http://www.blogonthetyne.co.uk/

Is it the beginning of the end for Michael Owen or the start of a new beginning?

By Lee Ryder on Dec 22, 08 06:26 PM

Michael Owen's complex Newcastle United career has never been short of twists and turns in a script that has always left Toon fans wondering exactly how much he wants to play for the Magpies.

But the fact is that the latest decision means he will have honoured his contract by the time he makes a decision in May whether his time on Tyneside will be extended, certainly it looks like there is little or no chance he will leave in January as was widely predicted.

In an ideal world the ink would be dry on the three year deal that was offered last week and Owen would be looking at finishing his career at St James's Park.

Yet any Geordie knows that life in Toonland is never ideal.

It would be wrong to question Owen's commitment, with the club still up for sale and no guarantees over who will be in charge or which division the Magpies will be in next term - surely it is crystal clear why the little striker is waiting a little bit longer?

Would anybody else in the same position take such a risk?

Owen has always scored goals when he has been fit and available to the team.

A broken foot, smashed knee and hernia problem are all just part of a bad luck story when it comes to the player's fitness - no player can be blamed for such injuries.

Owen's international situation has hardly helped him when it comes to the latest delay.

At the end of the day he is an ambitious player who joined the club from the mighty Real Madrid on the back of a dream that Newcastle were trying to get into the top four of the Premier League.

Now Owen is no longer in the England squad let alone the team - it's not what it said in the brochure back in August 2005.

Yet there is a slight suggestion things are looking up.

Under Kinnear the side have stabilised their position and suddenly the Mags are looking up.

But what will make Owen stay?

A decent finish for starters while the FA Cup and how far Newcastle get in it will also be a factor.

Plus Owen will test the water by seeing how serious the current regime are about the future by which players come in during the January transfer window.

IS IT A CASE OF OWE YES OR OWE NO WHEN IT COMES TO MICHAEL'S FUTURE?

31 Comments

Kevin nichol said:

For me this decision proves that MO isnt committed to the club in any way! In a world where the credit crunch has hit me and many of my other fellow Geordie supporters, now was the time for our captain to prove he is as proud to lead out my team as i am to watch them play; with a whopping 3yr multi million pound contract acting as a sweetner! I see this as an insult to the hardworking supporter! I'll always support anyone wearing the black and white shirt, but this decision was not what we needed as a club.

DAVE ROBSON said:

I CANNOT BELIEVE ANYBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND EVER THOUGHT OWEN WOULD COMMIT TO US.
LETS FACE IT HE NEVER REALLY WANTED TO BE HERE IN THE 1ST PLACE.
IT WAS JUST THAT NO ONE ELSE WAS GONNA PAY THE VAST SUM WE LAID OUT FOR HIM.
HE DID EXACTLY THE SAME WITH LIVERPOOL.
SO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS USE HIM UNTIL HE GOES IN MAY.
BUT LETS GET ONE THING STRAIGHT MICHAEL OWEN IS NOT BIGGER AND NEVER WILL BE BIGGER THAN NEWCASTLE UNITED FC.
WITH ALL THE MESS SURROUNDING THE CLUB U CANNOT BLAME HIM, BUT ON THE FLIP SIDE THE CLUB HAS PERSEVERED WITH HIM, DURING HIS ENDLESS INJURIES AND MAYBE HE COULD HAVE SIGNED A NEW CONTRACT, SO WE COULD HAVE RECOUPED SOME MONEY BACK ON HIM IN THE SUMMER, BUT LIKE THE MODERN DAY FOOTBALLER GREED IS THE BIGGEST MOTIVATION.
AND WE HAVE HAD ARE FAIR SHARE OF THEM HERE.
SO FOR ME LET HIM GO IN THE SUMMER AND WE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE NOW TO BRING IN THE SUMMER TO REPLACE HIM AND NOT A FORTNIGHT BEFORE A NEW SEASON KICKS OFF.

