Michael Owen: David Beckham's red card at 1998 World Cup was 'immature and petulant'

Michael Owen

Michael Owen has been making headlines in recent days for comments made in his new autobiography, "Reboot - My Life, My Time".

In one extract, Owen laments the four years he spent at Newcastle, claiming he never wanted to join them and that the Magpies thought they were a bigger club than they were.

This prompted an angry reaction from Alan Shearer, who tweeted Owen on Tuesday about the £120,000-per-week salary he was earning while not wanting to be at the club.

Owen then hit back by questioning Shearer's own loyalty to Newcastle, which has opened up a can of worms regarding their deteriorated relationship.

His autobiography is full of controversy and now another extract has been revealed where the former Liverpool striker goes on the offensive against David Beckham no less.

Owen claims he "still holds some resentment" towards Beckham for the "immature and petulant" red card he received for England against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

He says that Beckham "let every single one of that England team down" and even recalls Victoria Beckham apparently being disappointed in him. Read it below.

"The fallout from David Beckham’s infamous red card against Argentina was still being felt some years later," wrote Owen, per the Mirror.

"I'll start by saying that David and I always got on well on a personal level. He was obviously a very talented player.

"I always admired him massively because I always felt that nobody, I repeat, nobody, worked harder than David to maximise the talent he did have.

"But after that World Cup in France, few would argue that his and my paths were different. I became the darling of English football for a period of time whereas he became the villain.

"The general feeling in the dressing room immediately after the match was that there was nothing to say about him getting sent off. What could any of us have said to him that would have changed anything? The damage was done.

"However, some time later, I got wind that Victoria was in some way disappointed in me. She felt, I was told, that while all the limelight was on me after the World Cup, I should have publicly and voluntarily come out and backed David.

"I didn't consider myself senior enough to pat David Beckham - twenty times more famous than I was at the time - on the back and say: 'Keep your chin up, mate,' either.

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"Whether I thought his actions lost us the game or not didn't matter. For me, at that time, it was about hierarchy and standing. I was just a junior member of that squad. I was really just a kid.

But sitting here now, with the benefit of hindsight and perspective, I feel that what David did probably wasn't a red card offence in the first place. While it was clearly pre-meditated, it was immature and petulant more than it was violent. But for me, that almost makes it worse.

"All I can say is that, as I sit here now writing this book, knowing how lucky a player is to appear in one World Cup, never mind more than one, I'd be lying if I didn't say that what David did that day hadn't let every single one of that England team down.

"Did he deserve the abuse he got afterwards? Certainly not. What human being needs to see his or her effigy being burned? But David let us down, and I still hold some resentment about it today."

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