Media reports this morning claim that Sam Allardyce and Michael Owen are having some problems in their working relationship. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reports suggest Sam got into Michaelâ€™s bad books last June when Sam thought England should forget about Owen during last yearâ€™s world cup, because he just wasnâ€™t fit.
Michael Owen – what’s all the fuss about?
Seems to us that Sam was perfectly accurate in that assessment last summer given what happened to Owen against Sweden. The news that Owen and Allardyce are at odds is nonsense and thatâ€™s just the media being mischievous again, trying to cause problems where there arenâ€™t any.
The rumors also cite Michaelâ€™s failure to commit to the club until the last possible moment last summer when there was continual speculation that he might transfer, via the release clause, to one of the top 4 clubs. The other things cited in these mischevous new stories is the booing that occurred when Oba was substituted for Owen on Sunday. Then when Owen hit what turned out to be the winner against Everton in the 90th minute, Michael cocked his ear to the crowd, as if to say where’s the booing now.
Newcastle fans believe his first loyalty should be to the Tyneside club and not to England. But Owen just loves representing his country, just like Shay Given loves playing for Ireland whenever he can, because heâ€™s also proud of representing his country. You cannot blame players for that surely.
Sam Allardyce moved quickly to deny these rumors, since any rift in the camp is the last thing Newcastle need right now. Sam said this afternoon:
“It’s just people trying to get between myself and Michael,”
“The same has happened with Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool earlier this year – it’s a common theme during the international breaks.â€
“For me as manager, I have 14 players away on international duty representing their countries, and for each and every one of them, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed they come back fit and well.”
One of the things that will stand Newcastle in very good stead this season is the team spirit and camaraderie, with everyone in the squad supporting each other. You could see that clearly in Sunday’s win against Everton, who are a very determined side themselves. The character, guts and team spirit of Newcastle clawed out a victory against a very resourceful Everton side in the second half.
Rifts between players, and between manager and player, will not be allowed in Big Sam’s squad, that’s a certainty. But it will not stop the media from trying again and again to manufacture rifts, which they have always done in the past.