Sam Will Decide When Owen Match Fit


Sam Allardyce has given a very interesting interview to Paul Gilder of the Newcastle Journal today regarding Michael Owen’s fitness and the upcoming England games that Michael will, in all likelihood, be participating in.

Sam is OK with Owen spearheading England’s attempts in their European 2008 qualification campaign, but Allardyce will ask McClaren not to make too many demands on a player who Sam feels remains vulnerable.

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Sam Allardyce – he and the medical staff decide when Owen is fit – not Michael

Sam told the Newcastle Journal today:

“It would be unfair to put too much pressure on Michael Owen at the moment,”

“I mean that from our point of view and from England’s point of view.

“It’s safe to say that we will bring Michael into the squad (for tomorrow’s first home match) after his two appearances this week.”

“But he’s still lacking match practice. He’s fit from the injury, but we wouldn’t say he’s 100% match fit.”

“That’s the reason for organizing the two games for him to catch up.”

Owen declared himself fully fit following his appearance last Monday against Blue Star at Kingston Park, but Allardyce sensibly will depend upon his medical team to provide a definitive ruling, not on Michael.

It seems to us that Michael is always very keen to play for England which is not unusual but sometimes he wants to play even when he is not fully fit – and that has certainly impacted his Newcastle career.

Sam went on:

“Like all players, he’s going to say he’s fit before he is,”

“But I have to stop all players being impatient when they’ve been injured.”

“As soon as players come back and take part in a training session or feature in a reserve game, they’ll insist that they’re ready.”

“But they’re footballers and I’m a manager.”

“The sports scientists and medical people are the experts. We take their judgment rather than the player’s.”

“The player has a big say in how he feels and what his problems are, there’s no doubt about that.”

“But we have to override their impatience sometimes for their benefit, for my benefit, for everyone’s benefit.”

“You have to look at what’s best in the long run, use your experience and listen to everyone’s opinion and make up your mind as manager from there.”

“Once the manager has made his mind up, he’s made his mind up. That’s the end of it.”

It seems likely as though Allardyce will have Owen on the bench when Martin O’Neil’s Aston Villa arrive for tomorrow night’s Premier League match. However, he will not oppose the player’s participation in next week’s friendly against Germany at Wembley.  Allardyce feels the chance to get further football under his belt in England colors will prove beneficial to United and he will seek talks with McClaren after this weekend’s game to discuss the subject.

We think this is why Owen sustained his horrific injury during the world cup – everything was geared to him coming back for England last summer but he played only half a game for Newcastle toward the end of the 2005-2006 season. He wasn’t match fit last summer and suffered his injury and was out for almost a season. Sam is subtly pointing that out since we don’t want that to happen again.

“The only problem with Michael is the match practice he’s lacking, but there are games coming up for the first team and the reserves, behind-closed-doors games and England matches, all in a short period of time,”

“If players are fit, they’ll get called up by their countries and there’s not much you can do about it.”

“I make people aware of the situation with them, wherever they may be playing, and if they do go and play for their countries, I hope they’ll be looked after.”

“I’ll speak to Steve after the weekend because we’ll have a better view of it then. Michael’s a bit more in the forefront after Rooney’s injury, that’s obvious.”

“Steve has to get ready for the qualifiers (next month) and this game could be a good exercise for Michael Owen, Steve McClaren and Newcastle United.”

Owen of course has endured an 18-month nightmare with various injuries, but as he attempts to help the player put his problems behind him, Allardyce has urged Michael to focus on the future.

“People dwell too much on the past in this game, and in life.”

“If it’s in the past, you can’t do anything about it. You can learn from it.”

“You take what you can and move forward and look to the future.”

“ That’s the most important thing for us all. Michael’s relieved to have come through the two games with no reaction and it’s good news for me and for everyone at the club.”

“Michael Owen is Michael Owen, he’s a goalscorer.”

Some Sam philosophies there about life that are so true.

Sam is right in what he says and that’s why his injury record at Bolton was so good. We’re sure we’ll see improvements in our injury record as we progress through this season – touch wood there’s been no new injuries for a couple of weeks now.

Comments welcome.



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17 comments so far

  • george t

    Aug 17, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #1

    EXACTLY RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Rocky

    Aug 17, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #2

    Sam is absolutely right. I still think we should sell Michael Owen if we get the right offer. I think Owen will be blighted by injuries in the near future too. We have an awesone striker in Martins, Viduka is excellent and Ameobi can score a few. We also have Carroll as backup if needed.

    A little question for all readers, “Which players (s) that have left or been sold by Newcastlke in the past 3 years do you most regret?”

    For me it’s Michael Chopra. Local lad, great talent and only 500,000. I don’t think he got a fair chance at Newcastle. Ameobi got preference even when he was not scoring! Look at him now!!!!!!

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  • Hammy

    Aug 17, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #3

    Spot on Sam….how many times has Owen missed games for the toon just to be suddenly ” fit” for an impending important England game…….To me it’s Newcastle first and England second, the England team has flattered to deceive and after the last embarrassing tournement by the “superstars of English football” I no longer have any interest in the National squad.

