Their Owen-focused anger was, no doubt, fuelled to some extent the previous weekend when former chairman Freddie Shepherd gave a newspaper interview saying: "It was probably the worst deal I did at Newcastle. That is just being frank. We paid £16m for him but didn't get £16m of value."
He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty buy
Wow! Now, let's be frank ourselves, Freddie was the master of bad signings (Marcelino anyone?), so this must have been an absolute stinker. However, if anyone really made Owen a poor-value signing it wasn't the player himself, it was Shepherd.
The club's former chairman always operated a fairly haphazard transfer policy. For example, following the sale of Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid in 2004, instead of seeking out a quality defensive replacement, the chairman slapped in a £20m bid for Everton's Wayne Rooney despite having Alan Shearer, Craig Bellamy, Patrick Kluivert and Shola Ameobi to call on up front.
With Owen he simply over-valued a striker - one of the common mistakes Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski warn against in Why England Lose in which they analyse the dealings of French club Lyon, which treats buying players as a trading activity (buy low, sell high). Shepherd complains that the club "didn't get £16m worth of value out of" Owen but that's primarily because he wasn't a £16m player.
Let's not forget, the player went to Madrid for only £8m and did nothing in his season at the Bernabeu to justify a doubling in his price tag. Furthermore, when he joined Newcastle they were the only club to make a concrete offer for him - it was a buyer's market (any first year A Level economics student could tell you that). Instead of throwing brickbats at the player, perhaps Shepherd should be asking himself why he didn't negotiate a better price, or simply walk away.
In his time at Madrid, Owen scored 16 goals in 45 games or a goal every 2.81 games which was significantly less than his goals-per-game ratio while he was at Liverpool (1.87 - 158 goals from 297 games). Yet, look at his Anfield record and you see he peaks in the 2001/02 season (28 goals in 43 games at 1.53 goals per game) and then deteriorates in his final two seasons.
So, Newcastle bought a player who had shown a clear decline over the three seasons before they bought him. I'm sure Shepherd took all this into consideration at the time the deal was struck.
While Owen's star may have been on the wane, he still scored 30 goals in 79 games - a goal every 2.63 games. Not great, not terrible but, significantly, better than during his season in Spain. He showed even better form in his first season at the club when he showed brief glimpses of his Liverpool best.
Although it was curtailed by a metatarsal injury and so he only played 11 games, he scored seven goals at a rate of one every 1.57 games. His second season was effectively wiped out by the cruciate injury he sustained at the 2006 World Cup but Newcastle themselves claimed they were happy with the compensation they received after a long legal fight with FIFA and the FA. While it must have been annoying he wasn't playing, at least it didn't cost them.
In his last two seasons at the club - following that World Cup injury - Owen was joint top scorer (with eight from 28 starts and seven sub appearances in 2008/09) and top scorer (with 11 from 29 starts and five sub appearances in 2007/08). Again, maybe not the best return ever, but then also not hugely different to Alan Shearer in his last two seasons at Newcastle (10 from 32 starts and one game as sub in 2005/06 and seven from 28 starts and two sub appearances in 2004/05). But let's not mention that, eh?
Owen achieved this for a team that, in his four seasons, managed to make its way through seven managers (Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Chris Hughton and Alan Shearer). Of course, I'm sure per Shepherd that instability at the top had nothing to do with Owen's 'poor' performances - it was all down to the player himself.
The other question all this begs is; why were Newcastle the only team which made a serious bid for Owen when he left Madrid? In Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson makes the case that the game increasingly requires players - and in this case centre-forwards - to have multi-functionality which Owen simply doesn't possess.
Wilson says: "Owen could be one of those players who wins teams the occasional game, but prevents them from playing good football (which means he may prove extremely useful to mediocre sides, or even to a good side playing badly, but rarely if at all to a good side playing well)."
While not suggesting Owen is at fault per se (apart from perhaps a stubbornness to adapt his game) Wilson claims that even allowing for Owen's history of injuries it was significant no Champions League qualifier made a bid for him when he left Madrid.
So, not only did they pay over the odds for Owen, but Newcastle also bought a player "left behind by the tactical evolution of the game". Again, no doubt this is something that Shepherd took full consideration of.
The fans are also partly culpable in all of this, buying into the idea that Owen didn't try, or somehow let them down. We all know about their Messiah fixation but every pantomime also needs a villain and down the years they've had a few. Currently it's nasty Mike Ashley the man who effectively saved the club from going bust.
Even Sir Bobby Robson felt the full force of the fans' anger. While they eulogised him after he died, few mentioned the fact that he was spat on when he visited St James' Park in 1982 after he dropped Keegan from his first England squad. (Although, on second thoughts he was born in County Durham, so technically that makes him a Mackem and, I suppose, fair game.) Sometimes the Toon Army's much-heralded passion seems to blind them to the reality of the situation
The other criticism Shepherd levelled at Owen was that: "He could have done more for the community". The implication here, I guess is that he just never intigrated properly. Maybe he didn't but equally the quiet family man didn't bring the club into disrepute either.
Dyer and Bowyer in the local community activity: Saturday fighting
He didn't fight on the pitch, he didn't wrap his car round the Swing Bridge, he didn't send abusive text messages to the club captain and no gang-rape allegations found their way to his door. Nor did he get involved with the community like Shepherd himself infamously did when he called the local women 'dogs' and mocked the fans for buying over-priced replica shirts, something which led to his resignation.
No, the only problem is Owen - he really was the worst of a very bad bunch.
Follow Who Ate All The Goals? on Facebook here and Twitter here.