Where do you turn if two high profile attacking players leave and your number one transfer target heads elsewhere? You get out the cheque book and spend some of your £100 million summer transfer budget. Right? Wrong! In fact, you fall further into your dystopian nightmare in which public rejection, is followed by public humiliation. Get out the stocks – it’s time to become a public laughing stock.
In this footballing torment, you might even bring in a washed up, ageing ‘striker’ who hasn’t scored a goal in six months, with an injury record that reads broken metatarsal, knee ligament damage, double hernia operation, thigh strain and countless hamstring strains. Then you wake up and fall to your knees in prayer. Say it ain’t so. Michael Owen signs for Manchester United!
But it is so and manager Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be a long time fan of Owen. Indeed, the boss tried has to sign the player three times – first aged 14 in 1994, second on his return from Real Madrid in 2005, and then again a year later before the player suffered a serious knee injury at the World Cup in Germany.
Owen may be only 29, but his footballing peak was 11 full years ago, with that goal against Argentina in Saint-Etienne. His record at Newcastle isn’t bad in a poor team – the former Liverpool player made 79 appearances for the Barcodes and scored 30 goals in four seasons. But his last league goal was on 10 January against West Ham, and his form so poor that friend Alan Shearer even dropped him from the Toon team in their desperate fight against relegation last season. His star has fallen so far that Hull and Stoke were apparently fighting it out for his signature, while Wigan and Blackburn publicly questioned the player’s bottle and ability.
In fact, anybody who followed Owen over the closing months will have seen a striker stripped of all his pace, confidence and desire. Without that there is little left of value in the player. Yet, Sir Alex has moved quickly following the failure to sign Olympique Lyonnais’ Karim Benzema, in a move that smacks of total desperation.
Let’s hope that Owen, even if fit, will be little more than an experienced insurance policy against injuries to Wayne Roony or Dimitar Berbatov. Most United fans would prefer to trust in the youth of Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda. More worrying still is what the signing says about Wayne Rooney’s hopes of playing a central role for United next season. In Sir Alex’ prefered 4-2-3-1 system, there’s little room for both unless the younger Scouser is once again pushed towards the wing.
Ferguson’s stock is high, of course, but ultimately United supporters will find it hard to forgive Owen’s Liverpool loving history. A vociferously celebrated winning goal at the Kop End would be a good start.
22 thoughts on “Today’s April Fool joke is … Michael Owen”
Always thought SAF would have an ace up his sleeve after Ronaldo did the inevitable..but I now fear that card may have been a joker. Only hope is that Macheda and Welbeck step up to the plate. Come on you boys!
Take it easy dude. He’s available for FREE and will most probably be a backup with Rooney and Berba ahead of him. Its not like a big gamble or something since we got him for free. Look at the positive side of things. Maybe we’ll have more strikers coming in. The transfer window is not over yet.
If he stays fit Owen will be an excellent signing for Utd. He’s english, understands what it means to play for Utd and has a great goal scoring record. He’ll be happy to be part of a squad rotation system and could be very, very effective as an impact player off the bench. He’ll also be a valuable mentor for the likes of Danny Wellbeck.
Michael has done it at the veyr highest level time and time again, whilst SAF knows football and footballers inside out. He knows better than to spend big money on a player just to appease the idiotic fan base.
I’ve been a Utd supporter all my life and it doesn’t bother me for a second that he once played for Liverpool. Owen has absolutely tons fo character and resilience and I respect that. Utd fans should give him a chance.
To call this a public humiliation is farcical and I suspect once again Fergie will have the last laugh. The knee jerk reactions are rarely proven correct.
mmmmm, yummy, snacks of despiration.
How is this a bad signing? He’s free and is a proven scorer of goals. Anyone who had the expectancy of NCL on theri shoulders would struggle in that situation, AND good old Alan Shearer did absolutely nothing in his eight games in charge other than talk it up and get relegated.
Owen scores goals and is the most prolific scorer in the Premier league…even ahead of Anelka, and can and will score goals.
Why waste money and worry on a striker from overseas when you have one ready made and free on your doorstep?
Shrewd signing, good business sense, and plenty of money to spend if need be.
Crisis? What crisis?
Absolute desperation. SAF is now really devoid of any direction and aim. Actually he was so since that Tuesday, the day before the UCL final in Rome. Putting out an ultra-defensive team without a striker against a fully attacking team ( without a decent defence, mind you ) only invited full scale assault. The result was oh so painful. Today, in my opinion, SAF is well past his sell-by date. Forget signing top player(s), We need a truly new-generation manager, NOW. Cantona, anyone??
he comes on a free transfer. it’s a low-risk move by Sir Alex. we can have the greatest super-sub on the bench since Ole Gunnar Solsky and that’s will be more than enough.
im a liverpool fan and we could sign Beardsley and ince !So why cant you sign Owen?
