MICHAEL OWEN has admitted that he should have left Manchester United sooner, hinting that Sir Alex Ferguson exaggerated the amount of playing time he was likely to get at Old Trafford.
The former England striker joined Stoke earlier this month after a frustrating three years at United.
The 32-year-old made just 17 starts in his spell at the Red Devils, even though he decided to extend his contract last summer.
And the former Real Madrid manclaims that he would never have signed on again if he’d known how much time he would have to spend on the sidelines in his final year.
“I was on the bench a lot of the time, but then when the manager says ‘you have a big role to play and we want you to stay for another year’, it was great to hear that from someone like Sir Alex Ferguson,” he said.
“In hindsight, probably with that extra year, it might have been better if I had moved in many ways.”
But, despite his disappointing time at United, Owen is hoping for a positive end to his career at Stoke.
“I want to perform and I want to finish my career on a real high. I’m still only 32 and I still feel as if I have a lot left in me.
“I’ve always scored goals no matter what team I have been in, so as long as I can stay fit and healthy, then I’m sure I can do that here at Stoke.”
SOURCE: Daily Star
Michael Owen is the second player in as many weeks to claim that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson misled him over the amount of playing-time he was likely to get at Old Trafford.
Indeed, Dimitar Berbatov’s comments are almost identical to Owen’s, with the Bulgarian saying that he Ferguson told him several times that he was an important part of the team and should not leave.
The two players revelations give an interesting insight into life at Old Trafford for a fringe player and suggest that Fergie resorted to some small porkies in order to keep the strikers at the club in case of an injury crisis.
While Berbatov – Premier League top scorer the season before last – could be forgiven for believing Ferguson, you have to feel that Owen’s claims sound rather like an excuse for his meek, inaction of the last two seasons.
Any fool could have told you that Owen, 31, wasn’t likely to get much game-time at Old Trafford with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck (not to mention Berbatov himself) above him in the pecking order.
Owen faces a real fight at Stoke, not only to get into the first team, get fit and score goals but the prove to his doubters that he really does still care about playing football.
There seem to be plenty of critics, most of them gorgons on twitter, who think Owen would have been happy to stay on the bench at United indefinitely, picking-up his pay cheque and spending the money on race-horse accessories.
But the striker is right: he has scored goals wherever he’s been and Owen still has time to prove his critics wrong once again.
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