Football: AJ WILL TWIN IT; Owen: Mini-Me Andy Can Get Rooney Firing Again
Byline: JOHN CROSS in Tel Aviv
INJURED England striker Michael Owen has backed his latest replacement Andrew Johnson to shine on his first competitive England start - because they are so similar.
Owen believes their stature and approach means they are footballing twins who help bring out the best in Wayne Rooney.
At the age of 27, Newcastle striker Owen is a year older than his Everton counterpart and has bagged 36 goals in an 80-cap stellar England career.
Johnson has never started a competitive international, has yet to appear in an England shirt in his favoured line-leading role and has still to score for his country. But Owen, 5ft 8in and an inch taller than AJ, insists that is where the differences end. "He's quite similar to me in many respects, he likes to play on the last defender and he's a goalscorer.
"That type of player probably brings the best out of Wayne Rooney as he gives him more space to do what he does best behind him.
"I think he can make the step up to play international football on a regular basis. He's certainly had a good season. Scoring in the Premiership is difficult to do and he's obviously done that. There's a lot of pressure at international level but I know him quite well from being in the England squad with him and I'm sure he'll handle it.
"If it's him and Wayne up front then he'll fit into the pattern of the system very well. …