Press Need to Lay Off Michael Owen

Newcastle striker Michael Owen gave an interview yesterday at England’s training camp at Watford, and defended his position of wanting to play for England and that he was fully fit.

After training hard last week he got himself fit for the Newcastle game and proved his fitness with an excellent headed goal (or was it his shoulder?) and is keen to play in the two upcoming England games.

Yet since returning to play for Newcastle on Sunday he has been bombarded with negative criticism.


Michael Owenpress hounding Michael over his fitness – lay off him

Michael though if anything he should have recieved some praise for getting back so quickly from his hernia operation, but that has not been the case. Michael said yesterday:

“By Thursday the injury was obviously fine, I could continue playing just like the surgeon said I would be able to – I was available.” “The manager could have started me [against Everton], but he put me on the bench, I came on, played quarter of an hour. I’m fit.”

“I thought people would say ‘How has he got back in eight days? That’s fantastic.’ That they’d be talking about how I’d gone through the pain barrier to get back so quickly.”

“But people have turned it into a negative, saying ‘You’ve only done it for England’. You can’t win.”

Michael is obviously upset at some of the stories circulating in the press as he very rarely gets involved with any controversy. But yesterday he was emotional in defending his position. Owen continued:

“My room-mate Jamie Carragher, whose family are all Liverpool or Everton fans, in the thick of things in the city, said then [when Owen was at Liverpool]:”

“It is because you made your name with England, people associate you with England, until you win something with Liverpool, they will think you are England’s player as opposed to Liverpool’s.”

“‘ That label has probably stuck with me through my career and that’s unfortunate. Until we won the treble [in 2001] at Liverpool – then I definitely felt a warmth from the fans.”“If anything I’ve always pushed – even when I have been hurt – to play for my club, my country.”

“Your career is so short and I’m hungry to play in any game and score any goal. So to get tagged as someone who’s ‘just trying to do this’ or ‘just trying to do that’ is wrong.”

“If I play crap and you tell me, then that’s fine. Or if I have an injury and the specialist says it will take this amount of time to come back, I accept that. But once you are back and can tolerate the pain you just keep going.”

“Then you get people saying the opposite to what she’s [surgeon Dr Ulrike Muschaweck telling you. And that’s hard to take because now there are cameras up at Newcastle asking the fans ‘Should he be playing?’ And it causes a stir that should never ever happen.”

As we said yesterday Michael has a point and we believe far too much is being made of this. The press yesterday were trying to make out there was a rift between Big Sam and Michael, but since then both parties have come out and denied it. For a man manager as good as Sam, you would hardly believe he didn’t get on very well with one of his best players – certainly his most famous.

This is what happens when you are a super star playing for England – you get intense media scrutiny. Alan Shearer, when England captain, was always pummeled – whatever he did or said. And even going back to the 1980s England manager Bobby Robson used to spar with the press on a very regular basis  😀

Maybe that’s just the way it is.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • George

    Oct 11, 2007 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #1

    Totally agree with you Ed, but why is he speaking to the press when he does not like what they print?

  • steve

    Oct 11, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #2

    I agree – lets lay off Owen, we should respect any footballers right to want to play for their national team, lets face it how many of the current Newcastle squad (or anyones squad for that matter) grew up dreaming of wanting to play for the toon…….. that s right probably nil, times have moved on and the only way for players to get international recognition is to play for their country
    I remember growing up dreaming of scoring the winning goal for England against Brazil/Germany in the world cup final, well guess what Owens no different (ok he actually gets to live his dream whilst I never actually managed to grow up and still carry on dreaming of this even at the age of 47!!!

  • bowsie

    Oct 11, 2007 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #3

    Press Needs to Lay Off Michael Owen… writes blog that has posted a gazillion articles on the matter in the last 48 hours, mostly critical of Owen.

