21 April 2011

The story of Michael Owen and why he deserves a PL medal with Man Utd

Feels like Early Christmas for Michael Owen who finally wins a Premier League medal!
If you look at Michael Owen's portfolio and ponder at his achievements, you'll notice that he's scored many goals and a handful of important goals which has often resulted in match-winners. Michael's golden era in football came at Liverpool where he scored 118 goals in 216 appearances which is more than a goal in 2 games. But what you will also notice is that Michael hasn't won a single Premier League winners's medal.

Read on to know more about Michael Owen: 

After staying at Liverpool FC for 8 years (1996-2004), Michael sneaked an ambitious move to Spain at Real Madrid where he spent an unsuccessful season scoring just 13 goals in 36 La Liga appearances. Owen was mostly used as a killer sub while his time at Real and it's a no surprise he had the highest goals : minutes played ratio.

Michael made a switch to Newcastle FC in 2005 in an attempt to get back to England and emulate his Liverpool form. MO had a fantastic start to his Newcastle career but his form started to deteriorate next year primarily due to injuries . After managing to make a come back from an injury that kept him out for 18 months, Michael managed to injure himself on a regular basis.

MO couldn't save Newcastle FC from relegation in 2008-09 season and after scoring 26 goals from 71 apps, he moved to Manchester United as a free transfer on 1st July 2010. Owen's tenure at Old Trafford has seen more downs than ups. He lived up to his "injury prone" tagline. In the first season, Michael scored a crucial goal against Man City in September, 2009 after coming on as a substitute. It was by far his most important goal  in the 4 goals he's scored with United so far.

You can watch glimses of that crucial City goal in the video below: 

Michael Owen also scored a fantastic hat-trick in 2009-10 season against Wolfsbrug in the Champions League group stage round and provided United with an essential victory.  M07 also scored a killer goal in the Carling cup final against Aston Villa and did his hamstring moments later. Michael returned to football next season and had a sub-average pre-season after scoring a sweat goal against League of Ireland XI.

2010-11 has been a quite year for Michael so far. He's only scored once against Bolton Wonderers in a 2-2 draw away from home after coming off from the bench.  It was a sleek header to say the least.
If Manchester United go on and wins the premier league which they hopefully will, Michael Owen has a possibility of winning his FIRST! Premier League winners medal with a club that has been crowned  11 times since the league's formation in 1992.

However, the English Football Association (FA) has a strict rule about player winning winning medals:
"A player needs to appear in 10 matches in a title-winning season to qualify for a medal (inclusive of matches as a playing substitute)" 
(From: 2009–10 FA Premier League Handbook, Section B, paragraph 27. p.82) 
So far, Michael has only played in 8 premier league games this season and 2 more games will seal his winning medal provided United win the premier league of course! Here's a brief summary of Michael's 2010-11 season with Manchester United:

The 31-year-old striker has only started once for Sir Alex Ferguson, in October's goalless draw at Sunderland when he went off at half-time, and has scored once, a late equaliser at Bolton in September.

His deal expires at the end of the season and it is unlikely to be renewed after the success of newcomer Javier Hernandez. Owen has scored 148 goals in the Premier League and one more would give him the fifth-highest tally, after Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Thierry Henry and Robbie Fowler.

Wes Brown and Antonio Valencia could also miss out on a title medal, having played seven and six games respectively. However, Valencia may be eligible for a medal after recovering from a horror ankle injury in March. 

So the question to be asked is "Does he deserve the Premier League Medal". Here's my answer:
I think it's an absolute no-brainer. Owen definitely deserves the medal and hopefully will sign a new contract at United. 

Manchester United have 5 more games to play in Premier League this season topped up with a possibility of 3 maximum UEFA Champions League games. United play Everton this weekend followed by Arsenal and Chelsea and then two slightly easy games against Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool FC on 22nd May, 2011 when the new Champions of England shall be crowned. 
Michael Owen has already said from his Twitter account  
"As I've already said, don't know where, don't know when, but there is an important goal to come from me this season - mark my words!"
 United who currently sit at the top of the Premier League table are chased by both Arsenal and Chelsea who are 6 points away from the Devils. Wins against Arsenal and Chelsea will definitely seal their 19th league title and and then Sir Alex can bring on Michael Owen in the next two games against Blackburn and Blackpool which means that Michael Owen will satisfy FA's 10 game policy and finally win a Premier League Winner's medal. 

19th title is coming home ladies and gents

08 April 2011

NEWSPAPERS: New Hargreaves contract possible!

Owen's future is extremely unpredictable at the moment.. 
The Telegraph today has indicated that there is still an outside chance of Manchester United signing a new contract with the injury ravaged defensive midfielder Owen Hargreaves. Hargo's contract expires on 30 June, 2011 and it will definitely pinch United to lose a player of his caliber and especially at 30, when one sees a few more seasons in him. 

It is sad to admit that Hargo has only played about 6 minutes of Premier League football in the last 2 and a half years which has only led to further injuries.. The Canadian born was first injured due to a knee problem which he got treated in the US from the famous knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman. But that didn't provide with an immediate solution, Owen had to wait for two years until the end of last season, where he got to play for 30 seconds in the last premier league game against Stoke City. Hargreaves could only manage a header. It wasn't a smooth road for the England player as he only lasted for 5 minutes against Wolves this season since he tore his hamstrings. As a result of which, he had to be replaced by Anderson who has recently recovered from a knee problem himself.

