Newcastle star Owen gets the wrong end of the stick

By Lee Ryder on Oct 9, 07 10:17 AM

Michael OwenYou can't blame him for being sensitive but Michael Owen should know better.

The Toon Army would never go as far as to boo their star striker and you have to go some length for the Geordies to get on your back - don't forget Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer got a standing ovation a few days after their disgraceful punch up against Villa in 2005!

Owen's fitness of course has sparked a national debate today with many insiders believing there has been a major disagreement about the player's involvement in the two Euro 2008 qualifiers with his manager Sam Allardyce.

But Owen was clearly uptight after heading home the winner against Everton, perhaps in the knowledge that he was booed on to the field.

Yet this was never the case as Blog reader Eds says: "The Press are saying that Owen's goal celebration was down to the fact that he was booed - that is complete nonsense.

"Nobody booed him - if he thinks anyone did he got completely the wrong end of the stick.

"People were booing the fact that a potent match winner in Martins was coming off when clearly the man whose legs had gone was Geremi."

"Owen is a hero and would never be booed at SJP."

Yes, the pocket of travelling Everton fans were jeering the former Liverpool man - and I'm not surprised considering how many times he scored against them - but the disapproval that met his arrival on to the field was indeed aimed only at Big Sam's decision to withdraw Oba Martins from the action.

There's no doubt that Martins seems to have the better relationship with Toon fans between himself and Owen.

But that affinity stems from Martins 17 goals last season and Owen should still realise he is highly regarded by the Geordie nation, the same Geordie nation that turned up in droves to greet his arrival from Real Madrid.

Owen has already stated he owes the Toon Army and in the games he has played, just like he did before his shattered his knee, he has done the business for Newcastle.

Now the hope on Tyneside is that Owen gets through the England games with the minimum of fuss and is fit for the Spurs game when the goal streak continues.


zulu said:

MO is getting too big for his boots. He should remember who pays his wages, England have to sort out themselves, they got qualification into this mess not NUFC.

jackie w said:

" Owen is a hero " ??? of who precisley ? certainley not the Scousers who ( even though he bagged a sack full for ) did not really take him to there hearts. And he has only played a dozen or so games for us , so there wont be many geordies who think that,must be England fans.??
I think the booing on Sunday was as you say for Taking Martins off, but it was a strong indication that Oba is prefferred over Owen and which ever way you dress it up the boos were ( if not directly ) for Owen, and instead of whinging and stamping his feet he should get on with what we know he is good at , , , scoring goals. Once he has settled down and scoring on a regular basis he will see what it is really like to be a hero , and not just from fickle England supporters who will write you off for every bad pass or miss, but proper fans.
Also read the southern rags this morning and Owen is quoted as saying he will decide if he is fit for England not Sam, even Wrighty and Barnesy are in on the debate,Sam should be winding him in and laying the law down , i agree England is a big draw but when we are paying him 100k or so he should get his priorities right or contary to popular belief he will be booed. No player is bigger than the club ,,, Jackie W

Ryder's reply: You are right about Liverpool fans, who had more of a rapport going with Robbie Fowler.
But then again if Owen scores the goals for Newcastle and wins trophies like he did at Anfield, where will that leave him here?

oxboy said:

Reports of the crowd booing Saint Michael couldn't be down to mischief making - of course not.
As far as the internationals are concerned I'd hope, for once, McLaren shows a bit of common sense and only plays Owen as sparingly as possible. Just seen a pig fly past the window .....

John said:

to be honest, if he was booed, then all the better, this guy is here for the money, he doesn't care about Newcastle, as long as he plays for England, personally i hoped we would sell him, he will always put england first, and expect Newcastle to get him fit, and pay him stupid amounts of money, we play better without owen, me for one, would like to see Sam get rid of him

Davey G said:

Why on earth is everyone making a mountain out of a MOle hill. Micky O is fit and raring to go. Big Sam has numerous sports science doctors etc etc, if there was any doubt do you think BS would allow any of this to go on. I say let MO play for his country, hopefully get us through to EURO Champs and at the same time, get back to full match fitness. Get off his back, and let him get on with his job.....Scoring for the toon and for England!!!Keep it up Micky O. STILL the best English Striker in the world by far...............

