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Owen Ready But Can He Oust Martins?

Michael Owen seems fit again after completing a game last night for the reserves, against Newcastle Blue Star at Kingston Park, which they won 2-0.

Owen has missed the last few weeks with a slight injury he picked up in training but now says he is ready to go.

Let’s take a look at what Michael said following the game.


Michael Owen – will be in the squad for Aston Villa game

This is what he told the official Newcastle web-site: after the game

“I feel fine, it was only a small injury, a niggle.”

“It had me out for a couple of weeks but I’ve trained for the last four or five days and I was confident I’d be fine and it was good to get back out on the pitch.”

“It’s a little frustrating to have missed some of the pre-season games but I’ve been able to do all the running work.”

This means Owen will be available for the first home game of the season against Aston Villa at St James’ Park on Saturday. This will be an important game that we really must win if we are to make St. James’ Park a fortress again. Shola Ameobi scored both goals last night in a game that saw a first appearance for Brazilian defender Claudio Cacapa. Kieron Dyer, who recently saw a transfer to West Ham break down, also had a run out.

Now it will be interesting to see what team Big Sam picks for next Saturday against Villa. By his own admission, Sam says that Owen and Oba Martins are fighting for one striker position and it’s hard to see how Martins could be left out after his fabulous display against Bolton and his two goals. But when you have a squad with depth, these are the good problems a manager faces.

We think Michael will start on the bench and then be brought on at some point during the game. But it’s good to have Michael back and that probably also means he will be available to play for England later this month. But Michael needs to put his priority on getting games and goals in for Newcastle – and we’re sure he will.

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Magjp

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #1

    I agree that maybe MO should be introduced in the second half. Martins is firing in all cylinders and I don’t see how you could leave him out.
    Would love to see Nzogbia on the left and Milner on the right wing, whats happening with Enrique? isn’t he ready yet?

  • Jeff D

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #2

    A couple of practice games in the prem for the toon will see him in good stead for the up and coming England internationals,Then he can come back with another injury,and sit out some more toon games until the next international,and so on and so forth. Get yer sells doon to ladbrokes and put yer hoose on it.

  • Tez

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #3

    Sam also mentioned playing both of them upfront playing off Viduka. So depending on how the game is going it might not be Owen coming of the bench for Matins – could be Owen coming on in place of a midfielder, if we need a goal.


    Looks worth a few goals!!!

  • adam

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #4

    i wouldnt swap martins for owen. i agree with tez that they should play together of viduka, but only at home where we would be more attacking. away from home i wouldnt have owen in my team because the other attacker should have the ability to put in a good ball like milner did at bolton, and milner is one of the hardest working players in the team. martins is probably the fastest players around and with his agility and power theres no way owen would go ahead of him.

  • Shaun

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #5

    Sorry but I’m not a great Owen fan, if Owen tried to score the same as Oba on Saturday he would be out Injured. Also is it just me or has he recovered from injury again just in time for an England game.

  • Aussie geordie

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #6

    New fella —roz—taylor—Solano
    Ameobi,Smith, butt, Capaca, Goalie.

    Good team. Go on boys!

  • jason

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #7

    Owen over Martins No way..I think we will get more out of owen on the bench and it will keep him in better shape and less prone to injuries-Martins looks in great shape right now and I can’t rate him highly enough..hopefully looking at 20 prem goals out of him this season..I think owen will struggle to get 10.

  • evil dick

    Aug 14, 2007 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #8

    quality to have on the bench!

  • P.collins

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #9

    I agree with you Shaun, Owen owes Newcastle alot why is it when an England fixture is coming up he feels he’s over the worst . Does he have a Bet on with Dyer that he can spend more time in the in the Treatment room than him. He should’nt even be aloud to play agaist Germany next week when he is yet to feature for us, it seems we will always play second fiddle to England but he must remember who pays his astonishing wages!

  • Graeme

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #10

    I would have to say that Oba, in this form, is untouchable. He was superb on Saturday, relished the toon army cheering him on and chased everything. Can Owen get used to being the number 2 striker??? Can he prove he is fast enough, fit enough, to provide a cutting edge on the other side of the Vid?? If he can, then we have one of the most potent attacking forces in the Premiership.
    Its down to Owen to prove he is over his troubles and play for the toon, regularly, not just as a warm up to the England games. Personaly, I think he will come back, just as strong as ever and prove once again that he is still a class goal scorer. This time in a Black & White shirt.

