Solving a Problem like Michael


…Or why England’s Michael Owen would be better being not heard, as well as not seen…

It all started innocently enough. England’s Michael Owen (EMO) tweeted this:

That’s fair enough. I mean, it’s a bit boring, and it’s not really relevant to the stage he is at in his footballing career, but the word could well be his favourite in relation to his horses. Or maybe he likes play-wrestling with his kids, and he has a humurous finishing move that he uses on them. I have no idea. Of course, the point of Twitter is interaction, and EMO picked one of the several responses to react negatively to:

Firstly, I don’t like wasting further breath on EMO, both in real life, after having him grace the St James’s Park physio room for four years at an average cost of five million pounds per season, and on this blog, where I have previously written in great detail on his impact on Newcastle United here (I’ll give you a clue: the article is mainly negative, with the exception of EMO’s alleged support of penguin prostitution charities).

However, this reply has annoyed me greatly. He made several poorly received tweets that night, mainly about whether fans have the right to criticise managers (and players) in response to the ongoing protests at Blackburn. I can live with those tweets, as I can see why he would believe that fans should not be able to hurl abuse at players, and I think he qualified his statements quite well. He is obviously a very sharp man in some respects. He has earned a lot of money over his career, and has rarely said anything that could be deemed offensive or controversial. However, the above tweet really struck a nerve.

Firstly, the tweet he replied to looks like it was meant as a joke. It doesn’t seem to be the bitter tweet of a disappointed fan. This lad, a Manchester United fan, put a smiley face at the end of the tweet, and even admitted that he had meant the tweet as a joke. In fact, he seemed to think that it was quite funny that EMO had made a joke about his gut. As a Man United fan, he would have every right to harshly criticise Owen’s terrible appearance record for the club since, but he didn’t.

EMO is obviously sensitive to such comments, although why picking  a tweet from a supporter of his current team to criticise seemed a good idea to him, I have no idea.

Let’s break his response down:

1) “Hilarious when your picture has a big roll of fat hanging over your shorts”. EMO seems to find it hard to believe a person who looks a bit chunky while in a seated position (not my opinion. The chunky bit, not the seated position. I mean, he is clearly sitting. When seated, I think most normal people have some kind of fold effect going on.) is not fit to criticise someone who is currently injured. Apparently, in his mind, being overweight is the same as being injured.

2) “Had a successful life have you?” EMO has certainly had a lot of success in his life. Hell, he won a Premier League winner’s medal last season without even having to take his puffer jacket off.  This comment is puzzling – I mean, is he implying that he will only accept criticism from those that have achieved success in one field or other (for example, Piers Morgan… oh… yeah…). What happens if this person has had a terrible life. Does that mean his opinion is invalid.

3) “Peasant.” This is where it goes from being borderline abusive and bizarre, to just plain offensive. This is the word that sticks in the craw. Basically, EMO should not have to listen to criticism from poorer people, which in his case is, I would imagine, a huge percentage of the UK population. For someone who has an army of advisers behind him, this is the one word that I bet they would wish he could take back.

Twitter is a unique mode of communication, but one of the downsides is that there is such a limit on what can be conveyed in one Tweet. Brevity is necessary. So, if anything, you would think he would be more likely to leave unnecesary words from his Tweet. Words such as ‘peasant’.

That he views football fans as beneath him, if it wasn’t already clear, could not be more obvious now. The people who pay to watch his teams play (while he usually has the best seat in the house in a heated dugout, free of charge), should have no right to criticise his poor appearance record. But Twitter is full of ‘peasants’.

Makes you wonder why Michael Owen is on Twitter…

About Neil

28 years old. Geordie. Lived in Berlin almost three years. All-round canny lad.
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7 Responses to Solving a Problem like Michael

  1. Silly Child says:

    Stupid, stupid article.

    1 – A ‘joke’ about a player being injured, is not funny. It’s clearly insensitive and obviously it’s far more of an issue for a football player than a criticism of a photograph is to a random guy. To go on about seated position just makes you look stupid, even the guy himself admits he’s not in the best shape. Trying to make a case out of nothing.

