Questions Linger over Michael Owen’s Desire And Drive


We were told that once Michael was fit again in March, he’d come to Newcastle’s rescue and there was no better player to have in your side than Michael Owen – to get the goals that would save Newcastle.

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Michael Owen – terrible four years on Tyneside

But he didn’t score one goal in the run-in and Newcastle were not saved, and not only that, but he was dropped by both Hughton and Shearer so there must have been something Michael was not showing them in training.

And David Whelan, Chairman of Wigan, who is more than outspoken about things, but nevertheless tells it like it is, thinks Michael may be past it, and has lost his desire for top class football. Oh yes, and for the last 18 months he was the Newcastle captain, who left the city at the end of May rather quietly with his tail between his legs – and via helicopter no less.

A big difference from  the time he arrived when 25,000 welcomed him to Newcastle and St. James’ Park in early September, 2005, when he was signed from Real Madrid.

Michael Owen, who is now 29 and lost his place in the England squad, will become a free agent when his contract at Newcastle United expires on June 30th, and the Tyneside club got little return for the reported £115K/week wages we paid him – just 30 goals in 4 years. And it has not gone unnoticed by other clubs in the Premier League.

There seems to be some serious doubts from other teams that may be interested in the player, with Aston Villa reported to be only willing to pay for games played – wouldn’t that would have saved Newcastle some money over the last four years.

A lot of that wasn’t Michael’s fault of course, because he was injured so much, usually while playing for England, but the word on Michael seems that he is not only injury prone, but he has lost his desire to be a great striker.

David Whelan, who attempted to sign him from Real Madrid prior to his £17M transfer to Newcastle on August 31st 2005, has insisted that he will not make any move for the former Liverpool and Real Madrid player, due to doubts over his fitness and desire.

Whelan introduced new manager Roberto Martinez on a three-year contract earlier this week said:

“Would we be interested in signing Michael Owen? No.”

“One, his wages are too expensive, and two, has he got the urge, the bottle and the drive to do what the Premier League wants?”

“It’s a big question. I hope he has because he has been a great player. But I would think he will want to go to a much bigger club than Wigan anyway.”

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill seemed to pull out of interest for the player earlier this month, and Everton would only consider signing the player should he take a drastic cut in wages.

But despite pursuing Owen’s signature four years ago in order to offer the player first-team football in the build-up to the 2006 World Cup, Whelan admits he has no plans to chase Owen again.

David continued:

“When I tried to sign him, I said to his agent I would pay the £15M to bring him here and let him leave whenever he wanted.”

“I wanted him to be available to play for England, it was the World Cup year and I said I would bring him over here until Christmas so he could play in the league and be fit and be ready to play for England.”

“I knew we would lose him at Christmas anyway. I was just trying to help England.” “Michael’s wages will come down, but for us to pay someone over even £25,000 a week is a hell of a lot of money.”

We all had such high hopes about what Owen could do for Newcastle when he was signed, but he just hasn’t delivered, although he wasn’t alone last season, with so many of our players seeming to lack the guts and desire to save a proud club from relegation.

They failed – and failed rather miserably if truth be told.

Comments welcome.



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13 comments so far

  • ELFER

    Jun 17, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #1

    sad to tell the truth: he’s past it 🙁

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  • Phillippe Alberrrrrrrt

    Jun 17, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #2

    I feel a bit sorry for him – but at the same time he’s paid £110,000 per week becuase he’s supposed to play football and put the ball in the net. He hasn’t done either for a while.
    What Dave Whelan’s doing running his mouth about it is beyond me. He’s the second most disgusting owner in English football behind…………..

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  • Toon Graeme

    Jun 17, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #3

    Do you think the brochure release was an act of desperation? I dont wish MO any bad feeling but he simply didnt earn his money and had grown fat on his bank balance.

    Question – will NUFC offer him a contract on massive reduced wages and pay per perform?

    A debate if you will.

    I think not!

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  • Graeme

    Jun 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #4

    It was obvious at the time we bought him, no one else wanted him. The best offer Real had for him was around £12 mill but involved a “pay as you play” element that EMO wasnt happy with.

    Out of the blue, up jumps Fat Freddy and makes a bid of £17 mill!! WHY???????

    Lets be completely honest here; MO didnt really want to be here, but his choice was come to NUFC on a Megabuck deal or stay with Real and play the odd game when one of their 1st choice players needed a rest. It wasnt really rocket science was it?/

    The result has been an unhappy player, spending most of the last 4 years recovering from one setback after another. Has he made any serious contribution to NUFC in his time at the club? That has to be an emphatic NO.

    A complete waste of money and a sad reflection on a once great player. Its no wonder there is no interest being shown by other clubs in taking him on. His next stop will be back to his horses.

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  • antz1uk

    Jun 17, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #5

    feel sorry for him?

    jesus, this man was our club captain and we never heard a peep out of him, i am not one of these who expected him to apologise for his wage or transfer fee, that wasn’t his fault, it was FFS’s, but the man never showed an ounce of humility towards us, he is the most selfish footballer there is out there,

    lets not forget he engineered his own move away from liverpool thinking he was bigger than the club and it all went pear shaped for the lad after that.

    this has all been his own doing as he simply isn’t anywhere near as good as he likes everyone to think

    I wouldn’t have him in the championship, he has no bottle and no fight whatsoever

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  • stk85

    Jun 17, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6

    once players get a mega-paypacket, why do they feel that taking a cut is somehow beyond them, ie. why should they always stay at their mega-bucks level of wages?

    one answer…. greed.

    players should want to come and play for us without the carrott being dangled infront of them.

    we should’ve set a 60k a week limit years ago.

    there is no need to pay some average joe who’s nly skill is kicking a piece of plastic across some grass more than 20 times what the average supporter earns in a year.

    its not just nufc, its football in general and its sickening

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  • Spoonman

    Jun 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Michael Owen is a player who needs service, if he was playing for a top club he’d score goals. However none of the top clubs will want him so I can’t see where he goes from here. America perhaps?

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  • sirjasontoon

    Jun 17, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #8

    Should have been stripped of the captains armband when he wouldn’t sign his contract and made to rot in the reserves.

    Glad he is going and that brochure thing is proper desperate.

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  • JJJ

    Jun 17, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #9

    “Spoonman // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Michael Owen is a player who needs service, if he was playing for a top club he’d score goals. However none of the top clubs will want him so I can’t see where he goes from here. America perhaps?”

    MO wouldnt score any more goals than the likes of Zamora or Doyle would playing for a top club.
    He has always been overated and is now …. for a player earning 110k a week, an absolute disgrace as a footballer and he should either take a large dose of humilty and cut his wages to around 30k per week or retire…
    He wants to modernise his game now that he has lost his pace like Shearer did… haha.
    He doesnt have the strength, the height, determination, or skill to do that.
    All he ever had was pace and finishing ability. he has lost both and is now a very average player.
    Cant wait to see his wages and name removed from our squad list.

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  • JJJ

    Jun 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #10

    Oh yes… and his leadership qualities are laughable. He has none at all…

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  • lesh

    Jun 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #11

    How dare they question Owen’s desire and drive. What does he have to do to prove himself? Play more than 10 games a season?

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  • Sav

    Jun 17, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #12

    Well its not our problem and he won’t be missed. Love the idea of the brochure, though. Could you imaging shearer ever having a brochure to hawk himself around to clubs? I thought goals did that for you.
    Wonder what KK would make of the brochure.

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  • Toon_Ksk (Huh? u mean David Craig is real?)

    Jun 17, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #13

    He should go into horse racing full-time and stay out of football

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