Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

That's Nice For You

Michael Owen is off again. It is beneficial to him that he's spent most of the last two months going "Ooh, I don't know, it's still a bit sore" when Newcastle had to play Ameobi and Chopra up front. But now, in another interview this week he also said "If the World Cup started tomorrow, I'd be fit".

Yes, we know. If the World Cup had started a month ago you'd have been fit too. Owen comes across, to me, as a selfish and weak person. Laurie Cunningham passed away recently ; one tribute paid to him was by Ron Atkinson [1]. Cunningham was on loan at Manchester United in 1983, trying to rebuild his career after injury. He seemed fit and was playing in the team. However, in the run up to the Cup Final against Brighton, he approached Atkinson (the manager) and said that he knew he wasn't fully fit and, as much as he wanted the play in the final, he felt that he wouldn't do the team justice if he did.

Can you imagine Owen doing that ? England had problems in 2002 with players declaring themselves fit when they weren't. I was on a train after the Charlton-Newcastle game I went to recently and a Toon fan said "I'm sick of Owen. He only ever talks about England". I could see his point. Newcastle have been paying him massive wages to basically use the club as a glorified gym. The bravest and strongest thing to do is to declare yourself fit when, and only when, you are fit. Not when it suits you.

[1] Yes, there is a certain amount of attendant irony.


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