Weblog: The football punter
The Owenly way is up
for bubbly Blackpool
Michael Owen's insistence that he wants to keep on playing after his release from Manchester United at least means there's one less candidate in the running for the Liverpool job.
Owen was very wise to make his future plans clear. Given Liverpool fans' insistence that only those with a strong prior attachment to the club need apply for the manager's job, it's only a matter of time before someone starts the Robbie Fowler bandwagon. Or Stig Inge Bjornebye. Or, and this really would be silly, Rafa Benitez.
No, Owen's performances this season in the Carling Cup at least showed he has what it takes to perform at a decent level for a while yet, and bookies reckon Saturday's play-off final could have a fair say in his future.
West Ham were favourites in some quarters to claim Owen's signature this summer but the former England striker won't want to ply his trade in the Championship.
Anyway, Blackpool might be a more likely destination given its
location close enough to Owen's burgeoning horseracing empire and I reckon the Tangerines could increase their chances of landing him by pulling off an upset at Wembley.
Blackpool's only defeat in their last 12 matches came at Reading so they're in good form, and as ever with Ian Holloway's men when they happens it means they're firmly in the goals - they have failed to score in just one of their last 24.
As those who have got on West Ham's backs at Upton Park this season would testify, the Hammers aren't great when the onus is on them to make the running, so the first goal could be massive and at big odds Blackpool are value to come out on top.
Check out Didi Hamann's Champions League final verdict on soccerbase.com