IamSpartacus said:

As far as I was aware the booing was about Martins coming off, not England's Michael Owen coming on, the man needs to keep his trap shut and concentrate on playing for the club that tops up his pension fund by over £100'000 every week, his pitiful return of games for Newcastle United, in nearly two years, should mean that NUFC comes first, last and always. Owen's obsession with Bobby Charltons record should not distact him from the fact that he owes Us, big time, if England can't beat Estonia without him, then why bother going to The European Championship ?. England need to nurse him through and not risk playing him in both games, no matter what Owen says, Allardyce is right and if it came down to it most fans would back the manager, shut up bellyaching Owen and never forget Your debt to NUFC and all the fans.

Paul Patterson said:

Whilst I’m not a fan of pointless P.R, Owen hasn’t helped his cause since his arrival, “I’ll be fit for England� “I’m looking forward to getting back for England� along with numerous photo shoots with Three Lion’s shirt and England flag’s (Whilst Injured I might add) are not the actions of someone who has complete focus on club affairs.

Take Joey Barton, today in the Chronicle, he has said, “England will have to wait� meaning that he’s going to be focusing on getting his fitness up to scratch and the dream comment “Newcastle have paid a lot of money for me to play good football for Newcastle� it’s the sort of comment that makes you delighted he’s going to be in the side at long last.

Picture the scene: Owen plays both games for England and gets a niggle, preventing any action against Spur’s on 22nd Nov, imagine the Geordie outcry?

Joey Barton (like Owen) have dreams of being picked for their country and I wouldn’t deny them them dreams, but where Owen doesn’t even have to work hard to get in the squad, Joey Barton certainly does,

Barton will have to play 10+ great games, with Mclaren watching (Not likely) to stand any chance of getting in the squad, but Owen will play even if 70% fit, four games in the space of a fortnight isn’t the ideal recovery for someone who has just recently had a doctor prodding around in his groin with scalpels.

My prediction is Owen will play both games, maybe being withdrawn early against Estonia (If the score is favourable) as a gesture to Newcastle and then the full game against Russia (On a nasty plastic pitch) leaving just a few days before we play Spur’s on the Monday.

Martins, whilst not the finished article,- his touch is often very poor then very good in equal measure- knows the fans like him but must have an inferiority complex, that he won’t be first choice if Viduka and Owen are medically able.

Martins is the future (He’s 23) and could lead the line for Newcastle for a decade, whereas I’m not entirely sure where Owen’s loyalties lie?


David Hart said:

Like most fans I have had my dounts where MO's priorities lie. However in recent interviews he has gone out of his way to point out that NUFC come first ahead of England. Now we don't want England to do badly do we? (I am Scottish BTW!. However after 2 years and little return on a huge investment ithe NUFC supporters are surely entitled to believe that the Club come first. I think MO now finally realises that if it was not clear before.

Davey G said:

Iamspartacus, if you had a large mega rich man offering you 100,000k per week just to kick a football around a field, would you take it? He done what all of us would have done.He didnt set his pay level, the bloke who offered Luque mega bucks did!!!! He has been unlucky with injuries, but when he has played his record is second to none. I cant recall a great deal of screaming and balling and he owes us this he owes us that when Mr Shearer tore his ankle and knee ligs and was in out for a massive part of his NUFC career?? he was left to get on with it, and prove himself and give himself a legendary status!!I say let him get on with it and I am sure we will reap the rewards, however, bitching and bellyaching at the bloke will do nowt for anyone at the club!

Daniel said:

You have to be quite pathetic to want to get rid of one of the best finishers in the world, basically if you are of this opinion, you sound really bitter. He WILL score goals and you WILL eat your words if you doubt him. Ok then sell him, who you going to buy? Think about what you say before you write off a guy who scores goals as easy as you would microwave your TV meal, whilst watching Sky Sports, criticising...



