Very good report in the Times this morning from George Caulkin, one of our favorite writers on Newcastle.
George has spoken with Big Sam and not surprisingly Sam has said Owen and Martins will beÂ fighting for the same place at Newcastle.
That’s not surprising to us since when they played together last season they looked far too similar to be an effective combination but let’s take a look at what Sam says â€“ sounds like more plain talk from himÂ Â Â
Michael Owen – no guaranteed place at Newcastle?
This is what Big Sam told the Times today:
“Iâ€™m very happy with the five strikers Iâ€™ve got,â€
â€œI 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€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€
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.”
“It must be terrible for him.â€
With all the fuss that went on about Owen staying or going in the summer, who would have thought then that Michael may even struggle to get into the first team on a regular basis?Â We feel quite a fewÂ fans may prefer Martins because he had an excellent first season at the club last year, scoring 17 goals when the team itself did not perform well.
Owen and Martins could play together in a 4-3-3 formation (at home) with one of the big men, Viduka or Ameobi, up front with them.Â Alan Smith could also play as the third striker in this formation. It’s obvious that Sam is spoiled for choice with our strikers – which is very good for the team.
That has to be a compliment to Big Sam for theÂ playersÂ he has brought into the squad since he arrived -Â and we still think we’ll get at least another two in before the end of the month.
It will be interesting to check the discussion topic today and see how many have Martins or Owen in their first teams.
Comments welcome as usual.