Sam Allardyce is rightly saying that Newcastle United and the Newcastle medical team will be the ones to decide when Michael Owen is fit and whether heâ€™ll be fit enough to play for England.
But last weekend Sam was also saying that Michael would be back in training in a few days and may play this Sunday which raised hopes unrealistically about Michaelâ€™s fitness.
Seems to us Sam may be confusing things.
Sam Allardyce – rightly says Newcastle are the deciders on Owen
Owen underwent surgery last week in Germany to repair a 3 cm muscle tear in his groin and a weakness in his stomach to prevent a full fledged hernia and the procedures went dramatically well.
Sam wrote in his regular Zoo Magazine column:
“The FA and Steve McClaren are not involved – it’s a Newcastle decision.â€ “A decision like that is taken by me, the club doctor, the head of sports medicine, the senior physiotherapist, the person who reads the scan and the specialist.â€
“There’s no one more qualified than the staff at Newcastle to know what Michael’s condition is and if and when we ought to be doing anything about it.â€
“My job is to get him fit to play for Newcastle. If he’s fit for us, it means he will be fit for England.” “Despite the speculation, Michael couldn’t have continued playing. He has a three centimeter tear in the abductor muscle in his groin and he just couldn’t have kept going. The tear would have just got bigger had he done.”
Thatâ€™s absolutely right and since McClaren said yesterday that he would be the one to decide not the player thatâ€™s really not the case. Those who pay Michaelsâ€™s wages are the deciders without doubt.
If only we had done this last summer before the world cup.
Itâ€™s obvious that McClaren will be extremely keen to have Owen fit because he basically saved England with 3 great goals in the two qualifying games against Israel and Russia during the last England break. Particularly against Russia, Michael looked a world class striker.
But Sam is sending strange signals to England manager Steve McClaren because only last weekend Sam raised the expectations of everybody when he stated:
â€œHe is with the best in the world and that is why itâ€™s only a few daysâ€™ recovery.â€ â€œWith what weâ€™ve heard from Germany it might be a shorter recovery than we thought,â€
â€œTaking that and the abductor into consideration, who knows? He may even be fit for Everton next week.â€ â€œThereâ€™s a possibility, the surgeon said.â€
â€œThere was such little damage, hardly any at all, it wasnâ€™t really a hernia, it was just a threatening of one and she has tidied that up now.â€ â€œWe think the recovery will be days rather than weeks.â€
We thought this was a mistake at the time because all it did was unrealistically raise expectations about Michaelâ€™s ability to play in Englandâ€™s qualifying games. There was no need to be so positive especially when Michael does not have a good track record of quick recoveries and Michael himself didnâ€™t sound too keen last weekend after the two procedures.
We all know McClaren would love for him to be fit, but the real problem with all of this for Newcastle fans is that Michael has played a measly 15 games for Newcastle since August 2005 and probably around 8 games for England. What’s wrong with this picture?
If Michael had played 80 times over the last 2 seasons for the Magpies then Newcastle fans and the club would not be so edgy and cautious.
That’s really what’s at the bottom of this. Michael wants to play for England and that’s fine but with his injuries over the last two seasons and his non-appearance for Newcastle the management and fans are getting a little edgy – in case he gets injured yet again. That would just be too much.