During the enforced break from John’s regular column, English Premier League Predictions For Saturday, it is with great pleasure that we publish the second of the best of 3 series where this week, John looks at three of the best English strikers Shearer, Owen or Rooney to see who had the most impact on the international stage! There will be plenty more to come from John, as the hiatus continues, so check back regularly.
The first in the series can be found here: Lampard vs Gerrard vs Scholes [Best of 3 Series]
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‘Shearer, Shearer, Shearer!’
The simple tune that the Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle faithful sang to their idol.
The England fans joined in too.
Born in Newcastle in 1970 and a true Newcastle legend, the first thing to say about that statement is ‘eventually’.
Eventually, because Alan started his football career as far away from Newcastle as possible at Southampton.
The next place on from his first club is across the water on the Isle of Wight, so Mr Shearer couldn’t have gone any further without getting his feet wet.
Without knowing Alan personally, from the outside, it’s clear to see that the lad wasn’t intimidated by many, even at the youthful age of 17, when the then Saints manager Chris Nicol gave Alan his debut.
As a football fan of a similar age to Alan, back in 1988, it was a great story to hear of a young player scoring a hat-trick on his full debut.
‘Did you hear about that kid Alan Shearer, scoring 3-against Arsenal and he’s only 17’
Was the conversation down the pub, as a youth, getting drunk on Skol.
Back in 1988, the Premier League was a long way off, there were no mobile phones, no social media, definitely no Google or interweb and believe it or believe it not, no Sky Sports.
Because of this current pandemic, there are no live sports on telly and football as we know it, where fans are allowed into the stadia, is a long way off, so live football on telly is what one will have to rely on.
Back in 1988, when Alan Shearer was scoring his 3 against Arsenal, on his home debut, the football fan had to rely on Match of the Day or the Big Match.
There were probably, at a push, only 5-live games shown on the TV a year.
No, you have not read that wrong, at a push, 5-games shown live, per year.
The FA Cup Final, maybe the League Cup Final and a couple of England International’s.
Now, there’s usually 5-games shown per week and it’s a regular occurrence that 5-games could be shown easily on a Saturday and Sunday.
To hear that a young 17-year old had scored a hat-trick against Arsenal, was brilliant for a kid who was in the same school year as Alan Shearer.
So Match of the Day that night was a must.
Again, this was 4-season’s before the Premier League, the pitches weren’t the carpets they are now and the defenders were, how can one say? tough!
The backline for the Gunners that day, in April 1988, included Kenny Sansom and Nigel Winterburn.
Shearer ran them ragged and the Arsenal defenders were not happy with the youngster.
The first 2, were headers and the 3rd for the hat-trick was almost missed as the ball was played across to Big Al and he side-footed it onto the cross-bar.
Luckily the ball rebounded back to Alan who converted to get the brilliant 3rd.
A great start for the 17-year old, who was back in the following day, as a youth player, to clean the boots of the lads he’d played alongside the day before.
In the starting eleven for the Saints, along with Shearer were, goalkeeper John Burridge Gerry Forrest, Mark Blake, Derek Statham, Graham Baker, Jimmy Case, Kevin Bond, Glenn Cockerill, Andy Townsend and Colin Clarke.
On the bench was Rodney Wallace.
The youths won’t remember that back when Alan Shearer started, there were only 2-substitutes allowed and in the late 70s and early 80s, only 1.
At first, the substitutes were mainly used only when a player was injured, not as a tactical replacement as of today.
In the 2-away games prior to Alan’s brilliant home debut against Arsenal, Alan was the 12th-man and came on for Wallace in the 2nd-half, however on those occasions it wasn’t Rodney it was his brother Danny.
Both Rodney and Danny went on to have great careers, Danny playing for Manchester United and Rod for Leeds United.
There is a 3rd-Wallace, Rodney’s twin brother Ray, who all played, at one point, in the same Southampton team as Alan.
Shearer and The Wallace’s along with another exciting youngster, Matt Le Tissier, formed a great strike force at the Dell.
The Dell being Southampton’s home ground prior to the move to St Mary’s in 2001.
After the brilliant hat-trick in April 1988, it would be assumed that Big Al would go on to score goal after goal. If a question was asked as to when did Alan Shearer score his next Southampton goal? most won’t believe that it was 18-months later.
After breaking into the team at the end of the 1987/88 season, Alan went the whole of the 1988/89 season without scoring, granted, only playing a handful of games but still, he would have liked to have notched.
It was October 1989 that Shearer next scored for the Saints in a 2-0 victory against York City in the League Cup.
In the next game, a First Division clash away at Queens Park Rangers, Alan scored the first in a 4-1 annihilation of the Hoops.
