Representatives of Michael Owen have moved quickly to deny reports that the striker is set to hang up his playing boots at the end of the current season.
It had been suggested by many members of the British press that Owen’s persistent injury problems over the last few years have been enough to convince him to retire from professional football.
This would mean that he could concentrate on his other passion – training racehorses. The Newcastle man could then put all of his recent football problems behind him and start to forget his injury nightmare.
However, people close to the player have quashed these rumours by saying that the 89-time capped England international is keen to continue playing for a number of years yet.
A statement from his management team said that the speculation about Owen quitting football is ‘totally untrue and wrong’ because the player is ‘committed to his football career’.
As for how the former Liverpool forward has reacted to these reports, the statement said that Owen has been ‘deeply and professionally offended’ that anyone would suggest that he isn’t passionate about Newcastle United or playing football.
Since moving to St James’ Park though, there is no doubt that Owen has had a rather miserable time with injuries. He has only managed 78 appearances for the club since 2005, but has scored 30 goals along the way.
This proves that as long as he stays fit, he is more than capable of scoring plenty Premier League goals. Perhaps what he needs is a fresh start somewhere else.
Regardless of whether Newcastle stay up or not, Owen might be best advised to move on. Everton have been linked with him and this could be a decent club for him at this stage of his career.
There is no doubt that he will want to prove his critics and those who have suggested he will retire wrong in the next few seasons. Therefore, it seems a safe football bet to make that he has a big decision to make at the end of the current campaign.
By Thomas Rooney