rss twitter facebook mobile

Fergie: Houllier Is Wasting His Time

New Aston Villa boss, Gerard Houllier, has spoken of his admiration of Michael Owen, coincidentally on the same day Michael Owen spoke of his frustration at lack of playing time. Of course this lead to rumours that Owen was on his way to Villa in January.

Ferguson has played this speculation down though, claiming Owen will definitely get more football as the season goes on.

“He’s wasting his time there,” said Ferguson. “I understand Michael’s frustration, he’s exactly right. But it’s because Berbatov started the season so well, then the international break came, it’s difficult. We’ve got this Carling Cup game on Wednesday and he’ll start that. He’ll get enough football, Michael. It’s just the early season with the internationals that disrupt you; there are four games over two, two-week spells now since the start of the season. I agree he probably thinks it’s passing him by but he’s doing well in training, never misses a session. I brought him on for the last 20 minutes the other night but I could have brought on three centre-forwards and we would not have made a chance the way Rangers set out.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. Rai says:

    This is his last season anyway

  2. Rai says:

    With us I meant

  3. Costas says:

    I hope Owen will get to play more games as the season progresses. Going by Fergie’s words, I doubt we will even see him on the bench tomorrow.

  4. Zelh says:

    he should rather give kiko some playing time than a player who was signed for being a substitude.

  5. obertanthenewstar says:

    hopefully obertan and bebe get a start aswel!! alongside chris smalling, fabio and rafael if he doesnt play tomorrow…also good chance to give anderson some game time! along with gibson?
    looks good and we shall see how our “youngsters” or our “future” looks

  6. Champ says:


  7. samuel - united WE stand says:

    owen needs to understand that he isn’t a sure starter at united, if he wants to be then he’d have to play out of his skin like a man possessed, i still question his all round game apart from popping up in the box, his finishing haven’t being as clinical as his pool days, debatable if he still has that yard of pace as wel.

    For a supersub, i think he has done a decent job, getting crucial goals but i think he is a stop gap until united bring through the young players. Macheda, welbeck, joshua king, mame biram diouf, and bebe (who is more of a winger/forward).

    I don’t think owen will be at old trafford next season to be honest, for now his future is safe, he has played his brief part at manchester united and i fully appreciate it but come next summer, it might be AU REVIOR to michael!

  8. Fort-Ardwick-Red says:

    Be a good move for the lad going the villa but at the end of the season though, not till then im wanting to keep him i believe if owt happens with Rooneys head with all the bad press hes getting(which he deserves) owen would be the player i would pick to come in as cover for him anyway lets fuck these murdering scum tomo and get back on track after the 2 poor results from last week, fletcher to run riot U.N.I.T.E.D. LUHG

  9. Devil310 says:

    I really don’t think we need Owen any longer, unless we had 2 strikers injured at the same time…

    I rather give that playing time to Kiko and Chicharito. But we’ll see what happens.

  10. Doghouse says:

    I probably sound like a bit of a mental case saying this, but Owen is a great striker. Seriously, he’s bloody brilliant. He’s sneaky, he’s hard to mark, he’s a deadly finisher and for a reasonably little bloke he’s pretty good in the air. For what we’re paying him, we ought to try to keep him. Some might say since he lost that half yard of pace he’s not been the player that he was, and to look at his game it is hard to see exactly what he does well, his game is very subtle and he doesn’t seem to do much, but he scores goals. That’s a fact, look at his history, and he will score goals for us. He’s a born goal predator. Watch a game with him in, most of the time he’ll do bugger all except get on the score sheet.

    When he doesn’t score he looks arse. No doubt, but that’s because it’s his game. I wouldn’t want to see Berbatov’s flow interrupted, he’s playing some great football right now, but to underrate Owen’s place in United’s attacking arsenal is a mistake. This might be bordering on sacrilege but I honestly think, though his game is dramatically different, he is on a par with Berbatov and Rooney. I don’t think he’s the player to be used week in, week out, and I don’t think our midfield is quite solid enough to do without a Rooney or Berbatov providing that creativity at the cutting edge, but I’m damn glad we’ve got him.

    I put it to you gents, that the goal that broke City hearts in the 96th minute was pure Owen, not a lot of strikers in the world would have made that space, made that shout, made that finish. He made it look easy, he always makes it look easy, but it was pure class under infinite pressure.

