It’s taking a little while for Michael Owen to rediscover his sharpness after almost two years in the football wilderness.
His two serious injuries, the metatarsal and ACL knee problems, haveÂ restricted him to just a few first class-games for Newcastle United since he signed almost exactly two years ago.
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has been talking to Paul Gilder of the Newcastle Journal â€“ so we’ll take a look at what he says about Michael.
Michael Owen – everybody hoping he can make the breakthrough with goals
Sam Allardyce said:
â€œThere are no doubts in my mind,â€ â€œI donâ€™t think Michael has anything to prove to anyone in regard to what a good player he is. Iâ€™m certain that, should he manage to avoid injuries, he will start to improve and the goals and the confidence will start to come back.”
“I was disappointed, as he was, that he didnâ€™t win the game at Boro. He sneaked in and got the chance and he was disappointed not to put in the net.â€
That chance was after 82 minutes when a cross in from the left found Michael unmarked, with his back to the goal on the six yard line. He tried to help the ball on with his foot and it looked like any touch would have sent the ball passed Schwarzer, but Michael failed to make contact. On another day it would have been a good opportunist goal for Michael. We’ll have to be patient a little until Michael finds his touch again.
Sam went on:
â€œBut as long as heâ€™s still getting into the right positions â€“ which he is â€“ Iâ€™m sure that it will come.”
“He got in there and made the chance to score a goal, he just couldnâ€™t quite take it, but he hasnâ€™t lost that instinct and itâ€™s just about putting the ball in the net as soon as he can and moving on from there.â€
It’s now almost two years to the day since Michael signed for Newcastle and who will ever forget the 25,000 that turned up just to see Michael at St. James’ Park. It was news shown around the world and reflected so well on the Newcastle supporters. Owen’s start tonight against Barnsley will be only his 14th in a Newcastle shirt. We are all hoping that Owen’s injury troubles are over , and certainly Big Sam’s fitness and training methods should help him.
Sam went on:
â€œWe all hope and keep our fingers crossed that weâ€™ve seen the last of his problems,â€
â€œWhat Michael wants to do is stay fit and play games and enjoy his football again for as long as he possibly can, both with Newcastle United and with England, and try to help us be successful and try to get to a position where, when we select him on a week-to-week basis, he produces the goals we know he can.”
“If we do that, then we are going to be a very, very good side throughout this year in the Premier League.â€
â€œMichaelâ€™s a very quiet man and a very determined man who commits himself to his rehabilitation to get fit as quickly as he possibly can. Now he can extend that into his rehabilitation work on a regular basis, which he will do to make sure he stays fit and rekindle his obvious talent for scoring goals and playing football.”
“You have got a much happier player when that happens, when he will hopefully put all fears behind him in the next few weeks, because in his mind, there will always be the doubt of â€˜Am I going to get injured again?â€™.”
“The longer he goes without an injury, the more confidence he will get.â€
Well it would be a good time tonight for Michael to break through and score a goal. We have not lost confidence in him at all, and as Sam says he has shown the guts and determination in the past to come through and we fully expect Michael to start firing on all cylinders again.
Owen will be back with goals, we’re certain of that – just maybe tonight.