Big Al went on to score 5-goals in total that season, then followed it up with a goal here and there in the next 3-years.
A goal here and there, because Alan still wasn’t prolific until the beginning of the 1991/92 season, his final year at Southampton, where he notched 13-times in the league.
In the 4-seasons prior to the finale, Shearer only had 10-league goals. The 13-in the final season gave him 23-Southampton goals in total.
The 13-scored, in his last season at the Dell, earned Alan a dream move for the start of the new-look Premier League in 1992.
A dream move to Manchester United, Liverpool or even his beloved Magpies.
No, Alan Shearer signed for Blackburn Rovers!
Blackburn Rovers were never ever First Division title challengers and were languishing in Division Two, until a local businessman, Jack Walker got involved in the club.
Jack owned a steel company, conveniently for him, called Walkersteel.
That was lucky that he owned a company with the same name as his.
When Jack started to plough dollar into the Northwest club, Blackburn were in the old Second Division and were being beaten regularly by Barnsley FC.
Jack Walker somehow persuaded Sir Kenny Dalglish to become manager, the words ‘somehow persuaded’ meant he gave Kenny a boatload of money.
Money! somehow always persuades folk.
Kenny gained promotion, not only to the First Division but now, the inaugural Premier League (nice timing) and managed to somehow persuade Alan Shearer to sign for Blackburn Rovers for a then-record fee of just over £3 Million.
With Shearer’s 16-goals in his first season at Ewood Park, Blackburn finished 4th in the Premier League.
What’s probably worth mentioning is that Alan scored the 16-goals in just 21-games and missed half of the campaign due to injury.
Blackburn finished a massive 13-points behind United, however, imagine where they would have finished with a fit Alan Shearer.
In the second season, Big Al scored 31-goals, in 40-games pushing Manchester United all the way to finish behind their Northwest rivals.
Jack and Kenny spent some more dollars and paid Norwich £5.5 Million for the second ‘S’ in the Blackburn SAS frontline.
At the beginning of the 1994/95 season, Chris Sutton joined Shearer at Ewood Park in the hope that Blackburn Rovers could finally become the Premier League champions.
Alan’s 34-goals in the 42-games he played in the ‘94/95 campaign is still a Premier League record, however, it is from 42-games, not the 38 that the season is now played over.
Along with Big Al’s 34-goals, Chris Sutton weighed in with 15 to elevate Rovers to the new Premier League champions denying Manchester United, three in a row.
Although a brilliant achievement for a club, that wasn’t considered high-profile, it was Jack Walker’s money that bought the title.
The annoyance for everyone connected with Manchester United, who were beaten to the title by just 1-point, was that Blackburn Rovers were actually beaten in their final fixture away at Anfield and all United had to do was beat West Ham.
A combination of poor finishing by Andy Cole and heroic goalkeeping by Ludek Miklosko meant West Ham earned a creditable 1-1 draw on the final day to prevent Sir Alex getting a 3rd Premier League crown.
It was fitting for Sir Kenny Dalglish that, although his Blackburn team had lost against his beloved Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers were crowned champions at Anfield and all the Liverpool faithful joined in with the celebrations of one of their own.
Liverpool won, Blackburn won and Manchester United lost (the title that is!) a perfect day for the Scousers.
In the 4-seasons at Blackburn, Alan Shearer scored 112-Premier League goals and is the quickest player to reach the 100-mark, in just 124-appearances. (100/124)
Harry Kane is just behind him with 100/141.
Mo Salah has 70/100 Liverpool Premier League goals plus 2/13 for Chelsea, so if Mo scores 28 more goals in 8-games when football reconvenes, Little Mo will match Big Al.
The Editor of www.halftimepie.co.uk, Ian Hope gives his opinion on Alan Shearer,
‘Old school centre forward.
Could hold the ball up, great in the air, loved the physical battle.
Loved to have a chat with the ref, quiet off the pitch, a bit like Mark Hughes in that respect.
Sheringham and him were awesome in Euro’96.
Our talisman for the country.
Sutton and him were prolific for Blackburn.’
To add to that, Alan could look after himself and didn’t shirk a challenge, threw the odd punch towards Roy Keane and liked, not only to kick football’s but also heads, like when he kicked Neil Lennon back in April 1998.
Alan quite rightly defended his actions and said that Neil had head-butted his boot.
Over the years, there aren’t many occasions that 2-teammates publicly have a fight with each other on the pitch but on 2-separate occasions at 2-different clubs, Alan Shearer, as been on the field, when such an incident as happened.
In November 1995, whilst Blackburn were playing in a European Cup game, following the Premier League title victory, David Batty and Graeme Le Saux came to blows with Le Saux giving a great left-hook to Leeds lad Batty who never flinched.
