Nolan And Owen Could Play Together For First Time

If Kevin Nolan plays in the game against Arsenal on Saturday, as we expect him to following his 3 match suspension, it will be the first time he has played with Michael Owen, after both of them were at the Liverpool Academy together in the 1990s.


Michael Owen – star at Liverpool while Nolan at Liverpool Academy 

Now that Owen, Newcastle’s England international striker, is back from injury and looking decent against Hull City last Saturday, as he plays his way back to full match fitness, the two could well start together on Saturday.

Nolan is two and a half years younger than Owen, so he was a younger trainee at the Liverpool club, when Owen was making his way into the first team at Anfield.

Of course Owen came to prominence quickly at the start of the 1997-1998 season, when he was just 17 year old, and eventually went on to play in the England side in the 1998 World Cup, alongside Newcastle’s Alan Shearer.

It was against Argentina in the quarter finals – the game in which David Beckham was sent off – that Michael scored his incredible individual goal for England, which stamped him as a world star at just 18 years of age.

Nolan talked about Michael:

“I’ll try to learn a few things from him about his prowess in the box.”

“He was a lot older than me when I was at Liverpool. He was also playing a few years above himself, but you always heard about him.”

“He really came through when I was at Bolton.” “He was fantastic at the World Cup.”

“I’d met him a couple of times before I came here, and it’ll be nice to get to know him as a player and see what makes him tick.”

This is a great opportunity for Kevin and Michael to play well together for Newcastle, and who knows, if we can survive this season, maybe Michael may even want to stay on Tyneside.

We think Kevin can make a huge difference for Newcastle in central midfield, and expect to see him start against Arsenal. It will be interesting to see how the two of the lads link up on Saturday – very well, we hope.

And if Michael does leave in the summer, Kevin is favorite to take over as Newcastle captain, with 53% of our readers thinking he would be our best captain, with Beye in second place on 13%.

The poll is still open if you haven’t yet voted.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • Bill F

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #1

    I wouldn’t start either of them but they should certainly be on the bench.

  • Dragonera

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #2

    Drop Owen, he is s**t against good teams and he shouldn’t have been put straight back in the starting 11 anyway. I blame that gutless fool, Hughton for messing with what clearly was a decent side against Manchester United.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #3

    Who knows who will start on Saturday.

    I cant beleive the selection last Saturday and we have seen that a few times this season (injuries aside).

    One thing I know for definate for Sat will be the ever suffering Geordie faithful.

    Just watch Arsenals kids smack hull to bits tonight in the FA cup match.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #4

    I know MO is we captain – but after such a lengthy lay off with injury he should have been brought on as a sub.

    I just hope that the lads come out that tunnel on Saturday with drive passion and desire to win against all the odds.

  • ronaldeano

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #5

    If we stay up i think Owen will sign.

    Judgeing by his comments the other day, he loves it here in Newcastle

  • ronaldeano

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #6

    This is from NUFC.COM….

    A history lesson –
    before we’re history…

    One year ago today, we went to Birmingham City for a Premier League game – the first of nine fixtures that
    would ultimately decide our top-flight destiny.

    Before kickoff, we sat in 14th spot, with 28 points and
    on a run of just one victory in our last 13 outings.

    Twelve months later, we’re again left with nine games to play, sitting on 29 points and clinging to 16th place, with three wins in our last 13 games.

    Although that visit to St.Andrews brought only a draw, there was a sense that the rot had been stopped, the side had finally worked out that they were in the proverbial – and were starting to react.

    Fifteen points from those remaining nine games were then gathered, thanks to a trio of home wins, three away draws and success at Spurs.

    This time round our fixture list is trickier and the dogfight at the bottom of the league so much tighter, but the opportunity to decide our own destiny still remains.

    PS: Owen’s role that night was behind a front two of Martins and Viduka – a role he filled to good effect. With the Australian out of the equation this time round, what price a rerun of the tactic with Carroll as the muscle?

