33 year-old Michael Owen announced at the beginning of the week, that he will retire from football at the end of the season, and there’s no argument that Michael was once a world-class striker – but not since at least 2006, when injuries interrupted his career at Newcastle, Manchester United and now Stoke City.
Michael Owen while at Newcastle – shown with Viduka and Barton
Michael was at his best at Liverpool, where he was simply brilliant, but that’s when he picked up some serious hamstring injuries, and after leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2004, after six seasons on Merseyside, he was never the same player again.
One year after joining Real Madrid he left in a massive £17M deal for Newcastle United, and the Tyneside club also paid out £110K/week in what would go down as one of our worst transfer deals ever – although at the time it looked a fanatic acquisition for Newcastle, with 25,000 fans turning up at St. James Park, simply to welcome Micheal to the club.
Owen played only 79 games for the Tyneside club in four years, and scored only 30 goals, at a total cost to Newcastle of around £39M.
And Micheal left Newcastle in his helicopter only two days after we were relegated on 24th May, 2009 and he was basically never heard from again at Newcastle.
Some would even say they never heard from him while Newcastle were fighting relegation in those dramatic months leading up to our relegation, because he gave no interviews, and wasn’t even a first team choice at the end of his Newcastle carer.
And he was the Newcastle captain at the time. 🙁
After appearing on the BBC’s Football Focus, when he talked about his four years on Tyneside, the striker had to tweet the following words – simply to defend himself:
“Newcastle fans, following my Football Focus interview, plenty of you tweeting me saying you don’t blame me for getting injured but for leaving when we got relegated.”
“Despite the club saying they did, they didn’t ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did. How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide.”
“I’ve seen it a million times, a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground leaving the player with no leg to stand on. I’ve taken the stick for years which is fine but you really don’t know half of it. All will be revealed one day.”
But this all completely missing the point – Michael is right say we couldn’t afford him in the Championship – but we didn’t want him anyway – and we did very well in our next season, when we ended up as winners of the Championship with a massive 102 points and 30 wins in 46 games – and thanks to gentleman manager Chris Hughton – amongst others – Newcastle came storming back.
Michael was world-class while at Liverpool, but after he left the Merseyside club, mainly due to injuries, he rather quickly became little more than an ordinary player.
Our advice to Michael would be to keep a diplomatic silence – sometimes less is more – and the lad was world-class at Liverpool but nowhere near that performance level after only one year into his contract at the Tyneside club.
Leave it at that Michael – because you simply cannot win the argument – whatever it may be – not at Newcastle anyway.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org