Former Newcastle United striker Michael Owen claimed that he “Didn’t want to join Newcastle.”

Hardly a revelation, Owen’s performances throughout his Newcastle career certainly back up his claims. Owen wanted to go back to Liverpool, back to where it all began. After he learned that it wasn’t possible to get the transfer he wanted, he was more than happy to take Newcastle to the cleaners.

Owen will never be respected on Tyneside. It’s a two way street, if a player shows respect, desire, passion and fight for the club – The supporters will back that player to the hilt. Owen showed no care for the club, city or the supporters. 

To fein injury and be more than happy to sit on the sidelines, without a care for the team you captain shows just how classless Owen is. 

Owen stated that he would be making a considerable step backwards when signing for Newcastle. However, it would be Newcastle that made the step backwards, going from a consummate professional and local hero in Alan Shearer to a striker that simply didn’t care.

Owen scored 26 goals in four miserable years on Tyneside. No effort, no fight, no desire and no passion for a club that paid an awful lot of money for his services. Owen didn’t even come close to repaying the faith shown in him. The simple fact is he was a failure on Tyneside, on and off the pitch. 

The club had tried to offer him a new contract in 2008. “We didn’t even get into those details because what they offered me was so insultingly pitiful; we barely got into serious negotiations at all. Without sounding entitled, it was a fraction of what I’d previously been on,” he writes. Perhaps the reason the club offered Owen a fraction of his £120,000 a week wage, is because his performances weren’t good enough to justify it.

Owen made it clear he wanted a return to Liverpool, Newcastle were always going to be treated like dog dirt on the bottom of his shoe. He didn’t want to be on Tyneside and his performances and attitude showed that. 

Owen wrote that he told his agent tell Newcastle’s convoy to turn around and go back to the North East because he hoped someone else might come in for him at the last minute. A reflection of the man he is. Though, looking back it would have been best for the convoy to turn around. Perhaps, Owen was happier to suffer in Madrid, where his family weren’t happy than move to Newcastle, where should he have had the right attitude, he would have been adored. 

Owen also writes about his feud with Alan Shearer. Owen wasn’t fit to lace Shearer’s boots. Had Owen shown an ounce of Shearer’s heart and passion for the club, he would have been more successful on and off the pitch at Newcastle.

Now Owen’s claims are all out in the open, he hasn’t done himself any favours. If it was even possible, his stock has plummeted even further on Tyneside.

Graeme Bell