There is starting to be good competition for places at the Newcastle club, and that will only increase with news yesterday, that Mark Viduka is back in training again, from his Achilles problems.
But another worry which is lurking in the background, is how exactly do we keep Michael Owen at the club.
Michael Owen – difficult situation at Newcastle
Even club captain Michael Owen is unlikely to start today against Wigan Athletic, because of the good form being shown by both Obafemi Martins and Shola Ameobi.
Because Michael has just come back, we don’t think Fabio Capello will include him in the England squad for the game in Berlin, Germany, next Wednesday evening.
Chris Hughton talked about the squad yesterday, during his press conference for the Wigan game today:
“All we can do is hope we have the best players available at any given time. Anything more than that is out of our control.”
“Michael could not have done any more than he has on the training pitch. He was back from injury a few weeks ago and he has put himself in a better position to be involved in the team. It’s up to us.”
“I accommodated both Oba and Michael and we played with the both of them last season. What Joe will do is pick a team for each given game.”
Of course there are lots of rumors about Owen, and there’ll be even more as the January transfer window approaches. Various clubs, such as Chelsea and Aston Villa, are said to be interested in taking Michael Owen in January, or in the summer, when he will be a free agent.
He would be a great loss to the club, and we have a sneaking suspicion that Michael would be more than willing to stay on Tyneside, if only the club can get itself sorted out, and make him a good offer.
But if Ashley cannot get a buyer by January, things could remain uncertain through the summer at least.
“Aston Villa interest is new to me. It’s the norm now. It will be one club today, another tomorrow and there will always be talk of your best players interesting other clubs.”
“That’s one thing you always have to deal with.”
Joe Kinnear, Chris and the rest of our coaching staff are dealing with a lot of things right now, and they have done an excellent job, all of them.
But Mike Ashley needs to sort things out, so we can at least offer Michael new terms to stay at Newcastle United.
But if Mike cannot sell the club soon, it’s hard to see how he can do that.
What a way to run a football club.