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Michael Owen calling me deluded – I take it as a compliment from him

3 weeks ago
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Michael Owen is desperately trying to sell his new book.

The money grabbing mercenary has brought out (yet another) autobiography (‘Reboot’) which goes on sale on Thursday and is being published by Reach.

Reach are also the owners of the likes of the Mirror, Express, Star, Chronicle, Liverpool Echo and  many others, the newspapers helping to push the (hopeful…) sales of this new book.

Who is interested in a book about Michael Owen?

I can’t really think of who the target audience will be. I’m guessing the most likely owners of the book will be people with naive grannies and aunties who thought it would make a lovely present along with the socks and cheap aftershave.

In the exciting revelations released in advance of publication, Michael Owen has plenty to say about Newcastle United.

Not so much actually playing football of course, as when you were only interested in playing for England and make only 58 Premier League starts in four years for NUFC, that is not going to fill many pages, maybe a comic…

One of his big revelations is that he never really wanted to come to Newcastle United and has always regretted it, apart from the money he was paid.

Well I have to say I’m stunned to hear that, said no Newcastle fan ever…

Michael Owen also talks about deluded fans who think their club is far bigger and important than it really is, Newcastle supporters being the very worst according to our former star striker…

‘This kind of blind delusion is especially true of Newcastle United – which, as I reach for the nearest tin hat, is only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium.

They’re historically not successful off the pitch, in fact quite the opposite mostly. And they’ve never really won much on it in recent times.’

What I think is especially great when Michael Owen comes out with stuff like this, is that in his attempts to try and point out supposed character flaws in others, he simply exposes his own in an even more public way.

He attempts to justify his lack of respect for the people who paid his wages by saying the turning point was when in the final game of his second season at Newcastle, only his 13th Premier League start in two seasons, he got stretchered off at Watford after being knocked out. Michael Owen claiming the few thousand travelling fans were singing ‘what a waste of money’, Owen saying in his book: ‘I can’t deny their actions that day changed things for me. No longer was I even going to attempt to ingratiate myself with the fans. Instead, I flipped it in a slightly more resentful way thinking, I don’t need to justify myself to f…… Newcastle fans.’

Cynical as ever, Michael Owen knows that no normal Newcastle fan would dream of buying his new book, so instead he is trying to drive a (non-existent?) market of potential readers/buyers who enjoy hearing/reading Newcastle fans being slagged off.

Unfortunately for Michael, these days people who enjoy that, can read stuff from ‘experts’/pundits/fans of other clubs slagging off NUFC supporters every day of the week for free.

The only really interesting thing I have found out reading the extracts from the new book, is that rather than getting the previously widely reported £110,000 a week for four years (remember this was 2005-2009 so who knows just how much that would equate to now in football inflation terms) at Newcastle, Michael Owen now reveals it was actually £120,000 a week.

What’s another £10,000 a week (£2m over four years) between friends? It just makes it even worse, the fact that he hasn’t got a single drop of respect for the paying fans.

However, yet again, why would any of us be surprised?

The only thing that Michael Owen has cared about in football is himself.

The new Michael Owen book ‘Reboot’ serialised in The Mirror:

‘Right at the beginning of the 2005/06 season in Madrid the President, Florentino Pérez, said: ‘Newcastle has made a bid in the region of sixteen million pounds. If you want to go, then you can go. If you want to stay, you can stay.’

“But I want to go to Liverpool,” I told him. ‘That’s not possible unless they match Newcastle’s offer,’ he said.

At the time, that statement was a dagger in the heart. I was being presented with two options – neither of which I particularly fancied.

Liverpool couldn’t match Newcastle’s offer. From a career perspective, there was no doubt in my mind that a move to the North East was a downward step.

As unpalatable as that opinion might be to Newcastle fans, that’s more or less what I felt.

A fee was agreed. Meanwhile, Newcastle wanted to send their chairman Freddy Shepherd and the chief executive down in person to my house to sign the contract. Everything was moving unsettlingly fast.

I was getting increasingly cold feet about the whole idea. If I was thinking only of the money, Newcastle blew everyone out of the water. That was indisputable. They were offering me a hundred and twenty grand a week.

When they arrived at my house, I was resigned to the fact it was happening. No Newcastle fan will particularly want to hear this but, as this book is about truth, that’s the honest truth.

The fans never knew anything about any of the behind-the-scenes goings on which occurred during my time there but my relationship with them was damaged beyond repair when I was knocked out against Watford .

When I got home, I switched on Match Of The Day to watch the game and I could hear Newcastle fans, my fans, singing ‘what a waste of money!’ as I’m being stretchered off.

I can’t deny their actions that day changed things for me. No longer was I even going to attempt to ingratiate myself with the fans. Instead, I flipped it in a slightly more resentful way thinking, I don’t need to justify myself to f ****** Newcastle fans.

And I have a long memory. As much as there were some good times to follow at St. James’ Park, my relationship with the fans was irreparably impaired that day at Vicarage Road. The love affair, if you could call it that, was almost over…

Freddy Shepherd came out with the line that he would happily “carry Michael Owen back to Anfield himself”. Being a huge fan of the club also, Freddy was only doing what all the fans constantly do at almost every football club: they believe that their club is ten per cent bigger and that their team is ten per cent better than it actually is.

This kind of blind delusion is especially true of Newcastle United – which, as I reach for the nearest tin hat, is only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium.

They’re historically not successful off the pitch, in fact quite the opposite mostly. And they’ve never really won much on it in recent times.’

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