That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
So who are the guiltiest Premier League players when it comes to gilt-edged chances? Our friends from WhoScored.com put a list together that features Mr Adebayor...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Worrying About Gazza
Paul Gascoigne is only 45. Six years older than Ryan Giggs and if you, like me, watched his Sky Sports News interview, you too will be concerned and pained. In my opinion, Gazza is the second-best player England have ever produced, behind only Paul Scholes, and to see a man who once possessed such grace and artistry look so disheveled and haunted was hard to take. Perhaps if Gazza had played under a manager like Alex Ferguson, he wouldn't have been drawn into the downward spiral that has almost claimed his life on more than one occasion. Perhaps he too would have played to 39, with discipline and quality and won the many trophies that his talent deserved. Perhaps we would be talking about how he pierced a tight Bayern Munich defence in a Champions League final, rather than how he got drunk and pierced Johnny 'Five-bellies' back with a dart. Or how he fed an impossible ball through to a team-mate to score a cup winning goal, rather than how he fed the aforementioned lump of lard a cat s**t pie. It's all speculation, and after all, some people, talent or not, do not possess the disciplined mentality that makes a Ryan Giggs.
I will say this however, thinking of him like he is now is too painful for me personally. I refuse to remember the alcoholic under-achiever, instead I will remember the semi-final free-kick against Arsenal, that goal against Scotland and his ability to effortlessly stride through defences like a mop-headed Argentinian God.
Get well Paul.
Don't leave us too soon.
A Very English Retirement
How can a man with less charisma than a pint of milk polarise opinions? By playing football of course.
Michael Owen has retired in that typically English way, leaving us all wondering whether that was truly the best he could be. Did he acheive his potential? Was he a proper success? Well that depends on how you defined his potential and what exactly you think real success is. People are asking this question of Wayne Rooney and he's only 27.
A number of accusations have been made of Owen; he's a mercenary, he's injury-prone, he's complacent and ultimately these factors have cost him what could've been a highly successful career. The sad thing is that you could exchange Owen's name with a vast swathe of English talent, which has fallen by the wayside and it would still all be true.
Owen Hargreaves, Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Johnson, hell - even Gazza to an extent have all, for varying reasons, not quite done it. What 'it' actually is open to interpretation but so many players leave with a sense that they could have been so much more - much of this sentiment is founded on media hype but there is no doubt that they were incredibly talented footballers.
English football littered with too many Nearly Men - I wonder if this is a trait shared accross any other nations or whether, like missing penos and enraging FIFA officials, it is uniquely English.
I look forward to Michael's appearances on Match of the Day, when he inevitably informs us that so-and-so 'will be disappointed with that,' whilst ignoring his statement's succint irony.
Smyth, MUFC (Should've been a great mailboxer but not lived up to potential)
Stop Picking On Mickey
Guys, what the actual f**k are you doing?
An England forward who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the all-time greats, who actually won the Ballon d'Or, who really did shake the world for a short time, is retiring at the end of the season, and you've written an article about how nobody likes him, and another about how terrible it's going to be when he's on TV.
Does he have ideas above his station? Perhaps, but isn't that the sort of mentality we want in our players, rather than being overawed every time we meet a decent team in a major competition?
Is he going to be rubbish on the tele? Probably, but who gives a flying f**k, really? Owen is/was a footballer, and a bloody good one before the injuries. You're a football website. Shouldn't you be writing about football? Just because the mainstream media like him doesn't automatically mean you have to talk him down to be different. That may not be the reason why, but that's how you're coming across in my opinion.
...I'm afraid I can't get on the anti-Owen bandwagon that seems to be being pushed by the 'hipster' media (in this case, yes, you F365). I understand that the mainstream media go for the bland, polite, applauding of a retiring English player's career almost every time and that that can often be quite an inaccurate depiction of their career but I think everyone is going way too far in the other direction.
You're so far past the line, you can't even see the line. The line is a dot to you!
