Michael Owen released his new book “Reboot – My Life, My Time” in the last week and it caused a stir in the media.
As comments from his book slowly leaked out, the most notable snippet was his spat with Alan Shearer.
According to Owen, Shearer may not have been as loyal as he makes out, as he tried to force a move away from Newcastle. Many can see that all this noise is publicity for Owen’s new book – a deeper look may suggest that Owen has always rubbed people the wrong way with his ego and comments.Embed from Getty Images
This is a big reason why Liverpool fans dislike Owen, but it’s definitely not the only reason. Is their disdain for the former Red justified?
The Infamous United Move
The most obvious issue Liverpool fans have with Owen is his forbidden move to Manchester United in 2009.
As a young lad, Owen played with Gerrard all the way through Liverpool’s youth system. Their partnership in the early 2000s introduced them to the Premier League in style.
Owen was an extremely gifted striker with bucket loads of natural ability. It was not a shock when he moved to Real Madrid in 2004. However, this would only prove to be Owen’s first major mistake in his career, as it lasted a single year and was not as fruitful as it promised to be.
Owen has previously stated that he was desperate to rejoin Liverpool after 2004.
He allegedly tried several times, calling up Carragher often to try and get a move. Circumstances would prevent Owen from ever rejoining, but hindsight can suggest Owen would never be the player he once was.
His knee injury in the 2006 World Cup severely hindered his progress. By 2009, his contract expiring and Newcastle being relegated, Owen was left with few options. Eventually deciding to join Manchester United at the age of 29.
A decision that would blacklist him by Liverpool fans like he once was at the turn of the millennium. A decision he still has not come back from.
Attitude After Retirement
A further reason Liverpool fans famously dislike Owen is his comments in the media after calling an end to his career.
One of the most irritating issues with Owen’s punditry is his continued “support” for Manchester United. He often refers to them as “we” when commentating or lauding their performances for BT Sport.
To make matters worse, his bland commentary and unoriginal analysis have only added to the distaste for the former No.10.Embed from Getty Images
Owen was declared an Official International Ambassador of Liverpool Football Club, despite playing for their biggest rivals and seemingly still holding affinity towards them.
A decision that still angers fans to this day, causing them to campaign to have Owen removed, however unsuccessful to this point.
Big Ego, Big Problem
The final nail in the coffin may be Owen’s ego. He may have been born locally in Chester but he was never cut from the same cloth as Gerrard or Carragher.
Owen had above average ambition but was not 100% willing to succeed with Liverpool.
An excerpt from his book reads, “After Leaving Liverpool for a big-money move for Madrid I was very disappointed they didn’t come back in for me after one year.” As much as Owen regret’s leaving Liverpool, it was his ego and ambition that drove him away.
Had Owen stayed, Liverpool fans would talk about him fondly. But he chose a much different path that has stained his reputation with Liverpool supporters beyond repair.
Had he not signed for Manchester United there may be a redeemable quality to Owen. However, joining rivals cemented an already spiralling relationship with the football team he once loved.