Former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer admitted he was shocked by Michael Owen's omission from England's squad for their opening 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Croatia and Andorra.

Coach Fabio Capello has named only four strikers - Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey and Theo Walcott - in his 23-man squad for matches on September 6 and 10 respectively.

Shearer believes Capello may have made a mistake leaving Owen, 28, out of his plans in the ties against Andorra and Croatia.

"When you consider he has got a goal every two games, it's a big shock," Shearer said on BBC's Match Of The Day Two programme.

"None of the other players have got a good goalscoring record at international level but Michael Owen has.

"He's the sort of player who, if you are 1-0 down to Croatia, you would want to come off the bench and get you a goal."

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