MICHAEL OWEN has sparked a huge Twitter row with Alan Shearer after slamming Newcastle and their record-breaking striker in his new book – and even Gary Lineker has waded in.
Owen didn't hold back in Reboot – My Life and revealed how his relationship with Shearer deteriorated rapidly, despite once being "very good mates."
The former England striker also sensationally slammed Newcastle and described his 2005 club-record £15million move as "one of the major regrets" of his career.
Owen's last season for Newcastle was a disaster for both player and club and sparked the initial fallout with Toon legend Shearer.
Heading into the final year on his contract, the club were locked in a relegation scrap when they appointed icon Shearer for the final eight matches.
Owen revealed how they were once "very good mates" on and off the pitch until Shearer was handed the managerial role.
Needing a point against Villa on the final day, Owen suggests Shearer questioned his professionalism to keep Newcastle in the top flight.
He added: "I told him that I wasn’t fully fit but was prepared to play.
"As I left his office that day, he made an insinuation that led me to believe he thought I had half an eye on my next contract. I’m not stupid – we both knew I was out of contract in a few weeks.
"It wasn’t until three months later, I discovered that Alan Shearer was apparently seething with me. Not only that, it transpired that he was telling anyone who’d listen what he thought of me."
Shearer this morning responded to the claims on Twitter by posting a clip of Owen on BT Sport.
In the short video Owen reveals: "All I did at the end of my career, the last six or seven years, I hated it.
"I couldn't wait to retire for most of it."
Shearer brilliantly left the caption: "Yes Michael, we thought that also, whilst on £120k a week…"
Lineker then described the Twitter spat as "awkward".
I don’t need to justify myself to f ****** Newcastle fans
Not willing to rest on his laurels, Owen hit back.
He posted: "Not sure you are as loyal to Newcastle as you make out mate.
"I distinctly remember you being inches away from signing for Liverpool after Sir Bobby Robson put you on the bench. You tried everything to get out."
Owen then replied to Lineker, and in a reference to the clip Shearer posted wrote: "Are you surprised he's manipulated a tiny part of an honest answer to aim a cheap dig at me? Most ex players I've spoken to aren't."
The Match of the Day host replied: "There appears to be a bit of history here? I like you both so don't want to pick sides. *removes creosote from a***."
Lineker's creosote quip – a joke about sitting on the fence – refers to Shearer infamously revealing he went home to creosote his fence after his Blackburn side were crowned Premier League champions in 1994/95.
Owen and Shearer became close friends when the former was breaking into the England side in 1998.
They formed a prolific partnership for the Three Lions after Shearer had taken him under his wing.
The pair lived together during Owen's early time at Newcastle and then used to mix socially when they had houses on the same estate.
Owen's book also aimed fire at "f***ing" Toon supporters for their lack of sympathy when he was stretchered off in a game against Watford in 2007.
He admitted how he had no choice but to leave Real Madrid for Newcastle, despite pining for his dream move back to Liverpool.
They offered him a contract worth £120,000-a-week – a staggering amount of money for a player at the time.
But after feeling like "a hero" at his unveiling in front of 20,000 supporters at St. James' Park, Owen revealed how the relationship with supporters hit rock-bottom after being knocked out in a game against Watford.
He wrote in his book: "When I got home, I switched on Match Of The Day to watch the game and I could hear Newcastle fans, my fans, singing ‘what a waste of money!’ as I’m being stretchered off.
"I can’t deny their actions that day changed things for me. No longer was I even going to attempt to ingratiate myself with the fans. Instead, I flipped it in a slightly more resentful way thinking, I don’t need to justify myself to f ****** Newcastle fans."
He also took a dig at the Toon army by claiming they are "deluded" and not a "big club."
Owen added: "This kind of blind delusion is especially true of Newcastle United – which, as I reach for the nearest tin hat, is only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium."