‘Each to their own’ – Lee Clark speaks out on what Michael Owen was really like at Newcastle

Michael Owen did not embrace Newcastle United as a club, and was not “particularly happy” on Tyneside, according to former Toon star Lee Clark.

Clark’s comments come in the wake of a tumultuous week for Owen and the Magpies, with the former Ballon d’Or winner airing some unpopular opinions on the club and local hero Alan Shearer in his new book, as reported by the Chronicle.

Speaking to Tribal Football, Clark suggested that the comments were, however, unsurprising.

He said: “I was very disappointed to read Michael Owen’s comments about Newcastle, but it’s not something I’m surprised over after sharing the dressing room with him for what was my final season as a player.

“He didn’t look like a player who was particularly happy at the club and he didn’t look like he really wanted to be there. His comments have just backed that up really, saying that he never considered Newcastle to be a big club and he never really wanted to go there from Real Madrid.

“I think when you’re having a go at so many people in the industry it’s really disappointing, but each to their own.

“He never caused any problems to anyone when I was there, he just looked like a teammate who didn’t really want to be around the football club, he didn’t really embrace the club at all in any way so it wasn’t much a shock to me with the comments he made in his book.”

OPINION

Clark’s comments will only confirm what many Newcastle fans feel they already know about Owen, he was reluctant to join their club, and he was never properly committed to making a go of things on Tyneside. That’s not to say that he never tried, or that some of his injury issues weren’t genuine and concerning for the player, but the fact of the matter is once you consign yourself to signing for a club against your better judgment, you are bound to end up phoning it in sometimes. What is perhaps most infuriating about this situation, therefore, is not that Owen didn’t perform to the level that he was expected to at St. James’ Park, but rather that he feels he is justified in coming out and causing a ruckus long after the even has passed. Nothing good can come of stirring up trouble like this, whether he meant to or not, and if this is a publicity stunt, it is certainly a poor one on his part.

This article was originally posted here