Newcastle’s Plight – Michael Owen Hits The Nail On The Head

Michael Owen has given an exclusive interview in the Chronicle  today, and it’s a little surprising how accurate he is in the things he says about why Newcastle fans are so frustrated at the moment.

Michael Owen media duties

Michael Owen doing his media duties

This is some of what Michael has said:

“Every fan wants the same thing. Everyone wants great signings.”  “And obviously Newcastle fans have been given that over the years.” “Maybe the stardust is what’s missing at the moment. I can totally understand their frustration.”

“They have made money on Cabaye. From a business point of view obviously from afar you are looking in and seeing Newcastle have spent very little on a lot of players.”

“They have bought extremely well. You look at Sissoko, he was fairly cheap.”  “Cabaye and Tiote weren’t expensive – the list goes on.”

“They have bought really well over the last few years.” “Newcastle will be the envy of a lot of clubs as I say.”  “They haven’t spent big amounts but are making big amounts.”

“Obviously that doesn’t help the supporters!”  “My head lad of my yard is a massive Newcastle fan and we are always talking about the club and how they sell their best players and don’t buy anyone.”

“You can totally understand that. That’s what Newcastle fans expect over the year.”  “Every fan wants those stars and signings.”

“It is a balance between putting yourself out there and spending a lot of money then putting the club in financial difficulty or keeping it all tight and running well and having a sustainable business.

“Obviously football fans don’t see it as a business.”  “They want to be passionate and see their team playing good football.”  “All I would say on the whole situation is that I’m sure Alan Pardew would want an open cheque book like most managers.

“But for what he’s got and what he’s had to play with, with a small squad, to get ninth in the Premier League is a pretty decent return.

“I wouldn’t suggest it’s all doom and gloom at all, but I understand the frustrations of the fans.”

We are surprised how Michael hits the Newcastle situation on the head (or should that be the nail on the had?), but that’s probably due to his head lad being an avid Newcastle fan, and that’s where he’s getting all his good information.

Michael seems to have a decent future in the media, and when we’ve seen him on TV he’s come across well – and certainly he seems to understand the fans’ frustrations at Newcastle at the moment.

OK – it’s 5;30 am over here and time to take my dog Milo for his early morning walk, and it’s a nice 70 degrees F – must keep my priorities right .


Comments welcome.

50 comments so far

  • mindshaft

    May 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #1

    9th is okay compared to last season but the fact is that the last 19 games we’ve been playing relegation football, 9th was secured with the first 18 games so we’re rightly p!55ed off with Pards and his lack of tactics.

    To be honest I also get narked at his hilda baker pronunciations in interviews – blokes an idiot

  • Ancientcoptic

    May 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #2

    It is not difficult to tell who knows what they are talking about, when they are speaking about Newcastle.

    Those who do not follow Newcastle, will make ignorant comments about 9th being great, and state ‘Newcastle fans have nothing to complain about.’

    Those that take a closer look, will understand that we are on course for our 21st game, in which we have only won 4, and deserved to win only 1 of those games. It does not make a master codebreaker to figure out that NUFC without Remy, and bringing that form into next season, is in BIG BIG trouble.

  • clinath@ed

    May 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #3

    It doesn’t matter how big a cheque book you are given, if you do not know what to do with what you spend it it on!!
    He has constantly misused the assets at his disposal while he has been here… real sign that this will change.

  • bishopblaize

    May 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Always next season 🙂

  • theartfuldodger

    May 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #5

    I hate the fact that we finished in top 10…Any chance of being docked a couple of points…grrrr

  • Slank

    May 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #6

    At the start of the season few thought we would end up in the top four.

    Many thought we would be relegated.

    But the majority thought that we would end up in the top ten probably between 7th and 10th.

    Most fans thought that Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd and Spurs would be ahead of us.

    It’s looking like the majority of fans called it right.

    For those fans of other clubs looking at us from a distance, without the benefit (if that is the right word) of looking at our blogs and our local newspapers they must wonder why Newcastle fans are so angry.

    However, finishing high in the league doesn’t make a manager immune from criticism. Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Tim Sherwood know this.