Stephen Sheehan said:

This is adios for Michael Owen in my eyes. I always believed he was harping for a free move back to Liverpool. Now it looks like he'll get it. I hope not

Restless Native said:

Kevin Nichol et al ... get a grip lads, FFS. Owen is well within his rights to take his time before committing himself to us again. Let's face it, our club is a SHAMBLES. We have an owner who is a disgrace - we don't want him and he doesn't want to be here any more - and we have a manager that Leeds wouldn't have considered a serious job applicant less than 6 months ago. Michael Owen is still one of the top 4 English strikers - despite what Capello might think - and we are not a top English club any longer, and haven't been since Saint Bob was prematurely kicked out. Michael has never been anything but reasonable with us as far as I can see, and he isn'tbeing unreasonable now. If we sort ourselves out - and that means ASHLEY OUT - he may well stay. If we don't, why the hell should we expect him to?

leelee said:

none of you lot are listening to Mr Ryder .This article is spot on.If we are still in a mess come the summer and have done poorly in the league perhaps he will indeed leave .I am sure , if we do reasonably well and if things are looking up he will stay.Everybody seems so paranoid where MO is concerned.I think he is enjoying himself at the mo and this should will lead to him endearing himself to us and vice versa.That is if he is'nt hounded out by fans and their "hunches"

Danny Noonan said:

We should never have bought Owen in the first place.As someone said on another web site it was the equivalent of putting a new lick of paint on the the outside of the house while the inside crumbled..If he leaves he leaves.The club will still bethere long after hes gone,as i was before he came.We have to have more ambition than just to solely look to keep him.

steve h said:

listen even shearer said months ago that if the club doesn't sort it self out the top players would leave!
if we want to keep our top players we need to show we can compete at the top end of the table and improve our squad and show some evidence of ambition.
he's not going to sign without knowing if he'll be in the championship or premiership next season the club should have signed him up long ago but failed to even try it's staggering really.
the one thing that will be unsettling for the team will be the constant speculation on his future and that will take away from anything the club achieves in the second half of the season

ande said:

You all expect loyalty from shameless parasites!!? Owen is gutless and wishes to get back to the England team that cost us a season on his astronomical wage after spending half a year out injured in the season that lead up to it, tells you a great deal about what he loves - MONEY. He may score goals but he is no Shearer in my opinion. Agreed we are a shambles as a club Shepherd and Ashley are culpable for that, but he settled for a stewardship of Shepherd and Soon-mess don't forget, for the noble reason of MONEY yet again. Sign, don't sign Owen I don't care, you're poisoned in my eyes.

pedi said:

Nobody is worried if ameobi doesnt sign!

I can't help thinking owen is using this next 6 months to prove his fitness to other clubs. If he stays fit and keeps scoring, it may make a 'top 4' club take a chance on him.

We paid (as usual) highly inflated prices both for him and to him since he came, we've paid to fix his broken body numerous times but i dont expect any loyalty from him. If he wanted to stay at the club but was worried about our prem lge status next season, he could have negotiated a clause to allow him to move if we were relegated. Atleast we've get something for him under contract!

He also says he needs along time to think about his next step. Surely he knew when his contract expired so what was to stop him thinking about his future months ago.

Another thing, if we are owen-less in the summer, who will we replace him with. We will never pay big money for quality under the current regime so unless we get in a new owner in that time, im a little concerned!

On the other hand owen may well stay, cant see it but he might. Whatever happens, i dont think booing owen will help anything and i hope it doesnt start, we need to back the team or we could start dropping the league again!

funlovingexpress said:

Some of the comments on here are insane. The new lick of paint one made me laugh the hardest. If that analogy is to be used then what he is suggesting is that Owen should not have been signed because the rest were so bad.

If this was true, and IMO its certainly not, but for arguments sake lets say it was true, then what he is saying is that we should have signed a poor striker so that he didn't look out of place to the walls that were crashing down.

Would it not have been better to sign more players of Owen's calibre?

As for the ones that go on about his England career, they are just plain silly. When we had cunningham, reilly and whitehurst we would have loved to have an england striker. England and Newcastle was never associated together. The likes of Everton had the best yet we weren't fit to tie their boots.

Any time we got a player who was good enough to play for England he would want away so that he could play more for them and win things. Gazza, Beardsley, Waddle to name but a few.

Many of us knew we had arrived when it was us that was getting Englands number 1 striker, i.e. Shearer. There is nothing better than watching England and seeing player after player with the words Newcastle next to their name.

Well we have Englands top striker now and yet for years he has been subjected to ridicule by this mindless minority. A guy who played more games than any other striker last season (excluding smith for obvious reasons).

A guy who brings a whole new definition to the word prolific. A guy who in my opinion is the top striker in Europe never mind the premiership. A guy who at the age of 29 is now in his prime and that is scary.

Do these people who ridicule him not understand that there is absolutely no chance we will sign a replacement of equal calibre. Do they really think that Xisco is going to be our answer. There isn't a hope that Torres, Tevez or Drogba will come or even that we would bid on them.

So what are we left with? Ameobi, Carrol, Xisco or Smith. Viduka is retiring and Martins is his strike partner so can't possibly count as a replacement.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't as passionate about the toon just so that some of these 'posters' could get their own way.

Some say they didn't like Owen because his first team wasn't the toon and yet the same guys wax lyrical about Guiterez and the zog, because they have always been toon supporters haven't they?

Owen has been a model professional at our club. He has never let his head go down and the enjoyment he gets from scoring for us is there for all to see but hey this is the toon and our fans are an enigma.

I used to always believe that our fans were the most knowledgable in the game but maybe that was 20 years ago because after reading some of these posts you have to question whether they actually have ever seen a game never mind understand it.

For those that disagree I have two questions. When Owen goes, not if, who do you think we are going to get who will score a goal every two games for less than 10 million and at a very low wage?

If we do get someone then how long do you think they will stay considering top strikers earn top money?

Buska said:

Well said funlovingexpress. MO trains hard and diligently. He is not arrogant or obnoxious - doesnt drive around in an outrageous Hummer he does provide an excellent role model and leads by example.
He is a prolific scorer - so while he wears the black'n'white - lets get behind him.
Lets not let our frustrations with what is going on off the field spill over ot those who are on the field.

Al Jardine said:

If something isn't done to settle the club, Owen won't be the only one out the door this summer. Imagine no Charlie, no Jonas! No Shay. Imagine someone coming in for Bassong! That's the future of this club unless something is done at ownership level. All of those rushing to kiss Ashley's ass need to think about what lies behind this uncertainty. There wouldn't be the slightest chance of Owen leaving a club doing well. Enjoy your pies, boys.

Sy said:

Here, here, funlovingexpress & jeddi.

I honestly hope that no-one close to the players reads this blog. No offence, Lee, but some of the people who make comments on here clearly have no real understanding of the game or indeed, the real world.

Everyone's frustrated by the fact NUFC has fallen from the top handful in the English game, but the things which come from some of these so-called "supporters" (they need to read some dictionary definitions of that word) never fail to baffle me.

MO said when he signed that he hoped we'd enjoy watching him play for the next four years. Injuries are always unfortunate, but at least he's now set to keep to his word and honour the contract he signed at a difficult time in his career.

I hope he re-signs because he's looking more settled on the pitch than at any other point in the last three and a half years, but if I were him, I'd want to play in Europe too - it's up to the management at the club to invest in players capable of getting us into contention next season - sadly, I don't see this happening.

Sy said:

Here, here, funlovingexpress & jeddi.

I honestly hope that no-one close to the players reads this blog. No offence, Lee, but some of the people who make comments on here clearly have no real understanding of the game or indeed, the real world.

Everyone's frustrated by the fact NUFC has fallen from the top handful in the English game, but the things which come from some of these so-called "supporters" (they need to read some dictionary definitions of that word) never fail to baffle me.

MO said when he signed that he hoped we'd enjoy watching him play for the next four years. Injuries are always unfortunate, but at least he's now set to keep to his word and honour the contract he signed at a difficult time in his career.

