Owen Sings The Praises of Big Mark Viduka

Michael Owen has been singing the praises of his big strike partner Mark Viduka.


Michael Owen upside down after scoring Saturday – Habib – be careful!

Michael talked about the three pronged Newcastle attack of late:

“The system with three strikers – myself and Oba with Mark Viduka ahead of us – is working because of the confidence of the players,”

“Obviously it’s a credit to the manager for choosing that formation, and if you have confident players, they will do well in most systems, but the manager has seen something in training and has chosen to play that way and it is working for us.”

“We do dovetail quite well and the system gives me and Oba more space behind the front man. We know we can give the ball to ‘Dukes’ and he will hold it up and won’t waste it.”

Owen has praised Viduka’s instincts and technical abilities, saying that Newcastle’s improved attacking play in recent weeks is down to the former Leeds striker’s awareness and possession play.

Michael continued:

“You also need to know your players, and we know that whenever ‘Dukes’ gets the ball we can run in front of him or to the side of him or behind him and he will know where we are because of his great vision,”

“He has eyes in the back of his head and knows exactly where the other players are and my goal at Spurs was a perfect example: ‘Dukes’ knew I was in behind him when Oba laid the ball in to him, he just gave it a little reverse touch to play me in to score.”

Michael Owen feels he could hardly have a more suitable player to partner him in attack, insisting his experience and playing style make Viduka a perfect match for both Martins and himself.

Michael added:

“Mark Viduka has proved over a long period of time that he’s a top player and with the way we are playing now everything seems to blossom – and ‘Dukes’ is a perfect example of that,”

“If Oba and myself were asked to vote for the type of player we’d like in front of us, we’d say Mark Viduka. And if ‘Dukes’ was asked to vote for the type of player he’d like playing with him, he’d probably vote for nippy players like Oba and myself.”

“So it’s a good triple partnership!”

We’ve never seen Newcastle play such an effective 4-3-3 formation, which was brought about because Newcastle have 3 top strikers. With 4-4-2 one of them always starts on the bench, so it’s a great way that Keegan is getting the very best out of the squad he inherited from Sam Allardyce.

That’s nothing less than excellent coaching by Kevin – and it’s paying off big time for the club.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • ToonRich

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #1

    Sensible comments from lil MO yet again…Good to see he’s also including Oba in his interviews, sign of a good triple-partnership 🙂

    Will Dukes be playing next season, or do you think we’ll have a replacement for him? Who would you want to replace him – any suggestions? I dont think there is any other strikers like Duke in the EPL, so for me it should be someone from abroad, just not sure who!

  • Leo

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #2

    got to love that picture, i loved the celebration of beye after though, fist flinging haha.

    also whats a dovetail?

  • Nick K.

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #3

    The confidence has returned 🙂

    Only thing I can do is grin from ear to ear :p

  • Leo

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #4

    remember we were linked with elmander… does he has the same stature of viduka right? does he play like him also?

  • HeronMag

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #5

    I’ve seen Elmander Leo. He’s a big lad, 6″2.
    Scores a few but I wasn’t completely convinced.

    They love him in Sweden though so I could be wrong.

  • MattyDread

    Apr 9, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #6

    Viduka will definitely be played next season but I would imagine he won’t play every game – regardless of fitness.

    We’ve got youngsters coming through (Carroll’s bound to get a fair wedge of playing time next season) and it’s likely that we’ll sign a forward in the summer.

    I think to compliment our current crop of strikers we need a strong traditional centre forward. Then, along with Viduka, Owen, Martins and Carroll, we’d have plenty of options for playing different systems against any kind of team really.

  • irish_al

    Apr 9, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #7

    dovetail is a term used in carpentry, it refers to a join where the two pieces lock into each other leaving a reletively seamless finish

    in this context it maeans they join up well, can also be used the the extent that they complement each other well (on the pitch as well as in interviews)

  • Steve Conway

    Apr 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #8

    I really want Crouch up there with OBA and MO. No injury problems, great positional awareness, holds the ball well……and scores goals. For me, the perfect man., until Carroll can get in there at least.

  • clinta

    Apr 9, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #9

    I think the big aussie will play next season but like others have said not every game, he’s getting on and will need to be rested at times, also he will at times get a knock or injury?

    that’s why we need cover for him and for other positions in the squad, yes everyone seems to be in good form now but will that last?

    it’s normal for players to be in and out of form at times so we need cover for poor form, injuries, cup games and suspensions.

    credit to KK though for bringing the best out of his squad may it last for as long as possible.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #10

    Pogrebnyak looks pretty good as a deft striker, playing for Zenit st. petersburg!..

  • Obafan

    Apr 9, 2008 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #11

    The strength of our attack is that we have 3 quality strikers who all have other strengths which makes them a very good team together.

    Dukes (like MO mentionned 😉 ) is perhaps the best in the entire EPL to hold the ball as long as necessary to create chances for his teammates. With that he also is capable of scoring quite easily.

    Oba: his pace is his best weapon, and he works very hard. He sometimes is a bit wild in his actions and shots, but he is making progress. The way he finished his last 2 goals was outstanding. I don’t think he would have stayed so calm in front of the goal last season.

    MO: scores very easy and knows exactly where he has to run to create chances for himself. He is the captain of the team and he is an example for the other players.

    I think it still is necessary to buy another striker in the summer and I would without any doubt go for Gomis. From the 3 strikers we have (Carrol is not a starter ATM) Viduka is the most injured one and I think Gomis is a player who can step into the big Aussie his footsteps.


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