My Letter to Stoke City’s Michael Owen
What happened to Michael Owen? I’m not the only one asking this question. He might not have been the best but he was one of the most exciting English talents in my lifetime so far. For some reason its just all fizzled out for the guy. By now he should be England’s all-time leading goalscorer by miles instead he’s not even getting on the bench at Stoke. It just disappoints me as a fan that he wasted 3 years at United and effectively stole a League title. I just want the guy to go out on a high not as a joke.
Stoke City Football Club Limited
Stanley Mathews Way
16 January 2013
If I may I’d like to take you back to 1998. A young man burst onto the international stage and proceeded to score what can only be described as an absolute ‘worldie’ against Argentina whilst in the three Lions of England during World Cup 98 in France. That man was you. Back in the UK, deep in the heart of Essex was a youngster of a similar age who had skived off school to watch the group games and was buzzing off that goal. That lad was me and I was in awe. That tournament will be remembered for the actions of another young lion but for me it was that goal as well as tipping Sol Campbell to score in that fateful game (disallowed).
Since then I’ve always been a fan, regardless of what team you were contracted to. I was particularly impressed but not surprised by your switch to Real Madrid. That must have been a real experience and a shame that you did not stay out there longer. You did this despite a serious injury, which you believe has hampered your career pretty much since you exploded onto the scene. Throughout your career you have played with some of the greats of the generation and picked up the majority of honours available including the Ballon D’or at the end of that amazing season with Liverpool in 2001.
What disappoints me is how is all disappeared circa 2008. Now I know you had a horrendous injury whilst on duty for England that kept you out for some time and most probably causes you problems to this day, but to this extent? You’ve featured in only around 70ish games in 6 seasons. This should not be how it fizzes out for Michael Owen.
For years my friends and I have debated what happened to Michael Owen and what should and could have happened. Your one of the few players we look out for religiously to see if you got in the team. How many minutes did Michael get this week? It’s regularly being answered with the statement ‘no minutes’. Michael, I began writing this letter to you mid-September, then got side tracked and recently found it and amended it reflect the current situation. The difference between this letter and the one I originally drafted is the following sentences. I am writing this letter to congratulate you on sealing a move to Stoke City. Whilst the move appeared to be unnecessarily protracted I am pleased that you have signed for a club where you should be able to play week in week out. Can you see what has changed? You have barely played a game, even when fit. In hindsight, I think we probably all accept that Stoke City was never going to be the right place for a player like Michael Owen.
Michael, I am a fan and I mean no disrespect when writing this letter, but I urge you to take the opportunity to leave Stoke before the end of this window. Move to a team where you will play week in week out. Have a great end of the season and prove the doubters wrong and then consider your options in the summer. Just please don’t waste yet another season. I want to hear those commentators say ‘Michael Owen rolling back the years’ regularly.