  11. huzi says:


    hi mate. I’m with you on that, but I hope he comes on tomorrow and scores against them. He missed to do so last season (if it wasn’t for that rugby tackle from carra).

    Completely agree with you mate.
    Owen is a class act. I don’t get how some people on this site constantly swear him and that. His finishing is still the best, no doubt about it. He needs a couple of games to boost his confidence and regain his form (which he will get).
    Look for all those qualities of Owen that you just mentioned above in another player, and the closest you come to is Chicharito. Though obviously Chicha may not be as clinical as Owen, their game style is really similar. Thats why I guess Fergie is keeping Owen, so that Chicha can get a few tips from him.

  12. Ash says:

    I competely agree with doghouse.I would want owen to end his career here.He still can score 10-15 goals for us in a season which is not bad at all.Fergie should use owen as a super sub.I hope he scores today against his former club and i have a feeling he will score or atleast make a assist.

  13. wiuru says:

    @ doghouse

    A great evaluation of Owen the player . Hope he stays and makes his mark .

  14. Aig alex is god says:

    Exactly what the boss said last season and he hardly started anx important games. Just a few cup games.

  15. caman67 says:

    Yes I agree with doghouse. Ferguson has done a master stroke with signing Owen.
    Owen is a class player a real predator and is training regularly with the likes of Kiko and Chicharito.

  16. huzi says:

    obviously if it wasn’t for his unlucky injury at wembley, hed have played more, especially with Wayne out and Berba not at his best.

  17. Aig alex is god says:

    Now with kiko and hernandez i am sure he will start the league cup games or the cl games if we qualify early which looks difficult atm.

  18. petrucci says:

    Come u u red devils lets show these scouse whos BOSS. with sir ryan giggs on our side we cant go wrong…lets go!!!!!!

  19. redcrab says:

    He knew damn well that it wouldn’t be easy joining United whether because of his connections to the ‘dippers or the fact that he would have to challenge Rooney and Berbatov for a place in the starting lineup.

    The fact that he had the cojones to take the challenge on should be reason enough to give him our fullest support.

    Go on Michael, if you get a chance to play today make the most of it! ;)

  20. whiteside85 says:

    i like owen but im more concerned with giving playing time to Macheda & Javier,

    there the future.

    the other night against Rangers why the hell he brought Owen on instead of Macheda still baffles me.

    Javier was stifled out of the game & you make a substitution. you have a choice of a similar type of player or someone with abit more presence & guile. a no brainer to me but we’re all wanabe managers who think we know better.

    anyway i just think we need to get Javier & Macheda more playing time & if that means Owen features less then thats life.

  21. bigphil2003 says:

    Morning all, just had a horrible dream that liverpool’s number 7 (whoever that is) scored an injury time winner against us :-(
    Now im more nervous than usual. Also have a bad feeling joe cole will score against us. But a good feeling that berb and fletch will score for us!

  22. united4ever says:

    Why does he want to keep him if he won’t play him???

  23. sprite says:

    bigphil liverpool doesnt have a no 7, so no worries then..

  24. FloridaManc says:

    Two and one half hours until kickoff!!! It’s going off lads!!! Start a new thread for the match now, Scott.

  25. WatchMUFC says:

    Man Utd V Liverpool Live On

  26. Costas says:

    The team for today(although as usual I’ll be way off the mark,lol) will probably be something like this:

    VDS – Brown, Rio, Vidic, Evra – Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Gibson, Rooney – Berbatov

    I put Gibson there because I have a feeling that Fergie might try out a 4-5-1 system. So it will be either Gibson or Park getting that 3rd midfield berth.


    Hi mate. Yeah I wish that could be the case today. It would be a real heartbreaker for the Scousers. And if you remember the game at Anfield a year ago, he was very lively there.

    Great post by Doghouse, I agree. In my opinion, Owen still has a part to play. And honestly, I prefer Kiko and Chicho having one more challenge ahead of them in the form of Owen. It will make them work harder to get into the team. They won’t go anywhere if they are gifted a spot.

