's all-time greatest strikers shares his goalscoring secrets!

I found it best to be a placer rather than a smasher...

Owen says: "Some people just go for power and of course sometimes there’s a need for that, but in general I was more of a finisher than just someone that smacked it."

the key to it is practice...

Owen says: "That sounds obvious, but don’t ever be afraid of repeating, 15-20 times. I believe I ended up being a very good finisher because [as a kid] I would get 15 chances in a game and maybe one game I’d score nine goals as a kid, and then I’d go to play for my school team and get 10 chances, and score four goals in that game. But over that time you’re fine tuning your finishing. Where you like it. How you like setting it up. Where you want to position the goalkeeper. Where to take your touch."

Michael Owen Umbro Studio Shoot 1999
Michael Owen scoring at the Kop end for Liverpool

the dink finish was a particular favourite of mine...

Owen says: "I found out very early I didn’t really enjoy going around the goalkeeper. I’d prefer to take a touch, and with my pace the goalkeeper thinks: 'Oh, I can get that!' he would come and dive at my feet, but I was a bit quicker than they thought and then I would dink it."

You will only learn that after missing loads of chances...

Owen says: "Score loads of chances and find which is your favourite. I did that constantly as a kid. I don’t think coaches should make it hard for strikers, but if you’ve got a great striker who's 12 years-old what’s the point in putting them in the under-15s? Let him bully the opposition. Let them be that player that's scoring five or six, because, I’ll tell you what, when you’re older and you’re only getting one chance, you need to be totally confident in the finish you’re about to undertake!"

It’s each to their own...

Owen says: "I didn’t have the power of an Alan Shearer, or someone like that. I did it my way. My recommendation is to never get bored of being put in that position, and then you’ll find where your favourite finishes are, and how to do it better."

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