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Owe yes or Owe no?

By Lee Ryder on May 21, 07 12:52 PM

Michael OwenWhen Michael Owen arrived on the scene at Newcastle United suddenly we went from a team that had just ended the previous season in 14th place to a team that could return to the Champions League.

Or so some of us thought!

Because no sooner had the 20,000 fans who filed in to greet Owen way back in August 2005 filed out again, it appeared to be downhill.

Yes Owen's start to life in a black and white shirt was decent with his hat-trick at West Ham showing we had a match winning striker on our hands.

But the injuries mounted up after that, breaking his foot at Tottenham to see out 2005 in agony and then his shocking knee injury at the World Cup last summer with the player having appeared for just 30 minutes in a black and white shirt before heading to Germany.

Now with just two and a bit games played - his last appearance resulting in Owen being stretchered off at Watford - the talk of the former Real Madrid is strongly in the air.

Surely the departure of Owen would be a body blow for Newcastle but by the same token the club shouldn't have to get down on their knees and beg him to stay, after two years of looking after the player in the treatment room - surely Saint Michael owes the Toon Army!

Liverpool didn't want Owen two years ago and have actually got to two Champions League finals without him now, so why would Rafa Benitez change his mind now?

Arsenal is another popular destination for Owen too while Manchester United are also thought to be interested.

Owen is not a man who cannot be replaced.

But the need for a 20 goal a season man is still needed despite the 17 goal haul of Oba Martins.

Whether the two can play together consitently is another debate.

Early indications are that Big Sam will sit and talk to Owen about his future but with two years left on his contract he will also not want to come across as a quitter.

A quick look at Alan Shearer's reign at United shows the benefits of sticking with a club through thick and thin - utter respect for a start.

And Owen can make himself a true Toon legend if he fire them to that first elusive trophy.

If this is the beginning of the end he could be the best striker we've never really had.

If he can turn his bad luck around and get back on the goal trail next season with a new revamped team under a new boss, then we once again raise a glass.

However, those glasses remain half empty for many of us at the moment.

16 Comments

Ron Lambert said:

It appears that Owen is waiting to see what, if any ' better ' options crop up before he declares where his future lies. If he'd had any sense of ethics, he would have already gone public on the debate about where he'll be next season. This is an established pattern now with greedy, selfish football stars, to allow, or personally circulate rumours of restlessness and wait to see what happens. If no better option arises, then go public and say that you would never have left anyway, and that you are appalled at the behaviour of the press. Do they think that we fans are stupid ? Obviously. My only gripe, and I'm sure it's Freddy's too, is that if Owen goes, the club have lost eight million plus wages on another greedy, self-centered egotist. He forgets that the big clubs will have reservations about his fitness until he proves it over another season, as I have, one swallow doesn't make a summer, with reference to his couple of average performances lately. Bottom line is, we don't need anymore moneygrabbers at this club who don't share the fans' passion, and that includes Duff, Parker, Martins ( despite his goals ), Babayaro, Carr and Emre who are all under-achievers. Sam is the man to sweep this club out with a new broom, start with the high earners Sam, and bring as many of your old team here as you can as they were all better than this deadwood.

Adam Beckett said:

Owen could become the face of Newcastle United....after all, we certainly need one! We need to give him a chance after all he is MICHAEL OWEN.

oxboy said:

Michael Owen is and always was the fairy at the top of our xmas tree, except we don't have a tree!

Owen, £11 mill plus £5 mill a year in saved wages. Martins £10 mill plus wages. We can have a TEAM after spending that lot wisely.

Brewcastle, Oslo said:

The silence from Owen so far about next season tells us: He doesn't want to play for NUFC. As Ron writes: Owen is waiting to see what happens, and hoping for a better option. Very disappointing. I thought Owen had grown up. But it seems he's just another greedy one. NUFC has given Owen the best support and treatment during his injury. I guess Owens career could have been over if he still was a Real Madrid player at the moment of the injury. -The last NUFC deserves from Owen is that he turns the club down. But now it's anyway to late. If he stays, it isn't because he want to serve the club and the fans. -The silence tells it all....

