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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Owen Best England Striker – Who’s Tops at Newcastle?

11:27 am, Thursday, August 16th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 28 Comments

SAM Allardyce has been talking to Newcastle World TV about the return of Michael Owen to the Newcastle squad.

Because Michael is not yet fully match-fit Sam thinks it would be good for Michael to be in the England squad for the upcoming games since it will help him to get match fit for Newcastle United.

Michael’s undoubtedly England’s best striker but is he the tops at Newcastle?

We’ll hear first what Sam has to say about Michael’s match fitness and then ponder that question.

michael-owen-142.jpg

Michael Owen - still trying to get match fit

England have a friendly against Germany at Wembley next Wednesday before a Euro 2008 qualifying double-header against Israel and Russia in early September – and Steve McClaren is scheduled to announce the squad tomorrow and both Owen and Dyer are expected to be in the squad.

Sam told Newcastle World TV.

“Of course it’s a boost to have a player of Michael’s caliber returning, but we’ll have to concentrate on his match fitness before we judge how quickly he can come back in to the first-team,”

“We’ll see if we can involve him on Saturday against Aston Villa, but after that game there is England and hopefully that will be a good thing as it can help him with his match practice.”

“There are a couple of Newcastle games (Middlesbrough and Wigan) after the Germany match and then of course the two big England games which again could be good for Michael.”

“It’s a busy few weeks for our international players, but my job is about getting results for Newcastle United and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed there are no injuries.”

We were surprised with all the news about Michael after he came through the reserve team game against Newcastle Blue Star on Monday night. The news was all about him being available for England and how important that was for England. Michael also came through another 60 minutes yesterday in a pre-arranged friendly against Gretna which Newcastle won 3-1.

Michael is undoubtedly the best English striker but we wonder if he’s the best Newcastle striker right now? While Michael has still not played many games for Newcastle during the last two seasons, Oba Martins is looking better and more deadly with each game. We’re sure there’s going to be mounting competition between the two of them and that can only be good for the club. But Oba right now is both the man in form and the man is possession of the shirt – as the small striker up front.

And to think there was a possibility that both of them could have left in the summer. There’s no doubt things are starting to look up at Newcastle. Top four this season? – whoops – getting carried away again :D

Comments welcome.



Tags: Michael Owen · Newcastle News · Obafemi Martins · Players



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28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom from Aus // Aug 16, 2007 at 11:34 AM

    owen is agood striker, but its kind of sad that he is englands best

  • 2 Jamie // Aug 16, 2007 at 11:38 AM

    sure im better than owen ;)

  • 3 toonfan1 // Aug 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM

    i think martins is betta then owen. if u look at martins play, he can control the ball very well and also the power in his shots is fantastic and also the sheer speed of the lad is worryin for any defence. the lad is only 22-23 and i think he has a lot of potential, thats why he was given the number 9 shirt because he is up for it

  • 4 chris // Aug 16, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    I don’t know who our best striker is but Martins excites me more when he’s on the pitch. He’s so unpredictable, you never know what he’s going to do next.
    Owen has a better first touch and probably the better finisher in the 18 yard box, but Martins is better a distance.

  • 5 Len Smith // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    For Villains match nothing to decide. Keep the team that destroyed Bolton at the Reebok in 27 minutes. Give Owen a 20 minute run out instead of Ameobi. Maybe give Enrique a run out for 10 minutes. Rest of season? Not sure if Viduka, Martins and Owen would work. Unbalanced and exposes the mid field as neither Martins or Owen do any work while Milner puts in a full shift. So if it comes down to Martins or Owen then may the best man win and my guess is that will be Martins. Highly likely that even a fully fit Owen out with injuries for 20 games every season so maybe not a problem. Kind of ironic that Owen left Madrid because he couldn’t get a game and may now have the same problem at SJP.

  • 6 Shaun // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Toofan1, I agree with you but are you sure of Oba’s age.

  • 7 rich // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:20 PM

    its kind of sad that hes Englands best??

    have people only got a 12 month memory span?

    Micheal Owen is better than Wayne Rooney, look at their goal scoring record… Owen beats Rooney hands down but yet everyone seems to think Rooney is the key to Englands sucess… Sky Sports showed statisitcs last night and England score more goals and win more games with Owen & without Rooney.

    Hes had a rough time with injuries but ye of litle faith will be eating your words very soon me thinks.

  • 8 e // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    shaun… have you seen martins in an interview…? he sounds like a little kid hes not 28..

