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Taking the Michael

By Lee Ryder on Jun 22, 09 10:09 PM

So there you go then, Michael Owen arrived to 20,000 fans celebrating his arrival to Tyneside like we'd won a trophy and leaves with no more than a whimper after a playing his part in the Toon's relegation to the Championship.

Owen was never going to stay on Tyneside the minute we were placed in the same division as Scunthorpe, Blackpool and Barnsley was he?

It's a no-brainer and today's interview was inevitable.

So what good memories do we have of Michael?

Well his two goals against Sunderland last season and his hat-trick against West Ham at Upton Park back in 2005 in the 4-2 win in the east end were basically it.

He scored 29 goals in his three years on Tyneside but was haunted by injuries.

And if it wasn't injuries it seemed to be recovering from injuries in order to "get fit for England."

To be totally honest I can count the amount of times I witnessed a smile from the little striker on one hand.

Yes, he is one of the most media savvy footballers of his generation but when it came to talking to the local paper it was like getting blood out of a stone.

If his goal ratio is half decent his positive response to interview requests was dreadful.

More often than not, the "captain" was happy to let players who had little experience of dealing with the Press, young players like Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua and David Edgar are all those who found themselves thrust into the media limelight at an early stage due to senior players like Owen's reluctance to talk the fans via the Press.

In true Newcastle style, Owen will probably go on and have an injury free run and score plenty of goals elsewhere.

Not bad for a player who once said "I'm here as long as you want me" during a dinner for Wallsend Boys Club a few years back.

But, and at the risk of sounding like sour grapes, would you really want Owen next season?

The player who walked round with a face like a smacked backside for three years seemed like a lost soul for much of Newcastle's slide to the second tier.

Yes, he was injured at Villa Park when we finally crumbled.

But when he walked off with a bone dry shirt after failing to get anywhere near the goal against the Villains, you just knew his time was up.

With Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll waiting in the wings to take his place, the two young strikers are at least something Toon fans can hang their hats on next season.

Thanks for the memories Michael, well sort of.

37 Comments

Tony said:

The only thing you can say about Owen is that he makes Ameobie look like a dedicated footballer!!!

M. Sebastian T. said:

Only MLS teams will have any genuine interest in taking this particular Michael because he can still look half decent again typical USA players. Even Hull won't actually be serious with their pay as you play and score offer.

But to be honest the biggest laugh people have been having at NUFC so far this week is nothing to do with Owen. They are laughing at the new away strip!

Matty said:

Was Owen Marcelino in disguise? Two footballing greats. Great mercenaries!

BigAL said:

Owen was an expensive disaster, failing to deliver and did nothing for us in my book.


I also think its choice to hear him now say he nearly signed up again when Keegan was there and that he would have probably stayed on if we had remained in the Premiership and Shearer was still in charge. Why did he not utter some of this 'commitment' at the time? He always sidestepped those questions! No, for me I think he was personally incentivised to see us go down, as this made it easier for him to turn his back on the Toon. If we had stayed up he would have been more 'obligated' to make up for short changing the fans throughout his time at Newcastle - going down made life easier for him.


Owen NEVER had his heart in Newcastle. This was emphasised to me as we went into the remaining games of the season with Owen coming back from injury. A friend of mine was playing golf at Frodsham in Cheshire and saw Owen sitting with his feet up on a golf buggy reading the Sporting Life, as though he did not have a care in the world. He could not give a monkeys about Newcastle - good riddance!

Toon Graeme said:

I agree Lee that this press release was on the cards - but now its done lets leave it at that.

Let MO be stricken to the history achives of NUFC - what 1 page if that.

'Captain' - his name alone gave him that title - not through leading by example - unless we dont see something that the managers (aye more than one) saw in training.

Irony - he signs for Hull and they go down!

The proof will be in his future performances. If he does re-light his football fire, it will just confirm what we all think or have thought - he was a money orientated wee wee taking basket!

Good riddence.

Stand up Mr Ranger and Mr Carroll - you time is now.

