Former Liverpool and Newcastle striker Owen has just released a new book. Apparently – for it nearly went unnoticed.
In it Owen claimed his ex-boss Alan Shearer wanted him to risk his next contract by putting his injured body on the line in a crucial Premier League relegation decider.
Who’d have thought? Manager wants his £120,000-a-week player to play in the biggest game of the season.
The extract caused the mother of all Twitter storms but former Chelsea midfielder Sidwell believes both men are right to stand their ground.
“It’s a shame that that’s gone on for so long. I didn’t even know that they had fallen out,” Sidwell said on the Liquid Football Podcast, which is produced by JOE in partnership with Paddy Power.
“There is probably an element of truth in everything that was said. If [Owen] said he is on a free at the end of the year and he was looking for a move away and didn’t want to harm his body well 99 per cent of the players would do that as well.
“Everybody is different. If I could run, I could play. If I couldn’t get into a jog then I’d be ruled out. I’d have injections in my ankles, in my feet, in my toes, having my knee strapped up.
“I remember having a torn ligament at half-time. Had that strapped up, went out and played the second half.
“I know individuals as well if they got the most minute injury they would not be fit to play. ‘I am not going to put my body through it because anything else could come from that’. You have just got to accept that.”
Football is such a brutal business that Sidwell has seen how ties can be severed incredibly quickly.
He added: “Alan Shearer is looking at it from the point of view that this is the be-all and end-all. This is not during the season. This is the penultimate game where we could get relegated. We need all hands on deck.
“Michael is saying ‘Look I’m not 100 per cent but if you need me throw me on’. It is not as if he has ruled himself out of the game completely which some players would have done to totally look after themselves.
“Then it snowballs on to the loyalty in football but there is no loyalty.”