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Should Owen Play Both Games for England?

As we all know Sam Allardyce is concerned about the prospect of Steve McClaren fielding Michael Owen in both England’s European Championship qualifying matches against Estonia at Wembley on Saturday and Russia in Moscow four days later.

Sam thinks it’s a risk to ask Michael to play in crucial games after just undergoing surgery a week ago. As we mentioned earlier today it looks like Michael doesn’t agree. Let’s take a look at what Sam said yesterday about the situation.


Sam Allardyce – not sure Owen is up to 2 games in 4 days after his recent operation

Sam said yesterday:

“Michael had two operations,” “He had a repair of the stomach muscle and the abductor muscle on the Friday and Saturday. I have to be very protective of Michael Owen because he’s got to be eased back into it.”

The most important thing for me is that he’s available to be selected for Newcastle.”

“In my opinion Michael wasn’t ready to start against Everton but in his opinion he was. At the end of the day, I’ve tried to do my best for Newcastle and for Michael Owen.”

“It’s my job to get a player to sustain his long-term fitness. If that means not starting him or pulling him off with 20 minutes to go then so be it. I don’t know what Steve [McClaren] is planning, but for me I don’t know if two games in such a short space of time is right.”

Maybe Steve McClaren will be smart and only play Michael in the Russia game. He’s hardly needed in the Estonia game. After all are ranked 127th in the latest FIFA Rankings and Russia are ranked 26th. England are ranked 9th.

What do you think – should Michael start both games?

We’ve started a new Newcastle United Blog topic – Should Michael Owen Play Both Games For England?

Here’s also a poll to let us know what you think.

38 comments so far

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 9, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #1

    Yes – but only if he doesn’t play much more than 90 mins in total.

    20-30 mins against Estonia (sub)

    60-70 mins against Russia (starter)

  • Owen

    Oct 9, 2007 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #2

    Got to agree with the Chicken above.

    90 mins total is more than enough.

  • Hammy

    Oct 9, 2007 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #3

    If England are desperate for Owen to play against…. wait for it ……Estonia
    we really are in deep s£^t.

    I can understand Mcsven wanting to play Owen against Russia as they are a quality team, however I wouldn’t bother turning up for next years
    Great North Run if Owen comes back with a serious injury…..

    Glad to see we are all pals again………although Sinead has vanished!!!
    Oh and is he/she a he/she?

  • rich

    Oct 9, 2007 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #4

    I agree with Toon Chicken, although im not to keen on him playing against the Russians.

    The picth is plastic and is rumoured to be bad for playing on in regards to injuries and studs sticking etc…

    ED – you need a story celebrating Givens 10 year anniversary! 10 years today! what a legend.

  • playzogcentremid

    Oct 9, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #5

    It doesn’t matter what we think. For Owen, England, not Newcastle is the top priority, so should doesn’t come into the equation. Of course I don’t think he should start against Estonia, but what we feel is irrelevant both to Owen and McClaren.

  • true

    Oct 9, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #6

    for me total rest for Estonia, ONLY put him on with 20mins to go if we need a goal, then play full 90 against the Russians.

    My worry is in Russia we are playing on a plastic pitch! Owen has already complained about the hard pitches surly the plastic pitch cant have much give in it?!
    what do you think?

  • yemozone

    Oct 9, 2007 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Shld come in as a late substitution in the first and play 50 mins in the second match.But i believe we shld sell him come this january TX.

  • Steve c

    Oct 9, 2007 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #8

    England must qualify for the championships and that means MO should be available for both games, although i agree he should not play a full 90 min in either game. As an Englishman as well as a Geordie i think we should lay off MO for wanting to play for our country. I know that most of you will disagree but both club and country are important.

  • Steve c

    Oct 9, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #9

    I know many of those that read this web site may not be English and may not feel the same way as i do about England, but Newcastle is an English club with a proud tradition of supplying the no 9 to the national side. I am not having a go at those of you from abroad far from it i am delighted that NUFC can draw support from all over the world.

  • Bill F

    Oct 9, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #10

    There was an item on TV last night about plastic pitches. Apparently they are much more like grass now and less problematical to play on. Although the Russian one is quite old. Mclaren has been warned to train on a wet pitch as Celtic were caught out like this and it took them 20 minutes to adjust.

