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Michael Owen admits: I stayed at Old Trafford too long

Former England forward Michael Owen has admitted he regrets spending the past year at Manchester United.

After being forced to stay at Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson a year ago, Owen only made four first-team appearances for United in 2011-12.

The 32-year-old is now at Stoke City after signing a one-year deal in hope of revitalising his career.

"In hindsight, probably with that extra year, it might have been better if I had moved in many ways," he explained.

"I was on the bench a lot of the time, but then when the manager says 'you have a big role to play and we want you to stay for another year,' it was great to hear that from someone like Sir Alex Ferguson."

A blighted final season due to injury

Owen’s final season with the club was ruined by a thigh injury that prevented him from being available from November until the final weeks of the campaign.

The poacher-styled-striker could make his Stoke debut against Manchester City on Saturday, a team he scored a dramatic injury-time winner against for Manchester United in September 2009.

Despite many disputing whether Owen’s time is up, the former Liverpool forward has expressed that he feels he still has more to give.

He added: "I want to perform and I want to finish my career on a real high. I'm still only 32 and I still feel as if I have a lot left in me.

"I've always scored goals, no matter what team I have been in, so as long as I can stay fit and healthy, then I'm sure I can do that here at Stoke."

Won numerous accolades

The modern generation may have missed Owen’s glory days, when he was once the best striker in the country.

He has won numerous accolades and titles during his career. He helped Liverpool win League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001 and was awarded the prestigious Ballon d'Or in the same year.

He is also fourth on the list of all-time England goalscorers after finding the net 40 times for his country.

Owen continued to defend himself when asked what he thought people think of him.

"I wouldn't know what view people have of me," he said. "I don't really mind what type of view they have in many ways.

Decent finisher

"I think real football people appreciate what a good player I was and hopefully think I've still got a lot to offer.

"Obviously I'm not 18 anymore and the fastest thing in the Premier League and a good finisher and everything else.

"I'm still a decent finisher but I'm obviously not at the absolute peak of my powers. I was probably that at 19 or 20 but I still feel I've got a lot to offer.

"Evidently Stoke do as well and evidently a few other Premier League teams did because they were a few teams I was in talks with."

Owen will be looking to join former England team-mate Peter Crouch in the Stoke line-up throughout this season.

A brilliant start to a new chapter in his career would be the perfect tonic for both his new club and the injury-prone player. 

Michael Owen career stats

Liverpool (1996-2004): 297 games, 158 goals

Real Madrid (2004-05): 40 games, 14 goals

Newcastle (2005-09): 79 games, 30 goals

Man Utd (2009-12): 52 games, 17 goals

England (1998-2008): 89 caps, 40 goals

By Josh Harris

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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