IamSpartacus said:

DaveyG, You miss My point totally, I'm not criticising Owen for earning £100'000 per week, I'm criticising the fact that he seems unable or unwilling to see where his prorities must lie, NUFC should come first, Our football club pays his wages not England, he should be eased back in gently, will it really make a big difference to England if he does'nt play v Estonia ?, can Rooney and Crouch not see off such opposition ?. Your comparison with Shearer is ludicrous, Shearer always dreamed of playiing for NUFC , he did'nt come here because nobody else would pay the asking price, he came here because Newcastle are his club. He also stayed a decade and broke the scoring record, Michael Owen won't, even if his career lasts another 8 years. Alan Shearer is a Newcastle icon, Michael Owen is a chancer, please never compare them again. I back Allardyce all the way on this one, I have not, nor never will, sing Michael Owen's name, many of My mates feel the same way, oh and by the way, I've missed just 16 home games in nearly 27 years, I've seen it all.

sue said:

I think those of you who keep droaning on about Michael Owen and his wages etc etc etc are just pathetic. Leave the lad alone!! He is a decent lad, why do people keep on slagging him off? He signed for Newcastle..He could have stayed at Real as they did not want him to go and would take him back now!! He wanted to come home and play in the Premiership and Newcastle signed him. Yes he earns mega wages but so do all footballers. Plus Newcastle did not pay his wages whilst he was injured, the FA did so don't drone are paying his wages now but he is scoring for you. Is it my imagination or is Rooney always injured at the moment...why does everyone not drone on at him?

Davey G said:

Iamspartacus, how do you know where his priorities lie?? Do you know him well?? Has he told you personally?? or are you one of these blinkered fools who believe everything they read in the press. Going back to the Shearer v Owen Debate, AS was something else, in my eyes you will never ever see a player of his calibre play for NUFC again, or at least I very much doubt it, so thats that one cleared up but you too missed my point totally!! Your bellyaching about Owen and his "Chancer" attitude?? We havent had many of them over the 27 yrs you have been going to St James' have we or did the chancers only play the 16 games you missed? At the end of the day, live with the fact that footballers are in the game for 1 thing, cash n lots of it. All I am saying is Owen is the best Englishman at what he does in the world, England need him and NUFC need him and if fit, which Med experts say he is, let him play. Stop giving the lad grief for doing something he is best at!With Moron Mclaren in charge of England i say yes, EMPHATICALLY, England do need MO!!! oh and by the way 32 years 20 games missed Home & AWAY.

IamSpartacus said:

Sue take Your rose tinted Gregory Pecks off eh ?, Englands Michael Owen is only at NUFC out of desperation to play in the 2006 World Cup, when challenged by Ole'Shep to make a statement of loyalty to NUFC he chose to say nowt. He waited till it became apparent that manyoo, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Man City even, were'nt interested and Fat Fred had left the club before opening his gob. His disgraceful cupping the ears gesture to the crowd on Sunday, when He totally misintepreted the crowds booing of Martins substitution, was another example of his Me, Me, Me petulance. DaveyG, well his priorites certanly don't lie with NUFC, he prooved that on New Years Eve 2005 when he got crocked by Misses Robinson, his immediate reaction was "I should be fit for The World Cup", I could care less ?. Never forget, Michael Owen came to Newcastle because nobody else wanted/could afford him, if any of You think he would still be here, given the choice, You're kidding Yourselve's.