The pair traded insults after Tim Sherwood intervened, both Batty and Le Saux were like 2-Super Featherweights and Sherwood was the Heavyweight.
To be fair to Graeme it was plucky on him to have a dig at Batty.
It’s definitely David who the money would be on!
Both stayed on the pitch and both also played together, with Alan, for England.
The incident was put to bed straight away with Graeme apologising to David in the dressing room afterwards.
Jump to 2005 and on the St James Park pitch, Newcastle’s Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer had a set-to in a game against Aston Villa.
After 80-minutes of not getting a pass from Kieron, Lee took umbrage and had a go at Dyer who basically said that the reason he hadn’t passed to Bowyer, is that, in Kieron’s opinion, Lee was rubbish. Oof!
Punches were thrown and Lee had his shirt ripped.
The difference in this fight was both players were sent off, whereas David Batty and Graeme Le Saux stayed on the pitch.
All four of the individuals blame Big Alan just for being in the vicinity and all stated Shearer is a trouble-causer.
There’s a story that Sir Alex Ferguson sought the signature of the Southampton man, prior to signing for Blackburn, however his fellow Scot, Sir Kenny Dalglish pipped Alex with the pen.
A few years later, when Shearer’s contract at Blackburn came to an end, Sir Alex came in again for the England striker, after Euro’96.
This time, Sir Alex had another rival in the race for Al’s, autograph, a certain Kevin Keegan, the boss of Newcastle United.
Alan asked Fergie if he could take the penalties at Old Trafford, Sir Alex responded that it was Eric Cantona who took them and he wasn’t going to tell the Frenchman he was no longer needed from 12-yards.
Kevin Keegan and Alex Ferguson interviewed Alan Shearer on the same day in the same house, however, Sir Alex was second and wasn’t happy that Double K had got in first.
Sir Alex lost out again for Shearer’s signature and Newcastle United finally got their hometown boy for a World Record Transfer fee of £15 Million.
There are rumours that Jack Walker didn’t want to sell Alan to Manchester United and although a great story, Alan signed for Newcastle, not Manchester United simply because he thought that a better career choice.
When asked if he regretted that decision, Al immediately responds by saying that he would do it all again, if given the choice.
Sir Alex says that Alan Shearer would have won a lot more medals if he had signed for Manchester United, to which Big Al replies,
‘So would you Sir Alex!’
What’s probably worth adding is that Eric Cantona only played one more season for Manchester United and retired at the end of the’96/97 campaign, so Big Al, would have been on penalty duty, after the initial season.
At Newcastle United, Alan Shearer is a goal-scoring legend, eclipsing the feats achieved by the great Jackie Milburn and became the Magpies all-time leading scorer with 206-goals.
Along with the Newcastle goal record, the Big Geordie is currently the all-time Premier League leading scorer.
Currently and probably for a long time to come as 260-goals in total from his spells at Blackburn and Newcastle United, is 80-more than the next best in Sergio Aguero.
The next best still playing that is, as Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole are the ones behind Shearer, yet they are not going to add to their tally.
Wayne will argue that point later.
Sergio, along with Harry Kane are the only two that realistically could overhaul Shearer’s 260.
Aguero would have equalled Shearer by now, if he could score penalties, having missed the last 81-taken.
That’s obviously a joke but Sergio has missed a few over the last few seasons whereas Alan has 56-successful penalties in the 260-tally.
Harry Kane is the other that could realistically get close to Shearer’s 260-goals.
As well as a brilliant domestic career that started in 1988 and finished in 2006, all played in the English Top Flight, Big Al had a great International spell with England, culminating in being the Golden Boot winner at Euro’96, where England reached the Semi-Finals, helped by 5-Shearer notches.
England’s journey came to an end after the penalty shootout defeat against Germany but Shearer did convert his.
The strange thing about his Golden Boot at Euro’96 was that Alan had gone 12-games and 21-months without scoring in a Three Lions shirt but Terry Venables kept faith in him.
Alan was included in Glenn Hoddle’s 1998 World Cup where he managed 2-goals and again converted in another penalty shootout defeat, this time against Argentina.
Alan Shearer called time on his international career after the final game of Euro’2000, where, it’s fair to say that England were rubbish.
Losing against Portugal and Romania to catch an early flight home.
The last of the Geordie’s 30-goals came in his final 63rd-cap against Romania.
Like Paul Scholes in the previous EveryTip’s Best of 3, Shearer retired from international football aged just 30, to concentrate on his career at Newcastle United.
A great goal-scoring record for England, Wayne Rooney has 53-goals from 120-caps.
Imagine what Shearer’s record would have been if he had 120-caps.
