Michael Owen is desperate to shrug off the injury-prone tag that Manchester United's new recruit feels he has unfairly been given.
Owen will get the chance to spearhead United's attack this season following Sir Alex Ferguson's surprise statement that he will not be doing any more transfer business this summer.
"There is no doubt I have had injuries in my career. But there is a long list of players that have had a broken metatarsal. It does irritate me that so many people have doubts," he said.
Owen will wear the number seven shirt vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo and accompanied by a great deal of scepticism about his general fitness, a situation Fabio Capello has reflected on more than one occasion has kept Owen out of England contention.
Yet the former Liverpool star does not feel the facts bear out such opinions.
Although he accepts a broken metatarsal and subsequent cruciate knee ligament injury, caused as a direct result of rushing back to action too quickly in order to appear at the 2006 World Cup, wrecked his first two years at Newcastle, with 33 and 32 appearances to his name in the second half of a four-year deal, Owen believes there is little wrong with his body.
He added: "I was foolish trying to rush back for the World Cup and my leg had just come out of plaster.
"But I played 33 and 32 games in the last two years in a team that was not in Europe and did not go on a decent cup run. Still I was continually labelled injury-prone, which gets up my nose.
What Owen does accept the need to prove is the retention of ability that has made him only the fourth striker in England history to score 40 goals for his country.
"In certain parts, people do have a justification to have a go at me," he said. "I didn't set the world alight in the last year at Newcastle. That is no-one's fault but mine. We were not playing well as a team and I wasn't doing my bit either."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms