Owen May Return Against Manchester City

Sam Allardyce will no doubt be hoping for a fit and free scoring Michael Owen in the New Year, as one of his New Year resolutions. Don’t we all.


Michael Owen – could start against Manchester City tomorrow night

The England Striker, who one newspaper recently said has made more come-backs than Frank Sinatra, returned to the Newcastle side as a substitute in the 74th-minute against Chelsea on Saturday.

Sam is a big admirer of Owen and believes one of English football’s most reliable goal-getters can lift Newcastle out of their recent slump.
And don’t be surprised if Owen starts tomorrow night in preference top Oba Martins. There are a couple of reasons for this possibility:

  • Martins has not been on the goal trail lately
  • Gives Michael some match practice before Oba goes of to the African Nations Cup

Newcastle are on a poor streak right now with just 2 wins and 3 draws in our last 11 games, and we could certainly do with some goals and points tomorrow night.

Sam talked about Michael Owen today to the Newcastle Journal:

“Michael Owen has always been consistent in his games and goals,”

“We have had games where we have created a large number of chances and you have to wonder if Michael had been there if we might have converted a higher proportion of our chances. That would mean winning a few more games.”

Owen’s ten Newcastle goals have come in just 21 starts, with five substitute appearances, and that’s been over 28 months at the club. Not a very good record of achievement at the club, that’s for sure..

And of course many of Michael’s injuries, including the anterior cruciate knee problem, which kept him out of all but the final three games of last season, have come on England duty. His appearance record there has been better than at his club. But there are no England matches under new coach Fabio Capello until February, and it’s not known where Owen stands with the new England manager.

Sam continued:

“We can only hope with no internationals coming up he is in-house and we keep his training and work in-house and can get him fit and scoring goals again,” “Now all we have to do is look at prevention and marry that with day-to-day training and playing week in, week out.”

“I will be seeing Sven (Göran Eriksson) on Wednesday and that will be the first contact I have had with him since we played down there,” Allardyce revealed. “There has been nothing from Manchester City to Newcastle United about Michael Owen.”

“Whether playing against Chelsea as a sub has advanced him more is what we will look at over the next few days,”

As we’ve said we wouldn’t be surprised to see Owen starting in an attempt by Allardyce to convert the many half chances we have had in the last several games and just haven’t put away. The return of Mark Viduka would also be good, the only problem then being where would Big Sam play Alan Smith, because we know Alan will start that game – somewhere. But late news today is that Smith may be rested tomorrow because of the concussion he suffered in the game at Chelsea. Wonder who will be captain tomorrow night?

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • carl

    Jan 1, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #1

    if allardyce plays him hel be going against his own words, when he said just a few days ago that he will use him sparingly at first. i say start martins, hope he scores against man city again, bring owen on 2nd half. happy new year to all

  • carl

    Jan 1, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #2

    hopefully smith will be left out,we dont need him in the starting team.

  • Pi55 Off Sam

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #3

    That’s great if Sam plays him as a striker, but pumping long balls upto that little person is not going to work i’m afraid

  • carl

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    yes agree, martins must start with either smith or viduka and not be a lone striker.st james park will not be a happy place if he plays a def formation.

  • Pi55 Off Sam

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #5

    He’ll never play 442, and we all know that. His system doesn’t work here but he’s too big headed to see that!

  • valle

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #6

    Drop Oba, he’s a liability to the team… We need Owen firing asap

  • carl

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #7

    hes got to play 442 at home, especially now, infront of the fans, anything else would be suicide

  • Pi55 Off Sam

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #8

    He will never player it….. he’s never hinted towards it

  • Richard

    Jan 1, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #9

    I love Oba but its time for owen to show his worth and fire us some goals. I would go with this team as i know Sam wont start Enrique for some reason only he knows:

    Beye Taylor Faye N Zogbia
    Milner Butt Emre Duff
    Viduka Owen

  • looney toon

    Jan 1, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #10

    he surely has to play 442 with owen – owen would be terrible wit 433 no chance he will win any long balls – i reckon oba would be scoring if we bin playing proper football not da worst football i have ever seen.

    i bin at da last few newcastle matchs – i cnt believe how bad it is to watch!!!

  • Graeme

    Jan 1, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #11

    Owen is lacking match fitness, although he says there is no such thing. No problem with starting him, but who’s he going to play off?? Viduka is also lacking fitness, Ameobi isnt up to it at this level and should be on his way asap.

    If Owen is going to play, we need people who can play it to his feet, play the open spaces, in which case Martins is faster and fitter – its not a system we have employed in months, even though it would play to Oba’s strength, its been ignored.

    That would mean giving a midfield role to the Zog (not before time) and playing Enrique at left b ack – is he still playing for us???

    We could then have Milner and Duff playing the through balls, backed up by Zog – Hey, we are allowed to dream I guess lol.
    Happy New Year to all.

  • Andreas

    Jan 1, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Good to read SA’s continues undermining/sniping at Martins……….

  • Leo

    Jan 1, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #13

    martins to be fair hasnt been on a run of form for a while. but can you blame him… playing as a lone striker isnt great for him like.

  • Greg

    Jan 2, 2008 at 5:57 AM

    Comment #14

    have to agree with richard for the starting line up, its what i would also like to see.


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