Owen Showing Glimpses of Old Form

There’s no doubt that since Kevin Keegan arrived at the club, Michael Owen has looked a better player and is starting to approach his old form.


Michael Owen – showing glimpses of old goal-scoring form

When Kevin first arrived of course, the popular press jumped on some bad feelings between the two of them, when Keegan was the England Boss but that was 8 years ago, when Michael was still only 20 years old.

It turns out that Kevin is a great admirer of Owen, and seems to have picked him as the person to get the goals at Newcastle, not too surprisingly. And he immediately made Michael captain, which was a clear sign of Kevin burying the hatchet, if there ever was one in the first place.

And since Keegan arrived Michael has scored 3 goals and looked much sharper in the penalty box. Before Saturday’s game Keegan talked about what he told Michael:

“I said to Michael Owen: ‘They’ve written their stories this week you write yours’. To a point he did and it’s a pity it wasn’t enough to win a football match.”

“Michael’s a great character, a very strong character. People try to shoot holes in him and the more they do that the more he’ll try to prove them wrong.”

“I think that’s always been the mark of great players. Michael knows, I know, you know. Big names make big stories, great headlines.”

“I told people before this match, before the last match, Michael was very fit and if we provided him with chances he would score.”

“We’ve only provided him with two half chances for the two goals he’s got, but he has shown courage and an appetite for work.’’

Of course Kevin was in the same situation that Michael is now, being a top England player for a long time, so he knows what it’s all about. But Michael’s up-tick in form is one of the good things that we’ve seen since Kevin came back.

And Michael was one of the few players on Saturday who did well. Giving us a great opportunist goal after just 5 minutes is why Michael can be so important for us in this new Keegan era.

Certainly Michael has seemed to have been fully energized by the arrival of Kevin, that’s fairly obvious.

Keep it up Michael.

Comments very welcome.

37 comments so far

  • Leo*

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #1

    and long may it continue, if he just keeps this up and the team plays as a team then we will survive.

    we need to run the ball to the byline(i think that is what its called) then put crosses into the box for micky to pounce on, high or low it seems like he has added an element of heading to his game

  • steve

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #2

    yup – good showing from Owen and it looks like he’s now fully match fit.
    Now all we need is to get him a decent partner rather than Smith or Fat Viduka (when is Martins fit again) and sort out our joke of a midfield

  • jeff

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #3

    I still cant understand why Owen gets critisized like he does….I watch villa game with some mates and they were slating him for lack of effort…I know,I was gobsmacked too…I think some people only remember owen scoring that goal for england against argentina and think he should do that every game…I think if you watch owen he does alot more in a game now than he used to..And his passing can be brilliant at times also..Its all about service..If he is given service he WILL score goals….Someone made a comment about well martins doesnt get service the thing is there Martins is a different kind of player to Owen…..Owen is the in the box type sniffer….whereas Martins is so unpridictable he’ll try from anywhere…

    Another thing…People slagging Keegan off is a joke also….I do agree with a load of comments,and the fact he shouldve played enrique & Faye…But lets remember one thing…This squad that Keegan has inherited is Allardyces…..And Allardyce couldnt get the same players playing the type af football keegan is…At least they are playing slightly better football…..albeit still getting beat,But then does that not tell you Allardyce bought shit players?Because in my eyes Id say he did…..Smith is useless,if he is a striker drop him cos he cant score goals and he is no good in midfield….Geremi seems to have had a good cup in africa but he has been terrible for us…Rozehnal enough said…..Cacapa is a bit like what peacock used to be like for us….he looks hopeless but thats because he’s covering for Taylor too much just Like peacock did with Howey…Faye & Beye probs best two he signed…Viduka isnt interested and is too slow and over weight….We havent seen enough of Enrique but Id have to say he hasnt been as bad as it seems he has been made out to be…..And then Joey barton,well he should just be told to leave now….

    Give Keegan the time to get us safe and then get rid of who he wants and replace them with his own squad…All this anti Keegan shite is annoying.To many people live in the past and expected miracles as soon as he walked in……Ffs its going to take time,and what he needs is everyone behind him.

