Michael Owen to United, a deal made in Heaven or joke of the month?

What A Joke, What A joke. For all you people out there who woke up on Friday morning to the shocking news that Man Utd’s new hero is, wait for it, Michael Owen, I hope you have recovered from the shock.

Where should I start? I mean all summer United have been talking about Benzema, Villa even Tevez, and in the end they bring a 29 year old who is more interested in his horses at Chester races than football , whose best days are well behind him and who has had more injuries than a gulf war hero.

Hull City and Stoke were fighting out for his signature after reading the 32 page glossy brochure that Owen’s team had produced, which sums up the level of interest in him. No other manager was prepared to give him a chance, and with his recent record who can blame them. His inability to perform in a Newcastle team, despite continuous support from a good friend as manager (Alan Shearer) cost Newcastle their Premier League status. The relegation struggle was the perfect platform for Owen to show his worth, and without any injuries, he was given a good length of games. Instead, what the struggle did show was his weaknesses as a player and how he has declined since he was named European player of the year in 2001. With a game built on pace and little else, then it is vulnerable to aging. He has found it very difficult to get into good positions; he has little body strength, and doesn’t have technical ability to play in a deeper role to accommodate for the loss of pace. Did he justify his £110, 000 a week salary? For 79 appearences over 4 years? £300 000 a game from a financially struggling club? Daylight robbery to me.

It is hard to see where he will fit in. Berbatov and Rooney could play as a front two, or Fergie could go for a front two and one playing just behind. Or maybe he will be a new‘super sub’. Ferguson plays a never say die, fight till the end mentality, and the number of goals United have got at the death is a testimony to his ethos. He used Tevez towards the end in such a role, although bench warming wasn’t something that Tevez was used to when he was playing at Boca juniors or Corinthians.

And what for player loyalty? A player who started of at age 14 at Liverpool, worshipped by so many fans dating back to his debut goal against Wimbledon back in 1997.

Memorabilia collected over years and years, sticking up and supporting him through his injuries, all the standing ovations, the tears when he broke our heart and left for Madrid, the continuous arguments with united fans arguing that he is a better player than Van Nistelroy. And what do they get for it? Him raising the United scarf aloft, next he’ll be kissing the badge, and then bowing down to the Sir Matt Busby statue? It was rumoured that after his last visit to Anfield, he received such an abusive reception that Gerrard mentioned Owen had tears in his eyes on the pitch and was inconsolable afterwards. I don’t condone fan abuse, but if he was inconsolable then, well his next visit to Anfield will not be too pretty.

Carlos Tevez refused to go to Liverpool this summer as a result of this intense rivalry, Michael Owen could and should have done the same, especially after coming through the system at Anfield and living in the North West and knowing what the rivalry is all about.

On paper United can’t lose with the signing. He is a free agent, one of the poorly paid players at the club. Everything else is a bonus for United. If he does remain fit and gets a few games then he has the chance to cement a place in the England World cup squad. Although, right now his priority couldn’t be further away from that; he has to cement a place in the ‘I’ve played more than 20 games this season’ group. I can’t see him succeed, but Owen will always say form is temporary, class is permanent.

2 Responses to “Michael Owen to United, a deal made in Heaven or joke of the month?”

  1. Manish Says:

    Q:Where in the Man Utd lineup will Owen go???

    A:The bench( and that’s on a good day!)

  2. Impartial And Bermused Says:

    Great article! Its an interesting take which on first read, takes a blood thirsty outlook… indeed if a picture could complement your article it would be a speared michael owen head…

    However was there anything to lose for united? and if a brochure could only attract tony mo n philli brown then what did owen have to lose? but if you loved him… maybe it would be utter heartbreak to watch him even hold up the red devil shirt.

    Well i think you have to consider ummmteen bad alex ferguson signings gone undercover leading the likes of jesper blom, bloborsky n won ‘nothing’ pablo veron… and hope for the sake of an owen legacy (if we r hoping for it) this isnt the bitter longed out end to a career with a benched/ league cup/ role model role for one of englands most decorated strikers…

    I wont forget the confident take and charge to goal before darting round and slamming home against argentina…

    Before i offend any liverpool fanatics, i appreciate the issue of loyalty but you must remember the changing times were living in… say thankyou for the goodtimes and wish him the best… or to move clubs pronto lol

    keep writing writer

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