Forum > Michael Owen when he retires

Michael Owen regards football as a vocation but remains resolutely unsentimental about the game which has shaped his life. This paradox disturbs those fans, and some managers, who suspect the former England striker is not sufficiently in love with his profession. Perhaps Owen wear cheap soccer cleats biggest problem is that he is not a hypocrite. A man who claims "I was born to score goals" does not bother to disguise his belief that there is more to life than hitting the back of the net. As he once said: "Scoring gives you a 10 second buzz but I would not describe it as joyful." Such rare honesty sometimes obscures the pride and understated pleasure Stoke City's new striker derives from his craft while diminishing the determination and professionalism of a player who has recovered from the sort of serious injuries and major surgeries which have ended many other careers wear adidas predator lz. To his critics, though, the 32-year-old's willingness to spend the past three seasons as very much a fringe player at Manchester United somehow offered confirmation that he was more interested in funding his racing stables than starting matches. Until last year, the nearest anyone had ever come to spotting a tear in Owen's eye was when his wife, Louise, was pictured crying at St James Park shortly after he joined Newcastle United from Real Madrid in 2005 wear nike mercurial vapor 9. Then, last summer, Brown Panther, not only one of Owen's beloved racehorses but the offspring of an adored family pet, won the King George V Stakes at Ascot and, suddenly, a striker infamous for his ice cold detachment could not stop sobbing. "No, I have never cried after scoring a goal," he agreed later. "But racing is my passion, I am so keen. It's a different thing to win with a horse bred from a mare which is a family pet. My kids pat her every morning and love her so much." Those words grated with many Newcastle fans who noted Owen's failure to engage with both them and the wider north-eastern community during that largely ill-starred spell on Tyneside wear adidas f50 adizero trx. If frequently commuting to his home – within easy reach of those stables – in Cheshire by helicopter constituted a minor public relations disaster, at least he was not as disingenuous as certain team-mates whose protestations of love for "The Toon" soon rang horribly hollow. Moreover, by then, students of Owen's history would surely have forgiven him a slightly cynical streak. As the teenager who scored "that goal" against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup he had contended with England's manager Glenn Hoddle telling the press he was "not a natural goalscorer wear nike mercurial vapor 8". Back home at Liverpool his blistering change of pace and uncanny penalty area precision won countless games but Owen still found himself rotated with Emile Heskey by Gerard Houllier. As he entered his 20s and his hamstrings began feeling the strain of possibly playing too many matches too young a worrying search for treatments took him to that Mecca of hobbling stars, the Munich clinic of Hans Müller-Wohlfahrt. A depressing cycle of regular injuries, operations and rehabilitation had begun and, partly with Owen's physical frailties in mind, Rafael Benítez sold his star striker to Real Madrid wear nike mercurial vapor superfly iii. Owen has, intriguingly, revealed that, preferring to deal in "facts" and "reality", he struggles to read fiction or watch dramas on television and this lack of imagination arguably saw him treat his time in Spain as a business transaction rather than a great adventure. Yet, if he failed to learn the language properly, embrace the culture or even put Ronaldo (the Brazilian one) or Raúl in their places, he still scored 18 goals in 41 appearances, despite starting only 15 games. Playing under six managers in four years at Newcastle might have made a football romantic a little sceptical but Owen's cause was most harmed by the cruciate ligament tear he sustained playing for England in the opening minutes of the 2006 World Cup in Germany wear adidas adipure 11pro. When, shortly afterwards, the scale of the injury was confirmed Owen texted his then club manager, Glenn Roeder, to apologise for the inconvenience. The subsequent operation necessitated an allograft – the transplant of a tendon from a dead man – and took a year to recover from, during which time Owen supplemented his Newcastle training by working privately with John Green, a respected athletics coach. Despite an enduring knack of scoring on his increasingly rare appearances for Manchester United, it has long been evident that Green's best efforts failed to restore Owen's old sprinter's pace, dictating he is no longer best deployed lurking off the last defender's shoulder. If Fabio Capello wear nike ctr360 maestri ii elite called time prematurely on the international career of a striker boasting 40 England goals and 89 caps, Tony Pulis may be best advised to use Owen in an attacking midfield role at Stoke. As he has conceded himself, he can no longer "pull defences all over the park". Moreover, as Kevin Keegan discovered four years ago at Newcastle, Owen excels linking play in "the hole". As England coach, Keegan had seemed to prefer Andy Cole but he soon changed his mind about Owen. "I didn't realise how good Michael is," he said. "Playing deeper, Michael can keep the ball all day, see a pass and know when to release it. He'll get more scoring chances from deep and I think that, as a midfielder, he can play until he's 36 or 37." While Owen should prosper pouncing on knockdowns from Stoke's Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones wear nike tiempo legend iv elite and fastening on to the sort of crosses he has always relished scoring from, the sole note of caution is that Pulis's recent attempt to play Tuncay in a linking "hole" role proved an unmitigated disaster. Owen, though, is a far better finisher than the talented Turk. If the former's fitness record and wage demands understandably deterred several managers, it still seems slightly startling that Stoke were Owen's sole serious suitors wear nike total 90 laser iv kl. Or that, despite his acute striker shortage, Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers was so quick to dismiss the idea of signing him. Most astonishing of all was that, on Monday, one of the finest forwards of his generation tweeted a picture of his boots accompanied by the words: "The tools of my trade are stacked and ready to go." Is Owen – the subject of a glossy 32-page advertising brochure dreamt up by his management company before joining Manchester United wear adidas adipower predator – a striker we will only start fully appreciating once he finally retires.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjkiu