Thursday, May 10, 2007

Owen own goal?

So, to summarise:

In August 2005, Newcastle paid somewhere in the region of £17 million pounds for England striker Michael Owen, who had spent the previous year as a Real Madrid substitute. Despite rumours to the contrary Fat Fred insisted that there was no get out clause in the contract, and that Owen was with us for the foreseeable future.

In December 2005, having made a handful of starts, and scored better than a goal every other game, Owen injured his foot and was ruled out for ages.

In May 2006 having played only one further game for Newcastle, Sven Goran-Eriksson named Owen is his World Cup Squad and took our barely recovered striker off to Germany.

In June 2006 Owen ruptured knee ligaments, leaving England's chances of scoring any goals, and our chances of doing anything this season, in tatters.

In April 2007 Owen plays his first game of the season for Newcastle. The press instantly talked about his expected return for England this summer, despite his not scoring in the two games he has played.

In May 2007 with Glenn Roeder (Owen's second Newcastle manager) having resigned, and with Newcastle languishing in mid-table after a crap season featuring far too many goalless (and clueless) performances, press speculation that Owen's contract contains a £9 million release fee resurfaces. Despite having previously denied such a clause exists, Fat Fred (in his infinite wisdom) decides that the best way of dealing with this is to speak to the press, and publicly state that Owen should declare his intentions to stay at Newcastle and repay some of the loyalty shown to him during the last two years (not to mention the vast fortune spent in wages), and that even if he wants to leave none of the top four clubs want him anyway.

Which all sounds a bit like a small child going off in a sulk because he is worried bigger boys might come and use his favourite toy.

As man-management ploys go, it's got to be up there with Souness' handling of Bellamy.

One thing is for certain, it is will either see Owen forced to say something he may, or may not, want to; or more likely is simply going to piss him off to the point where he jumps at the chance to go elsewhere.

I'm all for encouraging Owen to stay, but is calling his bluff in the papers really the best way to do that?


Post a Comment

<< Home