    Howay the Lads

  • valle

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #4

    I hope he will soon been given the chances that he deserve… Looking forward to the summer transfers tho

  • Edd Case

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #5

    It’s great that Owen might be playing well – just a shame no-one else in the squad is.

    After defeat against Man Poo – we may be only 3 points from the relegation myre…

  • JP from Gibraltar

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #6

    Owen IS looking sharp 🙂 We need Viduka, Martins or even Andy Caroll beside him. If the Owen and Martins partnership works well under Keegan we could have an incredible attacking force. But what we really need to improve on right now is our midfield…it´s SHIT!

  • JP from Gibraltar

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #7

    Jeff- I agree with you 100%! We should back Keegan and stop living in the past. Owen will score goals and Keegan will buythe kind of players we need. All we have to do is be united and hope we stay up this season as it has to be the worst I´ve witnessed. Keegan WILL get it right just like Owen WILL score goals (he´s staring to already) and be patient.

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #8

    I do not see it the same way, Owen is really poor, his goal scoring record is about as bad as it gets, look at the player league dont listen to people like me, ideally he could do with playing in the reserves until he scores regularly then bring him back into the first team. Martins is our top striker by far with or without service, his goals this year hide his real ability due to Allerdyce’s meddling (played on the wing, brought on for a few minutes etc etc), Viduka is top scorer per minute on the pitch, I am not a big Shola fan but I am sure if Shola had been put on the pitch for those ten games he would have scored more times than Owen, it wouldnt have been pretty and we would be wondering how many were flukes and how many were meant to be, but they would all have counted.
    We need to build round Martins and what is best for him for the rest of the year and we will not go down, build round Owen and the next 12 games will be like the last 10.

  • Elliott

    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m sorry that’s rubbish, Owen’s chance conversion is excellent, he’s getting 1 or 2 a game and he is putting 1 away, he’s scored about 4 goals in the last 10 that should have stood. He takes his chances, roughly 1 in 2 or below as a career average. That’s sensational.

    Martins’ is about 1 in 5

    Check it out on Actim site.

    Although I will concede Martins makes a few goals out of nothing.

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #10

    Duff information.

    Martins 15 starts 6 goals, 1324 minutes played, 0.408 goals per game.

    Owen 11 starts 3 goals 1011 minutes played, 0.267 goals per game.

    Viduka 11 starts 5 goals, 1050 minutes played 0.429 goals per game

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #11

    PS remember Allerdyce started putting Martins on the wing so for at least three games he wasnt in a striking position.

  • Reb

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #12

    There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. The numbers, presented as you do, Ian, look like Owen is sh**. He’s not, and he’s coming back into form. Alternate “facts” — four of Viduka’s goals came before 31 OCTOBER. As did FIVE of Martins’. Viduka last scored in December. Martins last scored, in any competition, on 8 December, more than two months ago. Owen would be lambasted for that (and rightly so if he’d had international and club matches for which he was fully fit in the interim).

    Owen is scoring now. Seems ridiculous to slag off the one player scoring. Also, I have to ask, how many goals has Martins has disallowed incorrectly? I’d bet it’s not the same as Owen. If Owen’s legal goals had all stood (I know, the great “ifs”…pointless I suppose but it pisses me off nonetheless because of some of those goals could’ve been very important) he’d have at least three more in the Premiership this season which would make him the top-scorer.

    Oh, and Ian, you undermine any credibility for your argument when you claim Shola Ameobi would be a better option than Michael Owen. Unless Owen has two broken legs or has done his knee again (please God no)…that’s just wrong. No other word for it.

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #13

    Martins has been away at the African Nations Cup and Allerdyce decided to play him down the right wing, Martins had to play up front on his own many of his games while Owen has had the luxury of being able to play alongside another striker.
    I cannot believe anyone would defend Owens record as good at all, hang on I will tell you where he ranks not in goals, but to be fairer to him, goals per game.

