Michael Owen has admitted that his ‘nightmare’ stint at St James’ Park cost Newcastle ‘a lot of money’ given how unsuccessful his £18m move turned out to be, stating it wouldn’t have gone through in hindsight if the club knew how badly it would pan out.
The former Liverpool striker and current BT Sport pundit has always come across a little self obsessed and, at times, has showed a lack of respect for Newcastle United given what he did for us as our club record signing, so this seems a surprise admission by his standards.
Not only was he initially reluctant to move to the North East, but his lengthy spells on the sidelines (picking up a huge wage packet) and apparent lack of care for the club thoroughly cheesed off NUFC fans.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Premier League Legends show this week, Owen said the following about his unsuccessful spell at St James’:
“When I signed, me and Shearer were banging in goals left, right and centre. And then we were playing away at Tottenham and went in for a challenge with Paul Robinson, just trying to toeing it past him. It was never my ball to win really. As soon as I planted my foot, all of his weight came down on it and I just felt the break straight away. And that then, just led to a nightmare 18 months.
“I was basically two years into my Newcastle career and I’d only played six months so you can imagine the frustration among fans, among chairman, among everyone really.
“And things happen in football. Obviously the club were compensated a lot of my wage and everything else for being injured on international duty. In hindsight the deal wouldn’t have gone through because it cost the club a lot of money and overall it wasn’t a successful time.”
Finally, Owen was asked if he had any regrets regarding his ‘nightmare’ spell on Tyneside:
“Regrets? No. It’s hard to say. You look back and think ‘If I hadn’t have done that would I have won the European Cup and played at Liverpool forever and be a Liverpool hero? Possibly but then I wouldn’t have had other experiences and life’s about having those experiences and I don’t – in any way – go to bed thinking ‘If only I’d done this’.”
He’ll never be remembered fondly on Tyneside, being a player that barely raised a finger when we were sliding towards the Premier League trap door in 2009, however it is about time he actually accepted what a waste of money he ended up being for the club.
If the day ever comes, here’s hoping our next club record buy turns out to be a lot more successful than Mr. Owen.
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