    Michael Owen has called it right.

  • bobby mango

    May 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #7

    I don’t think he hit the nail on the head at all!

    Be talks like all we want is money spent on players. That would be nice but first and foremost we want to see a team giving their all, playing decent football and not being embarrassed.

    Yes we certainly want signings but not marquee signings that break the bank. Just enough to keep pace with other clubs. If we signed 2-3 players each summer that improved the first team and play good, organised, entertaining football I’m sure we’d all be very very happy.

    Silverware would be amazing but I’m so used to not competing for any it doesn’t come into consideration any more.

  • Spotlight Kid

    May 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #8

    ‘Silverware would be amazing but I’m so used to not competing for any it doesn’t come into consideration any more.’Bobby Mango @7

    Can you imagine a Chelsea, Man U, Man C, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton or even Spurs, Swansea, Wigan of even Sunderland fan (after all they were League Cup finalists) being so ground down as to give up on the very lifeblood of the game – which is surely the hope, drive and ambition to win a trophy? This is so sad.

  • clinath@ed

    May 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #9

    ‘Silverware would be amazing but I’m so used to not competing for any it doesn’t come into consideration any more.’Bobby Mango @7

    Bobby, when we start thinking like this, he’s already won mate.

  • catchy in norway

    May 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #10


    you and michael , for me are so far from the truth it hurts
    squad size has nothing to do with the actual style of football we play, I see smaller squads without the quality international players we have ( Brighton for instance ) play more football than we ever have under pardew ,

    I find It hard for some people to understand that,

    we have no foundations in our football at all, he talks about sissoko , are we getting the best out of him on the right wing ? his goals and assists would suggest not, yet when he is flying through center MF he looks unstoppable

    as mr walker used to say , say what you see 😉
    don’t just jump on an article and think it’s right,

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #11

    Got to be the most wooden commentator on the planet and has absolutely no moral right whatsoever to discuss our club in public.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    May 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #12

    As all teams have to kick off at 3-00pm on last day of season so that no other team ‘can take advatage’.

    Heres a hypothetical question?????

    Can anyone tell if or what would happen if a team that is fighting relegation
    a team going for the title
    their game was postponed…
    wouldother teams games in the relegation/title battle have to postpone their games

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #13

    Charlie, neither concerns us so why don’t you ask Jeaves.
    Just watched Pardews interview, those of us wanting him sacked better think again, the way he smirked and chuckled when he said Mike will have a few things to say seemed like a man very safe in the knowledge he will be here next season.

  • catchy in norway

    May 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #14


    dosnt mean we carnt wear him out , grind him down
    booooo every time he get of his seat,

    he could blame us fans for the team not doing well, or he could leave

    every man has a breaking point 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #15

    The saying ‘give him enough rope’ the fact that his arrogance will have him coming out with a lot of infuriating comments over the summer will create a situation where he will not be allowed to leave the dug out next season.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #16

    2012/13: Drew 1-1 Cabaye
    2011/12: Lost 1-3 OG
    2010/11: Lost 0-3
    2008/09: Lost 0-3
    2007/08: Lost 0-3
    2006/07: Lost 0-2
    2005/06: Lost 0-2
    2004/05: Lost 1-3 Kluivert
    2003/04: Drew 1-1 Ameobi
    2003/04: Lost 1-2 Robert (FAC)
    2002/03: Drew 2-2 Speed, Shearer
    2001/02: Lost 0-3
    2000/01: Lost 0-3
    1999/00: Lost 1-2 Shearer
    1998/99: Lost 2-4 Solano, Andersson
    1997/98: Lost 0-1
    1996/97: Lost 3-4 Gillespie, Asprilla, Barton
    1995/96: Lost 3-4 Ferdinand, Ginola, Asprilla
    1995/96: Won 1-0 Watson (LC)
    1994/95: Lost 0-2
    1993/94: Won 2-0 Lee, Cole

    Not looking the best.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #17

    For those wondering, that was Warren Barton centre parting in 96/97, not the modern day philosopher Joey.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #18

    Has everyone hung up their keyboards until August 17.