Michael Owen, along with David Beckham, was a player synonymous with football and the England team for me when I was growing up. I remember his pace, his finishing and the fact that he was exciting to watch. How about we celebrate that? Yes, there's room to mourn the fact that he never really 'completed' his career in the way he could have but there's very little that's actually offensive about the man - which, obviously, is one of the things that seems to be offending you bizarre knuckleheads.
LJ, MUFC (See if anyone gets that 'Friends' reference in the middle of that there...)
Leave F365 Alone
I'm sorry Andy but I think you'll find all Sarah was doing was writing a piece about how Michael Owen isn't exactly loved by 100% of the UK's football fanbase.
Given the letters the editor has received it would seem fans are split down the middle on Mr Owen.
Surely it's the role of Football365 to create a platform for debate.
If all F365 did was churn out the same party line the rest of the media do on Owen and not present an alternative view the site wouldn't be doing its job - just because you don't like that alternative view you throw a hissy fit. I suggest it is you who needs to grow up.
Graham Simons, thanks for using my comment Sarah, Gooner, Norf London
Used To Love Him Once
I can't quite think of another England player that I used to adore and now loathe other than Michael. I think the nadir for me (apart from signing for United) was when he was asked by a journalist ahead of the 2006 World Cup who he thought top scorer of the competition would be. His answer? "Easy, me." Totally oblivious to the fact he was in serious decline and wasn't anywhere near as quick as he used to be. A sad part of me during the match against Sweden (quick plug for wonder-goal Joe Cole!) thought 'Take that, you arrogant w*nker' when he went down clutching his knee. And who can forget this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqOxNspUPyE, where Neville Southall puts him in his place for belittling a 13 year-old keeper. Thanks for the goal against Argentina though, Mick!
What MO Did For Me...
Michael Owen was the best player in Liverpool during his time there. He was a f*cking nuisance and I loathed every minute of it. A brilliant goalscorer, relatively good-looking (anyone remember those lunchboxes?) and so short we were told he'd still be growing at 23. That bit got to me.
Never have I hated someone like I did him and, although I may have cheered at the time, I wished him a terrible injury with every touch he made for England.
What Michael Owen has done for me is to show that such hatred is pointless. For him to screw Newcastle over was sweet, as indignity never sounds better than in the shrill tones of a fat Geordie. For him to be ridiculed in the press about his 'brochure' being sent to Wigan/Bolton/West Brom only to sign for the biggest club in the world was pretty smooth. For him then to score that goal against City was astonishing, soured only by injuries sustained in a Stretford End melee.
And then to top it off he constantly betters Piers Morgan in those pathetic, self-obsessed twitter battles. 'No point going to the gym five times a week if you go to the fridge twenty times a day #largeundies' is my favourite so far.
So, for me, Michael Owen was the depressing life lesson every football fan must learn. You can hate someone today, shout horrible things at them, pretend to spit on their posters, accuse them of horrible things (sorry RVP) but as soon as they aren't wearing that* shirt - unless like Wayne they have that ridiculous voice - you will feel absolutely nothing for them and everything done before.
Of course if someone persists with being a tit (in other words, becomes a pundit) hatred can become a wonderful long-term, life-enriching activity.
Owen: Really Not That Good
A brief point on Michael Owen, who was, according to Andy Buckley and others, definitely going to be the greatest player ever before injuries struck. He has never scored more than 20 league goals for a season, even when fit and playing almost every game. For a player painted by the BBC and FA as a cross between Gerd Muller and Di Stefano, that just isn't good enough.
A moment's reference to other strikers of his 'great' years would reveal that Owen paled against Ronaldo mk1, van Nistelrooy, Batistuta, Vieri, Rivaldo, Makaay, and Henry. So stop pretending he was anything special, and accept that if he wasn't English, he'd just be seen as a slightly quicker Pippo Inzaghi.
Michael Owen's Thoughts
Just a thought that came to mind when reading the 'Owen Bashing'.