    Damn right

  • jim

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #7


    I’m desperately trying to understand what is going on with the club and maybe you could offer some of your own insight into the following:

    1) Why are we persevering, as a club, with Kinnear, Calderwood & Hughton?

    2) Are the rumours of a new contract for all three true? How can this possibly be, when they are all doing such a poor job?

    3) Are we really supposed to believe the “five year plan” guff Mr. Llambias came out with? Surely if there was a five year plan, the involvement of Joe Kinnear should be long gone whilst we invest in a proper management structure to take the club forward?

    4) Further on the five year plan, why would this ‘plan’ be allowed to be devised and managed by Llambias and Wise, two individuals who have none of the credentials necessary?

    5) What ARE NUSC doing? They are entirely maverick and don’t appear to have the slightest clue as to what is needed at the club.

    6) Why are we offering contracts to Ameobi, Butt & Carroll, three players who have all contributed heavily to our dour situation and who have all proven time and again that they have none of the attributes needed for top flight football?

    7) Why do we still have Smith, Geremi, Viduka, Gonzalez and Cacapa on the payroll? This must be a massive drain and I struggle to believe they are of more worth than Doninger, Godsmark, Ranger, Inman or Donaldson?

    8) Finally – what the hell is going on with the reserves? I appreciate that we have struggled to field our strongest XI, but by the same token players like those already mentioned (Ameobi, Butt, Smith, Geremi, Cacapa, Duff, etc.) are massively responsible for this appalling season. Why are those same players persevered with, game after game, ahead of some pretty bright talent? Why does Hughton believe that the same players who have been disgustingly hopeless for ¾ of the campaign are suddenly the right ones to get us out of the trouble they’ve put us in? It beggars belief and I refuse to believe that the owner, the one who stands to lose far more than I do, can’t see it. And if he can’t, why is he even involved with football?

    I appreciate you guys may be as baffled as I am and probably have no answers to any of the above, but unless we take a stance of asking these questions, important questions that can help shape a better future, then we’ll get nowhere. If our front is continually perceived to be NUSC and their “Wise Oot” banners, we’ll continually be perceived as idiots. I would personally like us all to do more – I have recently seen an “open letter” on the net (through Newsnow) which is no better than anything I, or others like me, have been saying for a while – it’s simply more eloquent than NUSC could hope to achieve, hence it gets airtime. But surely if some of the more intelligent among us clubbed together, we could get something done?

    Let me know, if you get the time.
    Neil Crossley.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Owen and Nolan together..oh my god my mouth is watering so much, I feel like I have just eaten a box of opel fruits (starburst for younger readers).

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #9

    SJT – I assume you’re being sarky with that one? I only ask because if you’re not then it’s the most positive thing I’ve ever seen you type!

    Actually, I do think Nolan and Owen could combine very well – especially with Lovenkrands and Martins in the mix too. It’s just a bit scary that we’ve got to this match and this situation to find out…

    I’m not convinced about starting either of them, but against Arsenal, their experience and will to track back and hit hard could be exactly what’s needed.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #10

    SJT – I think I can guess that you are being sarcastic? 🙂

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #11

    I was being Sarcastic.Owen should not start at the moment he looked well off the pace at Hull and looked off the pace before his latest errrrr setback shall we say.

    Give him a few games in the reserves see if he can hack it..if not he can warm the bench.

    Lovenkrands and Martins plenty of pace there to Attack defenders…Owen can chill his boots for the rest of this season before he does one to Man City.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Whumpie..I am not always negative if the Toon do something good I always pile on the praise and worship my black and white hero’s.

    Just not been many positives of late (3 years or more) and I am a realist and a geordie that has the Toons best interests at heart.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #13

    SJT – I know, and I sympathise. It’s just a bit relentlessly black sometimes.

    Just out of interest, what team would you start with on Sat? (Seriously – not a dig!)

  • Stardust

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #14

    SJT – “I am a realist ” think thats stretching the truth a bit !

    Realists take into account all facts, actions and consequence. I accept your right to your anti Ashley view. But as for being a realist – I dont accept it.

