I was immediately drawn to an article written by Terry Venables for The Sun entitled “Owen and JT are two of a kind“. It wasn’t because I am particularly fond of Venables or the tabloid paper but because I was intrigued as to how the two players could be alikened.
Whilst the initial reaction towards Owen wasn’t great, our feelings for the former Kop hero have warmed. For me personally, he’ll never be a favourite, but I hope he does well and I reckon I will be patient enough to see him prove himself at United. We all want him to score at Anfield but just scoring goals along the way to us winning our nineteenth title will do. Seeing Owen lifting that Premiership trophy, knowing Steven Gerrard will one day watch the footage with a few cans of Carlsberg, too pained to watch it on the actual day, is a happy enough thought for me.
But whatever we imagine to happen and whatever we hope to happen, it can’t be denied that Owen is a Judas cunt. In signing for United, his behaviour is far worse than Gabriel Heinze, Carlos Tevez or even Paul Ince. He is one of theirs, from their youth team and signing for United was simply forbidden. We may go on to like him, we may go on to appreciate what he achieves with us, but what he is doing is breaking an unwritten football rule.
I completely understand Owen’s motives though. Don’t forget he has been booed by the Anfield crowd since 2005 when playing for Newcastle. In contrast to the likes of Nicky Butt and Phil Neville who are always welcomed on their return, Liverpool fans haven’t really ever forgiven him for leaving to join Real Madrid. Whilst I wouldn’t ever boo David Beckham, I understand the feeling of resentment towards a player who has spent their career telling people they love your club, only to leave you for a club they regard to be “bigger”.
“In a perfect world I would stay my entire career. I am dreaming about that,” Owen said two months before he joined Real Madrid. “In an ideal world, and in the long term, I want to help Liverpool become the most successful club in the world again,” he’d said before that. But he seemed to sever his ties with Liverpool when he left for Real Madrid and they confirmed that by booing him when he came back to the Premiership the following season.
At Newcastle it appeared as though his career was over. Despite scoring 30 goals with 65 starts for the geordies, he seemed to have lost the love for the game, probably in the same situation Becks was when he joined LA Galaxy. But like AC Milan reminded Beckham what playing for a real club felt like, we’ve offered the same lease of life to Owen.
So, back to the Venables article. I was imagining the comparisons between the two English players to be along the lines of how they’ve both fucked over fans that loved them. Liverpool fans have been left hurting over Owen’s decision to join us, just like Chelsea fans should have been left hurting over Terry’s delay in rejecting City speculation.
Whilst the England captain claimed there was never any doubt over his Chelsea future, the stupid prick confessed to having “sleepless nights” over City’s offer. I know footballers aren’t well known for their intelligence, but if you’re going to play the loyalty card, at least have a good story! You can’t claim to have always been 100% committed to a club if the thought of £250k a week from a side not in any European competition kept you up at night. Chelsea repeated their stance almost daily that they were keeping him, so if he was just as sure that he was staying, why was he being kept up at night? Why didn’t he speak out immediately? You don’t have to be too intelligent to realise he was tempted to leave the club he claims he never would, simply because of money.
Liverpool had turned their backs on Owen and he was in dire need of saving his career. It was World Cup year and the only other club interested in him were Hull. Even if he did still feel loyalty towards Liverpool, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, desperate to impress Capello ahead of South Africa. In contrast, Terry had no football reasons behind his “sleepless nights”. It was all about the money.
“It’s never been about a new deal for me,” he claimed, after revealing he would not be joining City. “But if the club come to me in the next few months I’ll sit down and talk to them.” After agreeing a contract worth £35m in total and £135k a week for the club he ‘loves’ in 2007, it now looks as though his ‘loyalty’ to Chelsea is worth a new £151k a week contract.
So why are Owen and Terry two of a kind? They both fucked over the club that developed them and made them who they are today. Right? Apparently not.
Venables seems to be think they’re ‘two of a kind’ because Owen is a new signing for United and Terry will ‘feel like’ a new signing for Chelsea. Hmm.
United will feel like they’ve landed a bargain… the same goes for Chelsea. Owen will earn £30k a week at United as a basic wage, with incentives for goals and appearances. Terry, who was tempted by City’s money, will earn more than five times that regardless of injuries and performances. Owen is a bargain, the same does not go for Terry.