Keegan Wants To Build Newcastle Team Around Owen

Kevin Keegan has come out today and said he is desperate to keep Newcastle captain Michael Owen at the club, so that he can build a Newcastle United side around him.


Kevin with Michael – we can do it together

The 28-year-old is enjoying a run of 17 games since becoming Newcastle’s record signing back in August, 2005 and Michael has also scored a goal in each of Newcastle’s last 4 games.

Owen is just one goal ahead of Oba Martins with 10 goals, at the head of Newcastle’s goal-scoring list for the season, and he’s also scored 3 goals for England.

Kevin talked about his captain to Newcastle World TV today:

“Michael is a wonderful player,” “I’m desperate to make sure we keep him here for a lot longer because you can build a team around players like him.”

“He’s in a fantastic run of form at the moment and looks like scoring a goal every time he goes out onto the football field.”

Certainly Newcastle Chairman Chris Mort had said much the same thing yesterday, when he said he thought Michael was enjoying his football under new boss Kevin Keegan.

Chris said yesterday:

“I think all the players are enjoying playing under Kevin,” “You can see that in the way they play and I would imagine Michael was in that camp as well.”“He seems to be enjoying his game.”

“He has got his contract this year and next year but it obviously makes sense to sit down with Michael and secure him for the long term if we can.”

“I know Kevin is very fond of Michael so I would hope we could sit down and do something.”

From what we hear from Michael, he is also keen to commit himself to Newcastle, so we don’t really foresee any problems on that front.

Newcastle will also have to secure Steven Taylor on a long-term contract during the summer, so there’s plenty of work for the club to complete, since we also expect lots of movement in the transfer market.

Comments very welcome.

35 comments so far

  • scottish mag

    Apr 10, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #1

    lets start by adding ronaldinho lol he is free to leave now

  • Leo

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #2

    if fat sham alardyce had said such a think i would probably be against it, but the fact that special k has said it i think that it would be possible and would bare fruits.

  • Spyro

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #3

    you should never build a team around anyone, especially someone who is almost 30 years old, its a recipe for disaster

  • paulthepom

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #4

    better off building around oba,he’s 6 years younger than owen.imagine how good he could become.the boy lives and breathes the toon.owen as good as he is has probably 4 years left ,that makes him 32 and wouldnt be world class at that 4 years oba will be 27 and we should have some class around him aswell by then

  • Obafan

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #5

    KK said you can build a team around players like him (MO). That does not say that there won’t be other players involved of building a team around. Maybe Oba, Beye, …

  • Davies

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #6

    Sell him.

    Nah, just kidding, but for Christ’s sake don’t build a team around one player.

  • Eric

    Apr 10, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #7

    You build a team around each other not just one player. If one player is out injured, on international, or just plain pooped, then you bring in another who has also been built into that team, surely? Get the spine right and the head and feet must follow. Go for Carrick, Wright-Phillips, and some promising back-up (preferably somebody born within 20 miles of Elswick or Byker). Portsmouth will win – but not this coming Saturday!

  • AdamCF

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #8

    Scottish.. He might be free to leave but for 150+K a week?

  • Neil

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #9

    Spyro you can’t say Owen is “Almost 30” given he’s only 28 and a couple of months!!!! I, like many others, would be gutted if someone said that to me!!!!! LOL

  • mok

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #10

    build a team around mo ?
    What if he injured again?
    Kk , think twice!

  • SW

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #11

    KK probably said that to entice Owen to stay- trying to make Mickey feel important and loved and all. I doubt KK would actually be so stupid as to make one player the lynchpin of a team.

  • Proud to be Black & White formaly know as John

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #12 on..NOT only Owen..others also…read guys..

  • nufctj

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #13

    Building a team around a player does not necessarily mean you are “putting all of your eggs in one basket”. I think it wise to build around Michael Owen if he is willing to commit his future to Newcastle. He is 28 years old and I would say he has at least 4-5 years of top form left in him, provided he does not get injured, but that’s true with any player. Of course this does not mean we don’t pick up players that can replace or compete with him. We must do this to both cover ourselves and to push him to perform at his best.

  • hanzemre

    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #14

    yeah SW i think so. MO is such an important player & now he is back to his od form scoring goals for fun. long may it lasts. sign him for next 3 more seasons!

  • Obafan

    Apr 10, 2008 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #15

    Proud to be Black & White formaly know as John – Indeed if you read the text good then KK is giving MO as an example. Perhaps he mentions his name to calm down the fans (to ensure that MO will be at NUFC next year). He will have a couple of players who will have a more important role (leaders). I think he will have one in each line.

