While previous English Premier League campaigns have signed off on the final day with a bang - most notably last year's spine-tingling last-gasp title-winning goal from Sergio Aguero - this year somewhat ended with a whimper as a number of drawn out farewells came to a close.
Remarkably, the managers at three of the Premier League's top seven teams walked away from their respective clubs on Sunday, and that's with Roberto Mancini having already departed runners up Manchester City after their FA Cup final loss to relegated Wigan.
Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates the 1998-99 EPL Title (Image Via Manchester United official site)
In my weekly column on SWOL, I take a look back at the weekend's English Premier League and domestic cup action and the talking points that it throws up, as well as any significant news related to English football at large.
What might have been for Michael Owen - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
The announcement, made back in March, that Michael Owen will be hanging up his boots at the end of this season ultimately came as little surprise to anybody.
The decision was an expected one, but in many respects his retirement at just 33 years of age will be an ignominious conclusion for a player once seemingly destined for the upper echelons of the game; it will be a quiet, almost sheepish exit compared to the grand fanfare he could have once expected.
Even after losing to Man City at Old Trafford for the second year in a row, Manchester United still look certain to win their 20th domestic league title with a 12-point lead and just seven matches left to play. But as the Telegraph points out in a brief and strange little article, it could all go wrong,saving us from a boring end to the season that would make us weep over the routine inevitability of life that even infests our sources of entertainment.
In my weekly column on SWOL, I take a look back at the weekend's English Premier League and domestic cup action and the talking points that it throws up, as well as any significant news related to English football at large. Follow me @theredarmchair for regular updates throughout the week.
Okay, so maybe it's not really that weekly of a column.
As expected, many fans didn't warm to Michael Owen during his three seasons at Manchester United. Still, thanks to that late winner against City, in one of the best derbies ever, Owen's name is in our history books.
Yesterday he announced he would be retiring at the end of the season and so it's probably only fair we mention it.
Michael Owen's five most memorable matches - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Former Liverpool hero and England striker Michael Owen has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Over the last few years, his career has come to a halt with recurrent injuries and this season he only managed six league appearances for Stoke City, all coming from the bench.
It looks like this season may be the last one for Michael Owen after he has again out with injuries and has yet to start a Premier League game for Stoke City. Michael Owen when signing on at Stoke The Mail on Sunday reported that Michael will not be offered a new deal this [...]
A better start than recent weeks We didn't concede an early goal. Yes, the opposition is not as strong as Chelsea or Manchester City but let's not forget that West Ham also scored early against us. We can only take it a step at a time and against the team the fixture decides.
Stoke City will look to extend their eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League as they entertain a Liverpool side brimming with confidence. The Potters have drawn their last three games and boss Tony Pulis will be looking to build on a hard-fought draw with Tottenham, especially since the Reds are yet to win at the Britannia Stadium in the top-flight.
Stoke striker Michael Owen is eager to get on the scoresheet against former club Liverpool, admitting that he has found it tough to play against them in the past. Tony Pulis' side currently sit in ninth in the Premier League, just one place behind Brendan Rodgers' side ahead of their encounter at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day, despite having drawn 10 of their 18 games so far this season.
Will Raheem be back for this one?... Image: mirror.co.uk
Liverpool face Stoke on Boxing Day as they look to continue what they started against Fulham last weekend. The Reds are only 5 points off 4th place and it makes you realise what a loss means at this stage of the season, if Liverpool can do well over the festive period they could seriously propel themselves up the table.
Michael Owen, who perpetuates the myth of the Nice English Footballer (jokin'!), has announced that he will be officially retiring at the end of the season. This news is best reflected as both premature and quite bittersweet for a man who had so much more to offer the Beautiful Game.
English soccer will be losing one of their legends of the game when May comes around.
Stoke City forward Michael Owen announced his plan to retire at the end of the season on Tuesday morning, ending a dazzling career that saw the Chester, England native play for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United among others, as well as represent his country on 89 occasions.
Michael Owen has announced that he plans on retiring from soccer at the end of this season, aged 33. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and now Stoke City striker has decided to hang up his boots ... Continue...
Midfielder Jordan Henderson's maiden Europa League goal saw Liverpool progress to the last 32 as Group A winners with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Udinese in Italy. It was only his third strike for the club he joined for £16million in the summer of 2011 - and his first since May 8 - but he would have had another had it not been for a brilliant reaction save from former Liverpool goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.
Stoke have launched an internal investigation after a prank gone wrong prompted striker Kenwyne Jones to reportedly throw a brick through teammate Glen Whelan's windshield after finding a pig's head in his locker. This comes just days after the Stoke boys dumped eggs and flour all over Michael Owen's car.