    2 – ‘Had a successful life have you’ – it’s very common when anyone insults anyone, such as in this case the random guy saying M Owen is always injured etc, for the insulted guy to compare their situations. For example, I couldn’t go to Michael Owen and say ‘you’re rubbish at football’ – because I am worse than him. Same applies to fitness, and in fact any criticisms in general. Arm chair pundits are one thing, but when dealing with the actual players themselves, they should show a bit of respect. Ironically, the random guy has recognised that M Owen ‘had him off’ and is laughing about it. You, on the other hand, well you’ve obviously got some kind of insecurity which means the comments from Michael Owen really hurt you. Your own issues, get over it. To say that this is about voicing ‘opinions’ – is nonsense. It was an insult, and a criticism, not an opinion.

    3 – The same applies to his ‘peasant’ comment – it’s highly likely that Michael Owen has been far more successful than the random guy – so it’s just a criticism right back at the guy. It has nothing to do with listening or not to what the guy said – if he wasn’t happy to listen to the guys criticism he wouldn’t have replied. It’s about getting back what you dish out. You go round insulting people? They’ll insult you back. And guess what, the fault doesn’t lie with them.

    You sir, are a moron 😉 <- note the smiley face so that means it was nice of me.

    • Neil says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      1) I agree with the first part of what you’re saying here, he is probably very insecure about his fitness. The seated position remark was meant to imply that no one really looks good when sat like that – EMO never read that the guy was out of shape before he wrote it. The guy admitted it afterwards. It was a cheap shot to call him fat.

      2) He didn’t ask him if he had a successful football career, he asked him if he’d had a successful life, so your point here is invalid. I am happy to admit I dislike EMO, which I admitted during the article.

      3) Do you think it is right for such a highly-paid footballer, who is meant to be a role-model (as mentioned in his ‘please find me a club brochure’), to criticise a fan for being a peasant. Over the last few years most people have struggled financially, so for someone who will never feel the pressure of meeting an overdraft to rub someone’s face in this is highly insensitive. The lad he insulted said this was the most insulting part of the reply, not the previous two parts.

      Do you think insults should always be met with insults?

      If I agreed with that, I would be perfectly justified in responding to you calling me a moron, when, as far as I am aware, the above article didn’t insult you at all. Unless you are EMO, which I doubt, although you are hiding behind anonymity and he does have a lot of free time on his hands. Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

  2. Anyone hiding behind anonymity deserves to be shot. Wait, that’s what I’m doing! Oops. Michael Owen is everything I despise about the professional game. Making hideous amounts of money out of something he was once pretty damn good at. Milking it for every penny now and I believe he genuinely can’t quite understand the dislike sent his way. I continue to believe he merely says stupid little things and argues with people on the internet to keep his named mentioned and circulated by any means possible.

    Q: What’s worse that being talked about?

    A: Not being talked about.

    Well done Michael. Well played son.

    • Neil says:

      Could be true. I definitely think he doesn’t understand why people dislike him – I’m not sure he is just trying to keep his name in the public domain, although I’m far away from the UK now so not sure how ‘active’ he is keeping, aside from on the pitch (but that would be inactive). If he is so sensitive about being injured (as opposed to just being shamelessly money hungry), you would think he would keep quiet and let his feet do the talking… while up on the Old Trafford bench…

  3. The only way he can let his football do the talking is during his Carling Cup appearances. You’ll hear nothing from him for weeks and just before the transfer window he gets a little mention in the daily rags. “I’m Michael Owen, remember me? I scored that world class goal against Argentina. I bled Newcastle United dry and laughed all the way to the bank but they’ve all forgiven me. Why have they forgiven me? Because I’m Michael Owen. I scored that world class goal against Argentina.” Rinse and repeat.

    He’s fast approaching the Kieron Dyer level of being nothing but a money grabbing parasite. I won’t shed a tear if neither play the game again. The game certainly owes them nothing. They could never repay what they owe to football if they both played until they were 50. I have no idea why Kieron Dyer was mentioned but I remember his name popping up this week… oh yes, he’s out for the season!

    • Neil says:

      Ha! Although I shouldn’t laugh, they both took us to the cleaners… At least Dyer smiled occasionally while doing it, though.

      • Nisith says:

        he wasn’t happy at Newcastle but that the money was too good to turn down (ahem, allegedly). Certainly under Keegan, benhid Martins and Viduka, he was a class apart but I think more will remember him missing that one-on-one against Portsmouth which may well have kept NUFC up before scurrying off to the graphic designers to work on his brochure

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