Sam Allardyce claims Michael Owen didn't want to be at Newcastle United

Sam Allardyce has weighed-in on the Michael Owen debate
Sam Allardyce has weighed-in on the Michael Owen debate

Sam Allardyce has responded to Michael Owen's comments over his time at Newcastle United - and revealed why he believes the striker didn't want to be on Tyneside.

Owen, who remains Newcastle's record signing, has hit the headlines in recent days after a frank interview in which he admitted he didn't enjoy the final years of his career as he lived in fear of another injury.

The striker joined Newcastle in a £15m deal after leaving Real Madrid in 2006 but claimed his career was already 'gone' by the time he arrived at St James's Park and that he couldn't wait to retire.

Speaking to BT Sport, Owen said: "Once I did it once I was gone, really.

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"I was quick, running in channels, beating people. That's who I was – compared to the last six or so years when I turned into the only thing I could.

"I was petrified of running into a channel. I just knew I was going to tear a muscle. The worst thing about it is your instinct is to do what you have done all your life, but you start thinking 'oh no, don't'.

"For six or seven years I hated it. I couldn't wait to retire."

And now Allardyce, who managed Owen after taking over at Newcastle in 2007, has weighed in on the debate.

Speaking to Alan Brazil's Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT, the former England manager admitted that Owen's comments were little surprise to him.

Indeed, Allardyce went on to agree with Owen's comments on his injuries and revealed that he felt the setbacks impacted the ex-Liverpool man's game - and meant that he didn't really want to be at St James's Park.

“I had the impression he didn’t want to be at Newcastle," admitted Allardyce.

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“Michael Owen was an unbelievably fantastic player and I can get what he’s talking about, because he realised his own body couldn’t do what he did best, which was his pace and running the channels.

“Unfortunately the injures took such a toll on him in the end and he was injured an awful lot at Newcastle when I saw him there, which was maybe why he ended up not liking it as much as he possibly should have done.

“But I think he should have just kept that to himself.”