Fans heaved a sigh of relief when Michael Owen decided to stay at the club after only being able to turn out for 14 games in his first two seasons on Tyneside.
However, Michael has again been hit with injury and he will now miss at least the first two weeks of the season.
Sam Allardyce talked this morning with the Journal and discussed his concerns with Owen’s injury problems.
Michael Owen – continous injuries since arriving at Newcastle
Sam told Luke Edwards of the Journal this morning:
â€œWhen I arrived one of the biggest worries was not knowing about Michaelâ€™s future, but since then the biggest frustration has been his niggling injuries,â€â€œHe is still game short, not just in terms of pre-season, but all of last season as well. He has not played much football at all recently.â€
â€œI was actually thinking the games he played at international level at the start of the summer were very useful for him because they gave him game time. I think the same about Englandâ€™s friendly against Germany if he is fit to play in that.”“For him not being able to play in pre-season is frustrating for him and bitterly disappointing for us. He desperately needed those games, but unfortunately this thigh injury has taken longer than we thought to get better.â€
â€œIt must be terrible for him because he was really looking forward to getting involved with the lads again during the pre-season games.”
“He has done plenty of training when he has been recovering from the injury, it isnâ€™t training he is lacking, it is games and missing pre-season is a big blow for him and us.â€
Owen will not feature at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and is unlikely to be involved against Aston Villa the following weekend as SamÂ feels he is veryÂ short of match fitness.
â€œIâ€™m very happy with the five strikers Iâ€™ve got. I think four is the minimum you go into a new season with and we have got a good variety.”
“We can also use a bit of squad rotation and have competition for places, which is what you need for your front men.â€â€œOba was the main man last year because Michael was kept out with injuries, but they will be fighting with each other for a place in the side this season.”
“Perhaps even the pair of them will play together with one of the big men on occasions as well.â€
Despite a few injury setbacks during Unitedâ€™s pre-season fixtures, Allardyce has been pleased with how things have gone, particularly in terms of taking a close look at some of the clubâ€™s Academy players.
â€œThe players who have played in pre-season, who might not have done so in the past, have done a terrific job.”
“It has given me a look at some of the less-established players and that has been very good for me as I donâ€™t take too much notice of the results in pre-season games.â€
There’s no doubt we have some really good youngsters coming through the ranks who don’t seem to be fazed at all when introduced into big games. A new youngster to show through to us was Darren Lough who played well at left back. But of course Sam’s job is to build up our first team squadÂ right now – so he can show immediate results in the premiership.Â
Sam had also mentioned earlier in the week that Michael could be available for England’s friendly against Germany on August 22. Although Owen will miss the start of Newcastle’s season this Saturday Allardyce had said:
“Perhaps he won’t be ruled out of the England friendly, which could be a good thing for us.”"He will be back in training this week and by the end of next week he could play a reserve game, get involved in a game with us and then get another game with England under his belt.”
“It [the Germany game] could be a good thing for us if he is fit by the end of next week, plays a reserve game and gets involved in a game with us and then gets another game for England under his belt.”
“It would be better doing it that way if it helps, so an extra game for him is all we need.”
That’s all very good but we’re getting a little tired of Michael playing for England but not being available for Newcastle. Yes, we know it’s not Michael’s fault, but he still needs to get in at least 30 games for the club this season 0 so Newcastle can start recieving some value from the huge transfer fee and massive wages we are paying him.
What do you think?