Michael (Marmite) Owen


Article by Timp.

Michael James Owen born 14th December 1979 son of former Everton player Terry Owen certainly divides opinions amongst Liverpool fans. A revered Liverpool legend he should be, but to a large majority he is a strongly disliked figure. 

At the tender age of 18 years Michael parachuted into the Liverpool first team, as well as scoring on his debut he became the joint top scorer for Liverpool in his first full season in the Premier League in 1997. He followed this amazing feat the following year and from 1997 to 2004 he was Liverpool’s top scorer every year. He went on to score 118 goals for Liverpool in 216 appearances. At such a tender age surely a relatively local legend was born with attaining such prolific goal ratios.

In 2004 Michael moved to Madrid for a paltry £8m in controversial circumstances. At the time it was rumoured that Michael deliberately ran down his contract with Liverpool to enable a cheap transfer to Madrid. Whether this has any validity remains to be seen, however negotiations for a new contract had begun as far back as early 2003 with little success.

The final nail in the coffin for a large number of Liverpool supporters where Michael is concerned happened in 2009 when according to him Alex Ferguson came calling out of the blue. Michael signed for Manchester United, in some eyes it was the ultimate betrayal as the rivalry between the two clubs had become toxic under Alex Ferguson (At that time he was not a Sir).

Michael spent three years at Manchester United, he qualified for a Premier League Title winning medal although he only played the minimal part that season.

The favourable relationship that a large number of Liverpool fans had with their former teen prodigy definitely soured when he signed for our bitter rivals Manchester United. This with a couple of faux pas Michael has made as a sports pundit for BT sport. Back in May 2017 during United’s Europa League Final with Ajax he used the royal “we” when he referred to United. That slip of the tongue enraged Liverpool supporters enough for them to call on Liverpool to remove Owen from the club ambassadorial role he has held since 2016.

Perhaps the petition set up on change.org calling for Owen to be removed as an ambassador was a step too far, but it did receive well over 20 000 signatures.

Michael seems to effortlessly court controversy as his latest retirement comments have caused consternation amongst the footballing world. Whether these comments were made to invoke some sympathy for him amongst supporters, they were ill judged and he was poorly advised.

This game is all about passion and whilst I won’t vilify Owen for his past actions I can understand why he draws all this negativity with his actions. Yes Michael is a Marmite type of guy, you either love him or you dislike him!

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