  • yemozone

    Oct 9, 2007 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #11

    So, you english guys are telling me England cannot qualify for the championships without Owen.

  • Bill F

    Oct 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #12

    Yemozone, Who are you calling English We belong to the independent Geordie State which just happens to lie geographically in the English landmass.

  • ChrisL

    Oct 9, 2007 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Ed – Please can you add the following extra option to the poll:
    3) Don’t give a toss.

    Regardless of what we do or don’t want, it will have no bearing on BS / MO / SMc.
    Owen will be desperate to play especially against Estonia, he’ll be sniffing an easy chance to close in on ‘that record’. The only variable in the equation, is how strong is SMc? Is he confident/brave enough to have Own start on the bench against Estonia & what if we’re 3 or 4 goals ahead… surely Owen should remain on the bench.

  • yemozone

    Oct 9, 2007 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #14

    Bill F,Explain what u meant by Geordie state.Just curious

  • hadrian

    Oct 9, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #15

    owen is getting extremely hard for allerdyce to control, to the point he’s questioning the managers judgement in public .
    owen had no right to start against everton , yet he seems to think he does .
    there is no way anyone could go all out for 90 mins 8 days after an operation .
    one min its all fine , the next he’s saying he’s going to play thru the pain .

    he shouldnt have even been considered for the england squad , you know he’s gonna end up limping off the pitch in one of the games .

  • Hammy

    Oct 9, 2007 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #16

    yemozone, we have England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Geordie,
    we even have our own dialect but have to talk proper when we are blogging,
    for the benefit of Geordies who live in Southern England and may have been corrupted over time. We use pounds, not to be mistaken for dosh or cowie, for our wives to spend on a regular basis.

    Hope this helps…….by the way where do you live??

  • Hammy

    Oct 9, 2007 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #17

    Who says the posties are on strike, check this out


  • Hammy

    Oct 9, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #18

    Now watch this one…not one for the kids….


  • Dingo

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #19

    not sure why the second is worse than the first like but funny never the less. 😛

  • Tripp

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Owen should sit. We all want England to do well (I’m a septic, but I’m an England supporter when it comes to football), and I’d like to see MO break the 49 goal record. However, he’s still relatively young and risking further injury in the pursuit of a goal that’s easily within reach, is very short sighted. Then there’s the whole issue of NUFC and their right to have their striker fit for EPL matches. Use MO if he’s needed, otherwise rest him. For Estonia that means parking his arse on the bench. Maybe use him against Russia, maybe not.

    Bill, does the Geordie State include all of Northumberland or just tha Toon and environs? 🙂

  • yemozone

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #21

    Thanks,this is the first time i’m hearing about the Geordies state.I’m from Nigerian.The same country as Martins & Babayaro

  • andyc290

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #22

    def shouldnt need to start against estonia. i would never give him stick for wantin to play but mclaren shouldnt start him. if he played for one of the top four mclaren wouldnt be so quick to exercise his power to play him, especially if it was his old bum chum alex ferguson and not allardyce involved

  • Hadji

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #23

    Ouu my god,after the Everton game everyone seem to love Emre.
    Give Emre couple of more games and you’ll see,he’ll be our number 1 player.
    Emre haters please say something?!

  • Dirk

    Oct 9, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #24

    im english, i dont think he should play against estonia, leave him on the bench but dont use hi then use him in the second half of the russia game, england need to find a suitable backup for when owen is injured and how can they do that if owen plays even when he shouldn, mclaren needs the balls to say lets save owen n not risk it

  • Dirk

    Oct 9, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #25

    owen has to score 10 goals to beat the record n hes 27/28 hes got a good 7/8 yrs in him n tha averages at a goal per year, with his record he averages on 4 goals a year.