Lee said:

"With Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll waiting in the wings to take his place, the two young strikers are at least something Toon fans can hang their hats on next season."

Bit of a risk don't you think Lee? Ameobi paired with one of those? We need two lads in who have been there and done it at Championship level, and that's just up front. Experienced strikers are invaluable - look at how many points Kevin Phillips got for Birmingham last year.

roy chapman said:

I think like many Toon fans that Owen is no longer a Newcastle player, if ever he was, and I couldn't really give a s--t where he goes.
Close this chapter Lee and give us some news about the future - if yiu can?

roy chapman said:

Like a lot of Toon fans I am heartily sick of reading aboot Owen. I couldn't give a monkeys what he wants or where he's going.

Close the chapter on this irksome, money-grabbing little scouser and give us some news about the future of the Club - if you can?

roy chapman said:

Like a lot of Toon fans I am heartily sick of reading aboot Owen. I couldn't give a monkeys what he wants or where he's going.

Close the chapter on this irksome, money-grabbing little scouser and give us some news about the future of the Club - if you can?

Mike Fraser said:

If MO was correct in his rating that he belongs in the EPL then surely he would have shown that capability when it was most needed. But of course he didn't and we got relegated by a single goal!

I cannot see any sensible club paying anything like even half what he was paid at Newcastle unless it is on a pay per play and bonus for goals, and that would be some risk for Owen to take!

Cheers

Kev said:

Why didnt Newcastle just cancel the remaining weeks of his contract, pay the greedy little git up and get him out. Then rather than headlines about "Owen leaving relegated Newcastle" we could have had "Toon sack Englands no 10"

Faustino said:

While i'm pleased he's gone - and would never argue that we got anywhere near value for money him - at least he conducted himself in a better way than a lot of the other whining spongers we've currently got and have had over the past 5 years.
In truth though he looked fed up from when shearer retired as a player and perhaps cashing in on him or getting him off the books at the start of last season should have been explored more - though his astronomical wages would have no doubt put off prospective buyers.
Thank goodness, however, that he didn't take up whatever the contract was we offered him midway through the season. For someone as financially savvy, you would have thought he would have snapped our hand off to gurantee another 70grand of our hard earned a week.
In the end, his time at SJP is synonymous with our demise, a supposed world class player looking anything but in black and white and failing to justify a crippling outlay.
Bring back Imrae Varadi

Leonard Osbourne said:

Well, I hope Michael gets what he deserves with a move to Hull - we'll hopefully pass him, his mackem manager and the mackems next season as they go down and we go up. It seems peculiar and ironic that we seem to have adopted Hulls strip (minus the black) as our away kit for next season. Quite fitting for a jaundiced side with no bottle. You must be yolking Mr Ashley and I hope you have more luck selling the club than you have selling those shirts! Any electric news on the buy out Lee?
Lets hope things get warm and sunny this season and we get rid of the other mouldy cheeses and rotten eggs masquerading as professional footballers.
Bye Michael.

Up the Toon.

Steve Hayes said:

Am gutted you lot went down enjoy coming up to watch the Gunners! Mind you not looking forward to seeing your away strip, will wear dark shades for that one! Got to be one of the worst strips ever produced by a sighted person?

Sharon Parratt said:

my brother lives in carlisle, So I'm hopeing either they come up next year or Newcastle go down another peg so I can watch the two play together.

londontoon said:

MO left Liverpool to find CL football and off he went to Real Madrid, never got a game and Liverpool won the CL without him... he'll go to Hull next season and we'll pass them as we go back up. I dont think MO is the brightest of footballers

Brian Whitfield said:

C'mon Lee.........what did you expect? He was always going to leave. They always do. The only player who has been truly of any worth in the last few years has been Shearer. In my view ninety percent of the playing personnel that have come to Newcastle have been spectacular flops.Don't blame the players, blame bad management choices. It'll be interesting to see what choices Shearer makes. IF he becomes manager, and he should be given the chance. Well, he had the bottle to come back and try to keep the club in the Big League didn't he?

