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Owen never quite grasped life at Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Apr 17, 11 10:31 AM


When Michael Owen left Newcastle United many accused the striker of "not caring" about the future of the club that were then left seemingly marooned in the Championship.

Owen remember had been made a lucrative offer by the Magpies back in December 2008 but decided to "delay" a decision about his future, back then he said: "I hope this is seen as a positive, and not disloyal in any way."

His key concerns then were that he was concerned about which division United would be playing in and the harm that staying at St James' Park was causing his England chances.

It was a given that he was never going to even consider playing in the Championship and with the striker out of contract, but United were never going to bow down to his sky high demands.

In truth, he was a different player to the one that arrived in a blaze of glory in 2005 from Real Madrid by the team he left Newcastle and then rubbed salt into the wounds by signing for Man United.

For me, he had long since been drained of any feeling he had for the club by the time the bus pulled away from Villa Park in May 2009 and the Mags were relegated.

But I have to ask, did he ever really care about pulling on a black and white shirt?

Plagued by injury after injury and wandering around the training ground with a face like smacked backside said to me, his thoughts were always elsewhere.

I have to admit the day that Owen signed for Newcastle, you couldn't help but feel genuine excitement on Tyneside.

The reality of the "dream signing" though was that it would drain resources at the club for years to come, deny the club sponsor money from Northern Rock and plunge United deeper into debt.

This was all a contributing factor to relegation in the long run.

His dealings with the media on Tyneside for a player who was meant to be making a statement at the club and spent a period as captain were generally short and sweet.

Many a time a local hack would be met with "talk to the hand" symbol from Owen who never quite grasped who his public were.

His goal tally of 30 and appearances for United are pretty average for a player who cost the earth to bring here.

And although, many might remember his stunning hat-trick at West Ham or his double against Sunderland.

Others will remember his cupped ear signal to the Gallowgate End against Wigan in 2008 or perhaps the day he cried off against Fulham when we desperately needed a player to run through brick walls for the club in an hour of need.

His final game was at Aston Villa, he may as well not have bothered that day.

Therefore, if he is on the end of a red hot reception on Tuesday night he shouldn't need to be told why.

Not that'll care...of course.

7 Comments

DormAnt said:

Michael Owen will go down in the history of Newcastle United, and the further he goes down into obscurity the better.

Never was so much spent on so little, for so little return or reward.

Let his epitaph read:

He Had Nothing To Give.

ade said:

I never had a good feeling about him. It was obvious right from the start that he wanted to go to another club (Liverpool) only came here because we offered a ridiculous amount that noone could refuse.

I suppose Madrid selling him to us was payback for woodgate.

Frank Thomas Milford said:

He's nee Shola like!

Stevie in Iraq said:

The epitomy of the modern-day mercinary footballer. The most disgraceful attitude I have ever seen at NUFC (and we have had some bad uns)

He never needed a good reason not to pull on the shirt and roll his sleeves up....just an excuse...any excuse. Far more concerned with what was going on at his stables in Cheshire than mucking in at our beloved club.

Michael Owen.....we at Newcastle love our players, as long as they show commitment to the cause and respect for the history of our club and its fantastic support. You did none of this and will therefore be remembered in the same breath as Marcelino, Boumsong, Guivarch, etc.

The best thing to happen to this club for years coincided with our darkest hour of relegation...the day Michael Owen left our great club with his head down and greedy tail between his idle legs...GOOD RIDDANCE and I hope Collo puts you into row Z tomorrow night!! HWTL

relton said:

I think Owen totally did grasp life at NUFC. Sit around - do nowt - get paid - take the mick. He must be advising Stephen Ireland.

toonagain said:

He came to newcastle because liverpool, ManU or the big London clubs didn't want him... he was here to carry his profile and look for a game with England. He was never interested in NUFC. While at Newcastle he was more interested in his horses (which we paid for). I do have some sympathy for him as a sportsman. He was used by the people in power and was burnt out with over playing and injuries well before his time... A sad ending for a sportsman that had so much, but he made the choises (take notice AC), best close the book on that one.

Tim Gill said:

Owen was a disgrace, he had the opportunity to become one of our legends, but his attitude was s@@@e! Man U will drop him like a sack of spuds at the end of the season and he will then probably P@@@ off to the states and play with Beckham. Only the yanks are stupid enough to pay 100 grand a week for a lazy pile of c@@@. If Owen was one of his racehorses he would be called Saaaaad Ken!

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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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