Did Playing For England Ruin Owen's Career?

Last updated : 19 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

Owen made himself available for his country that summer after fracturing a metatarsal in a New Year's Eve clash with Tottenham keeper Paul Robinson.

He had played just 20 minutes of football for Newcastle before joining up with England, and with hindsight, now believes the injury problems which have followed are a direct result of his efforts to play in Germany.

Owen suffered a serious knee injury which sidelined him for ten months during the finals.

Michael Owen: "There is no hiding from the fact injuries have been the bane of my time at Newcastle.

"It is frustrating. However, and people will probably laugh, but I know I'm not injury-prone.

"If you look at my time at Newcastle, the problems started when Paul Robinson landed on my foot against Tottenham just after Christmas.

"Loads of people get metatarsal injuries, but they are normally not as bad as mine. Nobody's foot would not have broken in that situation.

"I then rushed my preparations for the World Cup. I played half a game for Newcastle.

"After being in plaster for so long, my leg was de-conditioned and with hindsight, I should never have gone to Germany with England.

"It's easy to say that now, but if I had my time again, I would still have gone because it was a World Cup.

"I'm not thinking what could have been, but with hindsight, my leg was half as strong as it should have been.

"Muscles support limbs and I twisted my knee awkwardly and that was it. All that came from someone landing on my foot, so I don't think it's my fault."