McClaren – Owen will Start against Estonia


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.

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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 – 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.”

“They will assess him and it is up to them what they do with him.” “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.”

“Newcastle fans should not be worried. They should be delighted he has come back so quickly.”“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.



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8 comments so far

  • Lull

    Oct 6, 2007 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #1

    Bla bla Michael Owen bla bla bla.. I have enough with Michael Owen and his England squad involvement! As long he’s not scoring regularly for Newcastle like Martins and Viduka does, I will always view him as an England & Liverpool player.end quote.

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  • Graeme

    Oct 6, 2007 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #2

    Have to agree; its getting boring now. England comes first, we just pay his wages and pick up the pieces. Does anyone know if there is any talks underway to have his “Buy out” clause removed – there was talk that negotiations had started with Martins, to have his clause removed, but its gone very quiet on that one as well.

    I dont see how he can be passed as fully fit for England if he hasnt played at least a full 90 minutes for his club, or does that only apply to other clubs who’s managers tell England to F off over their players who have been out injured??!!!!!!

    Sell him, buy Eto’o!!! lol

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  • Soren

    Oct 6, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Not liking the thought of Owen starting for England so soon after an operation. He should show his club some respect, and tell the england team that they are going to do without him this time. Tired of these in and out story about Owen, England and injuries.

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  • Lull

    Oct 6, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #4

    3 important things about Michael Owen – England , Injuries & bucket load of goals (for England) .

    Geez..i cant see any Newcastle in there?!

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  • ToonKing

    Oct 6, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #5

    Damn i hate McLaren…..if Owen gets injured again i’m gonna blow up his house.

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  • Steeley

    Oct 6, 2007 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #6

    I was up until this week a supporter of Michael Owen and thought he really would come good. The fine line has just been broken for me. He may well be a great striker but his fitness is shocking and he doesnt seem to have any commitment to the club (will the clause ever be removed – I doubt it very much!).
    He has no reason to be committed to us (apart from the fact that we paid his wages for nowt for the best part of 18 months!), but I doubt that makes a differnce.
    I say sell him and get rid of the little turd once and for all. Then we can concentrate on other things instead of whether he will play for England and get injured again!

    The whole issue is becoming rather bori…..ZZZzzzzzz

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  • SteveD

    Oct 6, 2007 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #7

    I can only add to the sentiment already versed here today

    Toon = 2nd place, regardless of what is said in the press, England will always be first for Owen and it’s a bloody disgrace. We pay his wages, I can only thing Sam has capitulated to pressure from the FA [who know FA about football in the North East]. If [and I hope to God this does not happen] he comes back injured I only hope the British press come down on the side of the Club side of the argument.

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  • ChrisL

    Oct 6, 2007 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Ed, please give the “Owen, will he wont he” a rest for at least a week!!!

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