Michael Owen Is Up To The Challenge

Chris Hughton has talked about the disappointing result yesterday, and that he thinks Michael Owen is up for the challenge, given the growing expectations on his shoulders.


Michael Owen – he’s up to the challenge in last 9 games

Chris Hughton, who started Owen in yesterday’s game at Hull City said today:

“I think when you look at your big players anywhere there are always expectations.” “I think Michael accepts that – he is a big player. It comes with the territory.”

“This is the moment you look at your big players and your big players around the changing room.”

“This is when you want players available, and one problem we have had is that we haven’t had enough players available for enough of the season – I’m talking about regular first-team players.”

“I think there is always going to be a certain amount of fear involved at this stage of the season. But you have got to be confident you have got good enough characters and enough quality to come through that, and I’m very confident that we have.”

With difficult games against Champions League quarter-finalists Arsenal and Chelsea to come in the next two home games, the very last thing we want to see is the lads play just great, and lose twice.

Then we’ll all say – well we didn’t win but if we play as well as that for the rest of the season we’ll be just fine.    How many times have we said that this season?

But we know that’s not true as we all witnessed yesterday. Against the poorer sides in the league, like Hull City, we’re just as bad or not much better.

We need to play great in games we can and should win, like yesterday’s game, but we were nowhere near as good as we were against Manchester United, and that has to be worrying.

The second half yesterday was the time the lads could have come on to grab the win, but we missed the chances when they came, and perhaps, just perhaps, that will change when Owen and Martins are more match fit.

However, we would have expected Martins to have done a lot better with the two excellent chances he had yesterday, where he failed with both, one in each half.

Hughton admitted his team had not done enough to feed Owen and Obafemi Martins up front:

“In that first half-hour, if I looked at our two front men we probably didn’t give them the service they needed.”

“We were aware first half we needed to get the ball down and give them a different type of service – and we probably weren’t able to do that.”

“I think the goal so early in the game rocked us and never allowed us to get into any type of stride.”

“Once we did get into our stride, in the latter part of the first half, we missed the opportunities to get a real stranglehold of the game.”

“The teams around us have got tough games as well. We have to make sure we win a better percentage of our games than the others do.” 

When the team doesn’t get the job done we’re left with all the  –  if only we could have done this, and if so and so had only done that.

But they are nothing more than excuses, and unless the lads can play every game, as if it’s against Manchester United, it looks like this can go right down to the wire, in a season that’s turning out to be one of the worst ever at Newcastle, at least for the faithful fans.

One hope has to be Michael Owen, and we think he can save us, once he gets into the swing of things again and is match fit.

If Michael can start scoring the goals that will save the club this season,  he will be paying off some of what he owes the Tyneside club, given how much Newcastle have paid him these last 4 seasons.

We think Michael Owen can do just that, and that he is indeed up for this rather significant challenge.

Comments welcome.

85 comments so far

  • dougnufc

    Mar 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #1

    Can Chris Hughton stop talking and think of some better tactics? His tactics are absolutely woeful.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #2

    Owen is crap, he offers nothing to the team unless he scores, i hope he’s dropped for the Arsenal game and Lovenkrnads comes back in

  • Danish_Magpie

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #3

    Bring in a new manager asap. Temporary like Venables if need be. Look at the effect of Hiddink at Chelsea.. I am not saying we would go on a run like that, but we need the impetus and excitement of a new manager to see us through. Hughton and Calderwood may be decent to have on the coaching staff, but NOT as managers.

    As for Joe Kinnear, thanks for stepping up when nobody wanted to. Now focus on your health, get well.. but I don’t really want to see you in charge of Newcastle in September, regardless of the division we are in.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #4

    Yawn..Peter Lovenkrands all the way.

  • Danish_Magpie

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #5

    As a minimum I would like to see the following players leaving in the summer:

    Owen (not worth his massive wages)
    Viduka (permanently crocked on huge wages)
    Shola (not good enough)
    Smith (not good enough and big wages)
    Geremi (shite and big wages)
    Duff (has had a decent season, but not a 65K a week season… ship out)
    Butt (Poor player, and past it. Prob wont be sold but ought to be)
    Cacapa (too old and big wages for a crap player)

    Still leaves us with:

    GK: Harper, Krul, Foster – great

    RB: Beye, R. Taylor
    LB: Enrique
    CB: Bassong, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Edgar

    LM: Jonas
    RM: LuaLua
    CM: Nolan, Guthrie, Barton

    ST (big man): Carroll, Xisco
    ST (fast): Oba, Løvenkrands

    In my opinion, we need:

    LB 1st team: Warnock/Shorey/Daniel Fox

    LW backup: McGeady/Adam Johnson/Joe Ledley/Commons

    RW 1st team: Pennant (free)/Kightly

    DM 1st team: Reo-Coker/Huddlestone/(perhaps Michael Johnson)

    It would be nice to get another defensive reinforcement such as Wheater if Boro go down or Samba if Blackburn do, just like I wouldnt mind gtting both Reo-Coker and Huddlestone and then shipping Barton off (huge wages and badboy tag)… I would also love Crouch or Bent to come to the club, but I think with the above we would still have a strong team — at about half the wages we are currently paying!