  • jeff

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #14

    Well said reb……….Ian you are an idiot………Owen is a class goal scorer
    Taking into account his goals per games ratio for newcastle since he has been here and its not a bad ratio as you make out………..Owen doesnt have to prove himself to anyone…you obviously are one of these owen haters,so he’ll never win you over….Martins isnt a goal scorer in the same league as Owen……..Martins needs a hatfull of chances to score,where as Owen might have 2 chances but he’ll score one…..Dont get me wrong I like Martins as well,and he would probably be a hell of a player if he could trap a ball and pass a ball to his own team mates….

    Owen is coming into form in a very bad newcastle team,at least he is scoring and both goals against boro and villa were very good headed goals for a small player…..When are people going to actually start and get behind Owen..

  • Rich

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #15

    Ian Owen is getting fitter and fitter now, his commitment is there to see no way he should be dropped unlesss you wat us in the champiuonship, by all means try Owen and Oba but no way should Owen make way, hel score the vital chances that Martins would put in the stands

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #16


    he is at the dizzy height of 67th best goalscorer in goals per game in the premiership, that would be a poor performance from a £40K per week player, he is in with the midfielders and defenders in the premiership when scoring at that level.
    £100K+ per week and you have to get more than that out of him.

    I would target Djibril Cisse in the transfer window, if Owen would sell we could afford to bring in another too all for the same wage as Owen.

    Much as it grieves me to say it, Shola’s scoring record before injury was above Owens, I know Shola’s scoring is anything but pretty, but he probably would have scored more while Martins was away.

    We hang on to ‘superstars’ far too long at this club when they dont produce, it is something we should snap out of and look at current performance only, not if a player can perform as he did in 1999 again… it is 2008 and we need goals now.

  • Dragoner

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #17

    no pace and weak

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #18

    in the goals per game tables Viduka is 33rd and Martins is 40th, only 27 places ahead of Owen.

    Owen is amongst defenders and average midfielders.

    Martins and Viduka are in the company of Kitson and Bent, but ahead of the likes of Gerrard and Andrew Johnson.

    The figures say it all.

    No Martins no matches won, the stats dont lie, it is a shame he is coming back into the toughest matches where a win will be almost impossible.

    Footballers to me arent celebrities they are there to do a job, we have to change our attitudes if we want to win some silver and adoration of highly paid poor players isnt the way forward, if Owen does get on real form I will be the first to stand up and applaud him.

  • ende

    Feb 12, 2008 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Good post Jeff.

  • Nicky Butt is crap!

    Feb 12, 2008 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #20

    he is looking good, just a shame he isnt getting the service consistantly. viduka couldstillprove to be thea class partnershipif they both stay fit.

  • Reb

    Feb 12, 2008 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #21

    Ian — Martins has been away, yes, but playing. He didn’t score at the ACoN either. He has not scored in any competition — or even played particularly well — since 8 December. You can’t claim it’s because he’s been away, he didn’t score or play well in Africa either. FIVE of Martins’ goals came during or before October, the other two in early December. Half of Owen’s goals came in the last six matches, two of which were played against Arsenal and resulted in a total of approximately 2 shots on goal by the entire squad.

    And, by the by, Martins is not coming back for Newcastle for the “toughest” matches — how about ManUtd with no manager, or two matches away at Arsenal in three-days-time? Martins missed most of those wonderful days of encouragement whilst playing for his country (no offense to him for playing for his country).

    In the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to see Martins and Owen tried out together, I’m not even trying to slate Martins. I just can’t believe you want to drop the one striker (and one of few players) that is ON FORM. It’s an even bigger waste to put a scoring Owen on the bench than it is to put Smith on the pitch! And if you think Owen’s not upfront by himself when Smith is on the pitch, you’ve not watched the same matches as I.

    You clearly don’t like Owen, or you’d admit he IS looking back to form. His work-rate is up, his attitude looks miles better, he’s scoring again — all since Keegan’s arrival. Why reward that positive change with slagging him off or putting him on the bench? That’s senseless. The fact is, Owen deserves “adoration” for many reasons, not least of which is that he’s a proven goalscorer over TEN seasons, not one.

    For as much as people like to slate him, Owen’s never been a big-time-Charlie. Yes, he’s the highest paid player, but he’s also Newcastle’s most proven outfield player both in league and international competitions. Also, Owen has performed much like he did in 1999 thus far for Newcastle. And if you don’t understand what I mean, you aren’t very familiar with Owen’s career.