Harry Worth said:

Owen has been the most disgraceful, lily livered shirker of a captain that this club has had the misfortune to have and he will not be missed.

Lee said:

Brian Whitfield said:
"The only player who has been truly of any worth in the last few years has been Shearer."

Shay Given wasn't too shabby! And Gary Speed (let go three seasons too early).

Tad Caster said:

And Nobby. The last player we had who could pass the ball.

dessa said:

Next Shola?....Please

Brian Witfield said:

Lee and Ted Caster. O.K. agreed, that makes four.............not inmpressive is it??

RAF Mark said:

Ladies and gents, lets say it as is it. Thank god Owen has gone now open the door and let the want aways walk. Bassong can leave as far as I am concerned he was wanting to jump ship hefore we were even down..showed his true colours and lack of balls. They can all go to the end of season party and weasels hows.

M. Sebastian T. said:

Agree that Owen has effectively gone and is now legacy problem rather than an issue. The real question now is what about all the the overpaid g*ts, who still have a contract. None of them want to take massive pay cuts either. It will all end up with the shambolick situation of it being best to pay part of their wages so they can go play for the new dross clubs like Burnley, Hull, Stoke and Wolves.

And of course Shearer wants to get back on the Toon Gravy Train. Imaging paying something like 40,000 per week for a bloke who is totally unqualified and so far has a 12.5% win record! If he really loves NUFC as much as he says he would offer to do the job for free until he gets to where they were when he arrived.

NUFC being the subject of jokes is far from ended and it is not just people in Sunderland who are laughing!

M. Sebastian T. said:

Agree that Owen has effectively gone and is now legacy problem rather than an issue. The real question now is what about all the the overpaid g*ts, who still have a contract. None of them want to take massive pay cuts either. It will all end up with the shambolick situation of it being best to pay part of their wages so they can go play for the new dross clubs like Burnley, Hull, Stoke and Wolves.

And of course Shearer wants to get back on the Toon Gravy Train. Imaging paying something like 40,000 per week for a bloke who is totally unqualified and so far has a 12.5% win record! If he really loves NUFC as much as he says he would offer to do the job for free until he gets to where they were when he arrived.

NUFC being the subject of jokes is far from ended and it is not just people in Sunderland who are laughing!

Simon said:

I'm sorry, I completely disagree with what's written here. If MO had a face like a smacked bottom it could only be an expression of utter disbelief of what a complete mess of a football club he'd been duped into joining. How many managers? Honestly, if I'd be playing for us, I'd have been pretty hacked off at the farcical way our club has been totally and utterly mismanaged over such a long period of time. Does anyone else remember the quotes by previously players saying the club as “rotten to the core”. Spot on, if you ask me. People here have harked back to the game at West Ham and what everyone has completely and utterly failed to remember is that all those goals were typical MO goals where good build up play has created a goal-scoring opportunity that he took. The extent to which our football this season (and a few before that) has been pedestrian, predictable and downright pathetic has been utterly galling. Yes, blame the recruitment programme, yes, blame the players just don’t make MO the scapegoat for all of this club’s shortcomings.

MO has never, ever been a player to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and change it. His goal to chance ratio is one of the best but the simple fact is that our play has been so shamefully woeful that chances have been few and far between. No wonder he’s had a face like that. How many of you could hand on heart say that if the ball bounced to one of our strikers that they would prefer any of them to MO. Martins would be more likely to hit the top of the stand, Viduka would never get there, Smith would have been outside the box and Ameobi would have missed it completely.
And as for the constant sniping about his salary and lack of love for the football club; seriously, get over it. The days of players expressing open and undying love for the company paying their wages has gone. Please pull yourself out of the dark ages. This is a business, people have contracts and people get paid. Stop harping on about it. Far too much of the vitriol directed at MO is jealousy. Pure and simple. MO is a victim of circumstance. For one minute, just put aside your own (and genuine love for this club) and put yourself in his position. Wouldn’t you think you’d make a God-awful mistake too.

