Owen injury was an accident waiting to happen

By Lee Ryder on Nov 18, 07 02:28 PM

I don't think there are too many Geordies who will be surprised by the injury to Michael Owen.

Annoyed yes, but the pointless trip to Austria and the disaster that went with it was always on the cards.

And if anybody was going to get injured admit it, your gut reaction would have said it would be Owen.


Because that's what gut reactions do when it comes to our players going away to represent their countries - and it's not like it hasn't happened before.

There's no way Owen would have wanted it to happen of course but it's happened before because our prize asset is also England's star turn.

Ever since Owen crashed to the turf in Germany at the World Cup, nervous energy sweeps the pubs and clubs of Tyneside after THAT knee injury cost Newcastle United the whole of the 2006/07 season and ultimately cost Glenn Roeder his job.

That was at the World Cup though and if you want the world's best players, whether you like it or not, it's the gamble you must take.

This, however, was a friendly with nothing at stake and before Steve McClaren watched Israel do England the favour of all favours.

What on earth was McClaren thinking by risking Owen - who has not long stepped off the treatment table with groin problems - with Croatia just around the corner?

Had Israel lost, then was McClaren - who is already without Wayne Rooney (not that we really care) - prepared to play Owen in TWO pointless games in less than a week?

The answer probably yes which must drive Toon fans up the wall!

It means he'll miss up to six weeks, including the Liverpool game a match that we were all hoping Owen would finally give the Scousers a taste of their own medicine.

Now that the dust has settled only slightly - McClaren is still in a job and according to some sources Big Sam may be the man who replaces him.

Well knock me down with a feather!

First the FA injure our best player by playing him in a kickabout against Austria ahead the most important England game since 1993 (when they failed to qualify for the USA World Cup finals).

And the plan B is, if England don't get the right result against Croatia, is to pinch our manager!

Well let's hope that Mike Ashley and Chris Mort do everything they can to stop them.

They don't have to give them permission to speak to Big Sam.

Even if Big Sam isn't everybody's cup of tea so far, surely it is up to Newcastle United WHEN they decide to change the man in the hotseat and not the FA.

Allardyce might want the job but he did state when he came here it wasn't a stepping stone to the national job.

Big Sam has made a decent start to the job and we have more points than at this time last season even if it has not been spectacular.

And if the truth was to be known Big Sam can be a bigger football legend by staying with Newcastle than he can if he did go to England - who have already snubbed him once in favour of McClaren.

Indeed winning a cup of getting to Newcastle back to the Champion League will earn him more respect in football than success with England and he's got a better chance of success on Tyneside.

Because he'd have to win a World Cup or European Championship to get that and with the national Press on your case after one defeat these days just what chance has anybody got of getting it right in the England dugout?

Not a lot really.

And if the FA don't even look after our players properly, why let them just cherry pick the empire that Mike Ashley is trying to build up at St James's Park whenever it suits them?


Ruth Gordon said:

Good grief. Owen our best player? You must be joking.

Good to see Emre scored. Let's hope he comes back fit. And if the FA want BS for England, I'll pay for his train fare. Like McClaren, he hasn't got a clue.

Ryder's reply: Find me a manager who wouldn't want him in their side and I'll find you a mug

Paul Patterson said:

Lee, if the F.A were to come in for big Sam, I would class it as “Good Timing� rather than being annoyed that they are screwing Newcastle United over.

I've long been an advocate of cutting our losses on Mr Owen, for we won't miss, what we never had in the first place will we?

When you say Sources suggest that Big Sam may be the one to replace McClaren- Oh please I hope so- it would be a strange turn of events after the last courting the F.A did.

I’d take them paying US the remainder of Allardyce’s contract (Say £5m) and then we could go and get someone willing to cross the half way line with a bit of purpose.

I suggested this chain of events last week and it’s slowly panning out (Albeit I said England would have been dumped out by now) theres still time for McClaren to arse it up (No doubt blaming the fact that Owen isn’t at his disposal) he has come out and said that missing Owen is no excuse for failure on Wednesday, well you’ve came out and said it so it’s in your mind and you may not use it, but it’s clearing your conscience Mac isn’t it? Absolved of all blame, to cover up your downright shoddyness as a manager eh?

You continue Lee, Allardyce qualifying for Europe- winning a cup- etc, oh dear, that’s never going to happen unless he can prove he’s more than a one trick pony, or even a one trick pony in itself for that matter.

My guess is if the F.A approach him, he will go without question and then Ashley and co can go and get the man they really wanted, last week I only suggested Keegan as a childish fairy story to see us through till May, (I’m sure he would get us higher than Allardyce) then in May, the board could ransack the world for the ‘Real Deal’and turn Newcastle into a force, instead of the aimless driftwood we see at present.


