Owen vs Shearer?

They used to play together for Newcastle and England

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What's the feud between Owen and Shearer all about?

By Joe Harker

There's nothing people on Twitter enjoy like a good spat between famous figures.

This week it's been Michael Owen and Alan Shearer, strikers who played together for England and Newcastle United.

Owen has a book out and it talks about his unhappy times at Newcastle, where he played with and was later managed by Shearer. In it he suggested Shearer blamed him for Newcastle's relegation.

This prompted Shearer to post a video of Owen saying "I couldn't wait to retire", with the caption "we thought that also, whilst on £120k a week".

The Claim:

Owen hit back at Shearer, claiming he wasn't as loyal to his beloved Newcastle as the fans liked to think.

He said Shearer had attempted to force through a move to Liverpool, apparently a reference to an incident in 2004 when Shearer was benched at Newcastle.

Naturally, the insinuation that Shearer tried to ditch his boyhood club Newcastle for Liverpool, Owen's boyhood club, hasn't gone down well.

The pair appeared to first fall out when Shearer went back to manage Newcastle in an attempt to save the club from relegation. As a manager he asked the chronically injured Owen to play through the pain, the player declined and suggested he had one eye on his next contract.

Owen thinks he was made the scapegoat for the club's relegation when he wasn't fully able to play, while Shearer and quite a lot of Newcastle fans think he didn't put in enough effort when the club needed him most.

The Counter Claim:

However, Owen has attempted to calm things down by saying it's not his style to criticise people.

It's a strange sort of calming attempt considering he's just released a book saying he still resents David Beckham for getting sent off during the 1998 World Cup, wrote that Shearer had a "dire" record as Newcastle manager and called Newcastle fans "delusional".

It's a bit difficult for the former striker to say he's not in the habit of criticising people when he's just written a book criticising several people.

It also doesn't help his case when he tried to hit back at Shearer and discredit him in the eyes of the Newcastle fans, especially when his version of events over the legendary striker trying to force through a move to Liverpool is accused of being wrong.

It's a spat, they don't like each other and they don't really speak.

The Facts:

The Michael Owen deal was for a long time Newcastle's record transfer, he scored 30 goals in 79 appearances over four seasons and left once his contract was over to join Manchester United.

In Owen's book he said moving to Newcastle wasn't his preferred option and was instead done to get off Real Madrid's bench in order to guarantee his place in England's squad for the 2006 World Cup, where he suffered a horrendous injury in the group stages.

It's a time best forgotten, though those involved seem willing to dig up old ghosts and go over old ground.

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