Michael Owen – just after heading winning goal against Wigan
- There is little doubt that Michael Owen is returning to form. While he did miss chances yesterday not many players would have been in the positions Michael got into and he was also unlucky and didn’t exactly have the rub of the green. But Michael looks confident again and he’ll get goals out of nothing for Newcastle – like his goal yesterday when everything looked lost. Michael is very like Shearer in that he just loves scoring goals – you could see that in his celebrations of yesterdays game winning goal when Oba Martins beautifully set it up for him. Martins and Owen are jewels in the crown for Allardyce and both have to be used to top advantage this season.
- The defense looked as solid as a rock. While it was only the second game together for Cacapa and Rozehnal they looked like they played together for years. That’s what experience gives you and we’re sure the presence of these two will only accelerate young Steven Taylor’s development. Steven looked good at right back, seemed to enjoy himself and could have had two goals. We cannot see Cacapa and Rozehnal not being our top choice at center back – they take no chances, are good in the air, and read the game well.
- It’s hard to see right now why we would need Edmilson in January from Barcelona – once he’s recovered from his knee surgery. But since he’s Brazil’s center-back and can be brought in for very little money we still expect Sam to get him. Hope Sam, can keep all these excellent defenders happy – because they cannot all play.
- James Milner was his usual sprightly self on the left wing and must have impressed watching England manager Steve McClaren. It’s hard to believe it but James seems to be getting better and is now fulfilling the promise he showed when playing in Leeds United’s first team 5 years ago when he was only 16 years old. He can do a job for England on the let wing and as he gets more games he’s becoming very consistent – consistently good.
- Stephen Harper had another good game and made a stunning save to his left from a free kick in the first half. Shouts of “Harper for England” went out from the crowd. Harper may be the most under-rated keeper around and we have to believe he would have played for England if he had been playing regularly for some other team in the Premiership these last several years – he’s that good. How long Shay Given will be willing to sit out as sub, is a topic of discussion however.
- We think the team looks much more solid in a 4-4-2 formation because we seem to have the players for that formation. In 4-3-3 we don’t look as solid in central midfield – and there’s just too much room on the wings for the opposition to exploit.
- It’s possible for Owen and Martins to play together. Not necessarily as the front two, because of their lack of height. But Martins looked really menacing on the right wing in the last 25 minutes and set up a great goal for Michael Owen. Martins scares the life out of defenders because of his lightning speed – plus they’re never sure what he’s going to do next. We think Sam used his subs superbly yesterday to win the game.
- It’s still going to take Sam a little time to get things right â€“ which he will â€“ so fans will still need to be a little patient, as they were yesterday.
Comments very welcome.