I hope he re-signs because he's looking more settled on the pitch than at any other point in the last three and a half years, but if I were him, I'd want to play in Europe too - it's up to the management at the club to invest in players capable of getting us into contention next season - sadly, I don't see this happening.

Big Kev said:

Can you blame MO? No of course not, if it was me I WOULDN'T sign either & I'm a Toon fan!! The clubs still in a mess with no one knowing who will be manager or even owner of the club come next August come to think of it we don't even know what league we'll be in. The real bonus is that MO will be here till the end of the season which in my opinion should mean NUFC can look forward to another season in the top flight. Let's see who we buy/sell & what sort of second half of the season we have then the picture will be clearer

Steve Y said:

At last some sense. Lets face it MO along with Shay are our only true world class players who have, and will, consistently perform for us. MO has every right to consider his options, he signed a contract and as far as I can tell he stands to fulfil that contract. He has given his best to the team on match days and to the club at all other times, the man is a model professional. To these people who think he owes Newcastle something......why?? Because this is the mighty Newcastle Utd, one of Europes greats, we're not even a big team in the prem anymore. There just seems to be an ideal that players should have some undying loyalty to the club and the fans.....why? He signed a contract, he gives 100%, when his contract finishes he'll leave, fair deal all round. And to those who argue that becasuse he's on mega dosh he should be more loyal, again why? I don't know about but last time I switched jobs I made pretty damn certain it was for more money. As for injuries, like the man would want to be out injured....that's just football. At the end of the day I want him to stay, as with Shay, but these guys deserve to win silverware something, I'm sad to say, which is not going to happen with the toon for many a year to come.

halfmanhalfkeebab said:

Not a surprising decision in the least. I don't blame Owen for not committing his future to NUFC at the moment. Who in their right mind would? All this rubbish about how much he owes us and him being greedy is complete b*******. Between now and the end of the season, it is NUFC that need to sell themselves to Owen as a club that has some ambition, stability (what's that?) and that can help him return to international football. Lets face it, he's going to have quite a choice of clubs to sign for in the summer although many of them would represent a step sideways for him as opposed to a step up (Villa, Man City, Everton etc). In addition, I don't think many of them will offer him a better financial deal than that offered by NUFC. So if (and it's big 'if')NUFC can finish in a European qualification spot, then that may possibly be enough to swing it for us unless one of the so called 'big four' come in for him. Owen is no mug. It's the sensible move for hinm to wait until the end of the season. Afterall, he'd look a bit of a mug if he signed up for another 3 years and we got relegated!

ron lambert said:

Ande...Ande who? Ande Capp? Sounds like it. Poisoned you say? Read the rest of the comments below yours bonny lad. Funlovingexpress, Jeddi etc. I thank you boys for putting it into clear perspective, that MO is cut from the same cloth as Shearer, and has conducted himself in the same way that big Al would've. What's really disappointed me is that the singing fans haven't so much as chanted his name after some great goals. I know from a songwriter's perspective that his name doesn't immediately conjour up any 'usual' chant tunes, but the wags who came up with Oba..Obafem to the tune of 'skip to the loo my darling' could manage something. Then we might just endear him to us before May. Lee, what chance a blog to find a good Owen chant? The old 'Andy Cole...gets a goal' might work.

mark douglas said:

Spot on Jeddi, again the morons are let loose out of their cages. Leave MO alone he scores 1 in every 2 games and thats world class statistics at least the morons cant shoot that down.
Listen you idiots for NUFC to transform back into a top six team or better we all need to stick together and if that means letting the owner return so be it. I have to laugh when you question MO performances or committment to the cause, what about our performance the lack of passion and atmosphere at home games. We used to make more noise when SJP held 36000, Why do some Boo at half time when the score is 0-0? No I say Come on the Toon, Come on Michael Owen,Come on Joe Kinear and Come back Ashley buy some new players and aim for the top six!!!!!!!!

CP said:

Idiots, imbeciles, stupid, d***heads.

Thats exactly what those 'fans' are who criticise/don't appreciate Michael Owen.

The guy is a WORLD CLASS striker who has shown a WORLD CLASS attitude and has a WORLD CLASS scoring record at a club which for the past 2 seasons has been a world class JOKE.

He's played under 5 managers, 2 owners and the club is now effectively ownerless, rudderless and going where ? You tell me.

Sign a contract now? Are you having a LAUGH?

99% of other players of his calibre would have p***ed of ages ago. Not Owen.

He's stayed, captained the team with obvious pride, has the absolute total respect of his team mates and has scored 29 goals in 51 games AND HAS SAID HE WILL TAKE A PAY CUT IF HE STAYS.

And, as Ron Lambert rightly points out, he does'nt even get a song or name chant from the fans.

I cannot put into words what absolute idiots I think those fans are who come out with the critical gobs***te I read on here.

You'll be the same ones who criticised Gary Speed and now criticise Nicky Butt.

IDIOTS!!!!!!!!

Restless Native said:

Ron ... how about "Owen Owen Owen-oh, Owen-oh, Owen-oh ..." like we used to sing for Liam O'Brien? Haven't quite worked out the end bit yet, maybe "little Mikey Owen", or summat!

Anyway, totally agree, we should celebrate the little fella in song between now and May. And hope the Ashley situation is sorted so he feels confident enough to want to stay come the end of the season. Even if he does leave, he will take my respect with him - he has been a super pro and has conducted himself impeccably.

Some of the idiotic morons posting on here give the anti-NUFC factions of our national media a field day. Not Mags at all as far as I'm concerned.

Restless Native said:

Ron ... how about "Owen Owen Owen-oh, Owen-oh, Owen-oh ..." like we used to sing for Liam O'Brien? Haven't quite worked out the end bit yet, maybe "little Mikey Owen", or summat!

Anyway, totally agree, we should celebrate the little fella in song between now and May. And hope the Ashley situation is sorted so he feels confident enough to want to stay come the end of the season. Even if he does leave, he will take my respect with him - he has been a super pro and has conducted himself impeccably.

Some of the idiotic morons posting on here give the anti-NUFC factions of our national media a field day. Not Mags at all as far as I'm concerned.

Andrew Davis said:

Hi Lee,

Great article and lets be honest and frank about MO, as we would do the same until the situation in the boardroom is sorted out.

Great if he stays and good results and a change up top will make him and the other players stay.

On another note i hope your partner in crime Alan Oliver is not leaving is he........

Tell him the ex Ben & Jerrys lad still thinks he is a legend.

Andrew

Jay said:

I hope he signs personally he is a credit to the game.

Best of luck either way MO.


We should really be more supportive, some people on here are so harsh and negative.

bob harvey said:

Let's hope for the best that MO does stay, but its no good speculating now about what might happen next summer.
The big disappointment is that Zog wants out. I have been trying to work out since Sunday whether N'Zogbia, Duff, Gutierrez and Enrique could perform in the same team, but Charlie seems to have settled it; get Duff on the left wing against Wigan --- and I say that as a long-standing fan of N'Zogbia.

Tad Caster said:

I know there'll be a thread on this game, but that was another we should've won. We didn't really get into the game until we were a man down. Guthrie came alive when he had to move forward. Butt was poor and Duff? Well, is all forgiven after that last goal. No. He was rank all game, losing the ball too easily and giving it away and to cap it all, he missed that chance to put us level - and we were probably worth a draw becuase they'd gone to pieces - see what a little pressure does, Joe? Maybe you should manage the Mackems after all.

Terrible refereeing throughout. I hope he's reported.

lambic peach said:

everytime I read the comments on here I am more convinced than ever that a pile of self serving w#*#ers and halfwits are the vocal majority of our supporters. I hope that Owen doesnt read this pap. Why blame him for the complete mess our club is in. Have you all run out of scapegoats? Lets have a look at ourselves and the ability to never be satisfied until everyone has left the place and been replaced by absolutely no one,,, once again, I feel embarrassed to be a NUFC supporter

Profile

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.

Latest Premier League video

Video

Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with

ESPN

Follow my RSS feed

Twitter

Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter

Categories

Sponsored Links