Reports Michael Owen Will Not Start Against Arsenal

Today’s game against Arsenal is another crucial game for Newcastle, and it would seem, if news from the papers are to be believed, that we’ll play in a 4-5-1 formation, and that captain Michael Owen will surprisingly miss out with Oba Martins starting up front.


Hughton and Calderwood – in charge again for today’s crucial game

But we cannot help but think this change is to keep Alan Smith in the side, and we already know that Joe Kinnear is an admirer of the player.

What we don’t want to happen during the run-in is for the team’s formation to be upset, just to keep Smith in the team. We all know that happened with Sam Allardyce, but we’ll still need to keep positive, and hope the lads can get the win Newcastle fans crave. The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, and if it comes off – great.

This can hardly come as good news to Owen, whose first start since late January was only last week, so we have to believe he’s not looking too good in training. Chris did say Michael was still getting fully fit physically, and that he wasn’t as fit as the coaches woul;d like.

So given that, perhaps the plan is to use Michael for one half, and the final 45 minutes would be best, as Arsenal players tend to tire – hopefully.

However, just going for a draw this afternoon and shutting up shop, will lose us points, so we have to hope we’ll still go for the goals and the win. But with Michael Owen presumably not starting, it has to make Newcastle fans think Newcastle may be trying to cement a draw.

It could be Chris, Colin and Joe want Newcastle to remain in the game as long as possible, and then in the second half, with the help of the Newcastle crowd and a fresh Michael Owen, push forward for the win.

We have to remember Chris said the same defensive type comments, before the Manchester United game, that we couldn’t really go all out, because the Red Devils would catch us on the break.

However, in the first 20 minutes of that game the lads shocked and surprised everybody, as Newcastle continually attacked Manchester United, and certainly rocked their defense more than once, and of course Peter Lovenkrands got the break-through goal.

Maybe we’ll see the same thing again, but if Michael is not starting you have to look for players like Lovenkrands, who can score the goals, bring in the starting line up.

If the story is accurate and Michael does not start and we play 4-5-1 today, this is the team we think Chris will put out this afternoon:

S. Taylor Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Lovenkrands Smith Butt (c) Nolan Gutierrez
Subs: Forster Beye Guthrie Owen Carroll Geremi R.Taylor

No place for Ameobi or Duff in this line-up at all, although we think Chris will have Ameobi as a sub, rather than Carroll.

What do you think?

Let us know – comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • dougnufc

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #1

    i thought hughton said owen will play an integral part of our survival

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #2

    so did I – this may be a story that is just not true – but we’ll not really know until team announced.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #3

    I really can’t see this being true, but I guess Ed feels that he should tell us of any rumours and stories. I can’t stand the Mail for numerous reasons, one of which is that they lie constantly.

    As for the game today, we don’t have a snowflake’s chance I’m afraid. Zero points from the next two games.

  • Doctapaul

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #4

    Dropping Owen – a big big mistake.

    Can you imagine Keegan doing that?

    Arsenal without Fabregas are there for the taking.

  • bennytoon

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #5

    Unfortunatly i think it could be a massacre today.

  • Premiership Manager

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #6

    If Guthrie is fit he should start in midfield with Nolan.

    Duff and Guterez should be on the wings and up front it should be either Martins and Carrol/Lovenkrands.

    Yes Owen should play, however if he’s not 100% fit it would be better to leave him on the bench and save him for the easier games rather than risk him being injured

  • Jan Stavik

    Mar 21, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #7

    Good call, leave the unfit Owen out till he’s fit.
    4-5-1 with Lovenkrands playing in the hole should be todays formation. Leave Smith out too, he’s just not good enough!

  • Don

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #8

    If he drops Owen for this game because hes not fit enough then it just shows how ridiculous it was starting him against Hull.
    Id play him and let him get match fit as we dont really expect anything out of the next 2 games, but his goals later will be crucial against lesser teams

  • RyanToon

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #9

    dropping owen is disgusting, hughton is a idiot

  • spiderpig

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #10

    ameobi is shit

  • Stuart79

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #11


    I don’t think it’s too bad an idea.

    He didn’t play against Man U and we played as well as we have played all season.

    He needs at least 5 games to get fit after injury and in the meantime were playing with 10 men.

    I’d go with pace today and bring Owen on as an when we need him.

  • RyanToon

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #12

    well to drop your captain at this stage of the season is SHOCKING

  • Stuart79

    Mar 21, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #13

    He doesn’t bring enough to the team when he’s just returned from injury. Captain or not, he’s a hinderance at the minute.

    We don’t really create enough for him when he’s fit, he’s wasted in our team at his best!

  • Stuart79

    Mar 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #14

    Off topic but has anyone recieved their grovelling letter from Derek lambias re renewing season tickets?

    Do you still get one if you bought a three year one?

  • Rodzilla

    Mar 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #15

    The story is true. I have it from a very reliable source. I’d agree with your comments Stuart79. I was quite suprised must admit, but Ed’s line-up looks good to me, and it’s what I immediately thought of when I heard the news. Bring Owen on later in the game. Be alreet man.

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 21, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #16

    Don`t agree with you on Duff having no place on the bench.
    Surely he should be there instead of Geremi,on performances alone he is much better and will find us a goal unlike Geremi.


    Mar 21, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #17

    Chris Houghton sacked by Spurs
    Colin Calderwood sacked by Nottm Forest
    JFK sacked by Luton Town and Nottingham Forest
    All three have Spurs ties!!!

    These 3 men are here to save our Huge beloved club!!!!!

    RIP Newcastle United

  • d234350r

    Mar 21, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #18

    glad owen is dropped might be a hint to the little git that he doesnt actually pull his weight for the club, hope that loevnkrands gets a start as him and gutierrez running at them is good to watch, would love to see nile ranger get a run out at some point, think we might get a pummeling this afternoon and against chelsea but if we keep payers fit then the games after that we have a chance of pulling free. gutted but cant do anything until we get these two games out of the way


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