    A realist would accept that Ashley has done far more good than bad and has been let down by other people – yes the fans included.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #15

    I would probably start with the line up we had against man u and get ranger on the bench..drop Owen and give him a blast in the reserves.

    RE A realist would accept that Ashley has done far more good than bad and has been let down by other people – yes the fans included.

    As far as I am concerned Ashley has done nothing positive for this club apart from dig it into a massive hole and strip its assets.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #16

    Will you still be whistling the same tune next season when we are playing Barnsley?
    I suppose that will be my fault as well eh?

  • Stardust

    Mar 17, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #17

    SJT -“As far as I am concerned Ashley has done nothing positive for this club apart from dig it into a massive hole and strip its assets”

    The balance sheet and cash flow makes that statement look simply ridiculous.

    Trips of the tongue – easy to say – hideous in its intentions as its aimed to score points gainst Ashley and forms opinion without understanding or knowledge. A terrible post that fella – the kind of view I am diametrically opposed to.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #18

    SJT – interesting point on the team selection; I think I’d go along with that. We know Owen takes several games to get sharp, so why not? Loverboy and Martins were a great combo, so why change it?

    As for the other argument between you and Stardust, I actually disagree with both of you!

    1. I can’t say he’s done more good than bad. He’s done some of both, but there is a lot of bad there that I put down to his inexperience and arrogance. Just look at where we are; and that ultimately is his doing.

    2. He has done good in terms of setting up proper foundations and saving us from financial implosion…. if the bad stuff doesn’t send us down. And no, he’s not asset-stripped anything; that’s completely unfounded and nonsensical.

    So – I think clear specs are required, neither rose-tinted nor covered in shite. We’re deep in it, and that’s largely because Ashley has made some stupid decisions, especially in his choice of colleagues. But if we stay up, we’ll be starting next season in the best shape we’ve had in years.

    Big ‘if’, that.

  • Stardust

    Mar 17, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #19

    Whumpie “But if we stay up, we’ll be starting next season in the best shape we’ve had in years.

    Big ‘if’, that.”


  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #20

  • Sav

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #21

    “But if we stay up, we’ll be starting next season in the best shape we’ve had in years.”

    Even our bankers and accountants, never mind fans, would see that if we are not the Premiership, we will be a whole lot worse off.

    You stated we are in such great financial shape. So what has Ashley done for our balance sheet?

    Ok, he has cut the wage bill.
    To do that we’ve lost 3 very good players this season, all with plenty mileage. The wage bill will be cut further in June if Owen, Butt, Cacapa, Smith and a few more high earners leave. We have also made savings by getting rid of the Allardyce era fitness gurus, masseurs and shamen.

    But these players have to be replaced with, hopefully, better quality and hopefully more depth. Not only will the wage bill rise but, while we’ll get little or nothing for the outgoings above, there will be substantial transfer fees for their replacements . There is also a big pay-off for Keegan around the corner resulting from the mess in August last year. Attendances are down 10%, and some fans are still boycotting programmes, pies and pints inside the ground. If the fitness staff are not re-hired at further cost, we can look forward to a continuation of our shocking injury record. If Joe Kinnear is deemed unfit or unsatisfactory in June, there may well be a compensation package and higher wage for a new manager.

    Our youth set-up is better, but still years behind many rival teams and a long way off saving the club substantial sums for new first team players unless we are relegated. We are ‘debt free’ but its clear Ashley intends to add whatever sum he has had to fork out onto the asking price, perhaps less whatever profit has been made on player transfers. That looks like asset-stripping to me, albeit because he didn’t gauge how much the club would cost initially and he is unlikely to get his money back on it in the present climate. As for the savings made on the 3 players referred to above, where is the evidence that will be ploughed back on playing staff? 3 transfer windows gone and we are still waiting to see the vaunted Ashley annual squad investment.
    No, the club is not in great shape. Not great at all.

  • Brutooon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #22

    can u guys calculate how many chances owen get for the hull game?

    he is one of the worst transfer flops for us….imagine how much does it cost per goal? Caroll is better in term of cost compare to his goals…

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #23


  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #24


  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #25



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