Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Madrid don't deserve Owen

I must confess I took a great deal of comfort from the last European football season - the Man United-Arsenal stranglehold on the Premiership was broken, Liverpool won the Champions League (amidst considerable drama, to boot) and last but not the least, Real Madrid didn't win either the Primera Liga or the Champions League. I'm taking a cheap shot here I guess, but I'm convinced the 'galacticos' deserve it - not long ago I greatly admired the club, before they turned it into a 'gambling operation'. I'm not sure if the economics are panning out either, though the club officials would have us believe so. But that's not my concern anyway. It stretches the boundaries of credulity to learn that apparently Michael Owen is a fifth-choice striker at this club. Owen is a striker with razor-sharp instincts and can punish defences for the slightest errors. For my money, he is still one of the world's best and he did score 16 goals last season even if he only started 26 all season. I would apportion most of the blame to Owen himself, for chasing instant nirvana with Real (I say that even though I'm not aware of the details around his departure from Liverpool). In the context, one thinks Steven Gerrard was prudent enough to stick to Liverpool in the face of severe temptation in the form of the millions that Chelsea threw at him. It's obvious that European football needs the 'salary cap' system. - NK

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