Michael Owen Will Play Vital Part In Man Utd’s Season
Playing in the red of England in the 2006 World Cup finals, Michael Owen completed a routine pass to Ashley Cole. It is a pass he had made countless times in his eight year England career up to that point, but this particular pass, 51 seconds into …
Playing in the red of England in the 2006 World Cup finals, Michael Owen completed a routine pass to Ashley Cole. It is a pass he had made countless times in his eight year England career up to that point, but this particular pass, 51 seconds into his 80th international cap against Sweden, transformed his career for the very worst.
It took a year for the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee to recover, but since that fateful injury, the now 31 year-old striker has suffered many more, less serious but equally destructive injuries which have blighted his career for three of the biggest clubs in England as well as the 31-time La Liga winners, Real Madrid.
His eight seasons with Liverpool were a massive success, creating a worldwide name for himself , scoring a brilliant 158 goals in 297 appearances, helping Liverpool to an F.A Cup, two League Cups and a UEFA Cup as well as the individual 2001 Ballon d’Or, marking him out as the best player in Europe. If it wasn’t for his present connection with rivals Manchester United, Owen would have undoubtedly cemented his place as a Liverpool legend as their 7th all-time top goal scorer.
Now with Manchester United after perhaps ‘unfortunate’ spells with Real Madrid and Newcastle, his long, successful career is slowly coming to an end. Injuries and stiff competition for places at Old Trafford have restricted him to 41 appearances as he enters into his third season with the club, with many of those being cameo appearances from the bench.
His latest appearance was a rare start against Leeds United in the Carling Cup, and his first game of the season. By the time the game had finished, Owen had reminded everyone who watched the game or heard about it afterwards, what a fantastic striker he actually is. Despite the constant set backs and physical constraints, his awareness in the box remains superb, his movement is exquisite, and his finishing, lethal.
Two goals in just one game sum Owen up well. He takes his chances when he gets them. He may get stick for warming the bench, and he naturally isn’t satisfied with his static role in the dugout, but he continues to do what he has always done best, and what football teams require to succeed; score goals.
With competition like Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and £30 million Dimitar Berbatov, the former Liverpool striker, who signed for absolutely nothing is a very important part of the Manchester United team. He is a necessity that all big teams must have, and an essential feature that a team like Arsenal, currently struggling miserably when they should be winning trophies, do not have; quality in depth.
United were able to put out a makeshift squad out against a mid-table Championship side fired up by their home crowd and yet they won with ease. Sir Alex Ferguson ended with a defence made up of an attacking winger, a international midfielder, a £30 million striker and one half of the energetic twins in Fabio, yet a clean sheet was kept. Up front, Rooney and Hernandez were allowed a rest, yet Owen provided the two vital goals to settle the young but experienced and quality squad into the win.
Michael Owen may not be proud of taking home a considerable wage despite not playing, but in a Manchester United squad which thrives on its outstanding strength in depth, Owen, whose career has been branded a “waste” by some because of injures is a hugely appreciated productive asset to Manchester United, and will continue to be so throughout this season.
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