Keegan has today talked to the Newcastle Journal and thinks now is the time for the club to start talking about Michael Owen’s future at the club.
Michael Owen – starting to show his worth to Newcastle
Kevin told the Journal this morning:
â€œIâ€™ve already started to say to the club that we should be talking to Michael now about a new contract; not next week, not next month â€“ now,â€ â€œIâ€™ve never asked Michael whether he wants to stay. So I canâ€™t answer that. Youâ€™ll have to ask Michael , but Iâ€™m hoping the answer will be yes.”
“If not, weâ€™ve got another year of him next season and thatâ€™s the very least weâ€™ll get. Itâ€™s an urgent issue because I donâ€™t think that, whatever finances are, weâ€™ll go out and get a player thatâ€™s any better than Michael Owen.â€
â€œThatâ€™s the reason I think we should keep him and I think that as long as he doesnâ€™t get injured again the Newcastle fans will see a player whoâ€™ll grow into one of the greats here. Thatâ€™s if we can keep him.â€
â€œThatâ€™s what I would want to do. I donâ€™t see why we should be looking all over the world for foreign players and trying to teach them how to play in the Premier League when weâ€™ve got one who knows his way around and whose goal-scoring record is tremendous. Iâ€™ll do everything I can to keep him.â€
â€œThe time to talk with him is now and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ll be urging the chairman to do. There hasnâ€™t been a reaction yet because I only mentioned it last week because I could see this coming. Michael â€™s not going to stop scoring goals, heâ€™s not going to stop catching the eye and Michael is going to be wanted by other clubs.â€
â€œBut at the moment heâ€™s here and itâ€™s just something thatâ€™s come up now. I think Michael would be the first to say that until we sort ourselves out as a team these sort of talks have to be shoved on the back-burner a little bit.â€
There’s no doubt Michael had a good game on Saturday, not just because he got the vital winner with a typical headed goal, but he used the ball intelligently proved what a good all round player he has become. That’s similar to Alan Shearer, who was one of the best passers of the ball we’ve seen, but that was hardly mentioned about his game because Alan scored so many goals.
Michael played just behind Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins, and apparently that’s what he kept doing in training. Michael Owen may have lost some speed, but his experience and intelligence make him a player who can play in different roles now, and still score goals. In our end of game poll to the right, 38% of our readers thought Michael was Newcastle’s best player on Saturday with Oba Martins second at 14%, and that’s with 428 votes so far. The poll is still open so please vote if you haven’t already done so.
â€œWhen you get the experience Michael has under his belt you can play more or less anywhere. Why weâ€™ve played Michael there is because heâ€™s the one player at the club we know can keep the ball, see a pass and knows when to release the ball.â€
â€œHe might get more chances coming from there than standing up against a big man, looking for space. Heâ€™s enjoying the role. With the players weâ€™ve got at the moment, itâ€™s the best role for the club and thatâ€™s why heâ€™s playing it.â€
â€œI donâ€™t see reason to change too much when somethingâ€™s working. In training he naturally comes deep and does that and we kept seeing it and seeing it and thought â€˜wow, this guy can link us up all day longâ€™.â€
Playing Michael in that deep lying position may also help to solve another difficulty we see coming – where to play Oba. We think Oba wants more playing time, and he could be one of the front two that Michal can play behind.
While Michale has played very well since Kevin came to the club, and has scored scored 4 of the 6 goals (Viduka and Faye have the other 2), we still think he needs to show he can maintain this form, and remain injury free.
But it’s also clear that ever since Keegan came back, he has seen Owen as probably our most important player, and we have to think he’s been playing very well in training. Certainly he has stood up to the plate since being appointed captain, and has given Michael that extra responsibility he has thrived on.
Good moves by Kevin Keegan and the King wants Michael as his captain and major player in the battles that lie ahead to take Newcastle back up the league.
All the lads played well on Saturday, and they got the result they deserved, and a clean sheet also. They also deserve the credit coming their way, just like they deserved the criticism when they didn’t perform.
But we’d much rather give out the accolades – every week in fact. 😀