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Power at No10 will help Newcastle challenge for honours

 

Niall Quinn

Friday September 2, 2005

The Guardian

 

 

Hats off to Newcastle United. It is not a phrase that comes easily to me, given my red and white loyalties.

I've generally been of the view that Newcastle deserve a kicking for their repeated extravagant plunges into the transfer pool only to surface with nothing: see Rooney, Wayne.

 

But this week they have dived in again and come up with treasure. Michael Owen may not have been buried at Real Madrid but by his own admission he felt increasingly submerged. A traditionally chaotic club like Newcastle may not be the most obvious sanctuary for Owen but there are three parties I think who will benefit from this deal: Owen, Graeme Souness and Newcastle. That makes it a very good deal indeed.

 

The Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd confirmed on Wednesday that the transfer fee Newcastle will pay to Real is £16.5m. It is Newcastle's club record and outside Chelsea, who have different rules, it is the biggest transfer in England this summer.

That is a commendable effort on Newcastle's part, yet I can also understand the argument that says they have paid over the top, because in a very curious way Michael Owen's value over the past year seems to have fallen.

 

When he left Liverpool for an eye-catching £8m last summer it had much to do with the following season being the last on his current Anfield contract. But that was still a low fee for an established and remarkable goalscorer.

 

At Madrid, considering the lack of opportunity and the fact that he appears to have been bought as a mixture of marketing tool and squad player, I thought his one season could be described as pretty successful.

 

What amazed me was that when it became clear that he was not part of Real's first-choice plans for this season there was not a rush of directors from English clubs to Owen's hacienda.

 

I still find it hard to believe that one club in particular, Arsenal, did not go for him. Michael Owen alongside Thierry Henry? Maybe the new stadium does have an extra drain.

 

Manchester United's interest was tentative it is said, while Liverpool never convinced publicly that everyone in the Anfield hierarchy wanted Owen back. Perhaps behind the scenes that was not the case but for whatever reason Liverpool failed to sign a player who wanted to join them. That does not look clever.

 

So Owen was left with Newcastle. It felt as though he was doing his best not to sign for them but now he has - and on Saturday week Souness will be able to field a forward line of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen. I would not want to be a Fulham defender.

 

With Nolberto Solano also returning to St James' Park as a proven provider, Newcastle's goalless state and league position should alter rapidly.

 

The following week they go to Blackburn Rovers. There was a time when this looked like being billed as Craig Bellamy's revenge. Now, not only is Bellamy injured, his Newcastle No10 shirt belongs to Owen.

 

Three years ago, when Newcastle emerged as a genuine Premiership force, the Shearer-Bellamy partnership was crucial. Some even thought that Bellamy's pace made him more dangerous than Shearer.

 

Not me. Shearer is an all-time great; Bellamy never got into double figures in league goals for Newcastle. When Souness took on Bellamy last season it was a gamble and there were times when it appeared to have failed. But this is not one of them; Owen will cement Souness's position.

 

Do not get me wrong - Bellamy is a good footballer but Owen has his pace and scores more goals. Owen is also a solid character.

 

That is damning with faint praise. I spent a while in the company of Owen's family in the summer, at the JP McManus golf day, and you can see immediately why Owen has been able to handle the pressure of his immense fame so well.

 

We forget that he is only 25, that he was a global icon as a teenager. The Tyneside goldfish bowl will be nothing new to him - and his attitude will not be Patrick Kluivert's.

 

But what may surprise, and please Owen, is the intensity of the north east. He has been used to big crowds at Liverpool, of course, and with Everton there it is undoubtedly a fantastic football city.

 

Madrid is the same but you can understand the passion there: Real and Liverpool are two of Europe's great clubs, Everton have won titles and cups in recent memory.

 

But you would need to be 60 to remember Newcastle's last domestic honour; you would need to be 45 to remember the 1969 Fairs Cup win. Yet the football club is in every household, every conversation. It is the pulse of a city. Michael Owen will have it racing.

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hes still a twat. alchy, drunk driver. remember when sunderland played man u and keane got sent off. quinn ran the full length of the pitch to shake his hand only to be told in no uncertain terms by keane and fergie where he could stick his hand!