    But then, as I said, you proved yourself miserably bias or simply a touch thick by saying Ameobi would be better than Owen. That shows me that you’re not watching the same matches I am. We just saw Shola not long ago — it was as ugly as I remembered. Free-kicks? Horrific touch? Useless movement? Oh, it was all there. And if we’re comparing scoring records BEFORE injury — then it’s an even WORSE comparison. Before his injuries, Owen had scored 7 in 10 for Newcastle — I highly doubt Shola was doing better than that.

  • will

    Feb 13, 2008 at 6:42 AM

    Comment #22

    I am not much into statistic but I am sure he Was a great striker! If you watch him during his Liverpool days, he is just class! his speed, his positioning, his strike! but now he is a different kind of striker compare to his younger days. Those injuries that he sustained during the last few years doesn’t help, but credit to him for coming back and continue to have the kind of believe in himself. and to be fair, our service to the strikers has been poor to say the least! if we had some decent winger and midfielder who can deliver crosses to either Owen or Oba or Viduka for that matters, they will convert some of them at least!

    I think that giving him the arm band helps a lot in psychologically. I just felt his heart wasn’t 100% with the team previously.

  • hanz_emre

    Feb 13, 2008 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #23

    hopefully he is our saviour if he keeps on scoring in every other game as we are really need some goals from anybody to reach that 40 points mark.indeed not just him as we also need the rest to come up to their best to salvage our already ruined season.

  • jeff

    Feb 13, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #24

    Reb Ive got to say I agree with you 100%..Ian is obviously an Owen hater…To say Shola is better is crazy….How long has shola been at the toon and how many more chances is he going to get to break into first team?He’s first division at best……Ian slates owen then contradicts himself by saying we need to play players scoring goals…..Well durr,is that not only Owen at the minute!!!!!
    Ian Owen is actually starting to play consecutive games for the first time in his toon career…he is much fit and is now scoring goals and is looking sharp……Give the bloke a break its so called fans like you who piss me off….you come out with all this shit thinking you know what you are talking about when at the end of it you say play players who score goals…..Jackass!!!!!!

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #25

    Well it looks as if any old rubbish will do on the pitch as long as he has the big name for you two.

    To correct you on Martins he played part of one game in the African Nations Cup before doing his ankle, which as you know is why he missed the Villa match, Nigeria as a whole team even Yakubu and Kanu didnt seem to have good games.

    If we keep backing names instead of performances then we will never win anything, Keegan will find the players once this season is out.

    Well we have plenty of games to go, so your backing Owen, I back Martins so let us see.

  • jeff

    Feb 13, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #26

    Ian,at no time has myself or Reb said we are backing Owen over Martins…Im a Martins fan but Im also an Owen fan too….and as it is Owen is more a natural goalscorer than martins…Id love to see the two of them scoring in the same team,maybe we will..but you have to get off this anti owen thing you’ve got..I mean when he has scored in the last two games have you not been happy like?Owen in a natural goalscorer and has been all his career…Martins is still young and is very unpredictable and can score outrageous goals…I think what it is with you is you want the wonder goals all the time,which you will get from time to time but with Owen its in the box goals…Martins still has alot to do in the fact he camnt control or pass a ball,and always seems to make the wrong decision eg tries to pass to wrong player when there is a better player in a better position….You go on about martins as if he is world class….he isnt,he can be exciting but when was the last time we saw that?
    Like I say I like martins and I think he could be a Keegan type of player…..If the rest of the team plays to his strengths..Same goes for Owen…..a striker lives off chances and niether of them can do anything without chances….So instead of critising Owen take a look at the midfield who should be creating the chances for him…

