Newcastle now have a strong striker force with Viduka and Smith coming in during the summer and Owen and Ameobi recovered from their long term injuries.
Add to that our acquisition of Martins, to fill in for Owen a year ago, and we now have 5 strikers battling it out for say 2 striker positions.
Can Sam keep these players happy during the season â€“ let’s see what Sam says about that.
Sam Allardyce – challenge to keep all our strikers happy this season
Sam writes a regular column for Zoo magazine and had this to say in his latest article for them:
â€œWeâ€™ve got five top-class strikers at Newcastle now in Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins, Shola Ameobi and Alan Smith.â€
â€œIâ€™ve been asked how I can keep them all happy, but the truth is I donâ€™t know yet.â€œI can tell you this â€“ Iâ€™ll be playing the best two strikers in the best form at the time and the others will have to be patient.”
“I wonâ€™t be going in for rotation because I donâ€™t have European competition to worry about.â€
â€œRafa Benitez (the Liverpool manager) needs to rotate because he will have 60 games to get through. All that will matter to me is who is on form.â€
Benitez is well known for rotating his players, but hasn’t had too much success with that policy â€“ at least not in the Premier league. Now that Michael Owen is ready to play it means competition for places will soon become far more fierce for the two or three striker positions.
Alan Smithâ€™s performances in a withdrawn midfield role have proved he can hold a position there for Newcastle and doesn’t necessarily need to play as a striker. But Owen, Viduka, Martins and Ameobi all will need to fight for those striker positions.
This is probably why the club is looking to offload Luque because Albert is probably our 6th choice striker and the chances of him playing many games on Tyne-side is remote to say the least. Of course Albert can also play on the left wing but we also have Duff (when fit), N’Zogbia and Milner to play there â€“ and also Alan Smith at a push.
To us this competition for places is not a problem but something that’s inevitable if we are to build up a squad ready to fight for honors.
Oba Martins has shown the right attitude when last week he insisted he knew there will be times when he doesnâ€™t make the starting team. All the players will need this attitude if we are to be successful this season, as the team is the most important entity â€“ not individual players.
One of Sam’s challenges is to be able to have a strong squad and keep the players happy. Because we don’t have European games this season, and will only play around 40 games, that will make it hard â€“ at least in his first season.
Let us know what you think on this – comments welcome.