  • 9 rich // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    @Shaun

    Oba is 22 – FACT, the whole shinaningans about him being 28 was a type-o on the official Nigerian website which they retracted and said officially taht they apologise and that Oba is defnitly 22.

    Peaple tell me ‘just look at him, does he look 22?’

    look at ROoney, im 22 and Rooney looks much older than me, Stevie Taylor is younger than me and looks much older… i read somewhere its to do with all the fitness training etc… gives them more testosterone so they age quicker than the average guy.

    CONFIRMED OBA IS 22!!!!

  • 10 AndyW // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    I think Oba has the raw talent but MO is probably a better team and link up player. The key is who can build the better relationship with Viduka. I suspect that wouldbe MO but no denying Oba has the X factor. Reminds me a bit of Tino, not so much in style of play, but in the “what is he going to do next” sense. Great fun to watch and a nightmare to defend against.

    Just good for the Toon that we have the choice.

  • 11 graham // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    i’ve forgotton what owen looks like in a black and white shirt so i’ll have to go with Oba! Someone will need to calm me down here but i think Martins has the potential to become a world class striker in 4-5 years time. I just hope he does it with us…

  • 12 dave bulman // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    i think owen has to prove his fitness to get back into newcastle team,martins playing well at moment and his pace terrifies defenders,its not fair to presume he will make way just because owen back.if had to sell one of them it would be owen,martins young with alot of potential and doesnt get injuried much,its good we have the options now in the squad.our midfield and striking options amazing when you look at it on paper:barton ,geremi,milner,nzogbia,duff,butt,emre,and smith in midfield if you want,and owen,martins ,viduka,amoebi and smith upfront and carroll for the future upfront who looks one of best prospects around.this to add to the fact we strenghtened defence with rozenhal looking a great buy and good alongside taylor who alex ferguson rates as the best young defender since steve bruce.enrigue whose highly rated,cacapa wit h experience and maybe 1 or 2 more before window shuts.team need time to gel but over next few seasons we could surprise a few,hopefully we can keep our best players and keep adding new talent and a trophy not far off or champions league football,thats what we need.

  • 13 Keep Oba // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Well…it looks that England is forced to rely on Owen much more than Newcastle have to currently, which is fine by me. Who is our best striker? I think you know my answer. And if its a toss up between Owen, Martins, and Viduka…well only one is on the upswing in his career and not the downside…either way Its a hell of alot better than what Tottenham is putting out there right now. 16.5mil for Bent? Give me Oba any day. The African Cup is going to be a rippin contest…I see that Cup as only getting better and better over the ensuing years.

  • 14 Hammy // Aug 16, 2007 at 12:58 PM

    If BSA is wanting to play Big man , Little man upfront, then Owen will have to wait until Oba’s injured……..and if things go well, injuries may miraculously be a thing of the past for certain players ( you can read into that).
    Personally I think he’ll stick with Oba and Viduka as Viduka is a master at playing people in and holding the ball up……..
    But as they say…it could be a horses for courses and Big Sam might want to keep opposition managers on their toes so who knows????

  • 15 t-g-w // Aug 16, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    I think that everyone forgets just how good Michael Owen really is because he has hardly played for the last 2 years. On his day, he is better than Martins and if he plays enough games (which is crucial) then he is a guarenteed 20+ goals a season man. Martins has a very bright future but his link up play is poor and he needs to be more consistent. I’m sure Sam will help him with that though.

  • 16 evil dick // Aug 16, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    owen is class, i can’t believe how short peoples memory can be. Hopefully we will see him fully fit this season banging in the goals. his record speaks for its self, even at newcastle.

  • 17 Bosck // Aug 16, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    personally i would like to see all of them in a front 3 as all offer something different, but that would mean milner wouldnt be there, but i guess he could drop to midfield.

    In terms of who i prefer between owen or martins, i’d have to go with martins cos he is more the type of players i like. but its a hard choice between the 2 as to who should start if only one can, at the moment its got to be oba as he has the spot and is scoring but if owen can rediscover his goalscoring form and stay fit then you might have to go for him instead with oba coming on after 60 mins to terrify defences.

    Itas got to be said though, i think most of us toon fans are just not used to having all these options for the 1st 11 rather than it picking its self. All this competition for places is great!!!

  • 18 Dave // Aug 16, 2007 at 1:28 PM

    We’ll definately, should the game plan go as we want, see Owen play a part on Saturday. Albeit as a sub, a scoring sub that is :-).

    Is anyone else out there absolutely beside themselves with excitement about Saturday’s game?

    It feels like a damn cup final! COME ON!