Davey G said:

Iamspartacus, apart from avoiding my question re garding MO priorities, and
everything you have quoted so far has come from london based rags, i am
wondering where you were, and what you were reading when Big Al, who said
and I quote " i have spoken with michael, and he has said he will
definately be a nufc player next season"that came out early doors, long
before Liverpool signed Torres, Manyoo signed Tevez etc etc etc. You are
also saying clubs could not afford him??? 9m says at least all the top 7
teams could afford him!!Fact of the matter is you make the suns editor
rich, the mirrors editor not far behind, and the daily sports editors
billionaires!!!The problem is, your papers of choice despise us, they would
hate to think NUFC could do anything good in the premiership, they laid off
us for the last 2 seasons as they knew the only direction we were heading
was down over, no stories to be made up.Now the muppets have gone, and we
have a decent side who may cause one or 2 upsets in games this season, they
are drumming up as much crap as they can, and loons like you take it in.Now
that SA has said he has no issues MO no issues, its Joey B turn to take it.
You take in too much garbage matey, support your team and all who play in
it.....MO isnt NUFC he is just a big integral part of it, and currently, is
the best home based goal scorer this country has!! Its a FACT Mate, live
with it...

Paul Venn said:

The ironic thing is we knew exactly what we were getting when we bought Michael Owen. He was, and still is, England's first choice striker and the same goes for the Toon. Do people really think he gets injured deliberately? Would you rather he had not joined? And don't take MO's silence as a lack of commitment - he obviously does not want to feed some of the parasites in the media. Let him do his job!

IamSpartacus said:

DaveyG, when golden boy signed for NUFC it was because nobody else was willing or able to pay the asking price, this summer when his £9 million get out clause miraculously found its way into the press, none of the clubs that could realistically have afforded him chose to take the bait, why ?, because he's always crocked thats why, yes he's good at what he does, trouble is he doesn't do it often enough, hes been a bit part player for NUFC in 26 months at the club, Egocentric with a capital "E".

Davey G said:

iamspartacus, You "and your mates" seem to think that MO ruptured his Cruciate and medial ligaments on purpose so that he could sit out a season, and be fit for the EURO finals. Silly really since he was our only hope in the tournament he done the damage in. There is one thing you cannot say about MO and that is that he has a big EGO!!!And I am 99.9% sure that the majority of fans will back that up NUFC and England,how many other players at the club would put the club before their own beliefs, there are a lot bigger EGOs at St James than MO. The Managment Team being a prime example, like I said, it is the nature of the beast at a big Club. the other 0.1% not backing the ego thing up would be you and "your mates" who have blatantly obviously picked your victim for the season. True Fans obviously.I am reckoning next you will be saying flog him and give Shola a chance!!! And another stat is that 99.9% of my last post was obviously correct, as you have only responded to 0.1% of the post, keep reading the tabloids, I look forward to your knowledgeable posts sir.......Motty eat your heart out.

sue said:

Davey G - thanks for the comment. I am not someone who believes everything I read in the press. I am actually a Liverpool fan who cannot believe how much criticism Michael gets off everyone especially Newcastle and Liverpool fans.

Neville Furness said:


Just a quick comment from me on the Owen situation. For me he is a truly world class player and obviously as such wants to perform on a world stage i.e. international football, which we should all expect and be happy with. For heavens sake do we have to go back to having journeyman footballers just to avoid club v country problems? That would solve it of course but we would continue to be crap. If we want to get somewhere and hopefully finally win something we have got to grow up and accept that world class players are needed to do this and those players will want to play for their country, simple as that. Owen is an exceptional world class goalscorer and we should be right behind him and delighted we have him. If we are lucky enough to get more world class players they will also want to play regularly for their country, get used to it or accept eternal mediocrity. Yes he has been unlucky with injuries but who would turn down the chance of playing in the final stages of a world cup when they appear to be fit. Let’s get behind the lad and make sure he wants to stay. Of course I believe George Rielly might be available if we are interested?

There’s only one Michael Owen.

Howay the Lads.

Keep the faith.

IamSpartacus said:

DaveyG, Do You seriously think Michael Owen would be at Newcastle if one of the top four had come in for him in the summer ?, he's here because nobody decent wanted him or would take a gamble on such a notorious perma-crock, or if You disagree maybe You could explain how it was leaked to the media that Owen had a £9million get-out clause in his contract ?, I very much doubt if it came from Fat Freds end. Kindly refrain from patronising My mates and Me, We may not be as fanatical as You, but Our attendances over 30+ years(for it was in 1974 that I went to My first game) mean that We are part of the hardcore, not the post Keegan/Sky generation that makes up two thirds of NUFC's crowd. The whole point of My argument is why should fans of NUFC care about England ?, The FA cares prescious little about Us, or why else did We have to trail down to Cardiff for a FA Cup semi ?, why will We have to travel to Wembley for any future semi, even a semi v Sunderland or Boro ?. NUFC, first, last and always. Btw Davey are You from Heaton, P.C.'s mate by any chance ?.

