TEAMtalk guest Jak Penny believes former England striker Michael Owen is ready for the football scrapheap at just 32.
Has it really been three years since Owen circulated that brochure around the Premier League?
Oh how it dripped with conceit and desperation. The act of man deluded enough to still buy into the hype that smothered him as a teenager rendering him a laughing stock amongst the football fraternity.
Astonishingly the 32-page dossier convinced, or should I say duped, Manchester United into taking a chance on the injury prone frontman in the wake of his release from recently relegated Newcastle. And you could say that it served its purpose.
But last week, after playing just 52 games for United, Sir Alex Ferguson mercilessly cast Owen out into the wilderness leaving him teetering on the precipice of the beautiful game's waste receptacle.
Dubbed in his own contents page as "The Athlete, The Ambassador, The Icon," he now finds himself staring down the barrel of early retirement at just 32. It's been an alarming fall from grace for a player once considered the poster boy of our national game.
For Owen the outlook appears grim. Images of that fresh-faced, fearless 18-year-old shrugging aside and then surging away from Jose Chamot at France '98 before whipping the ball into the top corner of the Argentinian net are etched into the mental archives of every god fearing Englishmen.
Nowadays the picture is entirely different with the striker unable to string two games together before breaking down in heap of squandered talent requiring urgent and extensive repair.
His latter career has been ravaged by injury stripping him of the searing pace and effortless manoeuvring that terrified defenders all over the globe. His influence on the field has rapidly diminished over the years and tragically he's a shadow of the player he once was.
Although he retains the intelligence and remarkable knack of popping up in a scoring position the naked truth is that he no longer possesses the physical attributes to cut the Premier League mustard.
His injury record at during his four-year spell at St James' Park restricted him to just 70 appearances from a possible 182 meaning he was absent for a staggering 62 per cent of games. Hardly an ample return on the club record £17million shelled out by former Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd in 2005.
It was a similar story at Old Trafford where he was available for a measly 31 per cent of matches and hasn't pulled on a United shirt since November due to a thigh problem. Who, in their right mind, would take a punt on him now? Sadly Owen still believes he can function adequately at the top level as he continues to latch on to he remnants of bygone era.
But finding a new club won't be all plain sailing. In times of economic austerity clubs won't consider him a value-for-money bargain even though he can be picked up for free. Add into the equation outlays such as signing-on-fee's and payment to agents and the bill extrapolates uncontrollably.
The problem is that Owen no longer possess a viable selling point that would merit the weekly wage he seeks. Injury and perceptions of greed means he is no longer an attractive proposition to managers who would have been chomping at the bit for his signature five or six years ago. Teams are now wary of his motives after he became stigmatised as a financial mercenary during his spell at Newcastle.
Still it's likely he will go in search of one last big payday before kicking the proverbial football bucket. But clubs that could afford to have him on their books are more interested in younger talents than a washed up figure from yesteryear with a limited shelf life.
It's also doubtful that he would be willing to swallow his pride, drop his extortionate demands and see out his remaining days at a mid-table side whilst earning a mediocre salary. He admitted the prospect of playing regularly for an 'average' club was unappealing preferring feature intermittently and win medals for a bigger team.
Thus a monumental decision hangs on his doorstep. Owen must ask himself whether it's worth prolonging a career that effectively fizzled out years ago. After all he is already a multi-millionaire and has achieved more than most during his 15 years in the game.
He's scored 221 goals in 473 games, won 89 caps for his country, finding the net 40 times, lifted seven major trophies and 11 personal accolades, crowned European Footballer of the Year in 2001 and played for Liverpool and Real Madrid along with Newcastle and Manchester United. What more is there left to do?
From the outside looking in the clock has run down for Owen and it's time to hang up his boots and succumb to the inevitable. Sadly no amount of egomaniacal brochures can save him from this fate.