With 30-international goals, Alan is joint 7th with Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney, on the all-time England goal-scoring charts, behind Harry Kane, Michael Owen, Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Sir Bobby Charlton and the Roon’s.
What’s probably worth mentioning is Nat’s 30-goals came from just 33-appearances and Jimmy Greaves scored 44 in just 57-England games.
Harry Kane as reached 32-goals in just 45-appearances so keep an eye on his final tally.
It appears that everything Alan Shearer touches turns to goals.
Big Al does have the 23-goals he scored at Southampton, in the Top Flight, to add to his amazing 260-tally but the Premier League records are just that so Alan’s total reads 260.
On the pitch everything turned to goals, however, it would be remiss not to mention Big Al’s brief (very brief!) managerial career as interim boss of Newcastle United.
Back in 2009, the Newcastle heir-achy decided that Shearer was the man to inspire the team and move away from the possibility of relegation.
Unfortunately for the Newcastle United legend, Big Al lost-5, drew-2 and only won 1-game in the 8 he had as manager.
Newcastle United, under the tenure of Alan Shearer, were relegated.
There was a well-known Scot living in Manchester that had a chuckle that particular day, especially as the Scot had won yet another Premier League title without the services of
‘Shearer, Shearer, Shearer’
Young Michael burst onto the Liverpool scene back in the latter stages of the 1996/97 Premier League season and made his debut for the Reds in an away defeat at Selhurst Park in the penultimate game of that campaign.
Although at Selhurst Park, the fixture was against Wimbledon who had taken up residence at the Palace.
In the ‘Dons team, that day was a certain Vincent Jones, who, it’s fair to say, was in the twilight of his career after starting at Wimbledon in the mid-80s and then playing for Leeds United, Sheffield United and Chelsea then returning back to the former Plough Lane club.
A daunting task for Young Michael to make his debut against the Crazy Gang, with Grab Your Balls Vinnie on the turf.
Michael was a substitute that day and came on just after half time and within 20-minutes, scored his debut goal.
Unfortunately, although a great personal achievement for Mr Owen, Liverpool lost that day, against Wimbledon by a 2-1 scoreline.
Owen started the final game of the 96/97 season away at Hillsborough where his Reds drew 1-1 against Sheffield Wednesday.
Young Michael’s Liverpool teammates in that first game included David James, Stig Inge Bjornabye, Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Mark Wright, Neil Ruddock, Jason McAteer, Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp, Michael Thomas and Stan Collymore plus the young 17-year old Owen.
In the following season, Michael Owen became a Liverpool regular scoring 18-Premier League goals, earning the youngster an England call-up into Glenn Hoddle’s Three Lions, in February 1998.
Glenn included Michael in his World Cup squad for France’98 where Owen came on as a substitute in the 1st-two Group games against Tunisia and Romania.
Michael scored the goal, in the 2-1 defeat against Romania and although a defeat, earned the youngster a place in the starting eleven for the crucial final Group fixture against Columbia, alongside Alan Shearer.
Darren Anderton and David Beckham scored the goals that gave England the 2-0 victory and sent them through to the knockout phase.
Michael then really did introduce himself to the World stage scoring a brilliant individual goal against Argentina in the Last-16.
Picking the ball up just inside the Argentinian half, Mr Owen took on the entire Blue’s defence and with Paul Scholes waiting for a pass to slot home, Michael was having none of it and thought,
‘This is my goal Ginger boy!’
Boom, what a goal from the 18-year old Chester boy.
Over the last few weeks of the Coronavirus Lockdown, the goal has been shown a few times on the Gogglebox but what’s probably forgotten about that game is, Owen was upended in the box to gain a penalty, which Alan converted to make it 1-1 at the time after Argentina had themselves scored a penalty.
Young Micky’s wonder-goal gave England a temporary 2-1 lead until the Blues scored an equaliser just before half-time.
There were no more goals in the game and England eventually lost the penalty shootout (cause they did!)
Although no further goals after the break, the game was still full of incident with David Beckham being shown a Red Card for his kick-out at Diego Simeone, meaning England had to play almost the entire 2nd-half and 30-minutes extra-time with just 10-players.
Sol Campbell thought he had scored a late winner but the referee ruled that Shearer had fouled the ‘keeper.
Another fact from the game, Paul Scholes and Darren Anderton were replaced in the latter stages by Paul Merson and David Batty.
Merse did score his spot-kick, however, Graeme Le Saux’s best mate, David Batty missed his crucial kick and ultimately another shootout heat-ache for our boys.
Michael did convert his penalty.
Owen’s goal in the game against Argentina as become iconic, not bad for an 18-year old.
For a couple of years, Michael was the most prolific goal scorer in Europe but a constant hamstring injury often prevented Owen from becoming a truly elite player.
