Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has issued a fairly simple message to Manchester City, after Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted his interest in signing Michael Owen. Sam said he thought that City probably couldnâ€™t afford him.
Owen no longer has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave Newcastle for a cut price, and his contract still has almost a couple of seasons to run.
Michael Owen – trying to win Newcastle fans over on Tyneside
Newcastle manager Allardyce believes that Michael will want to stay at Newcastle. Certainly, if the other players are anything to go by, they seem to just love playing for the big man. We have no reason to believe things are any different for Michael.
The England striker has said he will try to win over the Geordie fans, some of whom feel he has put more emphasis on his England career than his club career with Newcastle. Michael moved to Tyneside two years ago for Â£17M from Real Madrid, who he was only with for a single season.
But as long as Michael stays fit we think everything will work out just fine. Itâ€™s easy to get in the good books with Newcastle fans if youâ€™re a striker. A home hat-trick would be a good start, and everyone knows that Owen still has that goal scoring ability heâ€™s had his entire career.
Allardyce said last night:
â€œThere is no clause in Michaelâ€™s contract, full stop. Thereâ€™s no way he can leave unless we want him to.â€ â€œSaying that, if Michael was as determined as some players are when they decide they want to go, that would be a different story. â€œ
â€œBut at the moment, weâ€™re hoping he stays fit and plays continuously for Newcastle from now until the end of the season.â€ â€œ If he does that, we can have a good look at the situation then.â€
When Sam was asked specifically about Manchester Cityâ€™s interest Sam said:
â€œThey probably canâ€™t afford him.â€
Sam then talked about the task at hand, which is today’s important game against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Newcastle have just 4 of their 17 points from away fixtures this season and have already suffered defeats at Manchester City and Derby County.
Sam talked about what would be needed against Reading:
â€œWeâ€™ll have to put our home performances into an away performance at Reading to get a result,â€ â€œWeâ€™re not at our best yet, but the fact weâ€™re all new together is the reason why.â€
â€œThe encouraging side is that, certainly at home, weâ€™ve been a dominant force.â€ â€œWeâ€™ve had to change the side around in many combinations because of injuries, suspensions and poor form, but still come out on top, at home particularly.â€
â€œMy biggest concern is the away form and making sure they take on board everything weâ€™re telling them about how to put that right.â€ â€œWe need to become more resilient and more determined to stop the opposition playing for long periods.â€
â€œI was hoping that wasnâ€™t going to be as big a problem as it has been, especially after encouraging starts at Middlesbrough and Bolton.â€ â€œBut weâ€™ve dipped in away games and failed badly. We have to stop that at Reading.â€
Well there’s a great chance today to make things even more rosey in the Newcastle United garden. A win and a clean sheet would be the perfect result. We think we can do just that today.
Comments always very welcome.