Phil said:

On the bright side of Owen's injury - at least Obafeme Martins will get to play now! If Owen has any pride he should play, if he can, for 2 good seasons for NOWT to try and earn some of the millions of quid he's already been paid. Or is that just me being old-fashioned, when people earned their money? What a colossal waste of NUFC money so far, by Fred Shepherd! I'm all for Alex Ferguson's idea of performance-related contracts.

John said:

I have to say, i have never disliked anyone in a toon shirt, more than Owen, the guy is a creep, who is more concerned with england than us, his comments in his news of the world column, show him for what he is, Come on Fat Sam, be a decent manager, and show this so called world class striker the door, please

Siomi said:

I think you are just trying to wind us up Lee! "let's hope that Mike Ashley and Chris Mort do everything they can to stop them". Please! They will be doing the opposite - I guarantee that after watching that Sunderland performance for himself in the company of real supporters, Ashley will be telling Allardyce to accept any offer that comes from England.

The intersting aspect of all this is the old "club vs country" debate. It is clear that Newcastle supporters are prepared to put their club first and offload their inept manager on England, even though they know it will possibly (probably?) result in England continuing to underachieve.

I don't think Shearer is ready though, what about a Keegan / Shearer double act for the rest of the season?

Ryder's reply: If you are happy for the FA to dictate when they raid our club for strikers and managers fair enough, the point being that I am sure Mort and Ashley won't want to just roll over like a poodle to have their belly tickled and allow them to nab Big Sam.

Ruth Gordon said:

A) We have a mug for a manager
B) He still isn't our best player, whatever way you look at it.

Ryder's reply: It's a game of opinion and I've got no problem with yours, but Owen has a proven record and you don't play for Real Madrid and Liverpool and blast in 40 goals for your country if you are a bad player

Siomi said:

Great to get a response from you Lee - you really weren't trying to wind us up!? I take your point about clubs being walked over and taken for granted by the sweet FA, which is why Ashley/Mort as shrewd business men will make a point of screwing every last drop of compensation out of them. But I still hold that they will be grinning with relief as they do it!

Paul Patterson said:

I’d never doubt the merits of Owen the footballer, (Although his is nowhere near the same player of say 98-2001, Im just not a fan of Owen the physical mess.

Plus he’s 27/28, whilst that isn’t a reason to be sharp in offloading him, if a suitable player of around 23/24 were available surely in bringing the age of the squad down, we’d have a replacement who could be in a Newcastle side for the next 10 years rather than the next two (If were lucky)

Jermaine Defoe has always been my top target, Dean Ashton maybe?

I’m not happy with the link with Anelka (This seems to have been passed on through Souness, Roeder and now Allardyce) but if your looking at more experienced players, Gudjonsson, Baros, Keane.

With Baros therein lies a funny story, I said in 2005 when we signed Owen that £17m was too much to pay for one egg, instead wishing us to buy a couple of signing (And covering injuries at the same time) Baros was the name I mentioned. We could have got Keane and Baros at the time for what we paid for Owen?


Ryder's reply: Fair comment on Dean Ashton. Certainly a player who would give it everything, go down well with fans and get his fair share goals.

Peter Harper said:

Why do people not realise that unless you supply strikers with chances then they can not score.Michael Owen has had no chance to show his ability neither has Obafemi Martins.Don't blame the players-blame the manager's inadequacies as a tactician.
Lee-twice I have brought up the necessity for Newcastle's transfers to be transparent and the need for a Newcastle United officer to conduct our transfers without the need to pay agents.This has been totally ignored by you.Is it because the newspaper is afraid to suggest this to Mort & Ashley for fear of offending them?This is a very relevant subject.Remember that the unswerving support of the Toon Army generates the monies without which Newcastle United would cease to exist.It is important this money is secure and not wasted on non productive leeches.
Could we please have clarification of your thoughts on this matter and hopefully the thoughts and intentions of Newcastle United to address the same?

Ryder's reply: Having met Chris Mort a couple of times now I have no reason to think that the club is not in good hands and the new regime are here to make a difference on and off the field.

Ruth Gordon said:

No, but he's not our BEST player, certainly not at the moment.