Just before the Bolton game, The Telegraph rumoured that Owen Hargreaves might contribute to rescue Sir Alex's defensive woes after so many injuries in our defense lately. However, that seemed to be a rumour or should be say a bad omen for Owen as he injured his shoulder a week after and is out for 2 more weeks.

Surely, Hargreaves will be in contention in the next two weeks and there would be loads of articles about him.
The Telegraph.co.uk has written about Owen again and it's again a positive news! But will this be another rumour or will Manchester United continue to put faith in their Calgary (Canada) born hard-fighting defensive midfielder?

(Please share your thoughts using the comment box below)

07 April 2011

Rooney's goal provides United with a crucial away advantage (HD Goal video)

1st Leg @ Stamford Bridge 
6th April, 2011
Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United
Rooney (24')

Enjoy Rantastic Rooney's amazing goal and celebration against Chelsea.. his 4th goal in 5 days!

United crosses the first big hurdle of the tournament

It was quite a glorious outing for Manchester United as they finally achieved a victory at Stamford Bridge after 9 years, the last one being in 2002.

Michael Carrick was on top of his game last night with some excellent display from the Englishman which will surely silence his critics for some time. He produced a wonder pass to Ryan Giggs on the left, who very meticulously set the goal up for Wayne Wazza Rooney. Rooney did no mistake in finding his target and kept his goal celebration simple and adorable. The smile on his face was million times better than the swear words he used after scoring his hat-trick goal at West Ham last weekend.

Michael Carrick is the Man of the Match in my opinion. Thanks to his "hollywood" pass to Ryan Giggs and an early goal in the game executed by King Rooney.

Some big games in the next 6 days.. First up is Fulham on 9th of April (Saturday).. KO at 14.00 GMT and then the second leg of the champions league quarter final against Chelsea on Tuesday, 12th April. Both games are at home so United will definitely look forward to get past Fulham and concentrate on knocking out Chelsea of the Champions League.


05 April 2011

Grow up Mr. Wayne Rooney!

Wayne Rooney swore into the camera after his hat-trick against West Ham
Wayne Rooney's terrible year continues as he faces a two match ban due to his controversial swearing into one of the Sky Sports cameras after completing his hat-trick goal at Upton Park (West Ham)

Rooney publicly issued an apology saying that it was just a "heat of the moment" matter and he didn't intend to drop the F-bomb on anyone in particular. The fact is that Wayne Rooney is still a kid from within and he needs to grow up. The Liverpool lad scored his 100th league goal with Manchester United and that was DEFINITELY not the way to celebrate it.

The English Striker has until 6pm BST on Tuesday to decide on what to do with this punishment. He can accept the charge which will force him to miss Saturday's premier league action against Fulham at home and the FA cup clash with Manchester City at the new Wembley Stadium on 16th April. Alternatively, Wayne Rooney could appeal and risk being banned for even more games.

Wayne Rooney's loss can create a huge impact on United's attack. The 11 goals he has scored for United are all very important ones. However, the good thing is that this season United has been more reliant on other strikers rather than just the no. 10. The Previous season, Wayne was responsible for about 1/3rd of all the league goals. This season, the story has been very different. United has scored 68 goals (dated 02/04/2011) and Rooney has contributed only 16%. We've had 16 goals from Chicharito and 20 from Dimi Berbatov. Michael Owen has had a bad spell of injuries lately - however, the good thing is that he's available to play.

Rooney's loss is Michael Owen's gain. Finally, we can hope to see Michael back in action soon. Owen brings a lot of uniqueness in the game. His touches are superb and he's definitely one of the most killer strikers in the world ONLY if he spent lesser time recovering from injuries. Owen's contract with United expires at the end of the season and there have been rumours that the Englishman may be offloaded as a free-transfer. But if Owen impresses Fergie, then he may as well be offered a new contract. Owen, is keen to defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and also wants to be a part of United team next season. This is what Michael Owen had to say

"I've made no secret that, in an ideal world, I would extend my stay. I would love to play here for longer but I will just wait and see what the club say. We've not held any talks yet"
Rooney however will play against Chelsea tomorrow, let's hope he can keep his mouth shut and answer all his haters with a superb display on the field.

Glory Glory Man United.  

03 April 2011

Match 31 Highlights: Wayne Rooney hammers West Ham (and the camera too!)

Wayne Rooney who scored his 100th goal with Man United against West Ham, scored 3 crucial goals within 14 minutes to make sure United are still leading the title race

West Ham 2-1 Manchester United
Rooney's free kick goal.

West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United
Lovely assist from Valencia, excellent first touch from Wazza.

West Ham United 2-3 Manchester United
Rooney finishes his hat-trick and abuses in the sky sports camera. He says "What? F*cking what?" That's a slap in the face of people who stopped trusting Wayne. Well done Rooney!

West Ham United 2-4 Manchester United
And finally, Hernandez took his goal tally to 17 for the season - 4 away from Dimitar Berbatov.

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