Sir Alex’s gamble set to bring in a sizeable return

Football FanCast guest columnist Luke Dolby wonders if Michael Owen has gone a long way to silence his doubters.

When it was announced on that Thursday afternoon that United were in talks to sign Michael Owen there was an air of bewilderment among supporters. Some started to question Sir Alex's sanity, failing to see how Owen could possibly be a suitable Plan B after losing out to Benzema, but Fergie was adamant that he was making the right call. Four games in and four goals in return and why that may not seem impressive to some considering the opposition on show, you cannot argue that Michael Owen has fitted in like a glove and is already seems to be in tune with his teammates.

There is an old saying in football that players are only as good as those around you and after the shambles that Owen was exposed to at Newcastle you could forgive for thinking he had died and gone to heaven on his arrival at Old Trafford and he is determined to prove his doubters wrong. I am amazed at how smooth the transition has been and we can only credit Fergie for taking that gamble.

One thing that has impressed me watching United in pre-season is the fluidity of the team, especially going forward and it shows how reliant we previously were on Cristiano Ronaldo. Suddenly we are attacking from all avenues, the midfield seem more in tune and there doesn't seem this urge to simply attack down one flank like we have for the past three seasons. This is no criticism, I mean how do you bypass the best player in the world going forward, but the Portuguese star's exit has seem to free up other players and the flow of the team. It could see us become like the United of old where at least 4 or 5 players will hit double figures over the course of the season.

So am I alone in my praise of Michael Owen and has his pre-season form gone a long way to silencing his doubters?



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‘Champions’ looks at the very best of fan opinion throughout season 08/09 and gives the reader an insight into the emotions of United supporters as the story of the season unfolds.

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