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 footballâ€™s most reliable goal-getters can lift Newcastle out of their recent slump.
And donâ€™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:
â€œMichael Owen has always been consistent in his games and goals,â€
â€œWe 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.â€
Owenâ€™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.
â€œWe 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,â€ â€œNow all we have to do is look at prevention and marry that with day-to-day training and playing week in, week out.â€
â€œI will be seeing Sven (GÃ¶ran Eriksson) on Wednesday and that will be the first contact I have had with him since we played down there,â€ Allardyce revealed. â€œThere has been nothing from Manchester City to Newcastle United about Michael Owen.â€
â€œWhether playing against Chelsea as a sub has advanced him more is what we will look at over the next few days,â€
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?