Manchester United striker speaks out

Owen unsurprised by Liverpool slump

January 10, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes Liverpool's current position of 12th in the Premier League "reflects where they are right now" and the former Reds star insists he has not been surprised by the club's fall from grace.

Michael Owen Manchester United v Liverpool
GettyImagesMichael Owen is still close to former team- mates Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher

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Owen, who won four major trophies during an eight-year spell at Anfield, made a cameo appearance for United as they knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup in what was Kenny Dalglish's first game in charge since returning to the Merseysiders' hotseat.

It is the latest in a string of on-field problems for the Reds, who have also suffered shock home losses to Northampton in the Carling Cup and Blackpool and Wolves in the Premier League season.

And off the field, unpopular American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were replaced by NESV, while Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson as manager after the former Fulham boss was sacked on Saturday.

And Owen, who remains close to former Liverpool team-mates Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, reckons the off-field malaise at Anfield is directly to blame for the poor performances on it.

"I am not particularly surprised [by Liverpool's recent form],'' he told United Review. "I would say their position reflects where they are right now.

"They are in the middle of a transitional period and off the pitch they have had a change of ownership. They are also very reliant on a couple of star players and if they are out injured, they have tended to struggle.''

Owen revealed that he still has the inside track on what goes on at Anfield, but refused to give any details about what his former team-mates have divulged.

"I don't think they would ever forgive me if I said what they had told me,'' Owen said in a separate interview with ITV Sport before Sunday's FA Cup game game.

"Throughout all those successful years Liverpool built their foundation on passing and moving. But, from when I was there, everything has changed, barring two players. They even got rid of the doctors and the medical staff.

"Maybe there have not been enough Liverpool players over the last 10 years. If there was just one reason, then it would have been fixed. But there have been so many.''