    Just kidding Ed, this story has twisted and turned – but was very impressed by Owen’s statement yesterday. Just hope he doesn’t get injured, fingers crossed…

  • jeff

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #4

    George,maybe he spoke to the press this time because of all the shit what was printed last time when he wouldnt come out and say if he was staying or going.Michael Owen is Michael Owen,a world class striker..The thing is the press have never come to terms why he decided to sign for newcastle.Because to all those south of the angel of the north newcastle are just an average team so those press from down south cant understand why he came here…
    Owen is on a hiding to nothing with whatever he does or doesnt do…Its a joke!!!When I heard he was getting booed when coming on at Everton game I couldnt believe it..Ive read on blogs that it was because Martins was going off and not cos of Owen or because it was the Everton fans…One of my mates who was at the game reckons it WAS cos of Owen…If this is the case I hope he scores loads of goals till January then sticks a big two fingers up at you all and leaves…..When are we going to understand we have another England No 1 playing for the toon……..Yes he has been injured a hell of a lot but is snapping his knee his fault???When he has played he has scored goals….Am i missing something but is that not what we want with our strikers like???Ok the injury he had hernia or whatever could he not have waited until international break and got it done then,dunno…but if he did would we have ended up winning against Everton??He got it done got back fit came on and won the game…why are we questioning him.Yes newcastle pay his wages massive ones at that but is that his fault,or is it his fault he has been injured?Or is it his fault he is one of the first names picked for England NAH its not its just the way it is……GET OVER IT!!!!!!!

  • Roger - Whitley Bay Mag

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #5

    I was also at the Everton match, sitting in the Gallowgate end, and my view on the booing was that it was displeasure at Martins being substituted. Not because of any animosity towards Owen but because of BSA’s reluctance to play Owen and Martins together. Friends of mine of who sit in the Leazes end said that Everton fans targetted Owen…no surprise there then really with the Liverpool connection.

    As far as Owen playing for England is concerned the facts do not do him any favours…since arriving just over two years ago he has started 17 matches for us. In the same period he has started 16 matches for England. Therefore assuming he starts in the next two internationals he will actually have started more matches for England than us in his time at Newcastle. It is little wonder that there is concern and exasperation in equal measures.

  • Connor McGee

    Oct 11, 2007 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #6

    I think owen is a disgrace he doesnt care aboot the toon sell him sam

  • hadrian

    Oct 11, 2007 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #7

    look , owen wasnt this talkative when his future was in question in the summer . now the guy seems to have found the arse to chat to anyone that will listen .
    im sorry but i dont think its fantastic him getting back in 8 days , maybe if he hadnt put himself out for over a year in a similar situation we wouldnt be having this debate , but he did .
    he didnt push himself to get back for the everton match , have a word with yourselves, its just convenient he can use the everton match as a basis to say he is fit .
    why did sam say he picked up his latest injury on int duty , only for saint michael to rubbish those reports to the media .
    owen also says he’s been playing thru pain for the past m0nth even pore int duty , all the while he told the press he was feeling better than ever .

    i know who’s came out ontop in this media debate , and it wasnt our manager .
    owens batted his eyelids and now the whole worlds press are calling us loyal toon fans ungreatfull .
    even our own fans are telling us to give it a rest on the back of the southern presses say so .

    all sams asked for is a bit of common sense , and when your playing on a pitch like they are in russia i think its warrented .

  • leo

    Oct 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #8

    if hes fit, let him play… just keep our fingers crossed that he doesnt pick a injury up.

  • Darren

    Oct 11, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #9

    Everyone should take a look at the comparison stats regarding Owen playing for club & country on NUFC.COM.

    It makes grim reading and before anyone takes a hissy fit on here, yes I like Owen and want him to stay but in my opinion……

    England comes first.
    He joined us for the money.
    He doesn’t seem too happy being here.


  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 11, 2007 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Darren – I think Owen will prove before the end of the year that he’s going to be very good for Newcastle. He’ll have to start producing shortly though, with all the time he’s had off. From the club’s viewpoint right now- it’s not clear at all they will want to renew his contract – he has to play a lot more games and score a lot more goals for us for it to be worthwhile on our side – given the fantastic wages he’s getting.

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 12, 2007 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #11

    Darren –’s POV has become about as worthless as yours – you still trying to peddle that “inside info on Harper/Given situation” rubbish? Not heard from you for a while.

  • Katherine

    Oct 13, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #12

    I think Owen was fit enough to play the full Everton game but fat Sam put him on the bench..he could have played the whole match!! I think Owen likes Newcastle but I dont blame him if he leaves after reading all these pathetic messages about him. It seems to majority of Newcastle fans want him to go so I would go if I were him…I wouldn’t put up with the negativity. And the FA paid his wages whilst he was injured so he owes Newcastle nothing!!!! Good luck for the future MO you are a hero in my estimation and the best striker in the Premiership!!!


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