  • ToonKing

    Apr 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #16

    building a team around Shearer worked…………for some of them…

  • Shaz

    Apr 10, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #17

    Ed, where are the exact quotes that say that Michael Owen is willing to sign a new contract.There aren’t any.If owen gets a better offer ie Liverpool.he will be

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 10, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #18

    Shaz, where does Ed ‘actually’ say Owen is ‘willing’ to sign a new contract?..


    …Scousers don’t want him back, they proved that when he played for us there, when they booed him!..

  • Bosck

    Apr 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #19

    shaz – i’m guessing that there is no way owen would ever re-sign for liverpool given how they booed him on his return to anfield. i doubt he’ll forgive them for that, i know i wouldnt.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Jog on, Jog on, with a hole in your ass…
    …& you’ll nev-er work agen…you’ll ne-ver work agen…

  • Reb

    Apr 10, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #21

    I’m not sure Liverpool holds the same appeal now as it done in 2005 — there’s practically no one left that Owen worked with/played with. The “Rafalution” or whatever has left only Gerrard and Carragher likely to be at Anfield next season of those who played with Owen in 2003-4. Almost all the coaches are different, even at the Academy. The ownership is different. The fans are indifferent, as a whole, to him (at best). Newcastle can offer as much money, and about equal chances of winning the Premier League (he would have Europe to play for though, at LFC). Newcastle have fans that will absolutely love Owen, once he stays fit (as, touch wood, he appears to be doing, finally).

    The only thing Liverpool can offer that Newcastle can’t is location — he could live in Wales full time if he went back to the NW. I don’t think that’s quite worth playing for Benitez in a system that won’t suit Owen (rotation, behind Torres). Better to be the “big man” at Newcastle, than the “twelfth man” at Liverpool.

  • Leo

    Apr 10, 2008 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #22

    i think its the other way around actually, owen has recently built his game around the team, rather than the team building around him….

  • Ian

    Apr 10, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #23

    He did say build round ‘players’ like Michael Owen, so I took it not to mean Owen on his own, as long as we do not pay over the top wages for him, he has been given central position most of the games this season, the easiest place to score the highest number of goals, Oba has been messed around a bit this season yet is only one goal behind, we need to get Owen on a good but sensible wage and enable Martins to earn bonus on goals scored so he could potentially earn more-if he scores enough, otherwise we could end up with Oba the top scorer and Owen earning 50% more, not the best message to send to future targets and not the way to keep others away from Martins. I think Martins is about to hit a goalscoring run.

  • Leo

    Apr 10, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #24

    yeah shaz like many have said previously, jog on thank you, your not wanted here, go find a liverpool blog to write comments on to the rest of your scouse mates while counting your dole money

  • Shaz

    Apr 10, 2008 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #25

    bearing in mind i don’t actually live in Liverpool and i work in a school and defintely not on the dole you can all shut your mouths.I seem to recall a fair few people on here booing owen.Owen would go back in a heart beat and you all know it.Liverpool can offer owen champions league football every season and not just qualification,stevie and carra are his best mates,i don’t think he cares if the rest of them are gone,what is it that sven got exposed for saying about Michael .Yep thats right ,Michael told him that he was only at Newcastle for the money!!!!!!lol

  • Shaz

    Apr 10, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #26

    “Most damaging of all, he is quoted as saying that Michael Owen, the main England striker, is “not really happy” with Newcastle United as a club, but told Eriksson that he had never been paid so much in his life.”

    told you

  • Leo

    Apr 10, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #27

    oh no shaz. go talk to all your liverpool mates on a website for liverpool fans were you can all talk about how you are really working and NOT on the dole, wow well done. we are all sick of you, so what if owen is getting paid alot, we couldnt offer him championsleague football but we offered what we could, you ever heard of motivational theories. i guess owen is proof that it aint always the case.

  • faustino

    Apr 10, 2008 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #28

    So basically Shaz when something three years ago happens, time stands still?

    Fact is you’ll be lucky to keep hold of ‘Stevie’ for the next year or two unless Mach Two Turbo and his pals sort out their issues.

    Regardless of anything anyone has too say, Owen is working with a manager that, although usuccessful in the silver department, has a list of credits a mile long for getting the best out of stirkers [to say the least!] and that’s without the obvious Liverpool ‘hero’ tie-in that the curly haired one occupies.