Ryder's reply: As I say - it is a matter of opinion and in football you have to respect other people see different things in different players

Paulie'sWalnuts. said:

Lee, Owen is nothing like Our best player, so what he's got a good goals to games ratio, kind of pointless if he's only going to play a couple of dozen games in two and a half years, at £100k + per week wages he is a luxury We can't afford. If Sven is daft enough to pay £6 million for him I would say get rid, sharpish and invest the money in someone Who is'nt almost permanently injured. Michael Owen is a waste of time and money, by the time he comes back he will have missed over a seasons worth of league games due to injuries sustained on England duty, SHOCKING !.

rod gray said:

A great footballer in his day, but injury prone on arrival and now more interested in financing his racing horse enterprise.

All his spare time spent at home. Not here. Cheshire

His wage is eating its head off in the Ncle Utd wage bill. If we get an offer in the Jan transfer window, please PLEASE grab it!

Darren Border said:

I cant believe how many so called Toon fans can slate their clubs own management team after less then half the season gone... Alex Ferguson took 7 years to win anything, he had some hard times but was given time, you lot have given BS 4 months and you are tyring to get rid already, but of course this resembles what every great club has.... solidarity. Give the team time to grow and stop moaning, we are not a great team and have not been for some years, but lets get behind the BS and let him build a team... As for MO... Record speaks for its self, and would you like him on your team sheet or against??? Think before you write dumb *ss comments that are paramount to a black cat writting the that scummers will win the league.....

Hadrian said:

Gutted by some toon fans and there attacks on owen , the injury wasnt his fault and he will be alot more upset about it than us (for the wrong reasons tho maybe, like playing for england).
fact remains none of us know if he's "lost it" , as hes not had the service , the style of play is exactly the opposite of what he needs to show his best in black and white .
the fact we payed millions for him and fill his bank account each week for him sitting on sidelines is crap , but the personal attacks on him just make 'us' as a whole look bad .
forget about it , we have oba (who would start ever game for me regardless) our number 9 who will grab the goals for us and make them himself .
as corny as it sounds , owen kinda needs the fans support , remember he has a while left on his contract still and if (big if as things look i now) he gets into good form again with good supply from our players , it will be us that benefits the most .
beside's all the bitching and moaning makes us look bad and we have nothing to gain , a bit support for the lad and we could have everything to gain .

william p said:

We bought him crocked! SELL him crocked,
and cut the losses, Newcastle utd don't deserve this deadwood. Get Martins and Smith up front With Viduka behind them to feed off, He can hold the ball up just like our mate Alan!!

Honey Bunny said:

Hmmm. I'm too young to know about Fergie pre-Man U, but I've watched BS's Bolton play on numerous occasions and was never impressed. He's like Souness without the trophies. He's not exactly a world beater.

mag in boro said:

Well havent been on for few days and is lovely to see everyone as UNITED as ever,even lee annoying people with his "opinion"
On paper owens record speaks for itself unfortunatly we play on a pitch not paper and his record since signing doesnt make the best reading so its with justification that some fans have lost patience but with martins away for all jan and half of feb selling owen at min just doesnt make sense unless ashley and mort can bring in top class replacements which mid season is never easy
which leads to the oh so familar over priced past best player coming to toon. And much the same goes with big sam he has to be judged in may not now,he just needs to realise we are not bolton and the creative players we have need to be allowed to do just that
Why buy Enrique and play Nzogbia left back Beye on bench and Taylor right back,square pegs round holes spring to mind its not rocket science sam

SO if Owen was to go in Jan who could replace i agree with Ashton and i have always been a fan of Gudjohnson who would score and create a fair few for others but if ashley wants to splash silly money Klaas-Jan Huntelaar looks the part
Also we could have Duff coming back into contention soon and if he can reproduce what we know he can with Milner on other flank the service gonna be there for whoever up front

And finally Paul i agree with most things you have said previous but the media circus that would surround a keegan return would cause more probs than necessary but again if ashley wants to spend lots and lots of cash isnt jose mourinho still out of work

Siomi said:

Am with you Mag in Boro! I am not sure of the exact figures, but Allardyce's salary can't be that different from what Mourinho had at Chelsea. And of course, his first signing would bring in Drogba - now that is a mouth watering prospect! Problem is, wasn't there some talk of a clause in his settlement with Chelsea that he wouldn't manage another Premiership club for a season or two?

Paul Patterson said:

Mag in Boro- well thank you for agreeing with me, I tend to not get that very often, for you see my opinions are usually crazy and off the wall, but I always look at the less obvious scenario and ask myself why wouldn‘t it work?.

I’ll respond by agreeing with you, the media circus that would follow a Keegan appointment would be ridiculous, but having said that so would Mourinho.

