If Michal Owen is fit he will start England’s game against Estonia next Saturday.
That’s what Steve McClaren said today regarding the situation with Michael Owen, who trained yesterday and will train today with the Newcastle squad.
Sam Allardyce yesterday was quite optimistic about Owen being available for the crucial game with Everton at St James’ Park.
Michael Owen – everybody concerned about his current fitness
But as we indicated yesterday Michael will join up with the England squad on Tuesday whether he plays in the Newcastle game on Sunday or not.
There have been indications in the last few days, because of seemingly conflicting statements from Sam and Steve, that there is a growing rift between the two. We don’t think that is the case at all. Obviously Steve McClaren wants Owen to play next Saturday, if he is fit, and so does Sam. But it may be that tomorrow’s game comes a little too early for Michael.
But he could well be OK for the England games. The only thing that cannot happen, is for Michael to be injured again playing for England â€“ that’s a bit of a nightmare scenario for Newcastle and Big Sam, not to mention the fans.
Steve McClaren has not surprisingly, been in regular touch with Big Sam this week about Michael, and this is what the England manager said today:
“If he is fit, he will play,” “Two or three weeks ago, it seemed impossible but the situation is Michael’s operation went well, he has been training with his physic all week and is training with Newcastle today and tomorrow.â€
“They will assess him and it is up to them what they do with him.â€ “Hopefully he comes through and hopefully he plays on Sunday but even if he doesn’t he will join us on Tuesday.”
McClaren then classified that there’s been good communication between himself and Big Sam this week and we know that Sam will do his best to make Michael available for England, but obviously, not at the expense of Newcastle or Michael’s fitness.
Steve went on:
“I spoke to Sam this morning,” “The club versus country issue is something that is blown up quite a lot. I have a great relationship with Sam.â€
“Newcastle fans should not be worried. They should be delighted he has come back so quickly.â€“We will take no risk with the player but it will be our decision whether to play him or not.”
“He has proved how important he is over the games he has played for us,” “His goals have won us games. That is what we have been missing for quite a while.”
It was Owen’s brilliant brace against Russia last month that helped put England back on track for Austria and Switzerland next summer. Owen is obviously a key player for England and his absence over the last 18 months has seen England not meet with good results. Michael’s goals in the previous wins over Israel and Estonia helped put England back in the ascendancy for qualification for the finals next summer.
Comments always welcome.