That said, Owen did win the coveted Ballon d’Or in 2001 and in his time at Liverpool scored 118-Premier League goals in just 216 appearances.
As well as the League goals, there were a few more in the cup competitions, including 2 in the 2001 FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Freddie Ljungberg had given Arsenal the lead in the 72nd-minute before Michael equalised 10-minutes later.
With the game looking like it was going to extra-time, up stepped the goal machine in the 88th-minute to score his 2nd and the winner for Liverpool.
Four days after the FA Cup Final against the Gunners, Michael started for Liverpool in the UEFA Cup Final against Alaves in Dortmund.
Liverpool eventually beat the Spanish team by a 5-4 scoreline with the final goal being, at the time, the ‘Golden Goal’ which, for a period, was introduced in tournaments.
Although Liverpool scored 5-goals in that final, Michael didn’t notch and was taken off in the 78th-minute.
After games finished level, extra-time was played, then if still level, penalties decided the outcome.
If a goal was scored in extra-time, the teams still had the remainder of the 30-additional minutes to try and level and then take the game to penalties.
In 1993, FIFA and UEFA decided, in their wisdom, that they would introduce the ‘Golden Goal’ rule.
Basically, their thoughts were that once the 90-minute were up, teams were more negative in the extra-time and would prefer the lottery of penalties to decide the competition.
This really was a result of some extremely dull finals such as the 1990/91 European Cup Final between Red Star Belgrade and Marseille, that finished 0-0 after 120-minutes.
The Golden Goal rule was introduced, with the first really high profile GG, coming in the Euro’96 Final, when Oliver Bierhoff’s goal in the 95th-minute, gave Germany the trophy at Wembley.
At France’98, the Last-16 game between France and Paraguay was decided by the new rule.
Laurent Blanc with the decisive Golden Notch, when it did look for all-purpose that France were going to be beaten by the Paraguayan’s.
France went on to add to their World Cup victory at Euro’2000, where David Trezeguet, scored the 103rd-minute Golden Goal against Italy, to give Les Bleus another trophy.
Liverpool won the 2001 UEFA Cup Final with a 117th-minute GG, however, this was an Alaves Own Golden Goal, which had to top an ordinary GG.
Introduced to try and make the game more positive, the Golden Goal rule simply had the opposite effect and was seen as a failure with teams becoming more negative than before.
What did FIFA and UEFA introduce after the failure of the Golden Goal?
Yes, the Silver Goal.
Wow, even dafter than the GG,
The Silver Goal was a similar rule, however, when a goal was scored in extra-time, the game didn’t immediately finish but continued until the 15-minutes were up, thus allowing a team that had conceded the goal, a chance to equalise.
Whilst this appeared fairer, it did really depend on the timing of the goal, where this was highlighted in the Euro’2004 when Greece beat the Czech Republic after Traianos Dellas scored 2-seconds from the end of the first 15-minutes of extra-time.
That sent Greece to the final where their negativity beat CR7’s Portugal, in Portugal’s own backyard, to surprisingly win the trophy.
A couple of things to take from that is Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t wink so much after the Greece defeat and Traianos Dellas had a brief spell eating greasy chip butties playing for Sheffield United in the late 1990s and is remembered fondly, by little James from Swinton and the rest of the Blunts.
The lad dug out his passport for a trip to Tranmere in a Championship fixture back in March 1999.
What’s funny about that, as a rival Barnsley fan is Sheffield United, could easily have joined the Reds in the Premier League the year before but lost by a 1-0 scoreline against Crystal Palace in the Play-Off final at Wembley.
Never mind Blunts!
Trailing 2-0, big Dellas was thrown on by Steve Bruce and scored twice in a 3-2 victory to earn the Blades a great victory.
Little Jimbo was only a nipper at the time, aged just 9 but somehow found his way from Swinton to Birkenhead to watch the future Greek Euro winner notch twice.
Although only 9, as with many Blunt fans, Jim was on the Fruit StrongBow early doors.
It’s their way of easing the pain, watching the Blades and to erase the memory that Jimbo didn’t follow his dad, in becoming a true Barnsley FC fan.
James drinks the fruit stuff to get through the Blunt matches.
Recently, like most people in this current situation, James as been furloughed from his job.
When his boss rang him to say he was furloughed, James didn’t know what it meant, thought he was ill and rang the chemist to see if there was a cream for Furlough.
There is a Greek version of Sheffield United’s, John Denver-Annie’s Song parody, that goes something like, ‘You fill up my senses,
Like a gallon of Ouzo,
Like a packet of Karella,
Like a good pinch of salt,
Like a night out in Kavos,
Like a greasy pitta Kay-bab,
Come fill me again
Na na na na na…Ooooohh!‘
Loved his time in Yorkshire did old Traianos.
