Michael Owen: An argument

I'm not sure whether the signing of Michael Owen would be a good or a bad move for Aston Villa. So instead of turning it over in my own mind, I'm going to present an argument for Martin O'Neill taking the risk. I hope it presents an alternative view.

1. Fitness

One of the greatest concerns for any club interested in Owen must be his proneness to injury, and the lack of fitness which has dogged his career for four of five seasons.


Lerner and O'Neill must take this seriously. However, the manager has an incredible record of reviving previously unfit players - if only for a short while. Wilfred Bouma was transformed by MON's fitness regime from Midlands pie-munching champion to Holland's left back, and Martin Laursen's knee was given the mother of all revivals, giving us two seasons of world-class central defending.

Could O'Neill's fitness coach and Randy's American surgeons give us two seasons of the "real" Michael Owen? If they could, I for one am up for it.

2. Fitting In

Owen is on record as saying that he loves to play alongside a striker who wins the ball for him. He isn't a centre forward, he's a poacher. And many would argue that at his best, he's the best poacher in the game.

He loves playing alongside Heskey for England, and the results are there for all to see. Can you see him picking off balls knocked down by Heskey or Carew and burying them? I can. And I can see Owen doing it better than Gabby. Far better.

3. Getting Called Up

Michael Owen wants his England place back. That shouldn't be difficult, given that Jermaine Defoe is still in the hunt having proved himself unfit for the job over and over again.

Martin O'Neill is a past master at getting players into the England squad. And Fabio Capello is a near-permanent fixture at Villa Park now that he has Davies, Milner, Young and Gabby to keep an eye on. What better place for Michael to resurrect his England career?

Summary

I've presented one side of an argument.

Personally, I'd be delighted if Michael Owen signed for Villa. And I find it both interesting and hilarious that the same commenters who rant about O'Neill's failure to sign a "20 goal a year striker" are the same idiots who ridicule the idea of Owen coming to Villa Park.

Ask any opposing coach how they would feel about playing against Heskey and Owen.

Or, if you know better, post a reply detailing your defensive tactics to stop them.