Imagine the scenario:
* You get a call from your agent, United have been on the phone enquiring about your services.
* They want you to come for a medical with a view to a contract.
Now, what do you think went through Michael's head when approached by Manchester United?
1) Great stuff, a chance to play for one of the top sides in Europe. A chance to play alongside some top players who will only improve my game. A chance to work with the best coaches and medical staff with world-class facilities that could reduce my injury risk and improve my chances of playing time. A last chance at winning some silverware.
2) No, stuff that. I'm not good enough anymore, I'm past it.
As a professional, highly ambitious athlete I'm pretty sure what went through Michael Owen's head. If I was in his position, I know what I'd have been thinking!
Joining Stoke is a bit of a mystery mind you...
I noticed this morning Jonesesy, Melbourne described Michael Owen as a 'weapon' in his post.
I'd like to point everyone, if I may, to the Urban Dictionary description of a weapon - 'A term used to describe someone who is a spanner or a tool. A person who is extremely stupid and possibly ugly.'
Quite apt really and made me chuckle anyway!
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
* I have sympathy with argument that once something is agreed upon prior to the start of the season that procedure should not be changed as a result of one incident. However, that doesn't stop the original rule being stupid in the first place. The whole idea behind this is to protect the reputation of the referee over the course of the many little incidents over the course of a season as I can see this getting out of hand quickly as technology could seriously undermine authority on the field of play. This is clearly not the case with the McManaman tackle as that was a horrendous challenge worthy of a three-match ban. It has also received a lot of publicity and media attention. I find it hard to accept that because the linesman saw it in-game, and decided not to punish the challenge, that that should be the end of the matter. Fact is, he saw it and deemed it fair which was a gross error of judgement. Who is to say the linesman was correct? To say this should not be followed up accordingly is a retarded line of argument for the FA to take. Even if McManaman got the ball first, the consequences of the challenge rendered it serious foul play against a fellow professional and thus should be a three-match ban regardless of whether it was seen by anyone at the time.
* The consequences of challenges should be more strongly borne in mind, and for the record, I felt that Crouch ought to have been sent off for serious foul play for knocking out Taylor with an attempted bicycle kick, and the same for Colloccini breaking Ba's nose. Why aren't these situations red cards? Because the initial incident was viewed as not being a foul doesn't preclude the consequences of serious injury. Punishment needs re-thinking on the basis of effect therefore. I also find it difficult to accept that John Carver and the Wigan chap get banned for handbags (and I have every sympathy for Carver in this as emotion was high at the time) whilst McManaman escapes with nothing.
* This is the most unforgivable part of the whole affair is that for the first time this season (I think), we have seen a tackle which could put a player out for a year. It has been by far the worst tackle this season, and yet nothing is going to be done about it. This is the same FA that have banned players for 'frivolous appeals' and introduced in recent seasons the idea of extending bans whereby if a player gets five yellow cards, it's a one-match ban. If the same player reaches 10, it is now a two-match ban and so forth. This seems punishment for punishment's sake and appears rather petty. If they are becoming strict upon the issue of discipline in a seemingly arbitrary fashion, they would surely be better served by ditching these small piddly measures which reduce the availability of players on some sort of whim, and having some balls by taking action when the big decisions (and this is one them) come calling.
Richard (would also reduce the horrendous challenges on the Hackney Marshes, no..?), Cambridge
A Possible Solution?
The rules at the moment are currently not working. This notion that reviewing and possibly oveturning incidents that the referee has seen will undermine his authority is ridiculous.
My suggestion to combat this problem is the option for the referee to signal to someone (the fourth official I guess), that he has seen an incident, but was badly sighted or unsure as to what the appropriate punishment should be. This is then noted, and all decisions are reviewed by a panel after the game, possibly just by the refereeing team. If the incident occurs in the first half, the review could be at half-time. This would at least stop the players and the crowd baying for the referee's blood as they could understand decisions slightly better.
