Kinnear Still Uncertain Of Starting Owen At Chelsea

It seems like Joe Kinnear is still unsure of whether to include Michael Owen in the starting line-up at Chelsea on Saturday.

Joe Kinnear – will he again start Owen on bench?

Joe talked at length about this to the Newcastle journal this morning:

“We have got three excellent strikers available for the trip to Chelsea and I’ve got a very difficult decision to make. Michael Owen is almost 100% fit and he came off the bench (against Wigan), scored and made life very tough for me in terms of the team I select to play against Chelsea.”

“He answered us in the best possible way with the goal he scored, and he looked sharp when he came on for those 20 minutes. I’ve got to weigh up in my own mind what to do at Chelsea because it’s a tough place to go.”

“Michael definitely has a chance of starting the game, he is pushing hard for that with his work in training. We will have to see how he is at the end of the week. I’d like to have him in the starting line up, but I won’t take any risks with his fitness.”

“That is what I’m paid to do, make these decisions. I left Michael on the bench last weekend and I’ve been hammered for it in the media, but I’ve never been frightened to make tough calls if I think that’s what’s best for the team.”

“Regardless of what people outside of the club might be saying, there is no problem between me and Michael and it annoys me that people are trying to drive a wedge between us.”  “I’m going to have to earn my money at Chelsea. We could go into it with three strikers, but that is risky against a world-class team like Chelsea who pass the ball around for fun.”

“Don’t forget, Sunderland went there recently and got beaten 5-0 so we can’t go there and be too open. It’s a balancing act, we don’t want to be too negative either, that’s not my style.”  “Shola Ameobi and Obafemi Martins have done very well for me since I came to the club, but Michael is the best player we have when he’s fully fit. He is world class and. as far as I’m concerned, it is only a matter of time before he is back in the England squad.”

“The only thing keeping him out at the moment is fitness and I’m sure once he has had a run of games and proven he is sharp and strong, Fabio Capello will recall him.”

It’s probably time to recall Michael because he was on the field just 30 minutes on Saturday and scored one, and missed two other chances. Shola Ameobi on the other rarely gets himself into scoring positions, and who would have thought earlier in the season that Shola would keep Michael on the bench.

It will be interesting to see if Joe wants to start Martins and Owen together, since we’ll lack some height up front if he does start both of them. Playing 3 strikers against Chelsea is probably not on, but he could look at a 4-3-3 formation at some time in the future, especially with Mark Viduka on his way back.

It certainly worked very well for Kevin Keegan last season.

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • kk forever

    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #1



    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #2

    Owen must play!

  • indian toon

    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #3

    his tactics are questionable! would go for a all out defencisive team at stamford bridge. cant afford to get torn to pieces with the fire power they have!!

  • Taiwantoon

    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Don’t think Shola stand any chances of winning high balls from Chelsea bak four, and I hate long balls.

  • adam

    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #5

    i think we should play 4 -5 – 1 and counter attack. got to be realistic and admit that chelsea will be making most of the play and we have to frustrate them and win with the sucker punch.

  • Alex

    Nov 20, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #6

    We have nothing to loose against chelsea , everyone expects us to get stuffed . Lets go 433 and give it a go .

  • keith

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #7

    kkforever and elfer why does owen HAVE to play?

  • kk forever

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #8


  • mikeygd

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #9

    Team for Chelsea:

    —-Beye Collo Bassong Enrique—
    -Joans Guthrie Cacapa Nzogbia Duff

    I would have Cacapa just sitting in front of the back 4, havent seen him have a bad game in that position. Cacapa would be alot better sitting in the front 4 than butt.
    With Martins up front he can practically get a goal from anything which is why he must play against a team like chelsea.
    If were losing at half time then take cacapa off and throw owen on and switch to 4-4-2 with guthrie as the holding midfielder.
    We go there with a 4 man midfield including nicky butt i can’t see us getting a better result than a 3-0 loss

  • The Alchemist

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #10

    Would drop ameobi to be honest and play the ball along the floor to feet. shola will not get a sniff against terry…

    I would play

    Beye Bassong Colo Zog

    Butt Guthrie
    Jonas Duff Martins


    Butt to break up play and guthrie to move the ball forward to play to feet. At least the midfield will be packed, may even nick a draw with this formation….

  • keith

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #11

    and what if he is not fully fit ( which is the only reason he wont play ) and he breaks down and is out for a couple of more weeks? esp with boro coming up where we have a real chance of picking up 3 points?

  • kk forever

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12


  • keith

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #13

    by bringing him in gently like the last 20 mins last 30 mins , no point rushing him back and he breaks down when we need him

  • Bill F (Original)

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #14

    We should try to win the game, and Joe must convince them that they can. No use going on to the pitch with a, lets not lose by too many mentality. Having said that I hope we aren’t hammered as were the mackems, we have a bad enough GD as it is. In the past we have totally dominated games and came off losers so lets go in with some optimism that Chelksi get some sh*t for a change.

  • Steve

    Nov 20, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #15

    Shola does normally put a good performance in against Chelsea and we could very well be reduced to long ball tactics we proved against Wigan that we are terrible at keeping the ball. Therefore I’d start with Shola and Martins

  • nightfall

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #16

    beye bassong colo enrique
    guti guthrie zog duff

  • Taiwantoon

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #17

    Steve , no offence, but Shola does not normally play in the last two seasons. 🙂

  • Shot Bru!

