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.
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.
“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.