  • Reb

    Apr 11, 2008 at 4:34 AM

    Comment #29

    Shaz — that quote only works if you’ve never bothered to read Owen’s own take on that incident with Sven.

    “At no point did I ever say I was unhappy at Newcastle. Can you imagine me going to the England manager and saying: ‘I hate it here by the money’s great’?…I would never say that. Or even think it.”

    Find a new song and dance. Don’t care why Owen joined, doesn’t matter at this point. As for what Newcastle can offer — he’s had more appreciation from the Geordie fans over the course of his injury-ravaged spell at St. James’ than he had in seven good years at Anfield. 20,000 people welcomed him to Newcastle in 2005. Four months later, his “welcome” at Anfield was booing and abusive chants. Both made his wife cry. Guess which one he’d prefer to have repeated? And can you imagine the Geordie faithful booing a player who won them an FA Cup all by hisself? I can’t. For that one match alone, Michael Owen would be a legend in Newcastle. Instead, Liverpool fans seem to hate him.

    Who’s to say that Michael Owen wouldn’t prefer to do something special with Newcastle — take a chance on Europe and maybe even some silverware with them, and becoming a legend on Tyneside — rather than just another fourth-place finish at Liverpool, with the fans waiting to slag him off at the quickest opportunity? Owen has trophies. He has the most prestigious trophy in football (aside from maybe the WC medal) already in his cabinet. Perhaps, at this point in his career, Michael Owen would rather be loved by the fans — something Liverpool could never give him.

  • clinta

    Apr 11, 2008 at 5:00 AM

    Comment #30

    Owen will be staying at the toon, no I haven’t seen a direct quote either, but the fact is- no liverpool don’t want him, the rest of the top 4 don’t want him and he’s best option is nufc, so he’ll stay.

    yes he’s playing good football now but it’s not about to excite the rest of the teams in europe, there’s other younger prospects to fight over.

  • Spuggy

    Apr 11, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #31

    He only said “you can build a team around players like him.” That doesn’t mean only him calm down. It means you want to keep players like him (world class by the way) and add other world class or up and coming quality players to Michael, oba etc.

  • Shaz

    Apr 11, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #32

    Stevie isn’t going anywhere and you lot can only dream about having a aplayer as good as him.You might not have noticed but Liverpool are in another semi final.again something geordies can only dream about.and that only fourth position is sommething that is totally out of your grasp unless by some miracle you can get Lionel messi at your club.Yeah i would love owen back at Liverpool and yeah other fans may not like him but don’t make out the geordie faithful are all behind owen and always have been becasue that is far from the truth.There are atleast a thousand comments on this site alone that are negative towards owen about something the player couldn’t help.Now he is scoring you all love him.Btw his wife cried because she couldn’t bear the thought of being stuck at Newcastle.

  • Reb

    Apr 11, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #33

    Shaz, now you’re just making sh*** up to cover for the fact that Liverpool fans are absolutely gash towards Owen and almost always have been. There’s just no excuse for the fact that they hurled abuse at a returning former player who done nothing but good (some might say great) things while at your club. Can’t even spare a bit of a clap for the lad who won you an FA Cup? Disgrace. Why would he want to return? Is that Europe medal — a chance for it — worth the rest of the mess at Liverpool (Fans, ownership, management, etc. )?

  • Reb

    Apr 11, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #34

    Meant to add that the “only another fourth-place” comment was intended as a commentary on the fans lack of appreciation for top 4 status. If Owen helps get Newcastle into the Top 4 (unlikely as that may seem) it will ensure him near-legend status, I should think, on Tyneside. Liverpool just shrug, and then slag him off for anything they can find. Yes, some Newcastle fans aren’t fans of Michael Owen, but I’d wager the percentage is a lot higher on Tyneside than on Merseyside.

  • ende

    Apr 11, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #35

    I say build the team around a core group of players which happens to have Michael at its helm (for now). Oba certainly needs to be part of that core. This core needs to also consist of a healthy mix of older and younger players. So when Owen, Butt, Given, Harper and others are ready to move on the likes of Oba, Taylor, etc are ready to fill in their shoes. Then the next batch of the Young Core can include the likes of Carrol, Edgar, Tozer, Krul, Forrester and hopefully a bunch of new up and coming players. Make the transitions cleanly and with a real sense of continuity.

    Agreed that building around a single player alone isn’t wise, but it doesn’t hurt to have a ‘flagship’ player. I do think Owen could eventually have a role in this club very similar to Shearer (though admittably slightly less than that level)


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