  27. wruth03 says:

    Personally I am getting annoyed with Fergie wasting strikers siomply because he hasn’t got the guts to drop the likes of Rooney who is not performing at all at the present time. We kept hearing all last season that Owen would get games but the fact is he never did. People keep on that he got injured well perhaps Owen may not have got that injury if Fergie hadn’t kept him chained to the bench for the previous two months.

    Also people say that Owen has to force his way in. That however is well nigh impossible when you consider he scored a hattrick against Wolfsburg in the Chapions League and was immediately dropped down to the bench for the following match and scarcely allowed on the pitch thereafter. So as you can see those arguments do not really hold up to scrutiny do they. Fergie also wasted Carlos Tevez in just the same way. It is hardly a coincidence that he did not pay anything for either Owen or Tevez where as he paid mega bucks for Rooney and Berbatov. What you pay for a player should not come into it. All players shoud be given a fair chance but that simply is not happening.

  28. bigphil2003 says:

    Sprite, good news then! The little bastard looked like robbi fowler as well! Wouldn’t mind our number 7 getting on the scoresheet though…

  29. willierednut says:

    Owen was a top striker, past tense. Let the manager get on with picking the team and stop this thing, were we think we know best. It’ll be interesting to see if the boss picks two forwards, because the midfield will be were the games is won or lost. I’m not gonna even try to pick the team, I’ve stopped trying to second guess the boss.

  30. EricDantona says:

    @whiteside85 and seemingly all the rest of our fanbase

    Probably because Macheda is bloody useless.

    I really don’t understand some of the comments I read about him – you’re all so easily swayed by the media.

    I’ve seen every games he’s played in the first team – since an inspired winning goal in his debut and a very lucky winning goal in the next game, he has been utterly s***e. He runs around like a headless moron but never comes close to influencing the game.

    Perhaps he’ll become something one day – but that’s a long way off on the evidence currently available.

  31. wruth03 says:

    Willierednut Owen still is a top striker. Why should Rooney be guaranteed a starting place purely on past form. Personally I firmly believe what I have been told about the Owen situation. Namely that Fergie signed him to degrade and humiliate him as he was a Liverpool great. From all I have seen so far I feel that case has been proved. You clearly have a blind hatred where Owen is concerned and your words demonstrate that. It seems that Owen is never going to get a fair trial because there are too many small minded bigots who harbour grudges simply because of his Liverpool history.

    Also the remarks about Fowler well do not get me started on him as I loathe and detest him. Actually he was a blight on Liverpool and Engand’s history however our esteemed media happended to be best mates with him. That is why Owen gets such a raw deal in the press because of Fowler’s jealousy running to his bessie mate in the Daily Mirror and making false stories. All of which were swallowed whole by Liverpool’s pathetic supporters.

  32. willierednut says:

    wruth03 – Disagree totally, he was a top striker, but his time has now passed and you need to get over it mate. Also, i find the idea that SAF signed Owen to humiliate him, absolutely ridiculous, that’s some imagination you have pal. As for me having a blind hatred of him, that’s also nonsense, were in my post do i show that i hate Owen? It’s a fucking opinion mate, and I’m entitled to it, that some of our younger players should be ahead of Owen, no more, no less than that.

  33. wruth03 says:

    Willierednut You have never had a single positive comment to make concerning Owen. Well either you dislike him or you think you known more than other players and managers do about football. What other conclusion can you come to. Also tell me why Fergie signed him when he barely allows him any playing time on the pitch. I mean if he rates him so low as that why sign him in the first place. The fact is Owen was wanted by Everton and Aston Villa before he joined Manchester United so he would not have gone to Hull anyway. Also there was a story doing the rounds in the press before the start of the season that Fergie offered him on loan to Bristol City. Fergie knew Owen would never want that so if this is true why do that if not to humiliate him. There have been stories in past years accusing Fergie of trying to humiliate players. That is fact, do not get me wrong I seriously hope that this theory is wide of the mark as it would be very damaging for the club’s name in the long term.

    Personally I thought Owen was meant to mentor the young players like Wellbeck and Macheda yet you do not even think him capable of doing that. I would wonder if you opinions are coloured by the regular anti Owen stories in the press such as the Mirror and the Mail. Owen is still a very good player but is given so little playing time I cannot see how you can really judge him. That being the case could you not give him a little space and time to show what he can do before deciding as you have that he is useless.

  34. willierednut says:

    Wruth03 – Wrong again mate, don’t hate Owen, but i do think younger players should be ahead of him. Your theory is just that, a theory that i don’t agree with, that SAF would buy a striker to humiliate him, i find that highly unlikely. Just because i don’t agree with your assessment of Owen, doesn’t mean i hate the guy, i believe players like Hernandez and Kiko should be getting a chance, they are the future after all. If Owen does start games for United, I’ll give him my support and cheer as loud as anyone if he scores.

  35. wruth03 says:

    Willierednut Fair enough we can agree to disagree . However will you really support him if he plays ahead of United’s youngsters? Also you did not answer my views at to weather you think Owen capable of mentoring these yougsters as you seem to have a very low opinion of Owen’s ability in every way.

  36. willierednut says:

    Why does Owen have to Mentor anyone? Berbatov and Rooney can do that, there good enough aren’t they? Of course I’ll cheer if he scores, he plays for the club i support. You’re right in one way, i don’t think Owens the same player that played at Liverpoo, so i would give the young players the chance to prove themselves, how else are we gonna find out if there good enough.

  37. wruth03 says:

    I will say it again how cann you possibly judgeb Owen this season when he has almost no playing time. As for being a mentor for the youngsters. All young players particularly strikers need someone experienced to advise them. Yes I am sure Berbatov can help but certainly not Rooney he is not old enough or wise enough and not experienced enough. Owen has actually been helping and advising Rooney and that has come from Rooney himself. Clearly you cannot see any good in Owen at all.

  38. willierednut says:

    Wruth03 – Clearly you’re a wum.

  39. wruth03 says:

    Typical when you see you have lost an arguament you resort to stupid abuse and name calling. For pitys sake grow up Willierednut. You are acting like a toddler I thought this site was for intelligent discussion. Not using stupid made up names.

  40. willierednut says:

    Wruth03 – I lost the argument? You the one fixated on Owen, i don’t see him in the same light as you, if you can’t understand that, then I’m not gonna bother. If i was gonna give you proper abuse, you’d know about it, but as i say, I’m not gonna get involved in some petty argument with you, over a guy who’s best days are behind him.

  41. wruth03 says:

    Oh trying to be the big guy are we? So I would know about it if you were going to give proper abuse that sounds like a threat. Clearly you have to resort to abuse and threats when you lose an arguament. What I pointed out regarding mentors is a perfectly valid point. Anyone with genuine football knowledge will verify that. Do you seriously think even the truly great strikers like Pele could have come through without correct guidance and support from experienced players? Hardly and I’m sorry but Rooney is hardly experienced,wise or old enough. Also if Rooney was the be all and end all of football knowledge then explain why players like Chicho and Welbeck have turned to Owen for advise. For goodness sake even Rooney asks Owen for help he would not need to would he if he knew it all already would he. Even if a players best days were behind him it does not mean he has no use in life at all. That is all I am trying to get across as there would be no football managers or coaches as once their playing career was over they in your eyes would be on the scrapheap.

  42. willierednut says:

    Do you seriously talk shite all the time? What is this fixation with Owen? How do you know who mentors the young players at United, and yes Rooney or Berbatov could help our young forwards, if they needed any help. Again, what argument have you won? My opinion differs from yours, you can’t seem to grasp that, so you’re either an idoit, or just looking for confrontation. You’re point about Rooney is puzzling, this guy has won 3 permier league titles and the Europen cup, so how is he not qualified to mentor young strikers?

    The other thing you said which i found bizarre, was that SAF, one of the greatest, if not the greatest manager of all time, would buy any player to just put him on the bench to humiliate him. You don’t strike me as a United fan, but someone looking for attention. ps this is my last response to you cheers!!

  43. wruth03 says:

    Right this is my last post on this discussion as I fail to see any point in arguing with idiots like yourself. The simple reason Rooney is not qualified to mentor the youngsters is that is is too young and way too immature as his recent off field antics have proved. Owen whether you like it or not is a far better role model for these youngsters. However as you are also far too immature to see this then I see further point in discussing this further so cheers to you.

  44. willierednut says:

    I have to say sorry to you, any striker that scores two goals against Sunthorpe is not past his best.


You must be logged in to post a comment.