  • apan

    Oct 9, 2007 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #26

    he should not play more than 30 mins againts estonia, they could win without him but for or better yet save him for the other important match, if his injured again then thats it, lets do a petition lol

  • Alex

    Oct 9, 2007 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #27

    I dont think Mclaren will start with Owen against Estonia, and if England get a couple of goals early on and keep that lead he wont use him at all against Estonia .Not because he cares about Newcastle United, but because he will be shitting himself that Owen will be injured in that game and will be missing against Russia.Who are alot harder to score against.He knows that if he looses the russia game he looses his job.England will beat Estonia with or without Owen.

  • Lull

    Oct 9, 2007 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #28

    I think he should play for the last 20 minutes or so against Estonia and start for 60 minutes or so against Rusia. But if he injured again, I’m sure most Newcastle fans wouldn’t mind if he walk out in january, hope not.

  • Bill F

    Oct 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #29

    Sorry that I’m a bit late getting back to this but I have always thought of Geordieland as being Tyneside, but when you consider that the Charltons and wor Jackie came from Ashington then you should be able to take (or Tek) aall of the local colliery towns and environs as well. I often think its a state of mind as well. I have to admit to being an exile and actually work with people from Sunderland who call themselves Geordies and out of pity I don’t correct them, after all everyone should aspire to better things 🙂

  • Tripp

    Oct 9, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #30

    Heh heh. I hope to visit someday (of course the $ is more usless by the minute, I may have to become an indentured servant just to watch a match on Tyneside) and see SJP for myself. My wife bought me a copy of the Wicked Geordie dictionary for xmas last year, so I little Geordie (at least on paper, I’m sure listening to it I’d just have to smile and say whey aye! a lot, like).

    So why are the mackems called the mackems? Why are folks from ‘boro called “smoggies” (I love that one, BTW)?

  • Alex

    Oct 9, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Bill F
    glad you see ashington as geordie land as well, being from there myself .even though i have been exiled for the last16years i still consider myself to being a geordie.Its nice to see that a fellow geordie helps the poor people to a beter quality of life

  • leo

    Oct 9, 2007 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #32

    haha mackams, reach better standard of life. make me laff you lot do…

    i wouldnt bother playing owen in the estonia game if we didnt need him, and put him on for 30mins in the russia game at the end fo take advantage of tired legs… like he did for nufc against everton…

  • Todd

    Oct 9, 2007 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #33

    Look at the pattern of late: Gets hurt, gets better, plays a little, gets hurt. Playing for England (and England worrying about Estonia is pretty sad) means he is going to be injured in some way and not able to give it his all for the Magpies.
    Where are Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch in all this discussion by the way? Why does England lay all its hopes on one guy every time some international competition comes along. It’s all on Beckham or its all on Rooney’s metatarsel or it’s all on Owen. England invented the game for goodness sakes, what is the this national obsession with laying it all on one guy? (I am not English but root for them in competitions not involving the US :D) If I had my way, England would play Rooney and Crouch and Micah Richards and so forth and leave Owen on the Bench unless they are trailing on 65 minutes or so.

  • Dingo

    Oct 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #34

    mackems comes from the ship building days… the geordies used to fit em out and the mackems used to build em

    i.e. makem and tackem = make them and take them (to newcastle)

    still a shit pit like… nowt has changed there since 1902 *spit*

    as for the smoggies… that comes form the times of the industrial revolution, Middlesbrough had many factories and the air was always polluted…. with smog.. hence smoggies

    I hope that clears things up Tripp

    as for Bil F… mate… you could have a field day taking the piss out those turn coat Mackems.. go on give it a try, it will make you smile!!!! 😛

  • Dingo

    Oct 9, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #35

    “still a shit pit like… nowt has changed there since 1902 *spit*” >>>> I was talking about Sunderland here… its a bit confusing from the way i wrote it.

    that will be the wife beater (Stella Artois) *hic*

  • Bill F

    Oct 9, 2007 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #36

    Dingo, Naah, it’s a bit like kicking your dog.

  • Tripp

    Oct 10, 2007 at 3:05 AM

    Comment #37

    Dingo, thanks. I figured as much with the smoggies, but one never knows. The mackems though, I wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years.

    “still a shit pit like… nowt has changed there since 1902 *spit*”. 🙂 I can think of a few American cities that fit that bill.

  • Dingo

    Oct 10, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #38

    hahahaha np tripp 😛


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