Both Sam Allardcye and Mark Viduka talked yesterday about how relieved they are that Michal Owen has committed to Newcastle â€“ at least for next season.
As we pointed out yesterday Sam is still a wee bit nervous about things until the transfer window slams shut.
They both offered comment on Michael – and we’ll take a look at what each of them had to say.
In new away strip and with match face on
Sam Allardcye â€“ although happy about Michael’s very positive statement in the Times – will not be completely relaxed about Michael’s position at Newcastle until the transfer window closes:
Sam said yesterday:
“One would hope Michael will enjoy pre-season with us, and start scoring goals and enjoying his football, and obviously help the team to become successful,”
“It isn’t all about one man. There are many quality players we want to blend in together to become a real force, a real team and enjoy our football.
“There is speculation about every player moving to your club or moving away from your club.
“I think you only need one phone call from an agent and all of a sudden you’re either buying him or selling him. You have to live with it.
“With one short window it makes it very volatile indeed. Once that window shuts we can all breathe a sigh of relief if we’ve got what we wanted. If you haven’t you worry.”
Sam’s so right about it not being just about Michael – the team is what’s important and he and his staff are building a squad that contains many good players – and Sam has to blend these together into a formidable team for next season. Team work and team spirit will be a vital commodity for us next season – and hopefully all players will perform to their capabilities.
Mark Viduka â€“ whose Australian team were rather sensationally beaten 3-1 by Iraq in the Asia cup yesterday – was another who welcomed the news that Owen has committed himself to St James’ Park. Of course Mark has already indicated he is really excited about linking up with England’s number 1 striker - if selected.
“It’s really great news that Michael has said that he will be staying because he has got to be one of the best forwards in the business,”
“He’s got a great scoring record, especially at international level.
“He’s had some rotten luck with injuries but, by the sounds of it, he will be back to his best when the new season starts and I’m sure he will be wanting to make up for lost time.
“I played against him a few times when I was at Leeds, so I know what a top-class player he is and from a personal point of view, it will be great to play and train alongside him.”
“He (Owen) is obviously a very different player to me, but I would like to think that, if selected, we would be able to complement each other very nicely and create a successful partnership.”
Nice to hear Mark put the if selected in there as it gives respect to our other two strikers – Martins and Ameobi, who will be going all out for a place in the side.
Talking about Martins, Allardyce was due to hold clear-the-air talks with Oba yesterday. The former Inter Milan player as we all know, has an escape clause (Â£13M) in his contract. We expect Sam to have convinced the Nigerian international his future is on Tyneside – but we have no official news of that yet.
Certainly from the pictures we saw of him in training yesterday Oba seemed to be enjoying it – we’ve never seen him laugh so much. We guess Sam makes training enjoyable for the lads.