Legend Or Has Been?
August 2005 seems an age away. Since August 05 the household name Alan Shearer has passed gracefully into retirement while his adored but not adorned team Newcastle United continue a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs with unpredictable form in the Premiership.
In August 2005 with Shearer's retirement looming large Newcastle United signed Michael Owen from Spanish giants Real Madrid for a club record of £17 million. Since that time Owen has managed only 11 appearances for Newcastle. That works out at over £1.5 million a match or a whopping £17,000 a minute. Ouch! no wonder Freddy Shepherd is looking for a Geordie Abramovich.
Michael Owen has not played a match since England's World Cup final clash with Sweden in June 2006. During the match he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament leading to knee surgery and a long spell of rehabilitation.
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder has now suggested that the 27 year old is close to a comeback. It appears very likely that Michael Owen will play at least a friendly before the end of the season. Such news brings a ray of hope to an otherwise disappointing season for the Magpies.
Newcastle currently sit mid table at 10th and have floundered through a season that has seen them move everywhere between 6th and 19th but mostly stay in the bottom half. Owen's career is similar to Newcastle's rollercoaster season in ways. Owen nicknamed "The Boy Wonder" became the youngest player ever to play for England at 18. Then he became the youngest to score for England followed by the youngest Englishman to play in a World Cup. Michael Owen will forever be known for his wonder goal against Argentina in 1998 which firmly launched him on the international stage. Triumph after triumph followed Michael's wonder goal but Owen's career has been marred with injury and setbacks.
The name Michael Owen still demands respect and fans cast their mind back to the achievements and breath taking play of the young Owen. However, Owen has failed to set the world alight on Tyneside and after a lengthy layoff of almost a year has it all to prove. With 6 games remaining there is not time even in the most optimistic of outlooks for Owen to make an impact on the English Premier League. However, next season proves a real challenge to see whether he will return as a legend or a has been adding to the list of expensive Newcastle mistakes.
Tags: Michael Owen, World Cup, Newcastle United, English Premier League, Alan Shearer