The Golden Goal and Silver Goal laws were scrapped in 2005.
Michael Owen is the player that transcends both Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney and has the distinction of playing with both at International and Domestic level.
Michael played in Shearer’s last England game in June 2000 in the ill-fated Euro’2000 in Holland and Belgium, where, under Kevin Keegan, the Three Lions lost against Portugal, beat Germany and then lost against Romania.
In 2005, Michael joined Shearer at St James Park and played 4-seasons on Tyneside culminating in Alan being in charge of the final 8-games of the 2008/09 season and subsequent relegation from the Premier League.
In Michael Owens Autobiography, a chapter in the book brought the friendship of Shearer and Owen into question with Owen stating that he was injured for most of those 8-games and couldn’t play for Newcastle to prevent relegation.
Alan Shearer, who as manager, disputes this and said that he thought Michael could have played a part.
Owen got 24-minutes in the final game of the season away at Villa Park that ended in defeat and relegation from the Premier League.
Alan Shearer, a Newcastle United legend wasn’t happy and things said in the book about how Owen, thought he had taken a backward step in joining Newcastle, didn’t go down well with Shearer.
It is really one person’s opinion over another and unfortunately is life, whether someone is right or wrong isn’t the issue and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
What is for certain is Newcastle United were relegated under Alan Shearer and Michael Owen left the club and joined Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.
Whilst it’s fair to say that Michael was a bit-part player at Old Trafford and although ex-Liverpool, the Red Devil faithful took Little Micky to their hearts after a Fergie-time winner against the Noisy Neighbours in September 2009.
Leading early on through a Rooney goal, then heading in at the break level, after a Gareth Batty goal for City, the 2nd-half was a topsy-turvy affair with United leading twice and City equalising each goal.
Darren Fletcher-2-1, 49-minutes
Craig Bellamy-2-2, 52-minutes
Darren Fletcher-3-2, 80-minutes
Craig Bellamy-3-3, 90-minutes.
Up steps, Michael Owen to ingratiate himself on the Old Trafford faithful and score a 97th-minute Fergie-time winner.
Most regular readers will know that this EveryTip contributor is a Barnsley FC fanatic.
Michael Owen has inflicted hurt on the Barnsley Boys throughout his career, both whilst at Liverpool and Manchester United.
In November 1997, Barnsley beat Owen’s Liverpool at Anfield by a 1-0 scoreline, Ashley Ward getting the solitary goal.
In the home fixture at Oakwell, young Michael, who at the time must have been studying acting, somehow manufactured a situation where 3-Barnsley players were sent off.
The Oakwell faithful weren’t happy with Little Micky and called him a few unsavoury names such as ‘baddy’ and ‘rubbish’ and ‘actor’ as well as a few unprintable phrases shall one say.
Whilst Michael didn’t score against Barnsley at Oakwell, he did manipulate situations to get Darren Barnard, Chris Morgan and Darren Sheridan sent off, the rotter!
Liverpool beat 8-men Barnsley that day in March 1997, by a 3-2 scoreline, only getting the winner in the last minute, well done ‘Pool.
(EveryTip’s Liverpool All-Time Premier League Best Eleven, details this game at Oakwell in the Jamie Redknapp section)
Michael returned to Oakwell some 12-years later in October 2009 and inflicted more heartache on the Reds faithful.
In a League Cup game, Manchester United were drawn away against Barnsley and Sir Alex decided to pick the fringe players.
The fringe players included Michael, who scored the second goal of a 2-0 victory.
Gary Neville played, alongside Rafael Silva, Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Raf’s brother Fabio, Anderson, Gabriel Obertan, Frederico Macheda and Danny Welbeck.
There was a youngster called Zoran Tosic that replaced Danny Welbeck and Ritchie De Laet replaced Owen.
Whilst not making much of a career at United, Zoran did go on to play in the Champions League with CSKA Moscow and Internationally for Serbia.
The Reds fans at Oakwell that night obviously applauded Owen as he left the pitch just after scoring the 2nd.
At Oakwell, the 6000 United fans demolished the away stand, after the bars were closed.
Michael’s final appearance in a United shirt came in November 2011, in a Champions League fixture against Otelu Galati (who?).
Starting up front with Wayne Rooney.
After 11-minutes, Michael was injured and came off, never to wear the Manchester United shirt again.
At the World Cup in Germany’2006, both Michael and Wayne started against Sweden but that was the only game the two started together in the tournament, as within 4-minutes, Michael sustained an injury and was ruled out of the following games.
The two played in the same England side for a further 2-years with one replacing the other over the period.
Michael’s 40th and final England goal came in his 85th-cap against Russia at Wembley in a Euro’2008 qualifier in September 2007.