Susie 2 said:

I think the Michael Owen detractors are very selective about what they read and believe. Papers like the Sun will stir controversy and make up facts to fit. MO has said very recently that playing for Newcastle is his priority, they pay his wages and he has missed too many games. Yet this is entirely ignored while Joey Barton is praised to the skies for his comments. In a competitive international players picked have to turn up, it's not optional anyway. Newcastle may not have been MO's first choice over the top 4. That probably applies equally to Joey Barton or any other player, there aren't many like Shearer who would turn down Man U. He does not get injured for fun. Yes he has frailties, but I hope he does well for Newcastle and England. The fact he felt those boos may have been for him means he is well aware of the attitude of fans like IamSpartacus. Get off his back...he is here, part of our team, support him.

IamSopartacus said:

Susie 2, eh ????, I suggest You read My first post again, I have never sang Owen's name but I have certainly never booed him, nor will I. I would suggest You also read the article again, Owen got the wrong end of the stick, his reaction was a disgrace, he needs to make a public apology seeing as his show of petulance was so public, spoilt brat.

True Fan said:

iamspartacus, i suggest you read the rest of the posts!!! Your the only one whingeing and wining on about Michael Owen and basically that is all you are doing. There is nothing fact based in any of your postings. It is all newspaper drivel. The rest of the fans seem to believe he is a very good player who everyone should get behind. Your arguments seem to be based on his injuries and his huge earning power. Nothing to do with the footballing side of things. Please lets take a look at his goals record for us and his goals per game ratio. That would be interesting reading to find out how he HASN'T done it for us when fit!! Then lets have look at all other goals per game ratios, and compare them agianst MO? So Iam spartacus? What exactly is your beef with Michael Owen REALLY about?

IamSpartacus said:

True Fan, "Nothing fact based" in any of My postings then ?, well Michael Owen has played in just 18% of Newcastle's games in the 26 months he's been here or did I make that up ?. His £9 million get-out clause did find it's way into the papers (draw Your own conclusions), I suppose I made that up too ?, when crocked at Spurs on December 31st 2005 his immediate reaction was "I should be ok for The World Cup", or did I make that up not to mention the furore it caused on Tyneside ?, when challenged By Shepherd to commit to the club he chose not to comment (until it became obvious none of the top clubs would be bidding for him), is that not fact ?. I will never boo him as long as long as he plays for Newcastle, but Am under no illusions either, one final fact based point, his ear-cupping gesture last weekend was a disgrace, fact.

Davey G said:

iamspartacus, everything you wrote in that last post again is rubbish, with the only statistic you got right was the 18% games played.So who leaked the info to the press re clause? was it MO? And what ulterior motive did MO have by not speaking re club comittment, as called for by Shepherd? Did none of this smack of Mr Shepherd maybe doing all the trouble making? Didnt Alan Shearer state that he had spoke to MO early doors and he stated that he was staying at NUFC and he would not feed the gutter press by making any statements. Or did you choose to ignore this because it was written in the press Ha ha!And the statement, I should be fit for the world cup? SO??What furore/uproar did it cause on Tyneside? I cant seem to remember the protests etc, the banner waving, the street marches.......And I guess you being spartacus would have been able to play with a broken foot and ruptured Knee ligaments for the other 82% of games?? and i noticed you failed to respond to TF's question re goals per game etc. You know, the thing he is actually paid to do! Your barking on about him earning his wages etc, so lets here it. I agree with TF.

Anonymous said:

Sadly, I think MO will be on his way to Manchester City come the summer.


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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