Whoever told Dudley Rogg, Director and Founder of the British Hernia Center, that anybody needed his opinion on if and when Michael Owen should have a hernia operation?
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has already made a statement that Michael Owen doesn’t need a hernia operation andÂ should be ready to play for Newcastle on Sunday against West Ham, in a crucial game for the club.
So what’s going on here?
Michael Owen – first priority has to be the club who pays his wages
Despite this background, Rogg has the nerve to say he’s confident that if Owen did undergo surgery now, he would be back in time to playÂ in England’s European 2008 qualifier against Estonia on October 13 and the trip to Russia four days later. Really, and how many more games would Michael miss for the club who pays his wages â€“ Newcastle United?
Here’s what Rogg said today:
“With the modern treatment now available, we have footballers back on the pitch within 14 days experiencing no further problems.â€
“Unless Sam Allardyce delays the surgery – which will not only put Michael Owen at serious risk of making his hernia worse, but experiencing recurring problems – our experience suggests he should easily be fighting fit for England’s next European qualifier against Estonia on October 13.”
Michael already missed the whole of last season by rushing back to play for England.Â It’s obviously better for the club – if Michael is indeed to have an operationÂ – that he have the operation during the international break. That way he would miss fewer games for his club, Newcastle.
So here’s where we get into the club versus country argument, but let’s remember Michael’s substantial wages are being paid by Newcastle â€“ and not by England. Yes, we know Owen’s a great player and vital for England. We also know Michael loves playing for his country and we all want England to do well – we know all about that.But one reason Michael missed nearly the whole of last season (when Newcastle finished in a disappointing 14th position) was because he was brought back by England, without being fully match fit, for last year’s World Cup in Germany. Because of this he suffered a terrible ACL knee injury, the worst injury of his career.
So we’re not sure Newcastle will want to go too much out of their way to help England again.
What do you think?Â Are we being too pragmatic over this?Â Too protective of Newcastle’s interests?Let us know – comments always welcome.