During his relatively short-lived career as a footballer, England former striker Michael Owen spoke for the first time about his failed career with many injuries.
To many who watched football back in the nineties, you might have the idea that Liverpool product Michael Owen was a huge disappointment in football and had a failed career as a professional. At the very start of his run that began with an unforgettable World Cup performance in 1998 for England, Michael Owen seemed like he was going to take over the world as he even received the Ballon d’Or back in 2001 when Liverpool won the UEFA Cup with him as the top player of that competition. But his precocious career as a youngster that began in 1996, saw him develop a large number of muscular and trauma injuries that prevented him from becoming that world-class player he always aspired to be. During his career since the Liverpool days, Michael Owen suffered 28 injuries related to either his muscles or his bones which kept him out for many months of his professional career. But up until this day, we hadn’t heard how Owen felt about being so prone to injuries.
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) August 25, 2018
During an interview for BT Sports this Sunday afternoon, Michael Owen was finally questioned about his large history with injuries and what he said during the exchange was pretty revealing. We found out that Michael Owen was never the same player since the very first tendon and a hamstring injury he suffered back in 1999, one in which he tore his muscle in two separate parts and this was the source of so many injuries related to that specific part of his body from that moment forward. Since then Owen was never the same player as he had lost his confidence to sprint, his speed, his ability to run straight to space and receive long passes from his teammates. During the exchange, he had compatriot and former teammates Steve McManaman, who was able to confirm this hell that Michael Owen went through during his career and how he never really enjoyed football after picking up that first important injury. These statements during the interview with BT Sports, are a perfect example of a player who loses al confidence due to injuries as a professional.
How do you feel about Michael Owen?
Is he a club legend? A turncoat? Both? pic.twitter.com/kthO6OwIU9
— LFC Liverpool FC (@Liverpool_FC_) August 25, 2018
“Once I did it once (hamstring tear), I was gone really. I changed my game, I went from someone who scored goals like I did against Argentina, beating players, I was quick, running in channels, I was crossing the ball. That was me. The last six or seven years of my career, I just turned into the only thing I could. I was petrified of running into a channel, I just knew I was going to tear a muscle. The worst thing about it all, your instinct says what you’ve always done, I was bred to be a footballer. Worst thing ever, Macca (McManaman) gets the ball and then I think “oh no, you can’t, don’t, come off short”. You have lost everything. All I did at the end of my career for six or seven years, I hated it. I couldn’t wait to retire at the back end of my career because I wasn’t me. What’s even worse, I explained how it felt when Macca got the ball, and my immediate reaction is do this. And then in a split second, no you can’t, just go short. The worst thing is, you then get into a rut whereby you don’t even put yourself into a position where you are able to run. So you actually then go and stand in areas where you shouldn’t even be,” said Owen during the exchange.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) August 26, 2018
Alan Shearer, not impressed with Owen’s honesty.
But even if there was a lot of sympathy going around social media after Michael Owen opened up about the suffering of going through so many injuries, there was someone who wasn’t really that impressed and who is still not happy with Michael’s overall performances during his time at Newcastle United after he returned from his short period at Real Madrid. Toon Army legend Alan Shearer watched the interview and retweeted it on his social media account, but he did it with the following comment that many saw as a dig at Michael Owen: “Not sure Newcastle United fans, teammates or employers will want to thank him,” wrote Shearer. In the all-time Premier League top scorer’s view, the fact that Michael Owen didn’t feel comfortable playing football for all those years was a disservice to all the Toon Army and the people who trusted him when they signed him from Real Madrid. It is well-documented that during that period, the former Liverpool striker suffered the largest number of injuries and he was just getting paid to be on the bench.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) August 25, 2018
What do you think about Michael Owen’s honesty about his injuries and Alan Shearer’s reaction to it? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.