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #18

    beye… colo….bassong…..enrique

    If owen’s fit he starts, not being match fit is an absolutely pathetic excuse. Was Ameobi match fit when he started against Man City? Every other team in the land apart from the top 4 would have him in their team. The final kick in the teeth would be is if we sell him to Villa and he consigns us to relegation on the last day of the season, i can see it coming.

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #19

    Just leave Owen out, he is off in january anyway!

  • Shot Bru!

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #20

    Tom Toon
    You might as well play the guy, why worry if he gets injured, because like you say he’s off in Jan. If he can score half a dozen goals before he leaves that might just be the difference in keeping us up

  • Ausgeordie

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #21

    Hate to say it but if I could have only one striker on the field it’d be Owen over martins any day of the week. He has to start. He has great positioning and lets face it scores goals

  • My AssLeak

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #22

    beye ,colo, taylor /bassong, enriqure/bassong


    jonas duff nzog


  • selly no skill

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #23

    hammering whether we play owen or not.being a realist,our full backs cant handle their wingers .would like to see duff prove a point.he’s running out of chances.not creating anything for strikers and not scoring.the zog is breathing down his neck.0-3

  • UTD111

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #24

    Well Ashley Puppet Kinnear won’t want to upset the “sell, sell, sell” Dwarf and risk injury when the dwarf has already lined up a January sale ……

  • sirjasontoon

    Nov 20, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #25

    Not bothered who JK plays….we will get beat easily.

    Interesting to see what comes out of the supposed meeting after the game though if it happens.

  • Punk Skunk

    Nov 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #26

    Agree with Alex & Bill,
    Attack or die, or attack & die…But sittin’ back askin’ the chavs to attack you at their yard…HA HA HA!..Negative, defeatist pap!..

    …Anyone still remember manure at OT, thought not!?!..

  • bowburnmag

    Nov 20, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #27

    We’ve got to have a go. I’d rather get pumped 5 nowt having a go, than whimper to a still inevitable 2 or 3-0 defeat where we offer nothing to the watching public. However, I predict an early dismissal for Chelsea and an unprecedented Premiership win at The Bridge for us. Duffer will score, it’s got cliches written all over it and possibly Owen getting the other. I feel it in my bones.

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #28

    Every week that goes by and owen doesnt start when he’s clearly fit, is another week that confirms a deal is as good as done for him to move elsewhere in Jan. It’s a sad state of affairs but you’ve got to be a complete idiot not to start michael owen in a team like newcastle’s when he’s fit. Kinnear isnt a stupid guy, theres stuff going on behind the scenes we dont know about regarding michael as far as im concerned.

  • Punk Skunk

    Nov 20, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #29

    Could be right KKF,

  • Nick 69

    Nov 20, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #30

    Michael Owen is the best player we have in our squad by a country mile and that is the reason why he has to play when fit, he’s already came out himself in last weeks program notes and said hes been fully fit for at least 2 weeks and his injury was only a tiny one, fact is, if owen had played more of a part in the last 2 games we could well have taken 6 points, if kinnear doesnt start with owen is shows just how sh*t of a manager he is, anyone who wud prefer shola to owen has got something wrong in their head

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 20, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #31

    skunk-its like Wigan not starting Heskey or Zaki when fit. Its like like blackburn not starting santa cruz, boro not starting tuncay. All teams similar to us have their star player, their striker that can almost guarantee goals when needed. Owen is that player for Newcastle, Kinnear is shooting himself and the team in the foot leaving him out. I dont know how much longer i can go on watching us line up every week without Owen knowing he’s sitting waiting to play on the bench. If he is leaving and Kinnear actually wants a shot at the job, he needs results now and the best way to get them is to start a striker like Michael week in week out when he’s available. We can all see it, its not rocket science!

  • Punk Skunk

    Nov 20, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #32

    Bang on KKF,
    but, we don’t know what’s gan on behind the scenes do we, so like you say…Get Owen on the pitch, to score ‘bastard’ goals… 😀

  • Punk Skunk

    Nov 20, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #33

    Maybe it’s ‘rocket surgery’?.. 😀

  • Obafan

    Nov 20, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #34

    I still think Kinnear has done a good job seeing the circumstances at the club.

    But I think there might be no doubt about starting Owen; he is the best striker we have got and against a top side like Chelsea w need strikers who can score goals out of one chance. On the other hand Owen and Martins should be given a few weeks to prove that they can play together.

    Maybe Kinnear is in the plot with Ashley to make Own’s life uncomfortale so he can get rid of him and get the cash.

  • shaz

    Nov 20, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #35

    such a hard choice,a fit owen despite what Kinnera says or Shola Ameobi.Yeah really need to think that over.stupid kinnear.there are other issues going on with not picking Owen.

  • briss264

    Nov 20, 2008 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #36

    We cannot go with a defensive team because we do not have defensive players nor do we have the skill or mentality to last. We must go at them and create chances. Plus the last thing i would want is to play defensive and still lose, that to me makes no sense!!!! we should play our game and try not to lose the ball cheaply this is key against chelsea.
    this is my line up:

    Beye Colo Taylor/Bassong Zog
    Jonas Butt Duff
    Owen Martins
    Subs: Guthrie, Enrique, Ranger, Edgar, Geremi, Cacapa, Donaldson
    I would take off Ameobi around 60th minute put in guthrie to seal up the mid field. hopefully we can be up a goal or still be drawing at that point.


You must log in to post a comment.