Owen key to goal target
IF United are to overcome Sir Alex Ferguson's challenge of breaking the 100-goal mark this season, much will depend on Michael Owen. The England striker may have been Ferguson's cheapest acquisition this summer - arriving on a free transfer from Newcastle - but he is arguably the most significant. Though not the marquee signing United supporters have craved, he is undoubtedly high profile. And if Owen's four goals in five pre-season appearances so far have suggested anything, it is that a move to Old Trafford could rejuvenate his career. He is desperate to prove the likes of Sam Allardyce and Wigan chairman Dave Whelan wrong after the pair declined the opportunity to sign him this summer - and former Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher is convinced he can return to his best at United. "Signing Michael Owen was a clever piece of business by United and he has started really well in pre-season," said Carragher. "In a way I'm pleased he's got a big move to a big club because he came in for a lot of criticism at Newcastle. "Why? What did he do wrong? For me, Michael Owen is still a great player and role model and I have this feeling he'll be good for United. But he plays for our biggest rivals so he'll know I won't want him to carry on scoring once the season starts. "He's scored a lot of goals in the first few games for United and I hope he scores a few more pre-season because I want him to do well. But as soon as the season starts I hope he has a drought." Owen still has ambitions of making Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, but his priority is to prove that he is far from washed up after a nightmare spell at Newcastle. And he insists that the faith United have put in him already proves the likes of Allardyce and Whelan were wrong to write him off. "If that was how they were perceiving me, fine, because the greatest accolade I could have is that Sir Alex Ferguson didn't think about that," said Owen. "I want to show Sir Alex was right to believe in me." Should Owen start in United's first league game? Have your say.
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