  • toonking

    May 10, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #19

    i think michel has hit the nail on the head myself.

    their is two ways that i see entertaining football being provided in a team.

    1. this is one of the things i’ve been saying alot recently, have players with an attitude like nolan barton and carroll had when they were here. these players were not the quality that michel owen has said fans want but what they did have is the attitude of quality captains. when you had them players in your team you could manage to recover from a game where you were 4-0 down to draw 4-4.

    The thing about international players is they want ambition more than anything and ashley has shown non of it, so why does an international player want to risk injury in a game that is worthless when he knows their is a world cup this year. these players all know we are safe, these players know ashley doesn’t want us into europe and finally we are now out the FA cup.

    that is where owens point is proven because if we don’t want the average or below average players who are not going to be called by their international teams, we must spend money in each and every window to prove that we are a club with ambition.

    their is a 3rd choice which is by bringing players through the academy but how the hell can we expect that to be a success when england them selves are so poor in world cups and the is a war between the FA and the premier league on how to improve the youth.

    so which is it that we want.
    A. the entertaining football through international players and want a club to show signs of ambition rather than act as a selling club.

    B. player like nolan barton and caroll who play for passion and pride of a club because these players know that they are not good enough for international team and also will never manage to get into the champions league, so all they have to play for is entertainment pride passion and FA and league cups. saylor is a player who i would like to see start this week myself as he is like this too.

  • Mickalonius

    May 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #20

    Cathy Norway, your argument makes no sense, of course squad size impacts the way you can play, Brighton ? We are premier league and you play to the strengths of the players you have. The squad has not been strengthened and Pardew has had injuries to our better players to contend with. ANY mangager would struggle. The sooner you and a few other yo you on this board realise that changing manger yet again (Lord help us who we might get next time around), the better.

  • bobby mango

    May 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #21

    Funny enough I actually find some comfort in not thinking about silverware. Saves me hurting more than I already do. It’s a sad state of affairs.

    To be fair to the current regime the drought has been going on since before my birth.
    BUT before Ashley we had some realistic chances – competing for titles and Wembley finals.

  • davetoon

    May 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #22

    speaking of ex strikers, Obafemi Martins has had a cracking start to the season for the top of the table Seattle team in MLS.

    He has 4 goals and 6 assists from his first 10 games

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #23

    Do you enjoy watching us play.

  • davetoon

    May 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #24

    In all Pardews speeches about not playing our best, him being in stands, players injured, etc… I have never heard him say what hes gonna do different next season.

    He should be trying to sell the fans some hope and the possibility that maybe he sees what is wrong and has a plan to fix it.

    Not just “things will change” or “we can play better” bullsh!t

  • catchy in norway

    May 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #25


    what a load of crap you talk,

    all you need is 11 players to play football , I’m like 100% certen if you cared to look though our records you would find that our injuries should have had little impact to the way we play football,

    I find it funny that I can go and watch kids in a park getting the ball down and playing football,
    we played Brighton twice in the cup and got taught a footballing lesson from them ,

    I think if you also cared to check stats,
    we as a team do not commit bodies to the box
    we have more shots than any other team in the league out side the box , and the least amount in side the box, and the stat is pretty much the same for the last 3 seasons , regardless of who we have playing or injured,

    but let’s not let facts get in the way of your pipe dream


  • Laurent Robert 32

    May 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #26

    Toonking, players shud play with passion, but if they don’t have a plan set out to them by a capable manager then their will to run will deteriorate. Manager should get improvement at all costs.

    If they’re aren’t performing, he is paid to get that from them.

  • Toon Tang

    May 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #27

    Id take Owen as manager so I dont have to listen to his weird accent whiny voice commentating again… until the first press conference at least haa

  • Laurent Robert 32

    May 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #28

    I’ve seen in a number of games we have put effort in but they look lost through pathetic team communication and cohesion.

    That is drilled into them on the training pitch. If they’re not doing it properly they should keep repeating it.

    If the coaching drills and guidance aren’t there to start with, the players are playing as individuals. In this league you can hide it for a little bit but you’ll get found out.

    Pardew gets found out all the time.

  • Carl819

    May 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #29

    Who cares what M. Owen thinks, he was a disgrace at our club. In our hour of need (relegation season) he was playing not to get injured. He then swanned about at Man. U. saying he rather be on the bench at a big club than playing for a smaller club. He then went to Stoke where he was on the bench. An odious character, I’ d have a big picture of him at Scotch Corner stating ‘Not Welcome’ . He is below J.F.K. , at least he was just stupid, not a backstabbing ####. ( insert 4 lettered word of your choice here)

  • carl

    May 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #30

    Hugh Southon from Claret and Hugh has said of a return to West Ham of Alan Pardew as being unlikely. Regrettably that will never happen but the fanzine had a vote on which living former West ham manager would you like to return or would you prefer to stick with Sam? There was a very clear majority for Alan Pardew. Certainly looking at Pardew’s winning ratio you can understand why. Also he left for non football reasons.

    Manager Duration Games Won Drawn Lost Win Rate

    Lou Macari 1989-1990 38 14 12 12 36.84%

    Billy Bonds 1990-1994 227 99 61 67 43.61%

    Harry Redknapp 1994-2001 327 121 85 121 37.00%

    Glenn Roeder 2001-2003 86 27 23 36 31.40%

    Alan Pardew 2003-2006 163 67 38 58 41.10%

    Alan Curbishley 2006-2008 71 28 14 29 39.44%

    Gianfranco Zola 2008-2010 80 23 21 36 28.75%

    Avram Grant 2010-2011 47 15 12 20 31.91%

    Sam Allardyce 2011-2014 128 52 32 44 40.63%

  • davetoon

    May 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #31

    @carl oh please let that be true.

  • davetoon

    May 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #33

    ha ha haha, Craig Burley did a worst 11 for the premier league on espnfc show and he put Alan Pardew in as Manager. classic

  • toonking

    May 10, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #34


    that still doesn’t change the fact that we will have no ambition.

    decent managers and decent players want ambition because what they are aiming to achieve is trophies and champions league on a regular basis what they don’t want is to be doing is playing just to keep a team safe and not bother aiming for europe.
    these are the signs of how little pride the good ones have.

    ba “i will be not staying if i’m being made to play out wide”

    cabaye- goes on strike at the beginning of the season to try and force his way out

    remy refuses to join newcastle last season because we offered less wages than QPR

    HBA rather than play for the team and do as the manager tells him he would rather be a selfish player and thinks he can win the ballon dor.

    also if kevin keegan walked out because of the way ashley was treating him why would others decent ones see it any different.

    the only way to get pride and entertainment with this owner is having
    the managers such as bruce moyse and pulis.

    the type of players you will have to accept are saylor shola nolan carroll barton simmo perch and willo because these will know they’ll never reach it to the top so they only really playing for the love of the game nothing else.

  • toonking

    May 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #35

    remy did join a relegation team probably for the money but now he refuses to remain at newcastle.

  • carl

    May 10, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #36

    Munster Mag
    January 19, 2014
    Catchy and go …read this….from a West Ham fan.

    Andy Carroll and Sam Allardyce were left to rue another loss. West Ham dropped back into the relegation mire following an awful 3-1 home defeat to Newcastle United. But it wasn’t only the lost points that disappointed, as the Hammers were given a lesson in passing football in front of a disgruntled Upton Park crowd.

    Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy put on an unstoppable show — unstoppable at least in terms of the woeful defending of the Hammers’ back-four and porous midfield — and Cabaye’s curling free kick that settled the game with the last move of the match, was no more than the visitors deserved. Prior to that there was the unsettling feeling that Sam Allardyce might point to the glaring misses by Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole in an improved second-half performance from his side, and claim his team were “unlucky”; Cabaye’s kick that went in off the post in the 95th minute at least put that myth to bed.