This weekend has had so many well-publicized retirements and goodbyes (Ferguson! Scholes! Van Bommel! Moyes! Mancini's Premiership career!) that Michael Owen's final home game of his career almost slipped under the radar. Particularly as the former England star spent that match — a 2-1 loss to Tottenham — as an unused substitute for the fourteenth time this season.
It's definitely the end of term at the Britannia Stadium. Following the pasting Michael Owen's Merc received, Stoke's squad have now allegedly turned to leaving dead animals in each other's lockers. Kenwyne Jones reportedly went to his locker today only to find a pig's head inside. The finger of suspcion imeediately pointed to Republic of [.
What with his retiring at the end of the season, the Stoke lads organised a little 'going away' present for Michael Owen before yesterday's game against Tottenham coating his Merc in a rich, thick batter of eggs and flour...
According to the man himself, Dean Whitehead, Glenn Whelan and Robert Huth are the main suspects.
Michael Owen is set for an FA charge after kicking off the least fearsome scrap in history. The Stoke City benchwarmer threw an outrageously poor punch at Arsenal's Mikel Arteta during yesterday' match at the Emirates Stadium. The Spaniard then responded with a strange forearm backhander. Via Feint Zebra
Stoke's squad bid farewell to Michael Owen by caking his car in flours and egg [Twitter] A group of Manchester United fans are trying to crowd-fund a bid for Cristiano Ronaldo by pledging to purchase replica shirts bearing his name [Bring Ronaldo Home] Arsene Wenger told his Arsenal staff months ago that this would be [.
Two of the best teams to have graced not only La Liga but the world football stage are undoubtedly are the 'first' galacticos of Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona team of recent years. But which team exactly boasted the best possible squad? Starting with Real, huge fortunes were spent on the likes of Luis [.
England: All-time football records - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
England is where football began with some of the same rules used in the modern game first created by the original Football Association. And since, the Three Lions have always been a power house in international football.
"Newcastle fans, following my Football Focus interview, plenty of you tweeting me saying you don't blame me for getting injured but for leaving when we got relegated." "Despite the club saying they did, they didn't ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did. How could they when [.
We saw Michael Owen's attempts at rewriting his Newcastle history yesterday, when he said that Newcastle had never offered him a new contract, and had even lied about it, and our advice to him at the time was to keep a diplomatic silence. Michael Owen while at Newcastle This is what Michael had tweeted [.
33 year-old Michael Owen announced at the beginning of the week, that he will retire from football at the end of the season, and there's no argument that Michael was once a world-class striker but not since at least 2006, when injuries interrupted his career at Newcastle, Manchester United and now Stoke City.
In 2005, Liverpool were interested in signing Michael Owen, after he had spent a year at Real Madrid, but they didn't want to pay more than the £8M they had received from Real Madrid the year before. Michael Owen - while at Newcastle Then Newcastle moved in and offered a staggering £17M ( money Newcastle [.
There was considerable praise heaped on BT this week with the news that they will be offering live Premier League football to their broadband subscribers from the start of next season. While it is tempting to consider this to be a loss leader and a very expensive one at that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and BT viewers will not only have to suffer the sight of Michael Owen as a pundit we think we can guess how that is all going to work out and the return of Tim Lovejoy to our screens with a programme that will almost certainly involve men sitting around in ill-fitting replica shirts performing the little known performance art that is "banter" to what will doubtlessly be a delighted audience at home.
Only a few short weeks ago former England striker Michael Owen announced his decision to retire from the game, and although he's not short a bob or two, Owen's next career step was up in the air and now we know why!
With Uncle Roy Hodgson doing battle with the mighty San Marino, this week's FFS take a look at the international games ahead. Here's a quick preview of the Scotland and Wales game: Gareth Bale might start, as will 21 other ......
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It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated at the beginning of Ashley's reign. On massive wages and having already achieved something notable [.
[H]ow was your window? In Hull we tend not to expect much, with recent years bringing wild goose chases, plenty of talk – Michael Owen? Alvaro Negredo? – and very little action beyond the £5 million signing of the resource-draining Jimmy Bullard. But the window which has just closed was Hull City's busiest.
Former Liverpool legend, Michael Owen, was part of United's record breaking 19th title squad. However, the highlight of his time at United is probably the injury time winner he scored against City, after Craig Bellamy had levelled the score in the last minute of the game.
"I think if you ask any United fan what was the best moment of Michael Owen's time here they'd all say that derby goal – and it's probably the stand-out moment for me too," he said.