Michael Owen was training today with his colleagues at the Benton training Facility in Newcastle.
Provided there are no ill effects, Sam says he will name the England striker in the Newcastle squad for Sundayâ€™s home game with Everton.
Michael will train again tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if Sam will include him in his final 16 on Sunday.
Michael Owen – why rush him back for Everton?
If we are being absolutely honest weâ€™d prefer Owen wasnâ€™t included because itâ€™s just a week since he had his double operation and thereâ€™s no need to rush him back for Newcastle. Martins can deputize extremely well for Owen, as most Newcastle fans will agree, and Oba looked excellent last week at Man City and of course scored a great goal.
If Michael doesnâ€™t make the squad on Sunday it will be interesting to see what McClaren does in Englandâ€™s qualifying games. Again we hope he doesnâ€™t play in the qualifiers because thereâ€™s a risk in that whether you admit it or not. We should learn from last yearâ€™s world cup and not put Michael at risk like he was put at risk then – and Michael and Newcastle paid for it.
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce talked about Owen this afternoon:
“I think he will be available for Sunday, so I do not think that will be a problem.â€ “Based on today, as long as he does not get any reaction, he will be available for the squad.â€
“He will come in tomorrow and train again and he will be okay, so I think he will be available for selection.”
Michael will join up with the England squad whether he plays or not on Sunday of course, but we don’t see why Michael should be rushed back on Sunday, certainly not to please Steve McClaren. Sam continued:
“It is nothing to do with Steve McClaren and England what I do with Michael Owen. â€œ “It is what I think is the best for the football club and the team on Sunday, and Michael Owen all combined.â€
“I have never been one to ask somebody to play and risk being injured again.â€ “I take my medical staff’s information, the highly-qualified staff I have got, and I take their recommendation.â€
“Unless I am really, really desperate – and I mean really desperate – I would not ask a player to go out there who I do not think is going to complete the game, or is going to make his condition worse than it already is.â€
“If he is fit, he is fit. If he plays on Sunday, then obviously he is fit to play for England then.â€ “But I have to look at my position first and make sure if I am going to select him, he is 100% able to do what I want him to do.”
“We have to bear in mind his previous, and his recent previous has not been too good when he has tried to complete a number of games.â€ “He has had two sets of surgery, even though they were only minor and an adductor, and I am always very protective for the future.â€
“I won’t be over-protective, but protective enough not to put myself into trouble in the future by risking Michael Owen too early. â€œ â€œThat is a big decision to make. Every player when he thinks he is fit from his injury, thinks he it fit to play, and sometimes as a manager, you have got to look a bit longer and deeper than that.”
If Michael is in the squad on Sunday and plays at all â€“ even if heâ€™s brought on as a substitute for the last 5 minutes, everyone will say he can then play for England. If he doesnâ€™t play then Sam has every right to tell McClaren he is not fit to play for England and thatâ€™s the end of the matter. In that case Owen will still travel with the squad, but he wouldnâ€™t play in the England games. Then weâ€™d all be sure that when he does play next, probably against Tottenham on 22nd October, he will be fully fit.
That sounds like a good plan for Newcastle and Sam to take, and it’s for Michael’s best interests.
What do you think?