Since Kevin Keegan arrived at the club in mid-January Michael Owen has stepped up and is loving his time as the Newcastle captain.
Michael Owen – an important player on Saturday
It’s an important game both for Newcastle and Michael at Anfield on Saturday and he can be a key player for us. He’s sure to want to score at his old club and after missing 5 good chances by his own admission last Saturday, luck could finally be on our side, for a change.
Newcastle captain Michael Owen told the Evening Chronicle today:
â€œIt will be a proud moment at Liverpool. Iâ€™ve only played Liverpool once since I came here.â€ â€œItâ€™ll be good and we often speak about it in the dressing room.â€
â€œNicky Butt going back to Manchester United is similar, and itâ€™s either the best experience or the worst.â€ â€œIt really is awful when you get beat and we lost 2-0 at Anfield last time.â€
â€œIf you get a result at your old club itâ€™s always nice and then you can meet old friends and go knowing you gave them a really good game and got something out of it.â€
â€œYou donâ€™t want to be putting your head down and sliding out a side door to get back on the coach and get up the road.â€
It turns out that Newcastle have not won at Anfield in the Premier League since the season after Kevin Keegan took Newcastle into the Premier League. That’s a long time ago – so obviously we are due a win. 😀
â€œI was an apprentice then, about 13 or 14,â€ â€œI might have even been there!â€
â€œI used go to a lot of the games when I wasnâ€™t playing myself at the school of excellence.â€
Owen scored 118 goals in 216 appearances for Liverpool during his stint at Anfield from 1997 until he went to Real Madrid in 2004. He has scored 13 goals for Newcastle in his 37 appearances for Newcastle with 31 starts. Michael would love to add to that total on Saturday.
We’ve only scored 3 goals in our last 8 league games so we are due some goals, that’s for sure. But which of the strikers will score is an open question, with fellow striker Alan Smith still to open his account at the club.
Speaking on the Newcastle striker situation, Owen said:
â€œWeâ€™ve got plenty of strikers.â€ â€œWe have Viduka, Smith, Martins, Carroll, Shola and myself.â€
â€œThere are six players for two positions.â€
That may be true but we have nobody who can put the ball in the back of the net at the moment. Maybe that will change on Saturday â€“ we certainly hope so and we need a change of fortunes form the last 3 months or so.
â€œWeâ€™ve still had terrible luck with Viduka being injured and Martins with his ankle problem.â€ â€œSmithy has had to play in other positions too, and Iâ€™ve had injury problems.â€
â€œAs much as weâ€™ve got a lot, itâ€™s not often weâ€™ve had everybody fit.â€
â€œWhen we are firing on all cylinders we can compete with some of the best teams in the Premier League.â€ â€œBut we havenâ€™t been playing well or creating chances.â€
â€œWeâ€™re not doing the things we should be doing.â€ â€œAt the minute you wouldnâ€™t think this group of players can do anything.â€
â€œBut when we are firing on all cylinders, we can beat anybody.â€
We agree with Michael on that last sentence. Certainly if last Saturday is anything to go by, from now on we’ll fear nobody. And as Mike Ashley has requested, the team will be brave enough to go anywhere and think they can win.
That will be true on Saturday and a win at Anfield would be fantastic. We think we have a chance.