Michael Owen was embarrassingly caught out with comments on Leeds’ Illan Meslier during the defeat to West Ham over the weekend.
The 21-year-old has made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper so far this term, and made several key stops as he tried his best to keep his side’s lead on Saturday.
Pablo Fornals, Said Benrahma and star striker Michail Antonio were all denied by Meslier, however he was beaten twice as Jarrod Bowen’s shot deflected in off Junior Firpo and Antonio netted a late winner for the Hammers.
— Harry loveday-smart (@Harrylovedaysm1) September 25, 2021
Owen was one of many who heaped praise onto the Leeds stopper’s performance at Elland Road, but in doing so, he managed to score an embarrassing own-goal of his own.
While working as a pundit for Premier League TV, Michael spoke about seeing Meslier playing for the Whites’ development side – or so he thought.
“I remember watching him when he was about 16 at Leeds Academy,” the former Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester United man said.
“He just looked the part. Leeds were dominating the game that I watched.
“He hardly had a touch, but you know when you just see someone thinking ‘he’s got a chance’?”
It was high praise from Owen, for whoever he was actually watching in action for Leeds on that occasion.
However, it can’t have been Meslier, as the Frenchman came through the ranks at Ligue 1 outfit Lorient and actually didn’t join Leeds until an initial loan spell as a 19-year-old.
As mentioned, Michael Owen was embarrassingly caught out with comments on Leeds’ Illan Meslier and Twitter users took to point it, and other mistake of his out…
@IWSaint1: Almost as good as “when they keep a clean sheet they don’t usually lose”
@mazz_AFC: Or how about “when they don’t score they rarely win”
@K3LV1S: How do these guys get jobs as pundits 😭😭💀💀
@Seer978: Another colossal mare from Owen
@TURFSportFC: Stop giving ex players jobs in punditry, and when they make howlers like this, call it out
@OliverBoisen: Exactly. Loved when Micah Richards called out the Kane bias
@LordFrivolous: I’ve concluded that being a pundit must be the easiest job and ex-footballer could possibly have. No effort required. No f***s given. Talk rubbish all day and no one will notice.
@FatBob0_v2: Michael Owen on the stream claiming he remembers “seeing Meslier at age 16 in the Leeds Academy” aye sure you did
@jamiewalker88: The more I hear Owen speak the more I realise how much sleep I need in a day.
@leedsinfidel: What’s Owen on about hahah. Said he seen Meslier at 16 at Leeds academy he wasn’t even here 😭😭😭
@Henno232: Michael Owen full of praise for Meslier there saying he remembers him in an academy game he watched when Meslier was 16 and how impressive he was back then. We signed Meslier from Lorient in 2019. He’s 21 now. You do the maths. How the fuck is he paid for his opinions? #LUFC
@ashlaurenn_: Hahahahahahaha love shit like this, fucking clown
@j_beaton10: When can we move past the old notion that just because they played the game, the viewer wants to hear what they say? Pish. Would rather listen to someone who had never played a minute in their life over this type.
@priestley93: Honestly, this kind of lazy shit can’t go on anymore. He’s one of the worst pundits I’ve ever seen. End his contract
@mattlockrhodes: A reminder that broadcasters need to stop hiring so many pundits that don’t do any research, make stuff up and then get paid handsomely for it.
@T_Islam19: Stealing a living
@geotav89: Man getting paid to say that lol
@BarneyLUFC21: The Owen comment on Meslier we laugh at but it’s another ex player like Mills commenting on the U23s not knowing the system we play. These pundits are stealing a living and a lot of pay good money to these sports channels, they should be held accountable for they lack research
@Capt_Fishpaste: Just sensational insight from professional expert Michael Owen. I mean, aside from the fact that Meslier didn’t come through Leeds’ academy, obviously…
@indianasc0nes: Just more proof that pundits talk out their fucking arse and make it up as they go along
@VirgilVanProp: The guy is on par with John Barnes with talking shit in punditry
@James_Cheese121: Michael Owen is the gift that keeps on giving
@1MrPodge: It will come as a shock to nobody that Michael Owen is another spoofer. How these lads keep getting work is beyond me.
— Si (@simjohno) September 26, 2021
Meanwhile, Kevin Phillips has heaped praise on Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier for his ‘rapid improvement’ this season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, he said the 21-year-old “looks far more confident” and is showing the “slight bit of arrogance” needed to compete at the top level.
Meslier impressed in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to West Ham just days after his match-winning performance against Fulham in the Carabao Cup.
🙌 “Saved by Meslier! When it mattered most!” pic.twitter.com/pyjM2jL1FJ
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 22, 2021
The France under 21s international made a number of saves in the 90 minutes before saving Rodrigo Muniz’s decisive penalty in the shootout.
Phillips watched Meslier stare out the home fans at Craven Cottage after the win.
“It’s great to see,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
“Meslier is just getting better and better. He will grow in stature and confidence over the next couple of years and we saw that against Fulham.
“He is a very good goalkeeper and a great shot-stopper. Yes, he will make the odd mistake but who doesn’t? I think his mistakes will be few and far between though because he looks a far more confident goalkeeper this season.
“He is commanding his area and has that slight bit of arrogance which is needed from a top player. His reaction to the penalties the other night was great to see. It was all good natured.
“Bielsa was right to stick with him as number one. He’s a top keeper who is improving rapidly.”