This is a signing in the mould of the Larsson deal – a short-term, stop gap, no lose scenario. If the right player isn’t available to buy now then let’s keep the money for when they are. One thing we can’t do after Tevez and Ronaldo is buy in some star who doesn’t want to be here. He may have lost his pace but he’s still probably as fast as Tevez and he’s as good a finisher if not better.
Jesus ED,dont be so bloody negative we have the best medical team in the country,i reckon we can get him fit and he only needs to be a 20 game a season player.I have been calling out for this signing for months plus cant wait to see the faces the scum when he starts playing well
could be the final nail in that rafa runts coffin
K so Owen isn’t my first pick (and wasn’t in my top ten), but there is a logic to this. Fergie can get Owen for free on 20k a week plus bonuses. If he costs more he’s earned it, if not it’s only like having Richardson on the bench again (vaguely irritating but no real harm done unless he comes on at left back). This will be subject to a rigorous medical examination, any sense that he’ll spend the season in the treatment room and we’ll pull out.
The reason I like the idea (providing it isn’t the last business of the summer) is that Owen potentially brings many things:
1) Romance (no not that kind). It would be awesome if we revived his career, he’ll never be as quick as he was but make him chances and he’ll score (Newcastle’s problem was that they didn’t make chances).
2) If it even slightly works it will seriously pi$$ the scousers off. Better still imagine him scoring a winner at Anfield – that alone would be worth the signing.
3) He’ll be happy to be on the bench. Much as I was excited at the prospect of Benzema I did worry whether it would be disruptive and push Rooney out wide again.
4) He will be hungry. There is no doubting that at his peak he was a top athlete if he can prove the doubters wrong he will love it. We’ll get a real grafter with something to prove.
5) If we signed Aguerro – a popular next move it would seem – we would break our transfer record (at least 45m) and pay £200k a week for a young player unproven in the physical premiership. He might be ace, he might also flop and cause a mass revolt about wages among the rest of the squad. We don’t want to need to bribe anyone to come to OT they have to hunger for it. That’s why Benzema was ultimately the wrong target, his heart would not have been in it.
6) Owen is a strong influence in the dressing room he’ll help the younger players and keep a cool head when the going gets tough.
7) Does everyone else remember the partnership he forged with Rooney in an England shirt a few years back.
8) If signing Owen as a stop gap allows Welbeck and Macheda to bed into the first team and eventually come good it is money well spent.
9) We’ll make £20k a week in shirt sales in the far east off the back of Owen.
10) is that not enough good reasons for a gamble – and surely we know that Fergie is a gambler at heart and it is that spirit that has given us and unbeatable 23 years
Great article. I’m absolutely disgusted at this signing. It would be one thing to coax one of Liverpool’s best players away from them. It’s quite another to sign someone they got rid of several years ago, and who has vastly deteriorated since. Owen is terribly injury prone, and even last season when he managed to play a reasonable number of games by his standards, he only managed ten goals. That’s less than Tevez. Madrid buy half of Europe, Barcelona are linked with David Villa, hell, even City might well get Samuel Eto’o. And we sign Michael Owen from relegated Newcastle. What a joke. Benitez must be laughing his bollocks off.
A 2 year absence but the same old negative Rant. Its ususally a good blog but people seem to be writing off our 2 signings without them even kicking a ball. Fair enough he’s not the player he used to be but we are in need of a striker who doesn’t constantly drop back into midfield.
Well if you mistake honesty for negativity fine. Perhaps you’re wearing some rose tinted glasses? An average of 8 goals a season over the past four years says this isn’t a good signing. If Owen turns back the clock, stays fit and starts scoring that’s great. But the evidence from the past four years says it won’t happen.
Plus I remember him absolutely loving him scoring against us. He’d better celebrate this much if he scores against the Scousers.
Owen will have the last laugh after all…
Is this Utd rant forum or ABU rant forum?
It’s definitely not an ABU forum. You should have seen what I had to delete!
Heh! Tell me about it! 🙂
Let’s give him shirt no19
it’ll look good to the scousers when he lifts the pemier league1
Nail on the f’in head man, nail on the f’in head.
Forget the fact that hes a once-decent player whos washed up, unmotivated and crippled, he is Michael f’in Owen… seeing him in a United shirt makes me want to throw up instantly.
Think that SAF has got one over on LFC before the season has started. Turned one of their boys into a Manc….gave him the nr 7 shirt too…..its inevitable that owen will become a manc hero….eventually
does anyone want to take there comments about Owwn back yet…. you should always have faith in the master…. thats why he picks the players and you moan about it online….