I guess the problem with this could be referees bottling more decisions and just sending everything for review, so maybe they could only do it once a game or something. And I suppose the player involved could have a big impact on the game after the incident, but that's already the case with the current system.
Why Not Have Some Imagination, Roy?
Among all the fuss about the McManaman challenge or MO's retirement, the announcement of the latest England squad seems to have been forgotten. Frankly, I was disappointed by it - it was far too safe and generic. One of the games next week is against San Marino who routinely get beaten 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, so why has Hodgson not taken this opportunity try out some players who don't normally get a chance? Think about it: Why does Joe Hart need to play this game? Surely Fraser Forster's Champions League performances should earn him a chance? Likewise, why choose Lescott (out of favour) and Cahill (out of form) before Steven Taylor (first choice for his club in the PL) and Kelvin Wilson (Champions League experience and first choice)? In midfield, Leon Osman will be a breath of fresh air, but what about Lllalana, or Townsend at QPR? And up front, I'm not sure what else Rickie Lambert has to do to get a call-up, a bit like Grant Holt last year. Personally, I'd rather see Gary Hooper given a chance ahead of Daniel Sturridge.
I know some will disagree, but I'm bored of seeing the same 13 or 14 players playing in every game. Even Sven was braver than that...
On a side note, I'm gutted to see that the FA have sold their soul to Nike with the kit deal. Choosing an American mega-brand whose products are boring and over-hyper instead of the wonderful English company you've held a partnership with for 50+ years can only be an example of how commerical football has become.
Alessio (Actually a big fan of Roy), Leeds
A Managerial Breeding Ground
Chelsea and Blackburn are missing a great opportunity here. They should set up some sort of manager feeder club system whereby you get sent to Lancashire if you fail to win the World Cup within your first nine months at the Bridge.
All I know is that I'd find a way to make it happen if I was threatened with having to deal with or film adverts for Venkys. You can't buy that sort of incentivisation.
Alex Chia (hoping to see a David Luiz player/manager installed next season)
Wanting Real Success For Spurs
On my way back from WHL on Sunday, following our dismal performance against Fulham, I was chatting with a number of fellow Spurs fans and it was apparent that there is quite a contrast in opinions as to where AVB's priorities should lay, something which has been reflected in your mailbox of late. One fan passionately told me that, to quote my beloved football club, 'the game is about glory' and therefore winning the Europa League should be the priority. A number of fans supported this view, although, I am not sure if most of this boils down to the fact the final is in Amsterdam!
A lot of supporters also had the opposing view, that the top four should be the priority. I also believe this should be made of paramount importance by AVB. This does not mean I would not love to win the Europa League (or a trip to Amsterdam for that matter) and neither does it mean I do not subscribe to my clubs moto. In fact, it is the opposite and it is why I do not agree with John (at least if spurs don't get to the final I will be financially better off too) Fraggle Rock and the like, who say that fans who prioritise with the top four do not want 'glory' and are only interested in the balance sheets.
For the first time in my lifetime, I believe Spurs are two to three top-quality players away from challenging for the title. I crave the ultimate 'glory', not a League Cup or second-rate European trophy. I want to see Tottenham Hotspur be champions of England. To get the players we require to make this possible the club has to be in the Champions League. The competition generates huge amounts of income for the club and also the prestige of being in Europe's top competition allows you to attract the best players in the world.
The game is about glory, but I want absolute glory, to be the best. This is why I want the top four this season. In AVB I trust.
Tom (Wales, please don't break Gareth) Wright, London, THFC
A Swansea Chant
I was listening to a bit of Toto on the way to work today and wondered if anything could be done by Swansea fans to the tune of Rosanna, by way of a Michu chant?
I'll get you started:
'Michu all the way...'
Let me know how you get on with it.
Dave (Yeah, Toto, what of it?!) Allen, IOM
The Big Question
Whatever happened to diving headers?
The last one I think I saw was Paul Davis scoring one for the Arsenal against Liverpool in front of the Clock End, opening day of the season circa 1987.