Sam – Owen Looking Fitter and Sharper

Sam Allardyce is confident Michael Owen still has a lot of goals in him for Newcastle United.

Sam thinks Michael can be an important part of the team that can reverse Newcastle’s poor away form, where we haven’t won since Bolton, on the first day of the season.

A good time to start for Michael is tomorrow at Reading.

Michael Owen – can be key player for Newcastle in tomorrow’s game at Reading

We don’t have Michael starting in our team tomorrow but he could still line-up against Reading for what would be only his second away start of the campaign. But we think that would be harsh on Martins, if indeed Smith starts up front as we expect.

It turns out that 6 of Owen’s 10 Newcastle goals having come on the road with a hat trick at West Ham in late 2005, before he got his first long term injury at the club.

Obviously the Newcastle manager is hoping that Michael can make a difference at reading tomorrow as Sam told this morning.

“Michael is looking fitter and sharper as the games go by and our only hope is that he continues from now until the end of the season,”

“If that happens we will see him getting better and better and scoring more goals. That is vitally important to get us as high as we can up the table.”

“Keeping clean sheets away from home is the area where we need to improve. But, at the same time, we need to take what chances we get and there’s no doubt that Michael will be key in taking those chances.”

Michael gets paid huge wages at Newcastle to do just that – score important goals for the club and we hope he can deliver tomorrow. We also think Oba Martins looks in good form and could also get a goal or two. Looks to us like if we can keep a clean sheet that’s 3 points in the bag, and the city of Newcastle will be buzzing once again – like in days of old.

Comments very welcome.

11 comments so far

  • Hammy

    Oct 26, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #1

    Owen doesn’t have the lightening pace he had as a 17 year old…
    He’s a fox in the box and will rely on late runs and balls into the right places.
    Owen would score in any team but he’ll need the service as he’ll struggle to create anything himself.
    If the Duke’s out…I can’t see Owen and Oba starting up front away from home. I take Oba to get the nod for a starting place, anybody’s guess for who joins him, Smith maybe….

  • wsq

    Oct 26, 2007 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #2

    To keep a clean sheet is not a simple thing to do and it’s not just up to the back 4, we need to work on keeping possession comfortably and attacking without jeopardizing our shape. Ball retention is the key. The past few games, it’s been so frustrating when the team sits back it feels like we’re panicking every time the opponent attacks us. Tottenham’s solitary goal was a result of no one closing down the cross that almost drifted in.

  • Bill f

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #3

    Hammy, I reckon the other way round Owen and Smith, I think Sam has a lot of faith in Owen and will start him before Oba. This may change as Oba gets more consistent but not yet.

  • leo

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #4

    remember back to the start of the season, bolton away… we started with a physical team, but martins up front to run at the defence and it worked ‘magnificantly’ sam will probly go with similar tactics for the reading game,


    beye faye cacapa enrique

    geremi emre butt nzogbia/milner

    smith martins

    bench harper rozehnal nzogbia/milner barton owen

    keep with the 442 though because its been susessful recently…

  • Magpie Neil

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #5

    owen needs the whole midfield working well for him to score a goal, Martins on the other hand can score a goal from nothing. Sam has chosen quite defensive sides away from home and I think Martins is the better choice up front for that system. He will pair Martins with Smith against Reading.

    For some reason Smith always manages to sneak into Sams starting line up even though he hasnt produced the goods this season! I cant understand it myself, although in this case with Viduka and Shola unfit he is probably the best choice.

  • Brisbane Mag

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Leo, think your spot on buddy….

    Milner coming on for Zog, Barton for Emre and Owen for Martins in second half…..

  • Bill f

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #7

    As far as I can see the only point of difference with us is whether Owen or oba starts in the team. Be interesting to see what Sam does. I personally think he favours Owen over Oba and will start him. although he may surprise us all and start both.

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 26, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d stick with Owen and Oba – either of them is more likely to score than Smith, and it’s not like we should have the need to utilise Smudger’s battling qualities against a team like Reading.

    I’d also stick with 442 – if it aint broke…

    I reckon 2-0 to us. I see Lawro is predicting a Reading victory though – he really does dislike the Toon doesn’t he. I read an article in the paper the other day saying that him and Motty were like a classic comedy due – Motty as the straightman and Lawro with all the witty one-liners. Couldn’t believe it, the only time I’ve ever laughed at him was when he got sacked from his position as NUFC’s “defensive coordinator”.

  • Geno Toon

    Oct 26, 2007 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #9

    I think owen and Oba creat such a mess for defenders it lets a lot of the midfielders open up to score. So playing them and emry barton (maybe as sub) milner zog and butt might not be bad…. as long as we have that long range threat.

  • valle

    Oct 26, 2007 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #10

    Bill F… Agree, people tend to talk about pace as if thats all a striker need. Imo pace is way below finishing and football intelligence, 2 things that Owen is way superior than Oba in and i reckon Sam feels the same, since Owen has started every game when fully fit… Dont get me wrong, Oba scores some fantastic goals and that is down to the power he can put behind a shot. But shooting from afar with power takes a bit of luck too… He needs to score on the one on ones way more, but he just aint good enough with placed shots and he looses his cool with to much time to think.

  • Chris Bunton

    Oct 26, 2007 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #11

    I completely agree with you Valle.
    Owen has to start, he is a better center forward than Martins full stop. Personally I would play them both but if Sam wants to play Smudger then Oba has to be the one to step aside. Dont forget, Owen still has pace over the first 10 yards and thats all he needs.


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