27146[/snapback]

I wasn't aware he was an alcoholic.

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Good pundit, sound bloke.  But yeah, go on, let's beat him with that mistake for the rest of his life.

 

Never made a mistake yourself I'm sure.

27157[/snapback]

Winding up Roy Keane has to be considered a good thing too, surely.

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hes still a twat. alchy, drunk driver. remember when sunderland played man u and keane got sent off. quinn ran the full length of the pitch to shake his hand only to be told in no uncertain terms by keane and fergie where he could stick his hand!

27146[/snapback]

I wasn't aware he was an alcoholic.

27262[/snapback]

 

From J69's point of view he may be. What's that cult you're in again J69?

 

And no Niall Quinn is not an alcoholic as far as I'm aware.

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hes still a twat. alchy, drunk driver. remember when sunderland played man u and keane got sent off. quinn ran the full length of the pitch to shake his hand only to be told in no uncertain terms by keane and fergie where he could stick his hand!

27146[/snapback]

I wasn't aware he was an alcoholic.

27262[/snapback]

 

From J69's point of view he may be. What's that cult you're in again J69?

 

And no Niall Quinn is not an alcoholic as far as I'm aware.

27288[/snapback]

That was my point, I didn't think he was. Maybe he was mixing him up with George Best, they're both Irish aren't they? :unsure:

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Good pundit, sound bloke.  But yeah, go on, let's beat him with that mistake for the rest of his life.

 

Never made a mistake yourself I'm sure.

27157[/snapback]

 

Then I'm forgiven!!? :unsure:

27267[/snapback]

 

 

No, now fuck off. :o

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That was my point, I didn't think he was. Maybe he was mixing him up with George Best, they're both Irish aren't they? :unsure:

27290[/snapback]

 

No, no. Once an Irish man becomes even vaguely accomplished as a sportsman he becomes "British".

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Niall Quinn and Roy Keane(also David O'Leary) share the same agent. The plan was that after the match, Quinn and Keane would shake hands for the camera's.

 

The plan, however, didn't include Keane having a go at Jason McAteer. Keane was sent off, Quinn still thought he should shake his hand though. Ferguson at the time, was unaware of any such agreement and though that Quinn was only trying to wind Roy Keane up. That's why Fergie uncharacteristically lost the plot and started shouting abuse at him.

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Good pundit, sound bloke.  But yeah, go on, let's beat him with that mistake for the rest of his life.

 

Never made a mistake yourself I'm sure.

27157[/snapback]

 

Then I'm forgiven!!? :unsure:

27267[/snapback]

 

 

No, now fuck off. :o

27294[/snapback]

 

Fuck you right back! :D

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cult :unsure: surely my beliefs shouldnt concern you. Im in no more of a cult than vegetarians are or people who dont like football. Its just a personal preference. its no secret he likes a drink, maybe more than he should. whether this makes him an alcoholic is is up to you i suppose. didnt realise you were his minder. i apologise

Edited by J69
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I thought the fact you didn't drink was relevant to your labelling of him as an alcoholic. I've never heard these rumours you're on about - no one here seems to have.

 

Cult? Maybe my choice of language was bad but there's a difference between someone who makes a lifestyle choice and someone who chooses to group & label themselves because of it. If it's not open to interpretation and debate why bring it up on an internet forum?

Edited by DotBum
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people who dont drink are tee total. people who dont eat meat are vegetarians. people who dont drink, smoke and do drugs are atraight edge. hardly bandying about a label. and i didnt bring it up. you did. the only time i mentioned it on here was when people asked. :unsure:

Edited by J69
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people who dont drink are tee total. people who dont eat meat are vegetarians. people who dont drink, smoke and do drugs are atraight edge. hardly bandying about a label. and i didnt bring it up. you did. the only time i mentioned it on here was when people asked.  :unsure:

27541[/snapback]

 

Thats the problem with straight edge though. To me and the kids who I knew who were straight edge you wouldnt be if thats all you abstained from. There's the casual sex part and being vegan too. Most people grow out of it though, most of the bands did, the kids who followed them aren't any different.

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