Alan Shearer has been talking about Michael Owen to the Newcastle Journal this morning.
Alan Shearer – backs Michael Owen for 100 caps
Alan talked about Owen today:
â€œWithout a doubt Michael Owen will reach 100 caps for England,â€ â€œI think itâ€™s still very early days for Fabio Capello and it is too early to judge what he is planning to do when the important games start in September.â€
â€œHeâ€™s choosing different captains, different players and different formations in the friendly games, but Iâ€™m sure Michael will be part of his plans when the serious stuff starts. Michael will be taking things in his stride but heâ€™ll be determined to get back into things because heâ€™s that kind of character.â€
â€œA few people have doubted his ability in recent weeks but I have never doubted him and I know Michael never doubts his own ability either.â€ When you look at his goal-scoring record I donâ€™t think he needs to prove himself.â€
Kevin Keeganâ€™s brilliant move to play all of his strikers in a 4-3-3 formation has really paid off, but it’s not clear if this will be for the long term, since Kevin usually plays a couple of fast direct wingers.
But Owen has slotted in very well just behind the front two over recent weeks, a role that shows just what a good player Owen is, and Shearer believes plays to Michael’s strengths.
â€œAt the moment Michael is playing a role just behind two strikers in a front three and it really suits his game. I think it plays to some of his strengths and heâ€™s enjoying it while Newcastle are seeing the benefits of it,â€
â€œIâ€™m not sure whether Kevin Keegan will continue to play that system next season but itâ€™s something that is really working for them at the moment and helping Michael too so maybe it is something he will think about taking into next season.â€
â€œI know Michael is enjoying the captaincy as well. I think he enjoys having that extra responsibility and it is certainly inspiring him.â€ â€œI have never doubted him for one minute,â€ â€œI know what itâ€™s like when youâ€™ve been out and injured for such a long time â€“ it takes time to get your sharpness back.”
â€œHeâ€™s got that now and Newcastle are starting to see the benefits. But with a player like Michael, you should never doubt him. I understand why people have been doubting him but the team wasnâ€™t winning or playing well so it was always going to be difficult for him to recover his form with all that going on around him.â€
â€œPeople get frustrated in that situation but now fortunes seem to have changed a bit I think you will start to see the best from Michael Owen. He scored at Birmingham, against Fulham and Spurs and they are big goals. But then I always knew that Michael is the kind of player who will come good when you need him.â€
It’s true that Shearer has always had confidence in him, and when Owen first arrived it was a joy to watch both of them playing together.
But there’s not doubt that Michael Owen is really starting to show his worth to Newcastle and we would expect him to sing a new contract in the summer, to keep him at the club another 4 years or so. It’s obvious since Keegan took over in January that he sees Owen as a big player for Newcastle and so far, as usual, Kevin had been proved 100% correct.
It will also be interesting in the summer to see if Alan can join Kevin Keegan as a coach at Newcastle. We would hope he can, and that will set up a long term management plan at Newcastle with Shearer in place to take over from Kevin when Kevin decides to call it a day.