Nobody has ever accused Michael Owen of being boring.
OK, well they have.
However, the former England striker has suddenly found himself the talk of the international break after releasing his new autobiography.
Alan Shearer, and indeed Newcastle United as a whole, have been on the receiving end of Owen’s acid tongue.
The 39-year-old has at least had some positive things to say about another of his old clubs, Manchester United.
Speaking to ESPN, he was addressing the Red Devils’ decline since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen their worst start to a season in 27 years, yet Owen believes the current playing squad are among the best in the country.
In fact, he argued they aren’t far behind European champions Liverpool.
“I don’t necessarily think the players are all that bad, I think when you look at other teams, look at Liverpool for example, are Manchester United players far inferior to Liverpool’s? I don’t necessarily think so,” he said.
“But do Liverpool’s players play with a greater understanding, a great cohesion, a lot of confidence? Then, yes.
“I was talking to John Barnes the other day and he was saying exactly the same thing.
“He doesn’t think there’s anything in the two squads.”
Owen did admit, nonetheless, that serious work is needed to rejuvenate United in their current state. He added:
“A lot of people will obviously say when you have a manager that is there for that long then it’s very difficult for the next manager just to go and pick up the baton and continue it.
“But I think not many people would have envisaged the extent let’s say of the decline since.
“There’s been some trophies won along the way obviously which has smoothed things over a little bit but in general, when you watch Manchester United now, it is a shadow of the previous teams of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign I guess, and it’s going to take some building.”