I said some time ago, when Sir Bobby was in charge and Mourinho was running down the touchline at Old Trafford having beaten Man Utd in the Champions League with Porto ‘Wow! That’s the guy I want’ Imagine him ruffling feathers in this league? Sadly some Russian beat us to it, having said that the short sightedness of Freddy Shepherd would never have gone for it. Instead he went for some Scotsman.

We had Sir Bobby (A so called friend of Mourinho) he could have sold the club and retired ‘upstairs’ and Mourinho whilst not having the billions that Chelsea have, would have got the £60+ that Souness wasted, imagine where we would have been now?

I’ve never liked Allardyce, but still wish him to succeed (Obviously) but if England come a-calling it would be difficult for Allardyce to say no and even more difficult for Newcastle to fight it.

Then we could get a manager willing to attack for a change.

Darren Border, Firstly Owen- you ask if I’d like him on the team sheet or not- well more’s the pity, I’d like him on my teamsheet, but that seems few and far between.
For £17m? £100k a week? I’d get a good replacement, because my patience snapped with him a long time ago, maybe it’s not his fault, maybe he’s just unlucky, well he can go and be unlucky at another club as far as I’m concerned.

I have nothing against Allardyce personally, just like I’ve said before, he’s a tactical idiot. No manager wanting success would play a left winger at left back and a centre back at right back. Plus every successful side in the league since it’s conception has played with width, Allardyce doesn’t seem to like that.

I’ve compared Newcastle United to a Luxury liner (Like Keegan did when selling the club to Robert Lee) Bolton are not the same club, ambition and fan base-wise, and after all, you wouldn’t put the Park lake rowing boat owner in charge of a Luxury liner wanting to sail around the world.

We have!


Paulie'sWalnuts said:

Well said Paul Patterson, Owen has exhausted My patience, He's played 20 league games since He's been here, at approx £600'000 a pop I would suggest that was too much even for a man of Mike Ashley's means. Seriously, does anyone still think We have had value for money out of Owen ?, he's spent most of his time at Newcastle with his feet up in front of Channel Four Racing, Racing Post in hand and a modest little £100'000 + per week in his pention fund, it's certainly better than working for a living. He's like a more affluent Jim Royle, "Our best player" ?, My A***!

WATSON said:

owen has been playing top class football since the age of 16. shepherd should have relized this and should every one else. he cant be the main man any more.his knees must be as rough as the tyne bridge.

Ryder's reply: So you weren't in the least excited when Owen put pen to paper back in August 2005?

mag in boro said:

From the minute the 17M left for Madrid we were never going to get value for money because our ex fat controller paid in my humble opinion 8M too much for him but remember this is the bloke who sanctioned 8M for boumsong(you said you were just a fan like us fred nah none of us would have been so stupid)
Big Sam knows he in temporary charge because (a)he wasnt ashleys choice(thanks for the parting gift freddie) and (b)its only a matter of time before shearer gets tired of alan hansen highlighting newcastles defensive frailtys for owens latest unlucky injury its not too bad as now we get to play a striker that wants to play for us and he may not be as clinical a finisher at least he has that pace to get him the chances
see since i got back everyone agreeing and being UNITED again


ps...some reports that boro might make a move for shola havent gone down well in these parts last couple of days i think it would be a great move if only to give me another reason to take the **** not that i need one their smoggies after all

Ian said:

Hi All,
I don't think I'm the only one who said Owen would pick up a knock and miss the Liverpool game, and surprise surprise what happened? Michael Owen has never faced Liverpool since he left.He couldn't do It, he loves the club too much.The knee injury was unfortunate, but my opinion is, he can't face his old club and will do anything to avoid it.
Get rid of him in January, and save 1.6M in wages we would have paid till May, and buy Anelka to play with Martins. Send Ameobe the oposate way to Anelka,and we'll be looking like we could score goals.

watSON said:

reply to Lee regarding my original observations made 20/11. My answer is no. Owen cant help his ailments but the lad has had a really hard career.he cant play to his undoubted high standards anymore. BENITAS,WENGER AND FERGUSON ARE NO MUGS AND THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED. Wait till the january window to see the interest .i was not really over the moon when they bought viduka either.

Ryder's reply: I bet you predicted Shearer would grab 206 goals in black and white as well when he signed in 1996 as well did you?

watson said:

anyone daft enough to predict how many goals a player will get in the top grade is usually employed by a newspaper as a football pundit.

Ryder's reply: I predict Martins will get 18 goals this season

watSON said:

anyone who is daft enough to predict how many goals a player will score in the top grade is usually employed by a newspaper. i was delighted that he was aquired and unlike owen and viduka FERGUSON wanted him.

watson said:

playing safe , just one season.a bit different then from your comments regarding shearer.


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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