There were only 4-more caps added to the tally and Owen finished for England in March 2008, coming on as a substitute in a friendly against France at the Stade De France in March 2008.
Michael is 9th on the Premier League all-time goal-scoring list with 150-goals and 5th on the England all-time list with 40-goals.
Between scoring goals for Liverpool, falling out with Shearer at the Toon and upsetting the noisy neighbours in Fergie time, Michael spent a year in Spain in 2004.
Real Madrid signed Owen from Liverpool, where, at the time, the Spanish giants, had the original Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Raul, Figo and Zinedine Zidane as well as Owen’s England mate David Beckham in the squad.
It took Michael just 7-games to score but most of those early games were as a substitute with Owen scoring the winner against Valencia in October 2004.
Although only a year in Spain, with most judging that it was a failure, Owen did score 13-goals, starting only 21-times and being a substitute in 15.
Micky even started and scored in the final game of the season and was looking forward to a 2nd-season in the sun, however, not to be, as Real Madrid decided that Owen was surplus to requirements.
After the year in Spain, Newcastle United came calling and the lure of the Northeast was too good an opportunity for Owen to turn down.
Well, the lure being only because they paid the most, nearly £17 Million which was a Newcastle Transfer Record that lasted until 2019 when they then paid £40 Million for Joelinton, no it’s not April 1st!
The year sabbatical in Madrid from the outside, looks a bad time for Young Michael, however, playing in the sun, with Raul, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, ain’t a bad old life is it?
Not too shabby Michael.
After his football career Michael Owen as forged a career out of being a pundit and as a Horse Racing Trainer.
Alan Shearer often as a punt on Micky’s horses.
A great footballer that injury often got in the way of, Michael Owen is up there with the best.
‘Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney, he goes by the name of Wayne Rooney’
The lads 2nd on the all-time Premier League goalscoring chart, with 208, 52-behind Alan Shearer and 58-in front of Michael Owen.
Whilst both Alan and Michael have long since hung up their boots, or booits as the Yorkshire folk say, Wayne, will still feel he can add to that 208-tally.
Wayne’s record is 25-goals in 98-games for Everton, spread over the 2-terms Rooney played for the Toffees.
For Manchester United, Wayne scored 183-times in 393 Premier League appearances.
A total of 208 goals in 491-outings for both Everton and United.
So over Wayne’s Premier League career, spanning 16-years, Rooney scored, on average, a goal every 2.4 games.
On January 2nd 2020, Wayne made his debut for the Championship side Derby County after a couple of seasons playing in the MLS for DC United.
The debut for the Rams just happened to be a home game against Barnsley FC, where, whilst being quiet for periods of the game, Rooney, who was put straight into the team as captain, did show his superior talent and inspired Derby to a great 2-1 victory.
The game was scheduled for New Years Day, however, due to Wayne rocking up in the East Midlands, Sky Sports showed the game live, the following day and turned it into the Wayne Rooney Show.
It was as if Barnsley FC were now playing Wayne Rooney County.
There is speculation that Wayne Rooney’s transfer to Derby County exceeds FFP, which is Financial Fair Play, where clubs shouldn’t spend money they haven’t earned.
There is a betting company called 32Red.Com, who have connections with Derby and are understood to be paying the majority of Wayne’s wages.
Wayne earned $3.5 Million at DC United, £2.6 Million in English money.
Derby are said to be paying Rooney the same £50,000 a week.
Rooney is now believed to be the highest-paid player at Pride Park, which as raised eyebrows after it emerged the Derby players were briefly unpaid as the year changed from 2019 to 2020 and only got their Dollar on January the 2nd.
Wonder what was in Wayne’s kit-bag?
A fist full of dollars maybe?
The speculation and rumours surrounding the fact that 32Red are paying the wages are constantly denied.
If a question was asked as to what number Wayne as on his shirt at the Rams?
Could many guess the answer?
Of cause it is 32!
Before the football stopped, Derby were lying 12th in the Championship, yet were only 5-points off the Play-Offs and Wayne and the rest will still feel that they can make said Play-Offs and gain promotion to the Promised Land, thus allowing Mr Rooney to add to his 208-Premier League goal-tally.
Alan’s not too worried though.
When Michael Owen burst on to the International scene with his wonder-goal against Argentina at France’98, Alan Shearer was alongside young Mick.
When Wayne Rooney burst on to the International scene scoring 5-goals at the Euros in 2004, Michael Owen was alongside young Wayne.
Wayne Rooney became the youngest ever full England International when he came on at half-time, as a substitute against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003, aged 17-years and 111-days.
Coincidentally replacing Michael Owen.
Although, as it was a friendly, the whole of the starting eleven were replaced at half-time and in theory Wayne could have technically come on for David James.