Ian Teasdale said:

The simple answer is YES he should stay IF he wants to, If he doesn't then he should slink off with his tail between his legs. I'm still not convinced he does want to play for us, after all we were the last chance for him to play any games last season rather than sit on a Spanish bench and he only signed for us to keep his profile up for the world cup.
But when it all boils down to it Owen will go where the money and lure of silverware takes him, because he's no better than all the other shallow money grabbing footballers that litter the premiership.

alex scott said:

Whats all the fuss about?? Freddy shepherd signed a player who was well known to be prone to injury for a vastly inflated fee - then sticks him on massive wages and (this is the important bit!!) allows a clause that states owen can leave for 9/10/11 million. Remember owen is not shearer - he is not a geordie. He did not want to come here but the money made it impossible to refuse. Shepherd not owen should bear the brunt of the fans anger. I support the toon but would play for sunderland if they offered the deal the toon offered owen - then i'd leave for the toon if they came in for me. Blame shepherd not owen!!

Ryder's reply: Would you celebrate if you scored against Newcastle on your Sunderland debut?

M.G said:

Owen should stay for one reason only and that is because he did not get a chance to prove what he is made of to the toon army.

Its the loyality test for Owen, and his descsion next week will mirror his charecter. Owen must stay, we waited 2 years and now he must repay all the toon army for their loyality and patience.

Dave Russell said:

Ironic really - people are getting sick of the greed, arrogance and total underachievment exhibited by our "star" footballers. Yet it won't be one of the "Bling Brigade" - Dyer, Ferdinand, Bellamy etc. - who will start the potential decline of interest it will be "Mr. Clean", "St. Michael" "Sick Note Owen" who could be responsible for it.
Frankly I am tired of his attitude - for example all we seem to hear is how he is so looking forward to playing for England again , no mention of NUFC.
For me he needs to go as soon as possible. Take the £9Mill or whatever it is and get rid of the little toerag but do it quickly. Buy David Nugent as his replacement.

Joe Elliott said:

I really don't think NUFC need worry if they lose Owen or Martins. Like someone had previously stated with the money they would get from those two alone you could buy a decent striker (Nugent or Ashton come to mind - both?) and rebuild the real problem area, defence! Owen has done nothing since he's been here and going off against Watford was a worrying premonition perhaps about what lies in his future at this club. Martins pulling a no-show against Watford was also disgusting..anyway ever see Shearer, or Ferdinand or Andy Cole try and pull stunts like that? Sam should get rid of them both and start to build the team spirit which made Keegans team so successful in the 90's.

WORDANNYMAN said:

It's really simple -- the question should be is Owen passionate enough to play for one of the best supported football clubs in the world? -- he certainly has not shown it in the past -- he is far too mercenary, if someone is daft enough to pay for him, cut him loose!!!

WORDANNYMAN said:

It's really simple -- the question should be is Owen passionate enough to play for one of the best supported football clubs in the world? -- he certainly has not shown it in the past -- he is far too mercenary, if someone is daft enough to pay for him, cut him loose!!!

zulu said:

Agree with the comments. i.e. poor judgement to allow a get-out clause and lose 7-8million in the process. Sick-note Owen is off to Arsenal, take the 9million and buy Nugent ??(who has not done as well as one Michael Chopra)come off it guys. This is why the club is sitting on 13th position, we are managed by fools, not businessman. Big Sam will need a very big brush to sweep the yard clean.

Joe said:

Nugent is a better all round player than Chops. He would do well at NUFC, he just plays for a crap side now! And unfortunately, for now at least, NUFC can't be looking to buy massive players coz they don't want to play here..they can only buy keen players who will be dedicated to the club

NORTHSHIELDSMAGPIE said:

I'm sorry but i ain't been impressed with owens commitment.The time has come for nufc to get rid of players who have came here for the money, and are not wanting to fight for the cause when things ain't going well.Sam i applaud when he says we need players who can grace the stadium and fans. Owen and martins are very similar, although owen a bit more of a poacher in my opinion. If sam can get the best out of Martins i.e get his work rate sorted out i think nugent or ashton would be a good signing as a partner, also they are 2 players with something yet to prove.No more buys from the bigger clubs as in recent seasons they just ain't been producing, i.e duff,parker,carr etc. I hope big sam goes abroad for his buys and has some kk inspirational buys!

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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