Saturday, March 8, 2008

Michael, Michael where are you?

1998 France World Cup. A pre-quarter match between the two giants of world football, England and Argentina. A lot of stuff was and has been written about this match. But the highlight of that match was stole by an 18 year old boy from liverpool scoring one of the "superb" goals in world cup history. He strolled through the defence, cut it wide open, shift of gears and boom!! Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Michael Owen. Since that goal owen never had to look back. He was a nightmare to all the defenders in the world. He was quick, composed and was lethal in front of goal.

I started watching soccer since the age of 6. My dad was my big inspiration and boon in that matter. Early morning matches, late night matches. I used to eagerly listen to his post match discussions with his friends. He was a big fan of maradona and cruyff. I liked most of the players but did not had a footballing icon as such. Which i feel is a must for every football fan. Years went on my wishlist changed on. But the michael owen strike hit me like a jolt, i said to myself "He is the One".
Then on, i followed him rigourously. The number of sensational strikes for liverpool and england. Truly amazing!! He is one football hero who was less on controversies too. A genuine change after the maradona's and gascoignes, for that matter beckham too.

He is quick and his movement across the field is always a delight to watch. For a short guy, dont get amused the way he scores from his head.My dad called him "liverpudilian leopard" an attributed name for his vigour, tenacity and quickness.A lethal weapon in front of goal, who can convert less than half chances to a goal. There were a number of moments he provided for a liverpool fan like me.But the one i cherish is the 2001 FA cup final also known as the "Michael owen Final". Owen created 2 chances and converted them both, finally score showed 2-1. Also cannot forget the hatrick he scored for england, in the famous 5-1 thrashing of germany in munich.

But having said this, today michael owen is a mere shadow of his usual self. Once in a while he demonstrates a spark of hope, by scoring an odd goal. To add to the miseries, the captains band in newcastle once heralded by shearer himself is doing no good for his confidence. Toon army awaits for this sleeping giant to wake up and answer their prayers, but as of now that seems very unlikely. He uses words like "take it on the chin", "mentally strong", "comeback game" in every other interview. Emphasising the amount of frustration bloke is going through. His absence was clearly felt by england for euro qualifiers and his dying form is affecting newcastle too. Michael is renowned for playing exceptionally in big matches. But in a recent match against his former club Liverpool, he seemed to be lost to say the least.

Like a phoenix bird michael owen redeeming his career and goal scoring is a mouthwatering prospect which the toon army and a few liverpudilians like me are dreaming of..Until then we need to be satisfied with the adebayor's and torres.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One Ardent Owen fan you are mate!!! Cheers for the article!!

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