  • Danish_Magpie

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #6

    …also from next season, Ranger could be pushing for inclusion on the bench once in a while…

  • chuck

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Forget about Owen, just read where Ashley intends to keep JFK, Houghton ,Wise and obviously the oddsmaker Llambias. untill 2011.
    Got nothing against JFK, he has done as well as expected, but the man is getting on and not in the best of healthy(understated) give him a payoff and start NOW looking for the replacement manager that will be around ten years from now.
    Got no problem with Hughton, he did`nt last at Spurs through numerous managers without being a decent defensive coach.
    Llambias should be let go and replaced by a football exec.
    Dont know about Wise, but he is a liability in the sense he is generally detested by the Geordie faithfull.
    We NUFC are in a precarious position and a radical change in top management to-gether with the signing of a manager that can rebuild this failing giant and bring the twenty something wealthiest club in the world to it`s rightfull place in the PL and european competition.
    Without these changes there will be a continuing
    deterioration and relegation.
    In fact we could end up becoming Leeds .
    The key to everything is obviously cash and the willingness to spend, something lacking up to this point.
    The reality is you cannot win a PL championship or compete in europe without spending, that should be an obvious fact to everyone.
    By the way I would recomend you hire Steve Clark, give him the opportunity to manage, he is one of the premier coaches in the game, look what he has done for the Hammers lately.
    Would`nt break the bank and could be a really positive coup for the club, cause face it at present we are not exactly the most attractive
    place to come to, what`s to lose.

  • Hugh Jorgan

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #8

    The only challenge Michael Owen has, is to push his wheelbarrow full of fifty pound notes to the bank, via the turf accountants.

  • Dragonera

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #9


    Mate, it is clear MA plans to sell as soon as the economic climate fixes up and he is just keeping JK etc on as they are probably some of the lowest paid management in the PL right now. All recent comments from top management have suggested that they are only looking to keep costs down for the next few seasons.

    MA will be gone within the next few years. Not because he is bothered by the protests, but simply because he hasn’t got the type of money needed to run a successful club in the PL.

  • Dragonera

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #10

    Also, Michael Owen can do one. He is a waste of space and signing him was one of the worst pieces of business NUFC has ever done.

  • Dragonera

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #11

    Actually, scratch that last comment about MA. He has got the money to run a successful club in the PL, but he would need to be fully dedicated to this club and spend a large chunk of his fortune if he were to ever achieve success. This is something he clearly doesn’t intend on doing, and probably never did. The whole nature of MA’s purchase of NUFC stands testmony to this. A quick buy with no due diligence and little in the form of market research. He clearly just bought the club as something to have on the side whilst he focuses on his other businesses. Nothing wrong with this of course, but i just don’t think he realised the sheer magnitude of how important football is to NUFC fans and how desperate we are to see the team doing well again.

  • Slam magd

    Mar 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Ed, u and almost everyone else keeps banging on about our supposed poor perfomance yesterday. The guys played very well and looked hungry 4 goals. We were a bit unlucky but hull were rugged and quite physical unlike man u who play the game the right way so its absurd to compare our perfomances against two very different sides. I beleive we should be objective and not let our dislike for the management impair our judgement! I believe our players read this blog and would feel a sense of injustice if they r slagged off like that after puttin a good battlin perfomance. Yesterday I saw a team that will more than survive relegation and if we continue with our negative reactions to matches, then am sorry to say that we the fans r our club’s biggest enemy!

  • TheToonKing

    Mar 15, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #13

    Slam magd …..wow…i’ll have the same please…

  • Doocey

    Mar 15, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #14

    Funny to see how many people dying to see Lovenkrands start each game. Indeed it was the majority of you people who were laughing and giving out about Kinnear when we signed him.

    Owen will score goals and hopefully very soon.
    We can beat Arsenal!

    New posts up on my new site lads 😀

  • Dragonera

    Mar 15, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #15

    We could have beaten Arsenal if we would have played them a few weeks back, but as usual we have caught a team at the completely wrong time. They are getting players back and looking much better going forward. I am more optimistic about the Chelsea game though, i am still not convinced about the.

  • Hugh de Payen

    Mar 15, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #16

    Typically, I see Spurs are 1-up at Villa.

    Why do I say ‘typically’?

    It’s because my wife is a Villa supporter and just *know* that we’ll probably need a point to avoid relegation at the last match against Villa and they’ll beat us, sending us down.

    And divorces can be expensive!

  • batty

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #17

    owens goals will keep us up mark my words

  • Fostino

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #18

    i want dis season to end quick…………………..so we can cull some of our overpaid and underperforming players, and theres alot of em!!

  • Fostino

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #19

    players that should move on:


  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #20

    Hughton and Calderwood just need more time. By September they will have sorted things out. All you fans out there… be PATIENT. Judge MA in May not now!!!!

