Owen must score for Stoke again before retiring to horse racing

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It may be two seasons too late, but Michael Owen has decided that he will retire from playing at the end of the campaign and 7/4 is the price that he scores at least one more competitive goal before this time arises.

After scoring the final goal in the 4-2 defeat of Blackpool on the closing day of the 2010/11 campaign, this seemed the ideal time for Owen to hang up his boots, especially as he had just won his first Premier League title.

Feeling he still had something to give, Owen played on, but managed just four appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson across all competitions in the following season and first-team opportunities have not been overly forthcoming at Stoke in the current campaign.

Owen has only played for 11 minutes across two games for Stoke since mid-January, despite the Potters failing to score in five of their last eight games.

A player of his ability, the youngest ever to reach 100 Premier League goals and a former Ballon d’Or winner, deserves one final hurrah and maybe he can get on the scoresheet once more before the season is out.

After all, Owen may have lost the pace that previously helped make him so devastating, but he remains a bigger goal threat in the box than any other striker on Stoke’s books.

If he was introduced for the final 25 minutes of Stoke’s remaining eight Premier League games, he could be backed confidently to score at least one goal.

There are a host of other Owen specials available too, with the 2/1 he plays again after this season and 10/1 that he wins another England cap before retirement looking best opposed.

Owen doesn’t come across as someone who could inspire a team with a rallying team talk and so a future as a coach in the Premier League (5/2) or manager in the top flight (20/1) are also hard to fathom.

His future does seem more associated with horse racing than football and 8/1 is a fair price that he takes out a horse racing trainer’s licence in the next 10 years, following in the footsteps of another former England forward in Mick Channon.

At present, he is just an owner, but has invested in the training yard of Tom Dascombe.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.