Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou brings daily coverage of the Premier League’s rumour mill.Â
There seems to be a rumour growing on various websites that Arsene Wenger may make a move for injury-prone Newcastle and former Liverpool striker Michael Owen (various).
Speculation first started in the summer when Thierry Henry decided to call time on his Arsenal career. I may be crazy but I think Owen is worth Wenger’s attention, even though he seems permanently crocked. The fitness issue may simply drive down the price that Sam Allardyce would get for the England international.
Whilst itâ€™s true that Arsenalâ€™s current pairing of Emmanuel Abebayor and Robin van Persie are coming along well, I think 27-year-old Owen would be a definite asset. Even at 50 per cent effectiveness he can still be a top marksman. What do Gunners fans think? Is he worth taking a chance on – and, if so, at what price?
Liverpool captain and all-round genius Steven Gerrard says he has no regrets about turning down Chelsea (The Times). Excuse me, isn’t this ancient history, chaps?Â But given the Stamford Bridge side’s current plight, maybe Gerrard knew something we didn’t when the Blues came calling in 2004 and again in 2005. I am sure every Anfield fan will thank him gladly for staying put and giving them a chance to dream.
Gerrard said: “I don’t think I would have been able to live with myself if I’d gone and regretted it.” He also speaks highly of of Jose Mourinho, admitting: “We used to look out for what he’d say in the interviews. We might not like it, but he was a great character. I hope he comes back.â€ I think we can all agree with that sentiment.
You can be sure that if Martin Jol scooped the lottery he would probably find he had to share it with a million other winners, such is his luck right now â€“ and it just got worse. Tottenham captain Ledley King has been ruled out for another three months with knee problems (Daily Mirror). The Spurs faithful had been hoping for a swift return from the England international but now it looks like it will be at least Christmas before he can play again. Letâ€™s hope Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will have seen sense by then and stopped undermining the manager.
For some unknown reason Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce â€“ who was slagging off Rafa Benitez at Liverpool the other week â€“ has decided to wade in about Arsenalâ€™s lack of English players. Personally, I find this whole thing pointless and xenophobic, but here’s Big Samâ€™s take on the Emirates foreign legionÂ … “To get to be like Arsenal, it takes eight to 10 years. The fruits of what Arsene has achieved are that he has developed very, very good young players and also sold very, very good young players that haven’t quite been good enough for Arsenal, but it’s disappointing that he doesn’t seem to develop any British players. If I had one criticism, that would be it. It’s not like with Steven Taylor here or Kevin Nolan for me at Bolton.â€
The St Jamesâ€™ Park chief has a point, but not much of one. You could indeed make a decent squad out of players of British descent who came through the North London ranks but failed to live up to Wenger’s expectations. These players have on occasions stayed in the Premier League and even fought their way into the England reckoning. So as far as I can see, this means that the Frenchman has in fact improved English talent, rather than held it back and let it languish in the reserves, the way Chelsea did with the likes of Scott Parker and Glen Johnson. What do you, the fans, think about Wenger’s policy? Is it bad for English football?
Arsenal clearly love their French boss â€“ they are hoping to extend the Wenger dynasty by signing him up until 2015 (Daily Express). This would be great news for Gunners and not so good for the rest of the Premier League.
Oddest story of the day has to be the fact that singer Mariah Carey reckons she is a relative of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, with her grandmother hailing from the same part of Alabama as the England full-back’s ancestors (The Sun). Well, they have both shown distinct signs of letting stardom go to their heads. And Arsenal fans with good musical taste now have even more reason to hate Cashley’s guts! I can’t stand Mariah Carey, but you have to wonder how the hell she even knows who Mr. Cole is?