England actually lost that friendly against the Aussies by a 3-1 scoreline with Harry Kewell running Rio Ferdinand ragged in the 1st-half.
Not many players have got the better of Big Rio over the years but Mr Kewell did that night.
Without Googling, who scored England’s goal against Australia?
That was the 1st of Wayne’s 120-caps, the 2nd on the list of most appearances just 5-behind Peter Shilton, who was a goalkeeper so Wayne has the honour of being the all-time most-capped England outfield player to add to the all-time leading England goal scorer, who, with 53-goals is the only English player to score more than 50-goals.
The 1st of Wayne’s England goals came in just his 6th-cap in a European Championship Qualifier against the mighty Macedonia, in September 2003.
England beating Macedonia by a 2-1 scoreline, David Beckham getting the 2nd from the penalty spot.
The Three Lions were actually losing at half-time against Macedonia with Georgi Hristov scoring for the Red Lions.
Not a bad start to his England career and still only 17, making Roons the youngest ever England goal scorer, a month shy of his 18th birthday.
Four days after the goal against Macedonia, Rooney scored again, this time in a 2-0 victory against Liechtenstein, Michael Owen with the 2nd.
Most won’t be experts on the former Yugoslavian successor state football team Macedonia and most won’t have come across Mr Hristov, however, not only does this EveryTip contributor have knowledge of the Macedonian striker, John Newsome as met the guy and kicked the odd football about with the lad.
In 1997, Barnsley FC gained promotion to the Premier League and spent just one memorable season in the Top Flight.
A place in the Premier League now is worth in the region of about £160 Million, back in 1997, the prize was about £40 Million.
The Reds used some of that money to purchase a young Partisan Belgrade player aged 21-years old, called Georgi Hristov.
The youngster had scored 21-goals for the Serbian club and at £1.5 Million was Barnsley FC’s record signing.
Georgi Boy didn’t score many in the Premier League but did win a penalty, at Oakwell, against Michael Owen’s 12-man Liverpool in March 1998, where with only 8-men, Liverpool just managed a 3-2 victory scoring the winner in the last minute.
Liverpool had an extra-man wearing Black that day, rumours being, he was Young Michael’s uncle.
(EveryTip’s All-Time Liverpool Best Eleven derails the game)
In the time at Oakwell Georgi only scored 8-goals one being in the 2000 Play-Off final against Ipswich Town.
It is fair to say that Hristov was injured a lot and only appeared 41-times for the Reds in 3-seasons.
Following the defeat in the Play-Off final and failure to get back to the Premier League, Georgi Boy left Barnsley.
Whilst in the Yorkshire town, Georgi spiced things up a bit off the pitch by calling the lovely ladies of Barnsley ugly.
Whilst not scoring many on the pitch, the lad did score an own-goal off it.
The Macedonia International striker who scored against England in the game Wayne Rooney scored his first goal, must be ruing the day he made public his feelings about the Barnsley girls.
Whilst back in Belgrade, Georgi Boy decided to do an interview with a local magazine and commented,
“I’m finding it difficult to find a girlfriend in Barnsley, or indeed settle into a decent way of life.”
“The local girls are far uglier than the ones back in Belgrade or Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, where I come from.”
“Our women are much prettier and besides, they don’t drink as much beer as the Barnsley girls do, which is something I don’t like at all.”
Georgi, Georgi, Georgi-what have you said?
The young ladies of the town, who’s football team were newly promoted, were not happy with Mr Hristov and challenged him to judge a beauty contest.
The local girls got together and Georgi judged.
In the end, the Mac Lad got a date with an older lady, who showed Georgi Boy, what the girls of Barnsley are really like.
To be fair to Georgi Boy, he’s not wrong, the ladies do sup more than us.
Wayne Rooney carried on scoring for both club and country and became not only the all-time leading England goal scorer but along with that, the all-time leading Manchester United goal scorer.
Coincidentally overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton on both records.
It shows how good Sir Bobby was, it took someone over 40-years to match and exceed the Manchester United and England legend’s
Respect Sir Bobby!
EveryTip’s All-Time Manchester United Eleven includes Wayne Rooney and his achievements, can be read there.
What’s for certain is, when Football reconvenes and it won’t be too long now, Mr Rooney will be hoping that his Derby County can achieve the Play-Offs and reach the Promised Land.
Thus allowing Wayne to add to his 208-tally and try and close the 52 (not 42, bad maths!) gap between him and Alan Shearer.
At just 34-years-old, Young Wayne will feel there are a few years left in the old Ram yet.
The answer, by the way, is Francis Jeffers (remember him? The Fox in the Box!)
Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney, he goes by the name of Wayne Rooney.
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