Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has told The Huffington Post UK of his disappointment at his international career.
Fowler had Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand and Andrew Cole to compete with for selection in the 90’s. But he feels aggrieved he was often marginalised.
“You mention those names and that says it all, really,” he said during an interview for the Barclays Global Fans Survey.
“I don’t know why I didn’t play more often for England, that’s not a question I can answer. I’d like to think I could play a little bit as well as score goals, but that didn’t get particularly appreciated."
Fowler was capped just 26 times by three different England managers and scored seven goals during his six-year association with the national side.
The 36-year-old made two substitute appearances at Euro 96 under Terry Venables but missed out on the 1998 World Cup due to a knee ligament injury. He travelled to Japan and South Korea four years later, featuring from the bench against Denmark in the second round.
Fowler won just 26 England caps, despite his potency at club level
Reflecting on the dearth of quality England strikers available for selection now, Fowler sympathises with the current crop of forwards.
“When I played it seemed easier to score goals than it does now," said the Premier League legend. "With so many teams playing with one man up front. It seems much harder for strikers to make an impression.”
Still a close follower of old club Liverpool, two successive defeats for the Reds after their League Cup triumph have left Kenny Dalglish's side 10 points adrift of a Champions League place, meaning they will be probably be playing Europa League football next season.
But Tuesday’s 3-0 Merseyside derby defeat of Everton has offered the team a springboard for more success. And Fowler, who scored 183 goals for the club, insists the season can still be a success and is adamant that Kenny Dalglish is the right man for the Anfield hot seat.
“They can still win two trophies this season,” said the Kop hero.
Fowler notches a classy strike against Albania in 2001:
“It’s premature to question Kenny after two defeats and the answer to his success lies on paper. He’s already won one trophy and he can win another.
“Kenny’s got a great managerial record at Liverpool and has done wonders for the club in the past. It feels like a proper football club again,” he stressed.
The Reds’ campaign has been blighted by the Luis Suarez race row, after the Uruguayan was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra and suspended for eight matches. The club’s conduct was met with much opprobrium, and Fowler admits it was “not ideal”.
“They deal with things that they always deem fit,” he mused. “The club don’t hang out their players to dry, that goes as far back to Shankly.
“What happened was not ideal but they’ve drawn a line under it. The case is closed and what has happened has happened. That can’t be changed.”
Fowler came close to joining Blackpool last week but the move ultimately fell through. He has no offers from other clubs presently, but was unequivocally sure of his desire to get into management when he does eventually retire.
“Definitely,” he replied enthusiastically. “I did a bit of management in Thailand and that was a good experience.”
Fowler was dubbed "God" by worshipping Kopites
“We finished third in the league and we got them to the cup final, so I really enjoyed that and I’d love to partake in it again.”
And having played alongside a plethora of potent goalscorers, who is the best striker he ever played alongside?
“I’ve been very lucky to play with some great strikers,” he said.
“Ian Rush was phenomenal obviously for me starting out at Liverpool, but the best strike partner I had was Stan Collymore. People used to say we didn’t get on but that really wasn’t the case. We spoke but never socialised, but he was terrific to play alongside.”
Robbie Fowler is encouraging fans to enter the Barclays Global Fans Survey - a survey by Barclays to find out the views of Barclays Premier League fans around the world. To take part and be in with the chance of winning a trip to see your favourite Barclays Premier League team play live, visit www.barclaysfootball.com