Michael Owen has spoken out in the Mail today, and says he is happy the last two weeks are finally over.
Michael Owen – being substituted last night
Michael has said he’s had a terrible two weeks and talked about things this morning, seemingly to get some things off his chest:
“On a personal basis, I am glad the last fortnight is over,’ ‘I was angry with myself for missing that chance against Portsmouth and then disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up against my former club.”
“I have known our manager ever since I started in the game and consider him to be a friend but there was no old pals’ act as far as his decision-making was concerned,” “Though I was upset and felt that he was wrong.”
“And only last week the press pointed out that, even though I had only scored eight league goals this season, my conversion ratio was the best in the Premier League – what I can’t fault is the way he handled the situation: strong, up front and honest. Just the way a top manager should be.”
“I also appreciate that rotation is part of today’s game and any number of top players were left out of the Champions League semi-finals for tactical or other reasons.”
Owen put in a solid shift last night in the crucial defeat of Middlesbrough, and he was unlucky in the first half, with a great glancing header from a Mark Viduka center, that was brilliantly turned over the cross bar by Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones.
His 70th-minute replacement, Obafemi Martins, scored after being on the filed just 55 seconds and Oba ran to the dugout and jumped on Shearer, who was then nearly knocked over by a jubilant Damien Duff, who put in another solid display as a left back.
The win lifted Newcastle out of the bottom three and Owen pointed to the spirit that Newcastle’s interim manager is trying to instill on Tyneside, and believe us, it was there for all to see last night, with a stunning performance of commitment and courage from the side.
“Professionalism and discipline are important requirements in football,’ said Owen. ‘Look at established managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Fabio Capello – they build their success on enormous respect from their players.”
“Apart from trying everything he possibly can to keep Newcastle in the top flight, the manager is also trying to instil good habits.” “He wants you supporters to be proud of this club for its achievements and standards both on and off the pitch.”
‘I wish you were able to see how professional and focused we all are. The management team have made certain that we are in the right frame of mind and each of us knows the job we have to do as individuals and as part of the team.”
We noticed that Nicky Butt was our captain again last night, so we don’t know if that’s an official change Alan has made, and whether Owen will want to stay on at Newcastle in the summer.
However, when he was substituted on 71 minutes last night the Newcastle crowd gave him a generous ovation, as much for his professional conduct over the last few weeks than anything else. But the fans have never really taken to the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and England striker.
Yes, it’s been a difficult time for Michael over the last few weeks, but it’s been even worse for the club, and last night hopefully was the big turning point that can save our season.
A couple of goals from Michael on Saturday will no doubt lighten his mood.