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Owen: I'm not ready for the knackers yard yet


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I'M NOT READY FOR KNACKER'S YARD YET

 

By David Harrison

 

 

MICHAEL OWEN knows the football world will never again see the lightning pace and spectacular solo goals that made him the most exciting player of his generation.

 

Already at just 27 he is planning for retirement by opening his own racing stables with top trainer Nicky Vaughan in 160 acres of Cheshire countryside.

 

But the Newcastle and England striker declared: "There is no way I am ready for the knacker's yard."

 

Two years of crippling injuries, including a career-threatening cruciate knee problem, have prompted a growing belief his best years are behind him.

 

But if you suggest that to Owen, he insists his career will stretch into his mid-30's.

 

He said: "You get older, you go a bit grey and get a bit slower. Once we start getting closer to 30 and into our early thirties, we are not supermen.

 

"We are normal people. It happened to Alan Shearer and it will happen to me.

 

"But I'm only 27 and still in my prime. I feel quick and strong. I probably have had to modify my game. When I was a whipper-snapper I was sprinting down the channels, beating hundreds of players and crossing balls in.

 

"I was creating as many as I was scoring when I was a kid. Obviously, I've had to adapt my game because I've lost a yard of pace from all those hamstring injuries.

 

"When I was 17-18 I was a greyhound and it would be hard to get as quick as that again. I play more in the penalty box than I used to but I know where the ball's going to drop better than most.

 

"No, I'm not ready for the knacker's yard yet."

 

Owen's life is surrounded by rumour and speculation. The most popular gossip is Newcastle is merely a stopping-off point on his way to a more successful club.

 

Even his own Toon team-mates believe he spends his life flying back and forth to the north-east by helicopter - and that his heart and his football ambitions rest with an eventual return to Liverpool or joining Manchester United.

 

Owen scoffs at such talk. He recently bought a new house in the area from his ex-colleague Scott Parker and his family are settled there.

 

He said: "I've only been at Newcastle two years and the speculation's been unbelievable. At the end of every season people were asking 'Is Michael Owen going to stay or not?'

 

"I live up there and and my kids have been to school up there for two years. There is this perception that I divide my life between living in the north west and Newcastle.

 

"Well, I'm up there Monday through until Saturday. If we get a Sunday off, I'll sometimes fly out after the game and spend the day with my parents and family.

 

"Then I'll fly back up on Monday and spend the rest of the week there. Even my team-mates say 'Are you up here today?' and I say 'Yes, like I am every day'. Since I've been at Newcastle people have been thinking I'll leave. A lot think there's an agenda but there's not.

 

"There was a release clause in my contract that no one was supposed to be privy to but if people go and mention that I can't help it.

 

When Owen does eventually call a halt to his career, a life at the Manor House Stables beckons. But it will always be second to his obsession.

 

He said: "Football is my passion. Racing is for my retirement. It doesn't replace football but the thrill of seeing my horse come home first in my colours is the nearest thing I can get to scoring a goal."

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

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Guest Patrokles
not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

Not sure that's a very valid comparison, considering the massive difference in their respective games, and the fact that we don't know whether Owen has been compromised in any way by the injury.

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

Not sure that's a very valid comparison, considering the massive difference in their respective games, and the fact that we don't know whether Owen has been compromised in any way by the injury.

 

he says himself he's lost a yard of pace.

 

owen used to work the channels and scare defenders shitless with his pace. he's sill a top goal scorer but his game is more one dimensional now because his movement isn't as good as it once was. i think shearer was the same after his first year for when he picked up a bad injury. i remember him taking on players and beating men out wide when he played for blackburn and during his first season for us but he had to adapt his game for the majority of his time with us and we adapted our game to suit his strengths. i think it's worth it with both players because they both guarantee goals. but i wonder whether you should sacrifice those goals for a more expansive overall game.

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

Not sure that's a very valid comparison, considering the massive difference in their respective games, and the fact that we don't know whether Owen has been compromised in any way by the injury.

