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Will Michael Owen Ever Return to His Best?


Delima
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Personally, I have never warmed to Michael Owen as Newcastle United player.

 

Still, do you think he can be back to his best for us?

 

Squarefootball

 

Newcastle United: Will Michael Owen Ever Return to His Best?

 

"Despite being named European Footballer of the Year though, there are a few disturbing signs that Owen may have already reached his peak."

 

Following news that Michael Owen has targeted the end of March as a possible return date following his wince inducing cruciate injury during the World Cup, comes the painful but inevitable question of whether he is, in fact, past his best. The list of players that have had a career blighted by injury stretches further than Nwankwo Kanu’s legs during a pre match warm up.

 

To remember Owen in the full flight of his youth calls to mind the night in St Etienne when for a brief moment England believed it possible that they might again lift the World Cup. Having won a dubious penalty to bring England level against Argentina in the round of 16, the young Owen’s first touch on the halfway line and sprint to the edge of the area had the country on the edge of its collective seat.

 

To then brush aside no less a player than Paul Scholes and finish with aplomb inspired dreams of glory. Not for long as it turned out. Owen even scored his penalty and seemed to enjoy the experience. Did he not remember 1990 and 1996 and the heartache that was the penalty shootout? Well, maybe not as it happened. He was young, he was dumb and the best was yet to come.

 

However, will we look back on Michael Owen’s career and see the highlight as that flickering moment in France 98 when he was on top of the world? Frankly the quick rebuttal of this theory is the 2001 season. Liverpool, under Gerard Houllier and Phil Thompson, added the UEFA Cup and the League Cup to the FA Cup. Owen scored twice against Roma and twice in Cardiff to wrest the FA Cup from a wasteful Arsenal side.

 

His overall contribution to a memorable season for Liverpool earned him the coveted Ballon D’Or. Despite being named European Footballer of the Year though, there are a few disturbing signs that Owen may have already reached his peak.

 

Owen’s goals have always come as much as a result of his raw pace as they do from his unerring ability to finish and uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time. That pace diminishes over time and although he’s retained a youthful enthusiasm for the game Owen is 27 years old and slowing down.

 

Other strikers have changed their game and managed to score goals at the highest level but it is often those players with less natural pace to lose and a bit more physical presence that are able to alter their style. One thinks of Teddy Sheringham and Mark Hughes and Owen doesn’t seem to fit the bill.

 

It was also noticeable that none of the recognised top 4 were prepared to come in for Owen when it became clear he would be leaving the Bernabeu. Liverpool were said to be his preferred destination but Rafa Benitez was reluctant to sanction a bid once Newcastle had matched Madrid’s £16m asking price.

 

It’s often said that when he’s not scoring goals, Owen’s contribution to the team is minimal. As his goalscoring record bears out though, his contribution has been considerable. However, sidelined for the best part of one whole season so far, Owen cannot be guaranteed to return immediately to his goalscoring best. Despite his recovery being ahead of schedule, it’s still not certain that we’ll see Owen back in first team action for Newcastle this season.

 

A striking legend at Liverpool and second highest scorer in his brief and ill starred stay in Madrid, the Devil’s Advocate approach insists that we note that Owen has yet to score 20 league goals in any of his 9 seasons since his breakthrough in 1996/97. Harsh though it may, 20 league goals a season is often the mark of the truly great striker. For all his prowess and acclaim, Owen has yet to come close to a championship medal. A situation unlikely to change whilst he’s at St James’ Park.

 

There is no doubt that Michael Owen, a modern English striker feared like no other in places as unlikely as Munich and Buenos Aires, can use all of his undoubted resources to add further accolades to his career. However, is it likely that he’ll ever reach the heights of that night in 1998 or be as potent as he was in 2001?

 

Nobody would wish for Owen’s return to be anything other than a success. If he does return this season it might be worth noting that he has appeared more often and scored more times in the UEFA Cup than the Champions League. The Geordie nation will be hoping that a second UEFA Cup winners’ medal is the first of many honours in his Newcastle career.

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I think he will

Shearer came back after horror injury in 97 and soon after that he was scoring goals as usual

 

The only thing that is bothering me is the fact that Owen might lose some of his pace and we all know thats one of his strongest qualities

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Shearer never got back to his best, but he adapted his game to play to his strengths after the operations. Owen has to do the same, and hopefully not do a Robbie Fowler.

 

I never said he did i said he soon started scoring goals as usual

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No I wasn't replying to your thread, just the topic. Saying that after injuries Shearer was never the Shearer of 93-5 who could run into the channels, and had to adapt his game as well as having to build team to suit how he played. Owen has to do the same. Obviously not become a targetman but he has to pick his runs, etc. better now.

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Guest Bramble OG

I think people worry far to much about him loosing his pace, i thought he had lost it anyways - Can only think of one goal he scored fo us where his out and out pace was used - V Man City

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I just hope that Owen doesnt lose most of his pace after that injury

 

to be honest, out of the 7 goals he scored for us, 6 had very little to do with pace

 

Owen's 'real' pace went 4 years ago, he's adapted - he's now an Inzaghi

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We just need to provide him with the bullets. He'll benefit enormously from playing off a mobile partner and having the likes of Dyer/Emre/Duff/N'Zogbia/Milner/Solano in the team. I can't wait until he returns, personally.

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We just need to provide him with the bullets. He'll benefit enormously from playing off a mobile partner and having the likes of Dyer/Emre/Duff/N'Zogbia/Milner/Solano in the team. I can't wait until he returns, personally.

 

Me too. The cynicism concerning him from a number of our fans disturbs me.

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We just need to provide him with the bullets. He'll benefit enormously from playing off a mobile partner and having the likes of Dyer/Emre/Duff/N'Zogbia/Milner/Solano in the team. I can't wait until he returns, personally.

 

Me too. The cynicism concerning him from a number of our fans disturbs me.

 

Me too

We'll be on fire with that lethal force upfront :lol:

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Guest Gemmill

He'll never be as good as he was, but he'll still be good.

 

Aye.

 

Some learned medical opinions here.  When was the NO medical team granted access to examine Mr. Owen?

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Guest smoggeordie

He'll never be as good as he was, but he'll still be good.

 

Aye.

 

Some learned medical opinions here.  When was the NO medical team granted access to examine Mr. Owen?

 

Exactly. Stedders has said he expects him to return to his best, and to be honest I trust him.

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He'll never be as good as he was, but he'll still be good.

 

Aye.

 

Some learned medical opinions here.  When was the NO medical team granted access to examine Mr. Owen?

 

Exactly. Stedders has said he expects him to return to his best, and to be honest I trust him.

 

Stedders expects the KNEE to return to it's best

 

He can't turn the clock back 4 years sadly

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Aye, his pace is overemphasised in that article. He's an intelligent lad and I can see him adapting into a Crespo type who is able to pick his runs and appear in the right place at the right time. Will be a good partner for Martins IMO.

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He'll never be as good as he was, but he'll still be good.

 

Aye.

 

Some learned medical opinions here. When was the NO medical team granted access to examine Mr. Owen?

 

Exactly. Stedders has said he expects him to return to his best, and to be honest I trust him.

 

Stedders expects the KNEE to return to it's best

 

He can't turn the clock back 4 years sadly

 

Well said, and a valid point.

 

Oh, and I can't wait for him to return, before I'm accused of being cynical.

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