Michael Owen has talked again to the Newcastle Journal this morning, and he has rather surprisingly tried to defend his terrible injury record on Tyneside, but why, we’re not too sure.
Michael Owen – tries to defend injury record on Tyneside
Michael’s injury record has been terrible at Newcastle and after almost 4 seasons on Tyneside, he has started just 60 games, with an additional 11 substitute appearances, and has scored 30 goals.
Michael said this morning:
“There is no hiding from the fact injuries have been the bane of my time at Newcastle. It is frustrating, however, and people will probably laugh, but I know I’m not injury-prone.”
“If you look at my time at Newcastle, the problems started when Paul Robinson landed on my foot against Tottenham just after Christmas. Loads of people get metatarsal injuries, but they are normally not as bad as mine. Nobody’s foot would not have broken in that situation.”
“I’ve then rushed my preparations for the World Cup. I played half-a-game for Newcastle. After being in plaster for so long my leg was de-conditioned and with hindsight, I should never have gone to Germany with England.”
“It’s easy to say that now, but if I had my time again I would still have gone because it was a World Cup. I’m not thinking what could have been, but with hindsight my leg was half as strong as it should have been.”
“Muscles support limbs and I twisted my knee awkwardly and that was it. All that came from someone landing on my foot, so I don’t think it’s my fault.”
Michael was criticized a lot in 2006, for looking to be more interested in making that World Cup for England, than anything else, but it’s hard to blame the lad for wanting to represent his country.
However, Owen just wasn’t strong enough to play, and that showed up quickly in the tournament, with his terrible knee injury, which kept him out of the Newcastle side almost a full season.
The knee injury was suffered in the first half of England’s 2-2 draw with Sweden in the final game of the group stage. Michael’s first two seasons at Newcastle were just completely wrecked by injury, and he appeared just 14 times, but still managed 7 goals.
In the last two seasons things have improved from then, but how could they not do, and he’s appeared 33 times, with 13 goals last season, and 24 times so far this season, with 10 goals.
Of course Newcastle fans are all hoping he can score a few more goals in the final 9 games to help Newcastle survive in the Premier league.
It’s hard to argue that Michael has been value for money over the last four seasons, and it doesn’t really matter who’s fault it is – it’s one of those things, but it’s still been a poor deal for the Tyneside club.
“I know I’ve had valid reasons for why I’ve picked up injuries. I had a reputation for being injury-prone because I’d had a few hamstring problems at Liverpool.” “At Real Madrid people said I was on the bench the whole time, but I started more games than I was a substitute.”
“Then came the foot and knee injuries. Since then I’ve had hernia surgery – which is very common – and I was playing again and scoring nine days later against Everton." "This season I twisted my ankle, which was another freak thing because I landed on the foot of the defender and that caused the problem.”
“I can understand people saying I should have played more because nobody wants to play more than me, but it does frustrate me when people say I’m injury-prone.” “There is no way I go on to the pitch and I am more fragile than anyone else. The injuries I’ve had could have happened to anyone in those circumstances.”
One thing that is not in Michael’s favor, is that as you age your body nasturally become more prone to injuries, and therefore the future for him, in terms of niggling injuries doesn’t look that bright.
You just have to look at Mark Viduka, who’s body seems to be completely finished, and just cannot take the rigors of playing full time professional football any more. Mark has started one game for the club this season, and is out injured again, but we still pay the Aussie around £60K/week.
“Hopefully the injuries haven’t detracted from me as a player. I’ve adapted my game as I’ve got older and my body has dictated that to an extent. When I was 18 and 19 I was flying down the wings like a greyhound, beating players and crossing the ball.”
“Alan Shearer was the same, he changed his game and became more of a target man towards the end, but he still got the goals.” “Clever players will always manage to adapt, they will always find a way of prevailing even if their bodies change.”
“The one thing I’ve got a history of is taking one or two games to get into my stride again, but we haven’t got time for me to do that. Hopefully my eye is in straight away and I start knocking the goals in again immediately.”
Of course the only thing Newcastle fans are thinking right now is that Michael can fire in the goals that will allow the club to get away from the relegation zone, and survive this season in the Premier league.
If he can do that, Newcastle fans will likely be very satisfied with Michael, at least for this season.
But we wonder why he has chosen this time to come our and defend his injury record, and try to say he’s not really injury prone. It’s hard not to think he’s selling himself for a high salary, either at Newcastle or at some other club.
Whether Michael stays or leaves Tyneside will be his choice, if Newcastle United remain in the Premier league, as the club will offer him a good new deal to stay.
We really have no idea what he will finally decide on his future, but we would hope he’ll stay with the club, and do that as soon as we are safe from relegation.
What do you think about this?
Let us know – comments always welcome.