In case you missed it, Michael Owen has a new book out. And it is a revelation, mainly because it reveals that Owen may not actually be the world’s most dreadfully dull individual after all.
The former England striker’s tome has been the talk of the footballing world this week, almost exclusively for boiling the piss of every Geordie in the country – and none more so than his former teammate and manager, Alan Shearer.
Why? Well, inside the book, hamstring injury enthusiast Owen wrote that his transfer from Real Madrid to Newcastle was a “downward step” and the one move he “really regrets” in his career. Just to twist the knife, he added that they are “only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium”.
Oof. That riled Shearer, leading to an entertaining Twitter spat between the pair:
Not sure you are as loyal to Newcastle as you make out mate. I distinctly remember you being inches away from signing for Liverpool after Sir Bobby Robson put you on the bench. You tried everything to get out. https://t.co/ZQBrlojeEv
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) September 3, 2019
From these snippets alone, it’s clear that Owen’s new autobiography will actually be worth reading.
But as insightful as finding out the top five physio tables he enjoyed in his playing career will be, we do wish some other big names would pick up a pen and get scribing.
We reckon a few, in particular, would have an inevitable bestseller on their hands…
Alan Shearer: Why Management Isn’t For Everyone
If Shearer could rush this out in the next few weeks, we’d imagine it’d do pretty, pretty well in the charts.
In particular, tales of “why you should never go back” would be hugely interesting for those concerned with developing their own careers, whatever your employment.
After all, not many people can say they had the opportunity to go back to their hometown club and become a hero all over again, stepping in at the 11th hour to save a big club (but only in the sense that they have a lot of fans) from relegation from the Premier League… only to end up failing miserably and immediately hot-footing it back to the warm safety of the TV studios. There are some life lessons in there somewhere, that’s for sure.
Oh, and a chapter calling out Michael Owen for being a k**bhead would be a real page-turner, too.
Arsene Wenger: My Story
With his insightfulness, eloquence and decades spent at the very top of the game, can you imagine how good Arsene Wenger’s autobiography would be?
We’d finally find out how he crafted Thierry Henry to become one of the finest footballers the world has ever seen.
There would be the true inside story of what he did to guide Arsenal through an entire league season unbeaten. We could go inside his head the night he lost the Champions League final. And he could, at last, be honest about his thoughts on the #WengerOut mugs hiring a plane to fly abuse over his head.
But most importantly of all, we’d finally get the answer to one of the most keenly asked questions in football history: why the f*ck did he ever think signing Igors Stepanovs was a good idea?
Thomas Gravesen: How To Own Your Dreams
If you have ever had an aspiration to achieve something from your wildest dreams, the chances are this Danish hardman has already done it.
Become a professional footballer? Yep. Date a Playboy bunny? Tick. Become a part-time car salesman? Erm, yeah. Win $100m playing poker? Done. Move to Las Vegas and enjoy all the trappings that come with it? Completed it, mate.
Various accounts have been written about the crazy life of Thomas “Mad Dog” Gravesen, but it has never come from the bald horse’s mouth.
A step-by-step guide telling us how we can all live out our dream lifestyle – and what knocking out fat Ronaldo’s teeth in training felt like – would sit very nicely on anyone’s bookshelf.
Shkodran Mustafi: The Art Of Defending
Well, comedy books do offer some much-needed light relief every now and again, don’t they?
Rhodri Giggs: Oh, Brother
OK, so in footballing terms, there wouldn’t be much to write home about regarding Rhodri’s part-time stints with FC United and Salford City (before the Class of 92 stepped in with some healthy financial doping).
But, we’d strongly argue that there would be no finer book to find out what his superstar and superinjunction aficionado brother Ryan Giggs is really like. Imagine the sort of gory details we’d find out!
Did Ryan get the top or bottom bunk when they were growing up? Was he more of a Coco Pops or Frosties kind of guy?
What did it feel like seeing your brother go from the playground player to gracing Old Trafford? And, of course, the big question everyone would want to know the answer to: what’s it like filming a hugely popular national advertising campaign for Paddy?
Yep, that’s about it. We can’t think of anything else that book might include…