Michael Owen: 'Too easy to blame footballers after Olympics'

Owen: 'Football, Olympics not comparable'
© PA Photos
Michael Owen believes that the whole football "culture" needs to change but believes that the performance of Team GB at London 2012 can't be compared to modern day football.

Former Manchester United and England striker Michael Owen believes that people should not draw straight comparisons between football and the London Olympic Games.

The state of English football has come under criticism following the success of the recent Games, where Great Britain won 29 gold medals, 17 silver and 19 bronze.

While Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton believes that the English game can learn a lot from the Team GB athletes, Owen has argued that the circumstances are too different to compare.

Owen, who responded to Barton via Twitter, said: "I agree that football has lost touch with reality slightly but lets get it right - If you were playing at an away ground and went to hug the spectators like Usain Bolt etc you would struggle to get out alive.

"Not to mention the tirade of abuse every footballer gets once in ear shot of the crowd. We are talking about a totally different audience and like it or not, a ground isn't the most pleasant of places in the world. I certainly wouldn't take my kids to watch a match.

"It's OK blaming footballers but in my opinion it's the whole culture of football that needs to change if the Olympics is going to be the guiding light. As I've said, it's easy to lambast footballers but they are normal people."

Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson has weighed in on the argument, claiming that the Olympics was a "wake-up call" for football.

Roy Hodgson
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