Today came the news that England legend Michael Owen will be reitiring at the end of the season. It may have been a long-time coming but the footballing world will be sad to see him go. 

Whilst Ryan Giggs signed yet another contract extension with Manchester United some players by contrast have not passed the test of time quite as well as the Welshman.

Thanks to losing a yard of pace, motivation and a lack of luck with injuries here are some players who have prolonged their career for too long.

Jamie Carragher

The Liverpool defender has already announced his retirement at the end of this season. Judging by the performances we have seen from him this year it would be fair to say he has definitely made the right choice. 

Whilst being a huge fan favourite and local hero, even the Anfield faithful have grown to realise his performances are no longer at the level they once were and are required to be. 

William Gallas

The only player in history to play for Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, William Gallas has had a very long and successful career in English football. Even so, when Harry Redknapp decided to bring the Frenchman to White Hart Lane there were more than a few fans who were unsure by the thought of cheering him on. 

Whilst initially seeming to be a useful addition with his vast experience; his form in both this and the preceding season have made him more of a liability. 

This was demonstrated perfectly against Inter Milan. All three of the goals scored against Spurs could be accounted to errors on his part leading to a fan-fuelled call for him to hang up his boots.

Rory Delap

The one professional footballer who is not famous for his footwork has to be considering his future in the professional game. Just about every team in the Premier League has sussed his one-trick-pony style of having a very long and rocket like throw-in. 

It now begs the question: What is his role within football nowadays? 

With Tony Pulis steadily building his Stoke side and having fully established them as a Premier League side he offloaded the Irish international to Championship side Barnsley. 

He has appeared four times for the Yorkshire club with no notable performances to speak of. So the future for Delap may only include one or two years in the lower divisions before a switch of sports to javelin.

Michael Owen

Simply injury plagued for many a year. Being completely honest, he has not ever hit the heights of his playing days at Liverpool. Whilst being somewhat of a super sub at Real Madrid and scoring a fair amount of goals, he never became a regular. Ever since, Including Newcastle, Manchester United and now Stoke he has never been able to put a significant run of games together due to his many injury problems. That is why it is no surprise that he announced, on his official website, that he will retire at the end of this season.

Owen Hargreaves

This is a similar story to Michael Owen in the fact that injury has blighted his career. 

Ever since leaving Manchester United he hasn’t been able to secure a long-term contract. His spell with Manchester City proved highly unsuccessful being limited mostly to League Cup appearances. After recently stating that he is not prepared to play in the lower leagues we may well have seen the last of the Canadian born Englishman.

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