Michael Owen is not a stupid individual. He knew that signing for Manchester United, when he was painted so strongly in Liverpool colours, was going to upset a few people. It did and to be fair many of them were of Scouse origin. The reaction from a lot of United fans was a bit more ‘meh’. He was not pledging allegiance to us, he wasn’t going to kiss the badge, he may well play once or twice (pay as you play maybe) and score a few goals and it would all be worth it. Fast forward past the goals in Europe, and that goal against Manchester City, fast forward past the end of last season and the first league winners medal of his career; after the start and the goals recently against Dirty Leeds the same question is rearing its ugly head (that’s the first and last Piers Morgan reference here, we promise).
The question being, namely, why is Michael Owen still at Manchester United?
When you look at his career, goals for Liverpool and good standing with the fans, goals for Real Madrid (eventually) and apparently a good reputation with the Madrid fans as someone who was there when called upon to put the ball in the back of the net. There was a lot of noise made up in the North East about his move to Newcastle and his goals continued but it wasn’t so much his goals to games ratio as his games to injuries ratio that made the headlines. Rumours flew around that the chairman didn’t like him. At different times during his stay on the Tyne loyalty was demanded from him by the Chairman Freddy Shepherd. Before arriving there had been rumours that Liverpool fans wanted him to return but the Liverpool management were against it. That wonderful man Mr Shepherd again apparently told some Liverpool fans that they could have him back gladly. At the time he left St James’s Park, Newcastle had been relegated. Manchester United came knocking on his door, “out of the blue”, of course he would say yes. Who wouldn’t?