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #27

    I am pleased that you also like Martins, I see a good future with him, but to me we must see him as the number one striker and when looking for foils as they like to call them we need to make sure he will link well with Martins, if he links with Owen as well then that is fine by me, however I see someone fast and exciting like Djibril Cisse linking well with Martins but not so well with Owen and there lies the problem.
    I am a Newcastle fan first and if Owen gets back to his old playing ways I will love being wrong, however he isnt and i do not hate him even though it sounds that way, but if he isnt prolific by the end of the season we must bring in a link for Martins first and stop all of this Owen talk or Martins will be leaving the same way NZogbia is, if we do not acknowledge real performance in statistics then why should a player try to be the best goalscorer in the club?? It is clear if they sign a big name, crap or not he will be number one, that is not the message that the players should get in my opinion.
    Viduka is actually better again goals per game even than Martins (but Allerdyce did out Martins on the wing at least twice, I think three times) but by a tiny tiny percentage.

    I want us to win games, score goals I do prefer exciting ones, but doesnt everyone??
    If we cannot win against the top clubs then at least lets look a threat please.

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #28

    re the midfield, using players we have and not a wish list, I think Gerami looks dangerous as long is he is central and not on the wing in a Milner position the way Allerdyce played him, Smith is good also in central midfield, Nzogbia and Milner are good on the wings, however Duff looks better on the right than the left so maybe they should rotate Milner and Duff to put a fresh pair of legs on the field, Milner second as he is quicker.
    Barton in my opinion isnt good enough, Emre is hot and cold, Butt is good but cant go the distance at top quality, but is good for 20 minutes as an option.
    I think Smith and Gerami central midfield for the majority of the games would work, and we still then have options to switch if needed during the games.

  • Elliott

    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #29

    The stats I quoted were not goals per game but goals per chance….

    Maybe you should read before you reply.

    What I’m saying is Martins needs 5 chances to score. That’s as factual as stats can be, look it up

    Owen’s is around 1 goal per 2 chances.

    Viduka, 1 in 2.5

    We’re making about 2 or 3 chances per match at present.

    I’d rather Owen be on the end if them.

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #30

    Not discounting your stats Elliott, you said my original statement was rubbish so I brought you the figures to back it up.

    Mine are premiership stats only, but seeing as the premiership is all that is left then I thought they were the important ones, I didnt think goals against FA cup clubs were relevant.

    Chances dont win cups though, or stop us getting relegated, real goals do.

    You loyalty to Owen is excellent, I want the club to do well though and Owen isnt top man, only people’s view of potential and class etc is where he is winning, not in assisting us up the table, like I said I hope it changes, I do not hate him, I would love to see him play like he did in 1999, a similar type of player to Martins in some ways but he did score more goals THEN, but he was in front of a good side.

    Martins will come back in and turn it around, if he plays well alongside Owen and they both score then fantastic but everyone seems to think they will not play well on the pitch at the same time, so given a choice if I had to choose, my money is on Martins.

  • taylor

    Feb 13, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #31

    owen is a great striker.I hope he will soon been given the service that he deserve

  • Elliott

    Feb 13, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #32

    Maybe we can play them together, not looked too promising before though.

    We’ll not agree on this probably. I like Martins, he has real qualities, he can score from nothing so maybe we could do with him on the pitch but the negatives to him are so frustrating.

    He gives the ball away all day long, wastes golden chances, has no clue where to run to in the box when off the ball. If Martins could finish like Owen and had similar movement he’d be lethal. As it is he’s exciting but utterly frustrating.

    We’re just not getting Owen the ball in the box. When we do he’ll score, he’s looking sharper and sharper. I’m not his biggest fan but he’s probably the only real class player we have, that showed against Villa and I felt sorry for him.

  • Elliott

    Feb 13, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #33

    And sorry but chances are more likely to win games when you convert 1/2 of them than 1/5 of them.

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #34

    No Elliott we probably will not agree, but we have till the end of the season to see what happens, Owen and his chances, or Martins and his winning game record and premiership scoring ability. What we definately dont need is another Owen or Martins injury, mind it would be fantastic if they do play well together, Martins set up a few perfect passes for goals which Owen could score from.

  • Elliott

    Feb 13, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #35

    To be honest, Martins could do no worse than Smith alongside Owen.

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #36

    you have a point there Elliott.

  • Russel

    Feb 14, 2008 at 3:52 AM

    Comment #37



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