There has been a lot of talk about who will be the first choice strike pair at Newcastle next season. You would think that Owen would always be selected – if fit – so then the question is who would logically be his partner.
While most think Mark Viduka would be Sam’s choice to play with Owen there are lots of combinations that could work.
Let’s take a look at this and what Mark Viduka had to say about his potential playing partner Michael Owen.
If you want to match a tall striker with a small striker there are 4 combinations Sam can use â€“ Mark Viduka playing with Owen or Martins and Ameobi doing the same. It could also probably work with Ameobi and Viduka – but when Owen and Martins played together last season they looked too similar in style. These combinations will be a handy weapon during a game when Sam can change the partnership up front – to some effect – given the situation in the game. For once we are equipped with four capable strikers.
Certainly Mark Viduka â€“ currently captaining Australia in the Asian Cup – is excited about the potential of partnering Michael Owen.
â€œI hope I can establish a good partnership with Michael Owen. Iâ€™ve always admired his ability and I think we can complement each other because we are different types of players.â€
â€œIt was a good season last year. The good thing is the Asian Cup is at a similar sort of time as pre-season, so I suppose you could say it is still a bit like having a regular pre-season.â€
Viduka will face a new challenge at Newcastle because at Middlesbrough when fit â€“ he was always first choice â€“ and that may not be the case next season. Mark is also aware that Newcastle are a club with great expectation levels, but with a very poor record of achievement over the last 40 years. With good competition for places in the front line it’s up to Sam to drill into our strikers – and the rest of the squad – that the team is more important than any player. That was certainly one of Alladyce’s strengths at Bolton and no doubt he is currently working with the players in Austria – drilling this mantra into them. It will be important next year to have excellent team spirit – for a change.
Mark went on:
â€œI will probably have to deal with that when it comes. There is always big expectation, because Newcastle are a massive club and want to do well â€“ and I want to do well there. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.â€
Of course one player we have completely overlooked is Albert Luque – and it’s going to be interesting to see what Sam can get out of the Spaniard next season. Albert has real class – which he hasn’t shown too much of on Tyneside over the last two seasons. But under a new manager he will be given every chance – and we hope for both himself and the team he is successful.
We think we are well equipped up front for next season – and we are fairly well equipped in midfield – but of course we still need more defenders – to strengthen what has been the weak link at Newcastle for many years. We’re sure Sam and the rest of the staff are working hard on bringing in new defenders. Indeed the Journal today said expectations are that a new defender will join us before the end of the week. We hope that player is Habib Beye from Marseilles – but Brede Hangeland, Nicky Shorey, Rod Fanni or Wayne Bridge would also be really good.
Comments always appreciated.