I have no doubt in my mind, that if the team had been playing anything close to decent football then MO would have been our top scorer... oh hang on, he was. He was our top scorer last season. And the season before that. Whichever club MO joins, will get a player that given chances will score goals. Good luck to him, I say. He’s better off without us.

Tad Caster said:

Utter rubbish. When we needed someone to graft, he wouldn't and he spurned more chances than I'd care to remember - though this is by no means letting Martins off the hook.

londontoon said:

i agree with some if not all of the last 2 comments. i would add he should not of been captain, as pointed out he has never been a player to grab the game by the scruff of the neck! however as captian he should of! he also was one of the next generation of young footballers who spat the dummy out if the were made to play in the rain. its sad the way football has gone, too much money thrown to people who have never had it before and don't really know what to do with it? after the first time KK left as we know we had 1 chance to come back from the grave and that was when SBR came in, since his sacking this really hasn't been a newcastle united football club, only reckonizable by the strip which really has been nothing but a disguise to fool the supports into buying into this farce. started by Fat Fred and continued by Fat Mike. and if there is anyone who believes in good and bad luck surely having northern rock splashed all over the place has to be the biggest omen of them all!!?

ps. on the strip thing - "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET AWAY STRIPS OF 1 ALL WHITE AND 1 ALL BLACK??????!" MUPPETS!

damon said:

We must be deluded if we think Michael Owen, in a world cup season, would contemplate championship football. Ask yourself would any player do so, if he thought he had a chance to force his way into Capello's squad? When you sign international players, especially ones who are theoretically on the verge of making history, as MO had the potential to do being only nine goals shy of Sir Bob, these are the sort of issues that have to be dealt with. Had it not been a World Cup year it might have made sense to stay and do the honourable thing in helping the toon battle - but personally I don't think he would have done so anyway. Michael Owen, despite what some of the posters may say remains a top class footballer - and what top class footballer could stand more than one season with a club in such a tangled and ongoing mess as this, let alone four or five?!
I say good luck Michael - I think you've had your share of bad, and its just a shame you didnt join us when Sir Bobby was around. We are so much better than what you have witnessed here, and you know that don't you.

Tad Caster said:

Did he look top class against Villa? He was brought on and he should have got stuck in but he didn't. If he had a pet lip for being stuck on the bench, then pity him, but on his wages, he should have done the job. And he didn't.

While it would be unfair to say he had excellent service all season, he blew a lot of chances that you would expect someone of his ability and experience to put away.

damon said:

I'm not disagreeing at all with that Tad Caster - but I have rarely seen Owen give anything less than 100% on a pitch and can only assume something had gone mentally by the bitter end, which royally p-ed me off too, but I'm looking at the bigger picture.
Owen could have been a real hero for us, and it is not his fault the way things went on around him. Remember that glorious time when Keegan had all three up front performing. They were good enough then. A year ago.
Cliche time I'm afraid, but form is temporary, class is permanent. Would you honestly gamble your hard earned that Owen would not get back to his usual 1 in 2 goal ratio with a well-run, top-half prem team? I sure as hell wouldn't.

RAF Mark said:

Gents, Those of you who claim to have watched Owen and think he made a effort want to get your eyes tested. Every game he was pushed off the ball and sorry but aint got what it takes to be a premier striker. Henry made the perfect comment about him a few years ago "if I was Owen jsut stood around waiting for a chance I would be bored". We the modern day Quality striker works on an of the ball goal taker and maker. OWEN did neither, any any of you out there think he played well and put a 100% in every game are full of it, infact I think you need to start watching a nother less energetic sport.

damon said:

I'm not suggesting he was as skilful a ball player as Thierry Henry, not many are, but you can't argue with his goal to game ratio. Which dipped, slightly, at NUFC. Coincidence? I wish, really wish I could say otherwise. I'll be prepared to eat humble pie if Owen misfires next season wherever he lands, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

paul said:

everton fc are the best

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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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