Spot on Brian.
By Brian Reade 27/06/2009
Not since the Hitler Diaries has a publication caused more mirth and ridicule than Michael Owen's promotional brochure.
There's the oh-so-accurate buzzwords to describe him: "Fit and healthy, cool, young, committed, charismatic."
There's the undeniable demolition of tabloid myths: "He still possesses a powerful burst over the first ten yards... which puts him ahead of virtually any opposing defender."
And there's the stirring mission statement: "He is now seeking the right opportunity to remind people why he was crowned European Footballer of the Year." On and on it goes for 32 pages, bigging-up Owen as a global icon and goalmachine, who isn't remotely interested in helicopters or racehorses, just football, football, football.
Cross my heart and hope not to do my hamstring.
Truth-bending, unnecessary and demeaning say the cynics. It's sparked a flood of interest retorts Owen. Which leads to the possibility of a hugely entertaining scenario.
What if other fallen legends see propaganda sheets as their ticket back onto the Premier League gravy train? What if it sparks a rash of brochures aimed at convincing club chairmen that black is white. Here's what awaits:
Joey Barton: Buzzwords: trouble-free, pacifist, cleanliving, always stubs cigars out in ashtrays. Mission Statement: "Didn't go to a World Cup, Didn't play like s***. Here's my book." Tabloid Myth: When he disappeared from Newcastle for three months it was to spend time in a monk's retreat, not in Her Majesty's prisons.
Paul Gascoigne:: Buzzwords: Sober, sane, reliable, not a self-pitying bone in his very healthy body. Mission Statement: "I know what yez are thinking, but this time I mean it. Me bad days of getting bladdered and comin' oot with mad stuff are over.
Now **** off oot me way, ah've gotta meet Barack Obama and Dolly Parton in me local for a game o' darts." Tabloid Myth: When he sat in the Hong Kong dentist's chair on England duty and supped 27 gin slings and 56 shooters, it was because he had a sore tooth.
Sven Goran Eriksson:: Buzzwords: Celibate, loyal, charismatic, gambler, doesn't give two hoots about money. Mission Statement: "Everyone under me gets to play in their favourite position. Ask Nancy, Faria or Ulrika." Tabloid Myth: He didn't go to Roman Abramovich's mansion as England manager and give him a list of players to buy. They were invites for his 55th birthday bash.
Steve McClaren: Buzz-words: Shexy, shenshational, shmart, no one's shecond choish manager, shpeaks fluent Dutch. Mission Statement: "My coaching skills inspired Manchester United to their '99 Treble. My leadership inspired Boro to the UEFA Cup Final. And my quiff inspired Paul Shane's Hi-De-Hi character Ted Bovis." Tabloid Myth: The first thing he did as England manager wasn't to ring David Beckham and tell him he was dropped. It was to ring his missus to ask where she got her teeth whitened.
Kevin Keegan:: Buzzwords: Ice-cold, unemotional, deep- thinkermaster tactician, no quitter. Mission Statement: "I'll not let you down. In fact I'll give 110 per cent until the day I suddenly walk away." Tabloid Myth: He never claimed to be a Messiah. He just told fans they'd need a miracle to get back in the top four, and if anyone could perform a miracle it was him.
Glenn Hoddle: Buzzwords: 80s pop legend, Satanist, charismatic, disabilities campaigner. Mission Statement: "With hindsight it's easy to look at things with hindsight." Tabloid myth: He got slaughtered for saying Michael Owen wasn't a natural goalscorer. But if the lad needs a 32-page brochure to prove that he is, surely Glenn was right all along? Good luck chaps. As Owen shows, what's history there for if not to be re-written?