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Owen’s blast at Freddie tactic


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MICHAEL Owen has vowed to prove his doubters wrong after warning those who have questioned his commitment to Newcastle United that he will not forget their slights, writes PAUL GILDER.

 

And the fit-again forward has revealed that Freddie Shepherd’s ill-judged attempts to force him to prove his loyalties to the club this summer were always destined to fail, with Owen insisting he was in no mood to be bullied by the former Magpies chairman.

 

The £16m striker will return to Premier League action this evening when Aston Villa arrive at St James’s Park and although he will start the season’s opening home fixture on the bench, a player who has made just 14 competitive appearances during two troubled years on the club’s books is relishing the experience.

 

A player who is adamant that he has been ‘100% committed’ to the club since arriving from Real Madrid was dismayed at Shepherd’s comments this summer, with the former Gallowgate chairman challenging Owen to pledge his future to Newcastle and suggesting the player’s representatives were attempting to engineer a transfer. Further criticism followed as speculation mounted that United’s record signing was preparing to quit the North-East. In a revealing interview with The Mag that will be published this morning, Owen has made clear his thoughts on this summer’s unfortunate events.

 

When asked how helpful Shepherd’s comments had been, the England international admitted: “Not very, but it happened and what’s been said has been said. I’ve only ever said positive things about Newcastle and I’ve always been 100% committed. But I’m stubborn and I won’t get bullied into saying anything.”

 

Although he is keen to focus on the future, it is clear that Owen is still stewing over the episode. Having warned that he has a long memory, it seems as though the fit-again forward will remember who said what.

 

In reference to criticisms regarding his off-field activities, Owen told The Mag: “When I’m playing and scoring goals, no one will mention that I played golf on a Wednesday, or that I was at a race meeting on a Monday. But when I’m injured, I just have to put up the shield and take the abuse, although I’ll remember who said it. When I’m back banging in goals again – and everyone knows I’ll score goals when I’m fit – no one will say anything. But I’ll remember who it was.

 

“Whenever I’ve been doubted, I’ve always managed to respond in the best way I know how and that’s by scoring goals.”

 

Owen – who was last night named in Steve McClaren’s latest England squad – is relishing the chance to resume his stalled career this evening, although Allardyce has warned it would be wrong to expect too much too soon from a player who is still finding his feet following the horrendous fitness problems he has encountered over the last 18 months. The St James’s Park boss is also determined to lower the expectations of his team, with a manager whose side opened the Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win at Bolton last weekend keen to keep feet on the ground.

 

“There has been a bit too much of a buzz (this week), to be honest,” he said last night. “The expectation has grown and grown and this (the Aston Villa game) has been built up into a victory by most people outside of the football club.”

 

Allardyce remains determined to add Abdoulaye Faye to his squad and talks with Bolton are ongoing. But the United boss has suffered a setback in his attempts to add Mike Forde to his staff, with Bolton’s former performance director expected to join Jose Mourinho’s backroom team at Chelsea.

 

Read Michael Owen’s insightful interview in full in the latest edition of The Mag, published this morning and available at The Back Page at St Andrew’s Street, Newcastle, and at newsagents.

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The fact is, if any big club had come in for him he'd have been away. Really glad he's got more competition for his place than Ameobi and Sibierski now.

 

I'd like to have seen Allardyce test his commitment by asking him not to play for England in his recouperative stage. Beyond pissed off with him using us to get match fit just before national games.

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I'd like to have seen Allardyce test his commitment by asking him not to play for England in his recouperative stage. Beyond pissed off with him using us to get match fit just before national games.

 

It's nothing more than coincidence that he's fit again just before an England game. He's not using us to get match fit at all.

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I'd like to have seen Allardyce test his commitment by asking him not to play for England in his recouperative stage. Beyond pissed off with him using us to get match fit just before national games.

 

It's nothing more than coincidence that he's fit again just before an England game. He's not using us to get match fit at all.

 

8 games for England in the time he's only played 14 for his club. I make that nigh on 40% of Englands games and less than 15% of ours.

 

Coincidence or not, it's a pisser.

 

If he's so injury prone maybe it's time he cut down the number of games he plays and retires from internationals so he can perform for the club that pay his wages. It'll not happen, if he could win a trophy with Newcastle, or beat Bobby Charltons record with goals in England friendlies, I'm guessing he'd choose the latter.

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The fact is, if any big club had come in for him he'd have been away. Really glad he's got more competition for his place than Ameobi and Sibierski now.

 

I'd like to have seen Allardyce test his commitment by asking him not to play for England in his recouperative stage. Beyond pissed off with him using us to get match fit just before national games.

 

Not happen as Allardyce seems to think it's a good idea to have him playing competitive football again and I agree.

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The fact is, if any big club had come in for him he'd have been away. Really glad he's got more competition for his place than Ameobi and Sibierski now.

 

I'd like to have seen Allardyce test his commitment by asking him not to play for England in his recouperative stage. Beyond pissed off with him using us to get match fit just before national games.

 

 

If any big club had come in for ANY of our players, they'd have been away.

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if the little twot doesn't get injured for England I'd like him to play all of wednesday at wembley and get a couple of goals for his confidence.

 

IF :)

 

He could well get injured today and not play on Wednesday at all....

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Owen always looks shit when he first comes back from injury, even more than most. He does need games at the minute so it could, theoretically, work in our favour having him play for England on Wednseday.

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