 

he says himself he's lost a yard of pace.

 

owen used to work the channels and scare defenders shitless with his pace. he's sill a top goal scorer but his game is more one dimensional now because his movement isn't as good as it once was. i think shearer was the same after his first year for when he picked up a bad injury. i remember him taking on players and beating men out wide when he played for blackburn and during his first season for us but he had to adapt his game for the majority of his time with us and we adapted our game to suit his strengths. i think it's worth it with both players because they both guarantee goals. but i wonder whether you should sacrifice those goals for a more expansive overall game.

 

 

his movement woud surely have to be better now than before because of his so called lack of pace? i think he's still relatively fast but hasn't got explosive power for changes of pace. he was at liverpool a 11 second 100m runner. i'm betting its closer to 11.5 now, which really means that he should be ok if he remains injury free. also with sam and the improved medical facilities at his disposal, we'll be looking at getting him fitter and better prepared than previously.

 

i personally don't think we should build a side around him. he only really scores goals and contributes nothing to team play. just my $0.02

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

I don't think shearer was that buggered by injury until well into his 30's, yeah he wasn't the entire player he was prior to 1996, but to suggest he was some 3 legged dog is ridiculous.

 

It was still largely his goals that kept us going, and he was still arguable the biggest miss last season after the sheer scale of our injury list (and that's missing him as he was the season before last, not him in 1996).

 

 

 

I dunno about Owen, age will likely slow him down as much as injury (although that too), how he will or can adapt his game if he needs too we'll have to see.

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

I don't think shearer was that buggered by injury until well into his 30's, yeah he wasn't the entire player he was prior to 1996, but to suggest he was some 3 legged dog is ridiculous.

 

It was still largely his goals that kept us going, and he was still arguable the biggest miss last season after the sheer scale of our injury list (and that's missing him as he was the season before last, not him in 1996).

 

 

 

I dunno about Owen, age will likely slow him down as much as injury (although that too), how he will or can adapt his game if he needs too we'll have to see.

Shearer was about 75% the player he was after the pre-season injury at Goodison imo. Still a good player though. We'll have to see what Owen's like. His game isn't based as purely on speed as some think though.

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not quite ready for the knackers yard? thank fuck for that!

 

i think owen is going to be a carbon copy of shearer for us in the sense that we signed him when he seemed in his prime but then he picks up a horror injury and is never the same player again in terms of pace and penetration. we then build a team to play to his strengths despite their reduced overall contribution to team play.

 

if we set the team up to play to owen's strengths - like we did with shearer after he lost a yard of pace - it wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to score a shitload of goals for us just (like shearer). it also wouldn't surprise me if like shearer, if we don't win anything while we build a side around an old fashioned goalpoacher instead of using more mobile strikers who may not score as many goals, but have more to their all-round game.

 

I don't think shearer was that buggered by injury until well into his 30's, yeah he wasn't the entire player he was prior to 1996, but to suggest he was some 3 legged dog is ridiculous.

 

It was still largely his goals that kept us going, and he was still arguable the biggest miss last season after the sheer scale of our injury list (and that's missing him as he was the season before last, not him in 1996).

 

 

 

I dunno about Owen, age will likely slow him down as much as injury (although that too), how he will or can adapt his game if he needs too we'll have to see.

Shearer was about 75% the player he was after the pre-season injury at Goodison imo. Still a good player though. We'll have to see what Owen's like. His game isn't based as purely on speed as some think though.

 

Maybe a little bit more than that, but still 75% of that Shearer would have still walked into any club in the Premiership.... and probably still would (although more in a Shearingham super sub role than 1st choice striker) even in 2003 when there was potential he might have gone. He was no lame duck or particular weakness for us, quite the opposite.

 

Owen yeah, only time will tell if injury has caused serious issues (surgery seems to be much less likely give a 90% recovery rate these days than 10 years ago) and if it has it he can deal with it.

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