James Milner has spoken out in defense of Newcastle star Michael Owen, saying that Newcastle fans don’t fully appreciate the hard work Michael has been doing behind the scenes to get fit to play for Newcastle.
James points to Michael’s return on Sunday, after only 8 days following hernia surgery, as testament to Michael’s determination to do well at Newcastle.
James Milner – backing Michael Owen for success at Newcastle
This is what James told nufc.co.uk today:
â€œWhat has happened in recent weeks has been incredible,â€ â€œMichael was getting stick when he was coming back from his latest problem and I find that absolutely amazing. Heâ€™s a true professional and Iâ€™m sure the last setback was very disappointing for him. But he showed everyone how desperate he is to play by getting back to full fitness within the space of a week.â€
â€œTo have the operation he had and then be back playing eight days later is incredible. Everyone was surprised â€“ apart from Michael himself. It just shows what great physical condition he must be in to be able to do that. If he wasnâ€™t so fit, Iâ€™m sure he would have been out a lot longer. That all comes down to the hard work he did after he injured his knee (at the World Cup finals in 2006) but no one outside the club knows about that.â€
â€œPeople just think, â€˜Oh, Michael Owenâ€™s injuredâ€™, they donâ€™t see how hard heâ€™s working to recover his fitness. People have seen him not playing football for 18 months â€“ they donâ€™t see the early mornings and the late nights that he had to put in. It was a long, lonely slog back for Michael but he did it and thatâ€™s great for us all. His track record speaks for itself and I donâ€™t see how anyone can see Michael Owen as anything other than a great player.â€
Owenâ€™s goal against Everton was his 10th goal for the club in 21 appearances but as we all know that record has been spread over 26 months at the club. Not a good record of games, to say the very least. Not surprisingly Big Sam wants to get the most out of Owen, his most expensive player. One way to reduce injuries is to prevent him playing too many games in so short a time. That can be dangerous for getting new injuries and Big Sam is just doing whatâ€™s best for Michael and Newcastle – and thatâ€™s his job.
James went on:
â€œWeâ€™ve seen this season what Michael can bring to Newcastle and weâ€™re fortunate to have someone with his qualities in our squad,â€ â€œWeâ€™ve got options up front as it is, but Michael Owen brings something different to anyone else in the Premier League. You could put him into anyoneâ€™s team, anywhere in the world and he would improve it.”
“Itâ€™s great to have him back and I hope heâ€™ll continue the good form that he has been in.â€
Allardyce is on tenterhooks that his star striker returns unscathed. Newcastle’s manager thinks Owenâ€™s latest problems began during his England appearances last month and Allardyce is afraid the player might report back to Newcastle injured – again.
We’ll just have to wait and see, but an extended run by Michael in the side, and a good run of results for the club through the end of the year will raise spirits enormously, and this will then be all forgotten – hopefully.
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