Owen & Joe - no issues
As usual Michael Owen wrote his 'Captains Corner` in the latest edition of the matchday programme. However I doubt our number ten expected there to be the hullabaloo over it that`s been written about in the papers. Having described himself as 'fit and well` for the last two weeks, the hacks have played up the issue of Owen being critical of Kinnear for not playing him.
Certainly the Owen that turned up at Fulham was a yard off being up to speed. JFK however downplayed any rift saying:
'People are trying to put a wedge between us for whatever reason. Obviously, the fact is that Michael's concerned about his future and his contract. If I'm appointed, I will do something about it. And for what it's worth, I have said from day one that in my opinion, he should be in the England squad. That's my honest opinion.
I feel for him because of the situation he finds himself in both for club and country, but he answered all that in the best possible way by coming off the bench and scoring for us on Saturday. I could have taken the easy option of playing him earlier when he was struggling for fitness, but had he broken down, what position would I have been in then?
I could have taken the cheating option, if you like, given I'm only here for eight games, and put him in on my very first game even though he hadn't trained for a week. What would everyone had said if he'd broken down?'