  • Doc

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #11

    I see BSA picking the same team we saw on Saturday with MO, Capaca, Enrique and Shola the bench

    Smith playing a bit further forward to support the front two, if things go well see MO for Martins with 20-30 mins left

    and later give the two new defenders 5 – 10 minutes game time

  • Tom

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #12

    What a great situation we find ourselves in ! 😀

  • Dinko

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #13

    Owen and Martins together with Viduka. Martins is brilliant and for now twice better than Owen. Owen will be better with few games in his foot and then….. 🙂

  • Rob Kirton

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #14

    For Staurday an ideal situation would be Martins to start, score a couple an be withdrawn at 60 mins for Owen. Gets Owen back into the first team swing of things and lets both he and Martin understand the meaning of competing for a place.

  • Tom from Aus

    Aug 14, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #15

    I think we should keep owen on the bench until we see something good out of him then mabye try to do wat tez said

  • WelshWizard

    Aug 14, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #16

    Think we’ll be similar to last weekend in a 4 3 3 but we wont need to be so defensive in midfield so Butt will make way for Owen and BSA will move Milner from Front right of 3 to Mid left of 3 and we’ll go all guns blazing to get 3-0 up inside 26 mins( ahh want it every game now) . @ home we will be all about attack attack…


    Bench – Given, Butt, Ameobi, Cacapa, Ramage/Dyer

  • ChrisL

    Aug 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #17

    Does anyone happen to know:
    a) How many appearances Michael has made for Newcastle, since his 1st big injury at Newcastle?
    b) How many appearances Michael has made for England, since his 1st big injury at Newcastle?

  • david veitch

    Aug 14, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #18

    Its fantastic to know we have such a potent forward line, and they will all play a part during the season.
    We need a top class right back, see how easily Anelka got past Carr at the weekend.
    Sam will have noted that, so buck up or ship out.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Aug 14, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #19

    Yep; Martins to start with Owen coming on some time in second half for a run out.

    BSA is assembling a nice squad with numerous alternatives available on the bench. However, he still needs a few more before the transfer window closes…..

  • rich

    Aug 14, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #20

    i dont think Owen will feature in the Villa game, Big Sam has already said that Owen is 2-3 games away from full match fitness, this is only one 60 minute run out… dont ghet me worng id like to see him this saurday but from what sams already said i think hes going to be mighty cautious with Owen.

    And i think Owen & Martins could form a formidable 3-pronged attack with Viduka being teh anchor man in the middle, but well see what Big Sam does.

    good to see Owen back in the black and white again, even if it was jus a reserve game.

  • Stami

    Aug 14, 2007 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    why not play 3 men up front! Owen-Viduka-Martins. Viduka is a master at holding up the ball, playing it out to Martins or Owen, 2 of the quickest strikers in the League, it would be a nightmare for any defence

  • WelshWizard

    Aug 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #22

    SSnews today have reported that Owen has 14 games with 7 goals for us and 13 games with 5 goals for England…..

  • Keep Oba

    Aug 14, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #23

    If they start Owen over Oba I would be wayyy upset…as I would assume Oba would be since he would not know what to do to stay starting on a team that he was a major part of keeping up last year to someone with legs made from balsa wood. could you see Owen doing a celebratory backflip? That would be scary…I would imagine his bones would poke right through the legs if he actually landed it. Yea…bring him on in the second half…that seems to be good reasoning…if we are up he can be the lone striker…and if we are tied or down he could be a spark maybe…but whatever you do, DO NOT START OWEN OVER OBA…he does not deserve that at this point…I dont care what he did for England (he hasnt done anything in years for them anyway)…only for Newcastle.

  • Obafan

    Aug 14, 2007 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #24

    Oba is in topform, BS also knows that and he will play on Saturday. Owen will perhaps be on the bench just in case if we need more attacking power during the game. Otherwise he won’t come on the pitch IMO because he hasn’t have the match rhythm.

    IMO BS will start with the same team as last Saturday. It’s a pity that we don’t have a midweek game on.

  • hadrian

    Aug 14, 2007 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #25

    owen wont start against villa , he may come on as a sub in the second half id think tho. id eventually like to see owen and martins on the same pitch with viduka , but then its a case of who to drop in midfield , our midfiled is looking so sturdy atm i couldnt bare to drop anyone .
    Martins MUST start over owen as things stand .

  • Lawman

    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:57 AM

    Comment #26

    hadrian, to drop any of our outstanding midfielders just for the over-hyped, over-injury prone MO to play is completely crazy. Personally, I think we should have sold him and rode the wave when rumours were peaking about his possible departure.
    It’s all very well to say his goals to games ratio is outstanding but when he only plays a handle of games a season, whats the point in that??? But somehow he manages to play for England!!!! and we pay for the consequences.
    If he plays for England again in the forthcoming game and gets seriously injured again, I really think we should get rid of him and cut our losses.


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