Premier League - Owen – United my ‘most impressive club’

We did a Q&A with former England striker Michael Owen, who revealed that Manchester United were ‘the most impressive club’ he worked with.

Premier League - Owen – United my ‘most impressive club’

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FOOTBALL Manchester United striker Michael Owen in the Carling Cup against Leeds United

The best years of my career were at…

I enjoyed Liverpool the most because I was at my best there. I felt that in the early years at Liverpool. Certainly, the early years – when you‘re playing at a very high level that’s when you enjoy it more. I felt that I was at the height of my powers at Liverpool.  That was probably the best years of my life or career, whatever way you want to say it. Manchester United was the most impressive club – its sheer size and the amount of people involved makes it more than a football club. It is run so well from top to bottom.

My career highlights…

The goal against Argentina set me off and running, scoring the two goals at the 2001 FA Cup final was magic. The situation and the game – to actually win the trophy after scoring two was brilliant. And of course scoring the hat-trick in Munich, and winning Ballon d'Or was special.

The most unexpectedly talented player I played with was…

This is now an obvious one: Paul Scholes. It is generally recognised now that he was absolutely incredible but possibly for the first chunk of his career wasn’t appreciated by the whole of the footballing world as much as he should have been.

The most unexpectedly talented players I played against was…

I’d say someone like Martin Keown. Obviously he was an England international but people didn’t give him enough credit for just how good he was. Cor, he was tough to play against.

Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t win either way with his book…

I haven’t read the book for starters as I only got back in the country last night. I have only read what’s been in the papers about Brendan Rodgers and Roy Keane. Everyone is entitled to do a book – both players and managers and he certainly won’t be the last. To be honest, if he hadn’t written a book then everybody would have been desperate to hear more about his life and stories because we are talking about one of – if not the best – managers of all time. It would be a shame if people didn’t know what he was thinking about certain situations. Now he has done a book, it seems that like the general feeling from some is that he shouldn’t be doing a book or saying this or that. I suppose you can’t win in a way. If you are going to do one then you have got to be honest and I presume all his views are honest and, if that’s the case, it’s his prerogative to say what he thinks.

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People will always have gripes but Ferguson has never been anything than loyal to me…

Roy Keane has said that Ferguson doesn’t know anything about loyalty but Sir Alex Ferguson has been at the same club for 26 years. Loyalty comes in different forms. I can only take people as you find them and the manager was certainly great with me the three years that I was there. I couldn’t question him in anyway shape or form. He has had a go at a couple of people, whether it be Owen Hargreaves, Roy Keane, David Beckham or Mark Bosnich – I mean everyone is going to have their own opinion or gripe but you can only speak from your own point of view.

Benitez not the most personable manager…

Benitez was my manager for about three weeks before I left for Real Madrid and he has got a great record. Particularly at Valencia - to break that domination was a great achievement. And then he came over and won the Champions League with not the greatest ever Liverpool team – I mean that was some achievement. From what I am told I don’t think that he is too personable with his players – he sees you as what you are to the team. If you’re doing what he wants you to do then great, but there’s no sort of love between the player and the manager.

Footballers are not morally obliged to enjoy football…

Everybody assumes that you love your job and don’t get me wrong I think most players absolutely love football. I can say myself that I love football more than anyone can love football – any time I picked up the ball when I was a kid, I am a real football anorak. But towards the end of my career, when I wasn’t playing as well as I wanted to be playing and I didn’t feel as good as I used to be it was a drag going out to train and I didn’t enjoy going to work. And it became work as opposed to playing football because I was very rarely playing on the Saturday. So basically, my job was just going to work on the training ground. By in large, though, footballers enjoy playing football.

The Jack Wilshere ‘Englishness’ situation was blown up out of proportion…

I don’t really know myself where I stand on rules and regulations about nationality. It is very difficult to say what makes you eligible for a country. It was blown up at the time because it was international week and there was probably not much news and Fergie hadn’t released his book. In fairness to Jack, I think that it is grey in a lot of people’s minds. I don’t think people are sure whether you can be a foreign person and whether just living in the country for a set amount of years is enough to qualify. I am not sure on the subject to be honest.

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Sportlobster is the first one-stop-shop  for sports fans and the launch of its iPhone app will allow fans to access news, rumours, events, photos, videos and blogs on the go. Michael Owen marked the launch of the app by officially announcing his investment in the company.

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