Newcastle Have World Class Striker in Owen

SAM Allardyce thinks the Premier League’s Big Four clubs will now be disappointed they didn’t gamble on Michael Owen this summer – and the Newcastle United manager is obviously pleased they didn’t.

Sam always said it was a worry for him that a club could come in for Michael at any time during the summer. That was also true with Oba Martins. Any clubs could have presumably exploited a £9M get-out clause in Owen’s contract but none did.

Now with Michael scoring 5 goals in 4 games for Newcastle and England he is starting to look at least as good as he was in the past, and Sam thinks he can get even better.


Sam Allardyce Michael is back to his best form

This is what Sam told the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“They didn’t want to risk it on the past (injury) record clearly,”

“Based on what has happened over the last few games, £9M is a bargain. It was a bit of a risk a few weeks back.”

Owen has started just 13 games for Newcastle in his first two seasons, but hopefully that number will rise rather rapidly along with the 9 goals he has now scored for the club. It’s certainly been a long haul for player, club and supporters, but patience now looks like it’s paying off big time.

Allardyce was asked if he thought the top clubs had made an error in not pursuing Michael this is how Sam responded:

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I had it I would be in Marbella with a massive villa and a golf course retired as a multi-millionaire.”

Our understanding with the release clause is that it only became active when Newcastle failed to qualify for European competition last season. Former Chairman Freddy Shepherd said the window of opportunity to sign Owen at £9M closed before the end of August. If we do well this season we assume the release clause cannot be activated again. Of course, what we’d really like to see is Michael sign a new extended contract at Newcastle but Sam, always the pragmatist, is more concerned about ensuring Michael is enjoying his football first and foremost, as he continued:

“A player of that caliber will decide what he wants if he stays fit,” “Unless he likes where he is and is enjoying himself he won’t enter negotiations.”

“After all the hard work already done under the new chairman and owners, we don’t want to lose our best players.”“If Michael stays fit, of course I would want him to stay for the rest of his career.”

“In full flow he is a fearsome prospect for any defense in world football.” “I have to try to help him steer clear of niggly injuries. If we can he is going to be enjoying his football even more.”

“Having just got back from injury in such a short period of time, not really being 100% fit, he has really done well. The boost in confidence over the last four games has escalated his fitness rapidly.”

Michael has always preferred to play alongside a big man, which is why Shearer and Owen looked so great together a couple of years ago, and why Emile Heskey and Owen always play well together. Well, we have two big men in the squad in Mark Viduka and Shola Amaeob, so we see no reason why that partnership (big man small man) cannot be duplicated at Newcastle. We also have Andrew Carroll, at 6’3″, one for the future, currently learning his trade at Preston North End. And, of course, we have the emerging great talent of a certain Oba Martins.

Sam went on:

“Michael has always liked playing with a big man,” “Everyone knows that big man, little man combination is better.”“As a team of players getting to know each other, I try and guide them to where their strengths and weaknesses are.”

“The partnerships between him and Mark, Shola (Ameobi) and Oba (Martins) are the important things we work on, getting an understanding. It is a long haul.”

“What formation we play depends on who we have available. We play whatever system suits on the day. I believe the element of surprise and change needs to be in everybody’s locker, despite what my ex-chairman at Bolton said.”

Newcastle fans are certainly excited and energized by the great performances of Owen recently for both club and country. Of course Newcastle have started the season under Big Sam very well indeed, and all we need now is 3 points at Derby on Monday evening and everything in the garden will be rosy. 11 points from our first 5 games and more to come, according to both manager Allardyce and captain Geremi.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • ed

    Sep 14, 2007 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #1

    5 goals in 4 games, i believe…

  • Hadji

    Sep 14, 2007 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #2

    Ever since Mike Ashley took over i wondered about one thing.I hear too many positive comments about him.
    The question is:What would Mike Ashley do if he hadn’t had BSA with his negotiating skills to completely renew the squad for 11mill outcome.
    I mean how long did it took for us to get Faye,almost 3 weeks for 2mill,not to mention Dyer’s situation by pulling the plug cause of the additional 1 mill.
    I just wouldn’t like us to have a stiff of an owner.
    So far all the credits go to BSA adress not MA.

  • Tom from Aus

    Sep 14, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #3

    i dont believe that owen is at his best but he is very, very near it. We still haven’t seen him play really good football yet at newcastle, not like against russia. i think the derby match and even the arsenal game coming up soon will be a great time for him to show his best and how good he can really be.

    and would also like to know how oba is feeling. all the attention is on owen at the moment and oba hasnt scored a EPL goal since the bolton match. i think he would also have alot of pressure on him

    i am just that we didnt sell owen at the begining of the season

  • Tom from Aus

    Sep 14, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #4

    i think that is good that emre wants to leave because he is always injured!! it is a waste of money and we have players who can play on the left like zog or duff.

    when is duff coming back and how is he going to fit into this new newcastle team. would he go up front or out on the left side?Ed.

  • rave

    Sep 14, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #5

    its 5 goals in 4 games=)

  • Tom from Aus

    Sep 14, 2007 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #6

    last thing i have to add is that both of the goals that owen scored NO ONE WAS MARKING HIM. wat rubbish defending. Thats a shock considering that Guus hiddink is the coach. he wouldnt be happy.

  • rich

    Sep 14, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #7

    Hadji –

    not sure if you know this but managers arent involved in the negoatiting process, the player can speak to the manager if he wants to to see what his vision is which usually happens.

    The rest is done by executives & agents.

    The faye deal took longer not because of us but because Bolton wanted to keep ahold of him, but in the end Sammy Lee realised that Fays mind wasnt in the right palce at Bolton hence he was withdrawn for their starting line-up so they decided to cash in.

    The dyer situation was Big Sams doing, Sam admitted after much discussion with the NUFC hierarchy they had plenty of cash and 6Mil was a gross-under valuation of Dyer, just look at how much palyers like Chopra & Curtis Davis, gareth Bale etc.. have cost clubs, and they are under-23.

    i think we have a great partnership with Mike Ashley & Big Sam, long may it continue, i just cant wait to see who we sign when we are back in Europe.

  • roscoe

    Sep 14, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #8

    I wanna see Owen and Martins up front on monday!!

    Think its a good game to see if they gel, they could be very dangerous!!
    Oba can jump for high balls very well and crosses well as we saw against wigan!

    Come on Sam, give them a shot!!

  • Hadji

    Sep 14, 2007 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #9

    Thanks Rich


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