Michael Owen scored his first goal for Newcastle since December, 2005 – and that seems to be the major news coming out of the Hartlepool United friendly game last night at Hartlepool – Sam’s first game in charge.
Shola Ameobi scored two to see Newcastle win 3-1 in an entertaining game.
Sam Allardcye had much to say on the performances of various Newcastle’s players and as usual his comments are certainly worth looking at – it’s about the best news we get on Newcastle (and we know at least it’s the truth).
Michael Owen in Action Last Night
Of course Michael Owen had only played 14 times for Newcastle in the last two seasons so it was good to see Michael – not only playing but scoring a goal â€“ something he has done so naturally during his great career. Shola Ameobi was back after having a hip operation last year in Vail, Colorado after at least two years of playing injured. Shola had scored many goals for Glenn Roeder over the last 18 months – and he kept it up last night – even though we have to remember this was only a friendly. But scoring goals will always give strikers the confidence they need so it was good to see both of them score last night.
Michael and Shola are essentially two new players for Newcastle this coming season and with Martins and Viduka can make up an awesome foursome for Newcastle. Even if we have injuries (which we hope Sam canfix once and for all) it looks like we’ll be able to field an effective strike force – and Andrew Carroll may also be available -unless he is shipped out on a season loan.
This is what manager Allardyce said after the game:
“It was nice to see Michael score and Shola – we should have scored a couple at least before half-time and missed those, but certainly, second half, we were very, very clinical indeed.“
It’s been a long wait for Michael and Shola. He has been out with that hip injury for a long time as well.
“We just hope we keep them fit and get them fitter and stronger as pre-season goes on because they are a handful for anybody in the Premier League if they are firing on all cylinders, certainly with their finishing qualities.
“That gives us options for goals. That’s what you need to win football matches.”
Ameobi scored after 11 minutes of his half-time introduction alongside Owen, rounding goalkeeper Jan Budtz following Kieron Dyer’s pass. By that time Hartlepool had actually taken the lead through James Brown’s excellent 49th-minute opener.
Michael Owen needed just two minutes after Shola’s goal to find the net, tapping in from James Troisi’s cross after Dyer had once again set up the opening. Well it’s good to see Kieron setting up the goals – maybe he’s just a little worried about those Opta statistics that Sam will be studying after each game – good. Shola scored his second 17 minutes from time when Budtz spilled his long-range effort.
It’s certainly nice to see both Shola and Michael back and looking as fit as they’ve been for a while. If we can get Michael operating on all cylinders and keep him fit – and have Shola taking the physical pressure from the defense – their partnership can be prosperous for us next season and be worth a good few goals.
Oh, and we almost forgot – we also have Mark Viduka and Oba Martins available. 😀