Michael Owen: Underused?

29 09 2010

When Steven Gerrard equalised to level the game 2-2 at Old Trafford earlier this month, Sir Alex Ferguson knew his side were in trouble.

In danger of dropping points from a winning position for the third Premiership game already this season, he looked to the bench and sent for … Kiko Macheda.

Michael Owen kept the tracksuit on. Overlooked again.

Owen has since bounced back with a brace at Scunthorpe and the equaliser against Bolton. But why should we be surprised – Owen’s scoring record for Man Utd is an impressive one.

The former European Player of the Year has enjoyed just over 1300 minutes of pitch action for United. That equates to just shy of 15 full games. He has scored 12 goals. That’s one every 109 minutes – not far off a goal a game! (For the record, Macheda’s record is 3 goals at 285 minutes per goal)

Of course, some have been in the League Cup, while others have been late strikes to put the gloss on games that had long been won. Not all of them though – there are four Champions League goals as well as that derby winner.

With Wayne Rooney out for some weeks, the rejuvenated Dimitar Berbatov is perhaps in need of a strike partner. Maybe Sir Alex Ferguson will look to the former Boy Wonder – Man Utd’s underused goal machine.




4 responses

29 09 2010
fantasy soccer game

He should have take precaution but he didnt.And Soccer
similir to gambling

30 09 2010
Jude Ellery

He is used exactly as much as he should be. I’ve never rated him that highly, but yes, he scores goals, so he is a valuable player. However, when you have other options like Macheda (who looks like he could turn into a quality player as he matures and gts bigger/faster) and Hernandez, he’s not automatically the first choice sub to bring on.

I think his role at United is primarily to give the other strikers a rest in smaller games or when the game is already won. He can still score against the likes of Scunthorpe so is still useful, and he has the experience to help other less established players in such games. But even though he scored a vital goal against City last year and another key one against Bolton this season, I don’t think he’s seen by Fergie as a super sub – Hernandez, on the other hand, could well be.

11 10 2010

Yeah I timed this one horribly – although your reply would have been more impressive if it had been sent the day before rather than the day after Macheda & Hernandez combined for the latter to score the winner at the Mestalla! I agree with you that Ferguson has to prioritise game time for the young strikers and not a guy the wrong side of 30 who is out of contract in the summer.

But I still think it is pretty remarkable that Owen has effectively scored 12 in 15 for Utd.

13 10 2010
Jude Ellery

Goal ratio’s eh, they can make the most average player look like a world-beater (Crouch’s international record?) but at the same time make a good player look awful (when, for example, the stats say they have scored one in ten games – all of which were actually 5 minute sub appearances).

But yes, he does have a good record. He had a good record at Real and they sold him. As Emile Heskey will tell you – it’s not all about goals… I think I might have to do a cartoon on this on my site actually – here’s a shameless plug:


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