    It’s about time the players realise who pay the wages and get their priorities right. Carragher has the right idea.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 17, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #4

    Rocky – i agree – we never gave him a chance – and now he’s got 2 goals in as many games for Sunderland – both good goals. With Martins looking so good and much younger – and Carroll can always come back from loan – so if we can cash in on Owen in January – we should. He’s not the force now he was when he signed for us – not to mention the number of games (14) he’s played for us in 2 years.

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  • Tom from Aus

    Aug 17, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #5

    i think can the best out of michael but if he cant sell him

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  • Max Banks

    Aug 17, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #6

    yh i thnk we should gt rid o martins becoz he is costing us too much in wages and play ameobi instead
    wot does every1 think

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  • Hammy

    Aug 17, 2007 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #7

    Bad move Max…..

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  • brian

    Aug 17, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #8

    Thats’s right… we get an area of the team sorted with good, class players and then the cry is sell him. Did you not realise last year we had a lack of in depth quality which SA is trying to rectify. I have seen negative comments like why do we need Faye! It’s called strength in depth especially with players who can cover more than one postion then that gives the manager flexibility. Yes Owen has been injured, but then again Shearer missed a season or two through injuries – was he a waste of time as well. For the first time in a long time we would struggle to pick the strongest 11 and that is great. I have no doubt that when SA thinks Owen’s condition is right then he will start scoring and force his way into the side, and then some of our fickle fans can choose another player to start hounding. As for Chopra I have no doubt he will score goals, but let’s face it he has scored how many in his PL career – is it 3. Are we seriously even mentioning him in the same breath as Owen? Chopra will do well at the mackems but if he was at the Toon now then he would still be 6th choice.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 17, 2007 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #9

    Martins is costing us alot in wages?!? Owen is earning much more and not playing!

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  • brian

    Aug 17, 2007 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #10

    that’s what happens in football – so let’s get rid of Duff, Emre et al. Oh and Berbatov is crap because he’s now injured. Owen, when fit, produces on the big stage unlike the little waster we have just got rid of and the likes of Bellamy. He has been exceptionally unfortunate with injuries over the last two years. Let SA and his team work on him to see if they can cure him and then we will have a world class forward on our hands – if he can’t fair enough. But unfortunately there are too many of our fans looking for targets in a black and white shirt. Owen has never done anything to discredit our shirt and I am not so sure I would have adhered to being ordered publicly by Shepherd to proclaime my loyalty especiall when it was that muppet who agreed to the clause anyway. What I do know he is here, we have other class strikers so we are not paralysed at his absence which in turn gives him leeway to get him properly condition by a first class support staff. Then we may well have a striker on our hands that the rest will fear because in the past he has delivered. If he continually breaks down this season then I have little doubt SA will get rid but for now let’s give our players the support that we used to give.

    Oh and the reason Owen earns more is because he is a proven world class striker – Martins has the ability and I dearly hope by having the threat of Owen sitting on the bench then that will continue to give Martins the motivation to keep scoring and to put in 100% effort – he did last week and the effort was noticeable. Do you think it is coincidence or like other players, they will all know that there are others not playing who want the place in the team.

    Keep Solano, get Faye, a right back and a playmaker – maximise the competition and threat to keeping your place and then we will get somewhere.

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  • toonfan1

    Aug 17, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #11

    omg max banks wat r u on!!! ameobi is no where near the quality of martins even if martins wages are a little high. id rather have a striker who in his newcastle time has had only a few injuries rather then ameobi who was out for the last five months of the season. martins all the way!!!

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  • Hadji

    Aug 17, 2007 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #12

    I would honestly like Owen to get the same injury like Van Basten and end his pathetic career,cause at the moment he’s worthless piece a s..t.Viva Martins

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  • brian

    Aug 17, 2007 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #13

    Hadji – go and support West Ham – that crowd deserve you.

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  • george t

    Aug 17, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #14

    HADJI….. i think u should apoligize for those comments ..that u would like a player to sustain an injury that would end his career… to me u are not a football supporter and i hope i never meet u …..your a first class piece of s***

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  • Hadji

    Aug 17, 2007 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #15

    Brian and George T i think that two of you should kiss my a**.So,I’m not a Newcastle supporter??????,believe me if you were just a third of a Newcastle supporter that I am you would know what i’m talking about.Just wait til he’s fully fit and starts scoring goals,you gonna see him in another club in January.He doesnt care for Newcastle but when he gets a call for England he’s suddenly remarkably fit again?!Check what happened with Dyer,all his spell at Newcastle he spent it in the treatement room instead of on the field,but now he’s fully fit and couldn’t wait to dump Newcastle.I bet he didnt even turn back for a second glance when he left Newcastle.Same will happen to Owen.

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  • ToonKing

    Aug 17, 2007 at 10:35 PM

    Comment #16

    Hadji u’r an idiot, period. I don’t care if Owen leaves in January, why should i? I support Newcastle not Owen. At the present time he’s at SJP and if he scores and the team wins i’m happy. And don’t compare Owen to Dyer mate, Owen never did anything to disrespect the shirt and he, unlike Dyer, has the right attitude and is a world class striker.

    Many players and managers come and go but the fans remain mate. If he helps the team by scoring goals, and i’m confident he will, i’m happy, if he decides to leave i will say goodbye and move on.

    U can’t bash Owen for something he didn’t yet do. Either your a pychic or a muppet, i prefer the latter.

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  • evil dick

    Aug 17, 2007 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #17

    owen is class and you are a complete muppet Hadji.

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