Football: I should have left United earlier, Owen admits
LONDON (AFP) - Stoke striker Michael Owen admits he should have left Manchester United before the start of last season after enduring a frustrating spell at Old Trafford.
Owen spent most his three years with United as a bit-part player and he made just four appearances during an injury-ravaged final season with Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and England star was released by United when his contract expired in June and Owen concedes it might have been better if he had asked for a transfer a year earlier. After joining Stoke last week on a free transfer, Owen is in line to make his debut against Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday and the 32-year-old is relishing the prospect of being involved in big matches again.
"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," Owen said."In hindsight, probably with that extra year, it might have been better if I had moved in many ways."