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Football: Euro 2004: OWEN PUTS HIMSELF ON SPOT.

Byline: Martin Lipton in Lisbon

A DEBATE over who should be England's penalty taker was raging in the camp last night after David Beckham's miss cost his side a win over France.

Michael Owen threw his hat into the ring by saying he would be keen to step in if Becks decided he wasn't able to cope with the pressure.

Although the Real Madrid star scored spot-kicks against Argentina in the World Cup finals and also in the European Championships qualifier against Turkey at the Stadium of Light, there is talk of replacing him.

Before Sunday's miss, the England captain also fluffed his previous penalty in Turkey when he slipped in the run up to the kick.

Owen may be keen to take over but he himself was replaced as Liverpool's penalty taker after two misses this season.

Steven Gerrard took over he blew his first kick, too, and Danny Murphy now takes penalties for the Reds.

Paul Scholes does not take penalties and Wayne Rooney is not Everton's taker.

The leading candidate could well be Frank Lampard, a confident penalty-taker for Chelsea.

But England coach Sven Goran Eriksson hinted that Beckham would continue as penalty-taker despite his miserable recent record.

"If there was a penalty to take today, David Beckham would want to take it," Eriksson said. "I don't think he will have any problems."

CAPTION(S):

OWEN: In the frame
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2004
Words:232
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Next Article:Football: Euro 2004: Life won't be worth living if you fail to roll over Swiss; HENCHOZ TURNS UP HEAT AHEAD OF SHOWDOWN.


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