Wazza Said So!

The United Fanatics' blog

Winner against City one of my top five football thrills : Owen

Posted by unitedfanatic on November 24, 2009

Michael Owen, who had to resort to having a brochure made in the summer to “advertise” his qualities to any team interested, was prone to injury at the time, out of form, and blamed significantly for not scoring and helping Newcastle. Brought in by Sir Alex Ferguson amid jokes from the media and SAF reportedly resorting to Benitez’s habit of bringing in free transfers with nothing to lose, Owen has shat on his critics’ faces and shown what he can do if kept fit. While surely short of chances at United till now, he is in a happy frame of mind, and has nothing to complain. A dream move for his career indeed. Chances are bound to come as the fixtures get more hectic, An exclusive interview with Inside United :

Firstly, are you happy with your contribution so far in a United shirt?
Yeah, I am. In my own mind I never doubted I’d score goals if I stayed fit and was given time on the pitch. How can you fail to score goals in a team like this? You’re playing with such good players that it’s impossible not to get chances.

Four goals in 17 appearances only tells half the story. If you break that down into minutes played, it’s actually a very good strike-rate…
In Madrid it was a similar story – I didn’t start every game but I ended up with the best goals-to-minutes ratio in the league. You can twist stats whichever way you want. A goal every one-and-a-half games sounds good, whereas four goals in 16 games isn’t quite so impressive. But they’re both accurate. At the end of the day, all I’m concerned about is playing and scoring as many times as I can.

How are you adjusting to making so many appearances from the bench?
I’ve played in a team that was struggling and I much prefer life at a winning club, even if that means I don’t play every minute of every game. I’m here at a club that’s full of quality, training with top players every day and working under a top manager. I’ve had my fair share of starts and minutes on the pitch this season so I’m not about to complain.

Have you heard ‘Michael Owen is a Red’ ringing around Old Trafford?
[laughs] I’m not sure Gary Neville’s too pleased with me nicking his song! To be honest, 10 years ago I wouldn’t have dared dream I would one day play for United, so it’s a nice surprise. I’ve been very fortunate to end up here and there’s no better feeling than playing, scoring, winning a match and hearing the fans sing your name.

Your winner in the Manchester derby helped endear you to United supporters…
Definitely. That moment was really special. When I retire and I’m thinking about the top five or six thrills I got out of football I’ll definitely think about my goal in the World Cup against Argentina and scoring two in an FA Cup final. But scoring that goal against City is right up there with those moments.

Often the best way to get over a defeat is to play again… and quickly. Was it frustrating to have an international break after losing at Chelsea?
You could look at it like that but we didn’t have that desperate desire to get out there and prove anything to anyone. When we lost at Liverpool it was a different story – we didn’t perform well at Anfield – but at Chelsea there’s no way on Earth we deserved to lose that game. We walked away from Stamford Bridge with our heads held high and feeling pretty happy with the way we played. There were plenty of positives to take out of that performance.

The general consensus among fans is that a five-point gap in November isn’t the end of the world. What’s the feeling among the players?
As an outsider for many years, the image I have of Manchester United is of a team that only really hits top gear around Christmas. I remember a lot of unbeaten runs in the latter part of seasons and, looking ahead at our fixtures, we’re aiming to embark on one of those now. We’ve got a good opportunity – we don’t play any of the ‘big’ sides again until the end of January – so there’s definitely no need to panic over a five-point gap.

Michael Owen is a red, he hates the scousers!

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