Liverpool announce new boss
Liverpool have officially announced their new boss - former striker Michael Owen. The move has come as a shock to many, as Rafa Benitez was the bookies' favourite to return to Anfield.
Owen started his career at Liverpool, and made his first team debut in the 1996-97 season.
His talent did not go unnoticed. Steve Heighway stated that: "[Owen] is ready for whatever you throw at him; nothing fazes Michael Owen. He's ready. If the manager wants a recommendation from me, Michael gets it." Karl-Heinz Riedle, who prior to joining Liverpool in the summer of 1997 had never heard of Owen, declared: "It's unbelievable when you see him play to realise that he's only 17," he said. "He's such a good player, so very quick and for his age he has excellent vision and awareness. He's a great player already and in one or two years he will become a very great player." Owen was rated as "the best attacker of his age in the country" in January 1997. Ted Powell, championship winning coach of the England u-18 side, declared Owen to be the best of a generation of young players that included Paul Scholes, David Beckham, and Robbie Fowler.
By the end of the next season, he had scored 23 goals and established himself as first choice striker. Not only that, he won the Premier League Golden Boot, PFA Young Player of the Year, finished third in the PFA Player of the Year and was runner up to Zinedine Zidane for World Player of the Year, and fourth in the FIFA Player of the Year and European Player of the Year, all at the age of 19. In Liverpool's treble winning season of 2001, he won the European Player of the Year, becoming the first Englishman to do so since Kevin Keegan in 1979 and also the World Player of the Year, which till date, no other Englishman has ever won. By the time he left Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2004, he had become the top goalscorer for the club for every season from 1998 having played 216 games for the club, scoring a massive 118 goals.