Freddy Shepherd has come out today and insisted that Michael Owen was the right deal at the right price for the Newcastle club.
Freddy Shepherd – Owen was a good deal – when it was made
Freddy told the Evening Chronicle today:
“Hindsight is a great management tool – everybody’s wise after the event,”
“It’s very easy for people to say signing Michael Owen was a disaster, but everybody said it was a fantastic deal at the time. There were no dissenters back then.”
“The clamour for him to sign was immense, and I didn’t hear any complaints from the thousands who turned up to welcome him on the day he arrived.”
Michael did have a good goal-scoring record but in his first two seasons on Tyneside he played just 14 times and scored 7 goals, and the thing that upset Newcastle fans the most, was that he seemed more interested in playing for England than Newcastle.
And the thing that really cemented his place as a failure at the club were his rather inept displays this year – because when you pay a player that much money, you expect him to come through when it really matters – and he didn’t – and the club was relegated.
But Shepherd added:
“At the time we signed him, his goals-per-game stats were about the best in the business and his pedigree second to none.”
“Plus, he had had no career-threatening injuries and we had his fitness stringently checked out, as Real Madrid had a year before. Yes, things didn’t turn out anything like we hoped and expected they would.”
“But nobody – and I mean nobody – saw it coming.”
Freddy seems defensive here, and we’re not sure why – it didn’t turn out with Michael and in retrospect we way overpaid for him, but that’s hardly Freddy’s fault. Everybody would have expected more production from Michael than he in fact produced, and it’s now having an adverse effect on him, as he looks for another top club, with not many looking to be much interested.
Alan Shearer scored 82 goals on average in 4 seasons on Tyneside, with 206 goals in his 10 seasons at Newcastle.
Freddy got a world-class player to Tyneside at the time, but how many players who come here, just don’t fare well, for whatever reason? We overpaid for him at £17M, becasue he was sold to Real Madrid from Liverpool for just £ 8M 12 months before, and he didn’t exactly take Real Madrid by storm.
And we wonder why Freddy brings this up now, because it was a good signing initially, and was news throughout the world, as people were amazed to see over 20,000 turn out at St. James’ Park, just to welcome Michael to the club. It was great news for the club, that’s for sure.
But it just didn’t work out and Michael cost the club around £1.3M for each of the 30 goals he scored at Newcastle. It’s not a good deal for the club, and we’re sure Michael himself is less than happy with that record.
But a combination of his injuries, his very political comments, when you didn’t really know what he was really thinking, and his lack of form this year, have all combined to make it a poor deal for the Tyneside club – and yes that’s in retrospect.
We should all probably just leave it there and move forward. There are much bigger concerns at the club right now that need to be deal with, and quickly