Monday, April 16, 2007

Why Michael Owen isn't quite right for United...

According to the latest news on the transfer grapevine, United will try to sign Newcastle United and former Liverpool striker Michael Owen this summer once he proves his fitness. Owen seems to have been almost permanently injured for the last two years.

I don't have anything against Owen, apart from him putting in a disgraceful challenge on Ronny Johnson a few seasons back at Old Trafford. But these things happen in football and that wouldn't be enough to stop me from signing him should I be manager of United. A big IF I know..

Personally I don't think Owen's style of play suits United, the Newcastle man plays on the shoulder of the last defender and is always looking to use his speed to get in behind defenders. United don't play that sort of over the top football - the long ball game if you will. Steven Gerrard his former Liverpool team-mate used to supply him with some great long balls. But as I say, United do not play that game.

IF Owen has lost a yard of pace, then he'll have lost a lot of his game, because perhaps more than any striker that I can think of, he has relied on it a lot.

There's two players I think United should look at, one of them is Fernando Torres of Athletico Madrid, who is more of an all round front man than Owen, but Torres will cost a kings ransom and so I'm not sure if that move is a viable option.

The other player is Dimitar Berbatov at Spurs, now he looks like a really intelligent striker, he too is more of an all round front man, the Bulgarian can drop deep and make things happen, a bit like Cantona of old and he rarely loses possession of the ball.

My advice to Ferguson is this, if you really have to buy Owen, then get him for cover, get rid of Saha, he's too injury prone and buy Torres or Berbatov.

BTW; Two years ago I was told that United were about to sign Michael Owen, this came from someone who has good contacts at United, obviously it didn't happen. Will it happen this time around? Watch this space.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more about Owen. I have never quite understood why he is lauded as being as great as he is. I think he is solely reliable on his pace, if you watch him enough,his first touch is average bordering terrible. I'll admit that he is pretty clinical when he gets behind defenders, but without the aformentioned pace, that would never happen. For me Rooney appears very suited to develop into the "Berbatov" role. We just need that clinical six yard man that will never miss, a la Ruud. This kind of player was especially missing earlier this season when we were creating 20 chances in a game and only netting 2. Torres would be far too expensive and we could use the money elsewhere. With a bit of luck Fergie can discover another gem like Ole this summer, or maybe we already have one in Rossi?

  2. I'm not sure Rossi is going to make it myself, looks a useful little player but the competition for places up front should be fierce next season with Rooney, Saha (if fit), Smith and an other + Rossi. To me that still leaves the Italian American as 5th choice and I'm not sure he'll be happy with that for another season.

    I'm with the previous poster on Owen, his game is/was all about pace and without that pace he is less effective. I would wager that he's lost 'half a yard' due to age/injuries and I don't think he's the same player that set the world alight with Liverpool. St Micheal's finest hour was arguably W.C 98 when he tore into the Argies and that is now 9 years ago.

    What I'd like to see up top is some genuine pace, while I like Berbatov, another Ruud would worry me as the Dutchman slowed down the attacks so much last season. United have got some electric pace in the current team with Rooney/Ronaldo + Park when he's involved. The much mooted arrival of Nani would also provide extra legs down the left hand side.

  3. To follow up my previous post, my suggestion would be keep to tabs on the currently unsettled Sammy Eto at FC Barcelona. With a clearout on the cards at Camp Nou it's possible he could be available.

    My personal opinion is that Fergie will not go down this road, there's an African Nations Cup next season and I think this may put the gaffer off.

    I actually think Fergie may opt for Berbatov - European, proven in the Premiership and Bundesliga and he can clearly play. Spurs are also a selling club and I can see us paying over the odds again ala Carrick.

    Great blog by the way James - are you aware your name is cockney rhyming slang for piss????

  4. Thanks for the comments chaps. I doubt Fergie will ever find another Ole. The Ole's of this world are few and far between.

    AS for Samuel Eto'o, that's a great shout, but surely Barca would want their pound of flesh in return in the form of Ronaldo? That clearly would be a no goer for United.

    If I was a betting man, I'd wager that it will be Berbatov, it wouldn't surprise me if United are using Owen in some sort of devious ploy, ie we have a number of options on the table and we dont want Spurs holding us to ransom reference the price for Berbatov, but Spurs mugged United over the Carrick fee so there's every chance of it happening again.


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