What’s Newcastle’s Best Strike Partnership Next Season?

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.


Mark Viduka

If you want to match a tall striker with a small striker there are 4 combinations Sam can use – 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 – currently captaining Australia in the Asian Cup – is excited about the potential of partnering Michael Owen.

Mark said:

“I hope I can establish a good partnership with Michael Owen. I’ve always admired his ability and I think we can complement each other because we are different types of players.”

“It 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.”

Viduka will face a new challenge at Newcastle because at Middlesbrough when fit – he was always first choice – 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:

“I 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 – and I want to do well there. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.”

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.

19 comments so far

  • James

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #1

    I think It shoulds be Owen and Viduka but then when teams are tired and then bring oba onto terrorise the defence further.Try and offload Ameobi and i rekon give luque a chance with some starts and mostly sub apperances.

  • Lee Smith

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #2

    I think..Although Martins all round play needs work , i hope Sam doesnt do the new boss favouring his own aquisitions thing.To be honest tho..i,d start with Owen and Vid myself.I just think its important EVERY player is made to feel as important as the next …in order to get the best out of them.Not an easy feat though.

  • Pete

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #3

    Owne and Martins with Viduka sitting just behind them


  • Aaron D

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #4

    It’s going to have to be a rotation system, neither Martins, Owen or Viduka will be happy sitting on the bench all season. It all depends on who we are playing against, if the oppostion have old, slower defeners then Owen/Martins, but in other games the ball will need to be held up more, so in comes Viduka. Shola is never going to be a starter unless injurys acure.

  • P.collins

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #5

    I’m still hoping we can sign Eidur Gudjonsen he led from the midfield and bolted forward when he was at Chelsea, set up the strikers to score and is more than capable of scoring himself. He could play behind Owen and Viduka in the midfield and maybe get a good tally for himsef over the season. Newcastle have lacked goals in the midfield for a few seasons now and i think he’d be the ideal player to change this. I hope we can keep Owen and Martins rotate them around every so often to keep them fresh.

  • Greg B

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #6

    I agree with James, I actually see Luque as a better option from the bench than Ameobi.
    I know Shola has been carrying an injury the past year or so and should be firing on all cylinders but in my opinion a fully fit (pysical and mental) Luque would be a better option. I am not writing Ameobi off but as 5th choice striker it would be in his best interest to be moved on. I think we would get a decent fee for him, alot more than we would get for Luque and with Sam’s motivation and coaching I reckon Alberto will be like a new signing.

    As for first choice strikers I think any combination of Owen, Viduka and Martins would work against different teams, even playing all 3 in siome situations. With the effort Allardyce is know to put into his preperation (ie videos, diets, curfews etc) Im sure he can pick the best combination to suit the opposition.
    I also agree it would be great to be able to bring any one of those 3, aswell as Luque, off the bench if we are chasing a game or indeed need to push on for a winner.
    Viduka will provide power, height and skill, Owen is IMO still one of, if not the best finisher in the Premier League and while his pace may suffer from his recent injurys I still think he will outpace most defenders. Martins too, like Owen is a great finisher, has one of the most powerful shots in the game (pity they arent all on target :)) and has pace and great ariel ability. As for Luque, this lad just needs a bit of motivation, Im sure Sam can get some of the confidence back into his game. Luque has fantastic skill, not bad in the air and when he is on top of his game can be up there with the best. I remember seeing him play for Deportivo and thinking I wouldnt mind him up at Newcastle, he had pace, skill and some of the goals he scored were sublime – a combination of Souness’ negativity and Roeders poor guidance (Roeder didnt seem to have any time for the lad) have turned a once great player and Spanish Internatiuonal into a mediocre player who lacks any conviction or confidence.
    I really do hope Sam works the magic with Luque and I am sure if he can produce anything like the form that tempted us to part with just shy of £10mil he will become a popular lad up at the Toon.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #7

    Lee – you’re right there – we hope Sam can make every player feel wanted – but he’s good at that !

  • Bill F

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #8

    I would like to see Wayne Bridge signed, he’s always looked good at Chelsea. The last really outstanding back two I remember watching at Newcastle was McMichael and Keith.

  • WelshWizard

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #9

    i agree with Pete with Viduka playing behind Owen and Martins in a 4-3-3. When we go 4-4-2 i think Owen tho will get the nod over Martins to partner Viduka. I think if we ever go with a formation during a game to leave just 1 upfront then it’ll be Viduka as he is the strong hold the ball up type of player but hopefully we’ll wont resort to that often…

  • Ben

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #10

    martin —– Viduka —— Owen

    Milner —– Barton —– Solano

    LB — Rozey — Taylor — Geremi


    ive put milner in at left wing because of duff bieng injured and n’zogbia bieng incompetent

    At Left Back i’d love to see bridge

    Geremi at right back unless sam signs a new right back and maybe him an solano could overlap or maybe even swap as solano’s right back performances last year i thought were excellent

    i dont know why but im sure luque is a left sided player so maybe even he could be used to cover duff??

  • Ben

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #11

    or maybe even shorey at left back…that would be good

  • WelshWizard

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #12

    I’d be happy with Bridge at LB or Baines..What’s happening with the RB BEYE??

  • P.collins

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #13

    I agree with Luque getting another chance in the team, his natural position is down the left wing which is where he plays his best football, he is someone who can supply the strikers and can create chances for the team and hopefully rediscover his scoring touch we can’t just rely on the strikers to do all the scoring we need some flare and creativity from the midfield to win games. He can’t do that sat on the bench week in week out and with Duff out till late November who Knows?

  • Fergie

    Jul 9, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #14

    —-Duff ———————————-Milner

    ——-Rozenhal —-Taylor—— Geremi


    Possible 3-5-2 for home games, would probably play 4 at the back for away games. At the moment its probably better to have 3 at the back anyway, until we find a replacement for Babayaro. Luque, if given a chance, will probably play o the left wing, rather than as a striker, in Duffs absence. To me, the prospect of Oba and Owen feeding off Viduka is mouth watering. Two lightning quick strikers making endless runs in behind the defence, supplied by a player with amazing vision. Did anyone see the Argentina vs Peru game last night? Argentina used a similar triangle in the absence of Crespo of Riquelme sitting just behind Messi and Tevez. Argentina won 4-0….. Also, has anyone noticed that noone has mentioned Dyer yet, arguably one of our best players on his day…

  • AndyT

    Jul 9, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #15

    I’d love to see Bridge at left back, but I just dont think it will happen.
    a) Chelsea wont let him go – they actually have a very small (although exceptionally expensive and talented) squad.
    b) 2nd choice at Chelsea will probably still play 20 games.
    c) 2nd choice at Chelsea has a high probability of getting
    i) Champions League winners medal
    ii) Premiership winners medal
    iii) League or FA cup winners medal
    I dont see there being a motivation for him to want away

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #16

    WelshWizard – it’s been quiet on Beye – but that’s not necessarily bad news. Hopefully we’ll sign him later this week.

  • cooldj

    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #17

    best partnerhip at mo: martins and owen-give it a go

    ideal partnership:

    gudjonsen/ashton with owen

  • Cathal

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #18

    owen and viduka up front, with martins and ameobi as back ups! id sell luque, hes just not up to it!

  • joshhealey big luque fan!

    Jul 15, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #19

    i think luque is fantastic but he hasnt even got a chance to shine


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