You Won't Find Owen Kissing His Toon Badge!

Last updated : 15 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

Michael Owen: "I think there is a lot of rubbish that goes on in football with players kissing their badge the whole time, doing this and doing that to appease the fans.

"The bottom line is we are all human. When I signed for Real Madrid I didn't love the club, I thought it was a great club to play for and a good career move.

"It has been said I don't have an affection for Newcastle. It is also an accusation thrown at foreign players when they come over - that they don't know what a derby is and so on.

"To a certain extent it's true, they haven't come for the sunshine have they? They've come because it's a good career move and that is the same for me.

"I was an Everton fan when I was a kid and only wanted to play for Everton until I was about 12, but when you play football for a number of years you fall in love with another team. I wasn't a Newcastle supporter as a kid and there is no point pretending otherwise.

"But the more you are at a club, the more you know the area, the staff, the supporters and everything about it.

"You develop an affection for the club and certainly, when I retire, there are two clubs whose results I will look out for and that's Liverpool and Newcastle.

"It is only when you play for Newcastle and live up here that you realise what a special club it is.

"The two clubs I've played for before, Liverpool and Real Madrid, both had a lot of history and expectations that went with it. But with this being a one-club city, everyone wants you to do well and they are either behind you, or they feel letdown by what they have seen.

"You can either shrink under the pressure of it or you can use it to your advantage.

"Over the years, even in the four I've been here, you've seen both edges of that sword.

"It has been too much for some people who have come up here with big reputations, but the flipside is, if you get it right and you do well, then the supporters will support you.

"When they are like that, when you have earned that sort of support, God knows where it can take you.

"We've always been flitting around three or four places off the bottom, but it's only since we lost to Manchester United and results went against us that we have found ourselves in real trouble.

"We have to realise we are responsible for getting results above anything else. That responsibility filters through to the players, from the fans, the staff at the club.

"Everyone's backs are against the wall now and nobody wants to see Newcastle United not playing in the Premier League next season.

"I definitely think it has been a fractious season, even by Newcastle's standards.

"Looking at this club from the outside before I came here it always looked as though there was turmoil off the pitch, players fighting with each other, or managers getting sacked after two minutes. There was always something going on.

"But from afar it also looked a fantastic place to play when things are going in the right direction, with the fans behind you, riding the wave of optimism which engulfs the place when things go well.

"It has shown that when Newcastle have been really successful. There have always been two sides to the club and unfortunately this year has seen a lot of turmoil on and off the pitch.

"Regardless of that, it's just an easy excuse for players to make if they say this has happened off the pitch, and that has happened so that is why results haven't been good.

"I don't care what has happened to the chairman, the tea lady or whoever, when you're out on the pitch you're focused on trying to win and that's it. Anyone who uses what has happened to the club this season at boardroom level, it's just an excuse in my eyes. Thankfully nobody here has been using that as an excuse."