  • 19 Ian // Aug 16, 2007 at 2:12 PM

    One thing Owen has which Oba doesn’t (yet) is the ability to make the right runs and be in the right (scoring) place at the right time. We saw it even when he made his sort-of comeback against reading last season. Whereas Oba has to do more for his goals – beat a man, score from distance or whatever, Owen seems to score easy goals by escaping his markers and being in the right place to get on the end of a pass.

    Ian

  • 20 James // Aug 16, 2007 at 3:03 PM

    I love Oba Martins! last year he was a 21 y/o playing his first season in the premiership without even having a natural strike partner at times and he still did brilliantly! Im looking for him to top 20+ goals in the premier league this season even with the African cup of nations. Michael Owen is one of the better England strikers to ever play the game but it is sad that at 28 he is already two years past his best. Owen will still be great for us but its time we rally around Martins who at 22 could be wearing the #9 for another 12 years conceivably. I’m looking at Martins to become the best striker in the premiership this season. Much better than that over priced Darren Bent or the cocky, cheating Drogba.

  • 21 fred // Aug 16, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Dhey guys don’t bother with Martins’ age. African player sometime it’s like Cuban’s baseball player, you never know for sure.
    If midfielder have enough skills to creative pass to Martins, he’ll do damage. Viduka will be a presence in the traffic and he’ll get some rebounds. Owen has the instinct and knows where to be. Nobody in those 3 or four including A.Smith will keep the ball too much so there’s no problem. Soon, other teams will envy us in front.

  • 22 david veitch // Aug 16, 2007 at 7:05 PM

    Michael Owen is class, and he knows it. He wants to perform at the top level hence his hesitancy about the direction the Toon were going in. Well were heading north to the top and Owen can smell it like the supporters.

    Why are people uncertain about his commitment now ? just you wait he will bag a hatful and so will Martins in a front three, not two, three.

  • 23 Obafan // Aug 16, 2007 at 8:24 PM

    Oba is the best striker at the moment. I hope he can keep his level and I also hope that MO will get 100% fit so then it depends on who will play, but I prefer (look at my nick) Oba. I’m very pleased with Viduka and Smith to be at the toon.
    Great work BS.

  • 24 Ed Harrison // Aug 16, 2007 at 9:42 PM

    Dave – agree with you – every game may have to be like a cup final this season – every point is vital – especially first 10 games when we don’t meet any top 4 teams!

  • 25 Ed Harrison // Aug 16, 2007 at 9:44 PM

    ObaFan – i second that – BS has done fabulously.

  • 26 Markus // Aug 16, 2007 at 10:27 PM

    You cannot drop Oba after the 2 goals, it sets a bad precedent for present players about possible future players. MO has greater quality but is a very selfish player (ask any Liverpool fan – and ask if they want him back). His Premier League match fitness is also in doubt. Stick him on the subs bench.

  • 27 CheeBye // Aug 17, 2007 at 2:54 AM

    I feel both have their own unique qualities which can be only good for BS to choose from, in facing different opponents. BS could either look at form and decide the front 2 or 3, or he could have rotate them, which maybe, he did not has the luxury to do at Bolton.

    Owen’s scoring record for every team he played for is phenomenal. A great goal proacher, I still remember his 2 goals against WBA 2 seasons ago. Classic.

    Oba is truly a talent. At 22, I am really happy to see him here, instead of Manure or the Arse guys. Hope we can be successful and he will stay. His play is more unpredictable than Owen too.

    To be able to debate over this kind of issue is really a good thing to have! This proves our club has the ability and firepower to worry any team in the world.

    Howay the Lads!

  • 28 Tito // Aug 17, 2007 at 7:14 AM

    I feel both Oba and Owen has their own unique qualities, which in turn is good for different kind of approaches against different opponents.

    Oba is more unpredictable and tricky, and his techinique is certainly better than Owen, in terms of acrobatics, dribbling and strength. His overhead kick is testimony of his shooting technique. I never see Owen done that before. I’m glad that he is not in Manure or others’ squad.

    But Owen’s striker’s instinct is one of the best around. He managed to get great scoring records for every club he played for, even for Real Madrid when he is a bench warmer. He has great shooting technique too, I still remember his 2 goals against WBA 2 seasons ago. Classic.

    It’s a blessing indeed that we have these 2 strikers in our squad. I trust BS in his judgement of putting who to play for the match and who will come on later.

    Seem like the both of them are staying for this season. Let’s terrorise the EPL’s defence!

    Howay the Lads!




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