Former Newcastle United striker Michael Owen has explained he thinks Alan Shearer’s hostility towards him dates back to that decisive game that saw the Magpies relegated with a defeat against Aston Villa in 2009.
The two England legends had a very public spat on Twitter this week, with Shearer tweeting that he and others couldn’t wait for Owen to get out of Newcastle when he was at St James’ Park.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) September 3, 2019
Owen then hit back at Shearer with a tweet accusing him of trying to get a transfer to Liverpool at some point when his Newcastle career was on the rocks…
Not sure you are as loyal to Newcastle as you make out mate. I distinctly remember you being inches away from signing for Liverpool after Sir Bobby Robson put you on the bench. You tried everything to get out. https://t.co/ZQBrlojeEv
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) September 3, 2019
Some were surprised to see these two clashing, given that they often seemed to have a strong relationship on the pitch when playing together for both Newcastle and the England national team.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Owen now says he believes Shearer holds a grudge against him for not playing in that defeat against Aston Villa that saw NUFC relegated.
“A year after I left Newcastle, I was talking to a mate who is a friend to both of us, and said I should give Alan call about that. He said ‘I wouldn’t if I would you mate’,” he said.
“I said: What?!! That’s how I found out. There was nothing, I don’t dislike him. Unless I can’t read people, I had no idea for like a year or two after Newcastle got relegated, that he had a gripe with me.
“I hadn’t any clue, I was like “oh, you are joking’. And then it all came out. I’ve got no problem, with him – it’s just he has an issue with what he thinks I did wrong in that last game of the season against Aston Villa.
“We were big, big mates, we used to play golf every week, strikers v keepers at Newcastle, me and Shearer v Harper and Given. We would fly off to Loch Lomond occasionally, really good courses.
“If Alan Shearer has come to the conclusion that I didn’t fancy playing in the last game against Aston Villa because I was worried about getting injured and worried about my next move then that’s fine in a way.
“I find it hard that he’s come to the decision to blame me. I was hardly fit in the period he took over, and then I actually put my body on the line in the last game when really I was a week or two away from being fit from a groin injury.
“So I get it, I don’t agree with it. I don’t think that he will ever change his mind, change his view, so I almost think that bit is pointless.”