  • chuck

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #21

    We tend to agree.
    Why did Ashley buy the club, on a rich mans toy whim ?
    Why would a successfull businessman fail to do due dilligence?
    Did he buy with the idea he could change the operating policies and run the club as a profitable organization.
    We all realise he has lost a large chunk of his fortune through the present economic conditions.
    These are questions to which we will probably never know the answers to, but there are facts we do know.
    That his choice of people to run the club from KK, Llambias, etc. has been very questionable.
    A successfull club needs first and foremost a chief executive who is experienced within the game, a scouting and management team who are on the same page, with a plan for not only now but for years down the road (like any well run business)
    I tend to agree about Ashley, he bit off more than he could chew and hopes to sell sometime down the road if and when the economy bounces back .
    So we are stuck either as a lower level PL or Champions league side for the forseeable future.
    Too bad !

  • komfort

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #22

    batty , we’ll need 3 draymans horse’s and a long piece of rope to pull us out of this sh1te.

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #23

    I saw Owen playing yesterday. He looks well up for the challenge. On yesterday’s evidence Owen will save us. He battled like it was a cup final. Another 9 like that Mikey boy. Well worth £110 a week. Even when he is crocked for two thirds of the season, Mikey offers us so much which you cannot evaluate simply in terms of goals. Do you think he’ll stay when we are in the fizzy. Massive loss if he goes. He would tons against Grimsby and clubs like that.

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #24

    Hughton had ashred plan against Hull. He knew it was abig game which we had to win so he played 4 in midfield which cannot score and(jonas excepting) cannot create anything. The point was to lull Hull into a false sense of security so that somebody else would score and S. Taylor did. Brilliant. We must keep Hughton at all costs. His one big mistake was playing two strikers who could score but had little chance with no service. He should have played the bartender and Ameobi or carroll and then we had no chance of scoring up front or midfield. Then the goalie would have scored. Still, I’m sure the chuckle brothers have learnt their lesson and will play Stroller and the bartender next game. expect loads of goals from Colo and Harper.

  • NorthernPaul

    Mar 15, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #25

    Owen does not care whether we stay up or not. It’s a disgrace that he is our captain.

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Just when you thought it could not get any worse, I’m reading that MA is planning to give Jk and the chuckles a three year contract. I suppose its consisitent with giving Stroller another 3 years and Butty another year. I hope the bartender, Cacapa, Geremi, Smith etc are also given extensions. it’s only fair. I won’t be there to watch MA and his team of managerial muppets next year. 45 years and out.

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #27

    It will be a massive relief if NUFC get relegated. I won’t have to bakroll MA busted business for another year while we endure another year of torture when we will def get relegated. We’ll have an older team minus Mikey (backed up by a massive 5 mil investment in the summer) which is doomed to relegation. Cannot see JK and the chuckles on a three year contract saving us next season, never mind this season.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #28


    Of course Owen cares weather we stay up, he wont want ‘relegated’ on his CV

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #29

    Toon Factor
    Mikey might care but not too much. He’ll just fly his helicopter to another club daft enough to pay 100 grand. Prob Citeeee.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #30


    Are you Spurs fan??

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #31

    Owen is finished as a player for a top club. He will not play for the top 4 and he knows it. He is now just chasing the bucks. Relegation will hurt a bit but by the end of May he will be playing for Citeeee. Come July, it will be “who is NUFC. Did I play for them?”

  • papalump

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #32

    we should start playin our matches on newspaper instead of grass that seems to be the only place our players are “up for it” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jimiley

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #33

    Toon Factor
    No I’m not. I just detest MA and what he has done to this club. Is calling the club and the owner totally ………. being disloyal or just telling it as it is?

  • NorthernPaul

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #34

    Toon Factor:

    Show me one game recently where Mr Owen has looked like he has given half a crap about our current plight.

    His CV speaks for itself, world class striker apart from a tiny blip called NUFC. Clubs will be lining up to take him on a free.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #35


    Against Liverpool when we got stuffed he came off very depressed and dissopointed

  • Wigaz

    Mar 15, 2009 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #36

    Did you guys see Arshavin against Blackburn? He is going to dance round our useless band of titends with ease! unless bassong stiffens him early on like he did to Jones vs maks. God I wish we hadn’t sacked SA until after he signed him. He would have made our team. Oh well nevermind. Lets hope this Kuwait mob who are interested in Liverpool get F**KT off with the yanks pissing them about & buy us in the summer, if we stay up. We need rid of MA & his so stupid crew. I think he would take a reduced offer & cut his loss’s. Or shall i say i hope.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #37

    Time For MA,Wise,Lambias,Calderwood,Houghton and JK to do one things will not improve with these idiots pulling the strings.

    Get rid of the overpaid prima donnas..get some quality in and a get bleeding some of the youngsters that want to wear the shirt and are proud to represent our great club.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #38

    I just hope we don’t do a Leeds.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #39

    Players like Bassong will not be here next season,music to Mike’s ears KERCHING- it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole squad is up for sale already…nothing surprises me when it comes to MA.

  • Wigaz

    Mar 15, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #40

    It would be devastating if we do a leeds SJT. I hate to say it but maybe going down is the only way to get rid of fat boy. Which means hopefully we can start again hopefully with a board that will back a new younger manager. Alan Shearer. As much as it sounds like i want this i really dont want us to go down!!!


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