    • Report: West Ham 1-3 Newcastle
    • Duffy: Classy Cabaye invaluable

    In fact, in a torrid first half in which Cabaye (16 minutes) and Remy (33 minutes) had put the Magpies in total control, the Boleyn crowd lost patience with the whole team, booing loudly as the men in Claret and Blue chased shadows in a demeaning and embarrassing performance in which Newcastle gave the home team a lesson in possession football.

    There was almost a touch of awe as Cabaye again broke down the West Ham flank part way through the half, shimmied this way and that as the hapless Matthew Taylor — drafted in at full-back due to injury — swayed back and forth completely mesmerised, before the crowd realised with some disbelief that the France international was actually waiting for a teammate to pass inside to. No hell for leather sprint for the line? No aimless cross high into the box hoping for someone to get on the end off? Nope, this was football played on grass and two feet, and the Upton Park faithful, weaned on stories of when their own team used to play like this, were as mesmerised as their own players.

    In fact, as the old football myths would have it, Carlton Cole’s chest down and attempted shot that bobbled off Michael Williamson and rolled apologetically across the line on the stroke of halftime, leaving the score at 2-1, really did seem to be proving that the most difficult thing to defend is a two-goal lead. To say it flattered West Ham would be putting it mildly; Cole even looking slightly embarrassed as he turned to celebrate an unexpected lifeline.

    It did lead to a more enterprising second half for the Hammers, and there really was some hope that at the very least a point could be salvaged as Matt Jarvis, Stewart Downing and later Joe Cole all got free in wide positions but weren’t able to deliver a final ball. But it was Matt Taylor’s lovely low cross into Carlton Cole — the resurgent striker completely miscuing to send the ball wide — and Carroll’s blaze over the bar in front of an open goal that will be most reported on and remembered. That shouldn’t disguise the fact that Newcastle had further chances of their own, though, Adrian needing to be alert on several occasions.

    The problem with this result isn’t just the defeat or the fact that West Ham once again failed to deliver back-to-back wins in the Premiership since being promoted — rather it was the way that Newcastle showed what could be achieved by players with confidence on the ball and the ability to control play. Cole was voted club “Man of the Match” after, but really it was the returning James Collins who was the most impressive — only for his ability to break up play, head the ball away and fight for possession, even if his clearance attempts seemed to end up with him facing the same situation several seconds later.

    Earlier this week, I was in print in a local paper defending the manager arguing that probably in this situation, Big Sam is the type of man you’d most turn to help you out of a hole but, more importantly, pointing out that no managerial appointments had been successful in real terms for the Hammers since John Lyall was ignominiously sacked. As I ticked off all the incumbents of the manager’s chair since 1989, there was only one who was left unscathed — and that manager was, of course, sitting on the opposition bench today.

    After this abysmal performance, it is becoming more difficult to defend Sam, who doesn’t seem to be able to balance his injured and suspension-stricken side to even give his team something to chase; as is being pointed out by many on the social media sites, West Ham were playing poorly and losing before the injuries struck.

    Alan Pardew, on the other hand, still fondly regarded by Hammers fans for the 2006 Cup Final and dealt a cruel blow during the “Tevezgate” scandal, has his side balanced and playing with some confidence. The way Remy was happy to dribble round defenders was a delight to see — even if it was painful for home supporters — and it was difficult not to wonder where the Hammers board were when the QPR forward was put up for loan during the summer. Personal issues with Pardew aside, I can’t help but wonder where West Ham would be now if they had stuck with the former Palace defender seven years ago.

  • mindshaft

    May 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #37

    @rotunda – that premier league owl article hits the nail on the head although I’m not even sure pard’s is a championship manager
    He’s very much old skool pro turned manager though

  • the truth will out

    May 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #38

    loser in charge equates to well nuff said
    the lot oot

  • carl

    May 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #39

    Hugh Southon has said” We want 4-3 rather than 1-0. Pardew is know Pep Guardiola but let’s not forget that he signed Dean Ashton and turned him into an England player before his career was wrecked by injury. Pards is a good talent spotter and it’s Sport Direct and Ashley that is not letting him sign young talent”

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #40

    Ian is dead. Long live carl.


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