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Michael Owen has always liked playing with a big man

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Your loss, our gain


Sep 14 2007


by Stuart Rayner, The Journal



SAM Allardyce thinks the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Four’ are counting the cost of not gambling on Michael Owen this summer – and the Newcastle United manager is delighted they didn’t.


The Magpies had a nervous close season waiting to see if any of England’s Champions League clubs would exploit a £9m get-out clause in Owen’s contract. All signed strikers but none bid for Owen.


Four goals in five games for club and country have made their timidity look foolish, although the 52-year-old understood.


“They didn’t want to risk it on the past (injury) record clearly,” he said. “Based on what has happened over the last few games, £9m is a bargain. It was a bit of a risk a few weeks back.”


Owen started just 13 Newcastle games in his first two seasons, during which he suffered a broken metatarsal and cruciate knee ligament damage, causing some to question whether he would ever retain his status as one of the world’s leading goalscorers. But three goals in two Euro 2008 qualifiers this week – two more reminiscent of Alan Shearer – have silenced most doubters.


When asked if he thought his rivals had erred, Allardyce responded: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I had it I would be in Marbella with a massive villa and a golf course retired as a multi-millionaire.”


Although Allardyce refused to confirm the fact, it seems inconceivable a similar clause will not be activated in Owen’s contract during the 2008 summer transfer window. Rather than worrying about changing his terms, the United boss is more concerned with ensuring his prize asset is content.


“A player of that calibre will decide what he wants if he stays fit,” he said. “Unless he likes where he is and is enjoying himself he won’t enter negotiations. After all the hard work already done under the new chairman and owners, we don’t want to lose our best players.


“If Michael stays fit, of course I would want him to stay for the rest of his career. In full flow he is a fearsome prospect for any defence in world football.


“I have to try to help him steer clear of niggly injuries. If we can he is going


to be enjoying his football even more.


“Having just got back from injury in such a short period of time, not really being 100% fit, he has really done well. The boost in confidence over the last four games has escalated his fitness rapidly.”


Having demonstrated his preference for playing alongside a physical targetman while with England, Allardyce is confident Owen will form an effective partnership with Mark Viduka.


“Michael has always liked playing with a big man,” he said. “Everyone knows that big man, little man combination is better.


“As a team of players getting to know each other, I try and guide them to where their strengths and weaknesses are. The partnerships between him and Mark, Shola (Ameobi) and Oba (Martins) are the important things we work on, getting an understanding. It is a long haul.


“What formation we play depends on who we have available. We play whatever system suits on the day. I believe the element of surprise and change needs to be in everybody’s locker, despite what my ex-chairman at Bolton said.”


Emre picked up an injury on international duty this week but Allardyce was looking on the bright side of a week-and-a-half from which the Magpies emerged relatively unscathed. The substitute was substituted after injuring his back in Turkey’s 3-0 Euro 2008 qualifier against Hungary.


“I’m not sure of the extent but it’s disappointing,” said Allardyce of a player whose only start this season has come in the League Cup. “He left us injured but playing last Saturday has left him fatigued. But to have only one injury out of 13 or 14 players, that’s pretty good.”


PORTUGAL coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will be investigated by Uefa over his role in the events that marred his side’s European Champinoship qualifier against Serbia in Lisbon on Wednesday.


Branko Ivanovic grabbed a 1-1 draw for the Serbians two minutes from time at the Alvalade Stadium to cancel out Simao’s free-kick.


The controversy erupted when Scolari intervened in a spat between Portugal midfielder Ricardo Quaresma and Serbia’s former Newcastle target Ivica Dragutinovic, who had squared up to each other after the final whistle.


In the heated exchange that followed, TV pictures appeared to show Scolari aiming a punch at Sevilla defender Dragutinovic, who was subsequently sent off.

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How spectacularly bad would that outcome be?!



Martins and Heskey, I could see 10 goals in 1 game then 0 goals (and a billion spectacular misses) for the next 10 games. ;)


The black Chuckle Broth(as) tbh. :icon_lol:


Rascist tbh :)


Learn to spell you honky Walker shitehawk! :icon_lol:

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