Owen: No-One Is More Loyal Than Me
Michael Owen will not shy away from celebrating at Anfield if he happens to score goal which, between us, is a grossly improbable event. Of course he, unlike Tevez, does not harbour delusions about how his former fans would treat him upon his return.
'I am human. I would prefer people to sit down and recognise what you did for them and for the team in years gone past.
'But I am pretty realistic as well and now that I am playing for their arch rivals....I am not holding my breath, put it that way.'
'People talk about loyalty in football. It is easy for a football supporter to preach about that. 'As a father, brother and son, there is no-one more loyal than me.
'But when you are a player, you are not a fan. I have got to earn a living, provide for my family. It is a job opportunity, just like anyone else's work.'
It was a job opportunity he could not turn down, considering that Hull had looked the most likely suitor before Sir Alex made his move. His loyalty to Liverpool can't be really brought into this, if we try to be a little objective (which no one does when it's Liverpool v Manchester United, of course). How he acted in 2004, that's another matter entirely.
But let's not kid ourselves: even without that fairly despicable piece of business with Real Madrid, he would be a hate figure just because he signed for us. That's Liverpool v Manchester United, there's no getting round that fact. Yes, it is a job - but we fans do not like to hear this, especially as there are still a few footballers who are real fans, Gary Neville the most obvious example. We cling onto the example of these players and refuse to accept that for most players it works so, so differently.