“Newcastle fans, following my Football Focus interview, plenty of you tweeting me saying you don’t blame me for getting injured but for leaving when we got relegated.”
“Despite the club saying they did, they didn’t ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did. How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide. I’ve seen it a million times, a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground leaving the player with no leg to stand on. I’ve taken the stick for years which is fine but you really don’t know half of it. All will be revealed one day.”
Tweeted Michael Owen on his final season at Newcastle United. Then however, he backtracked somewhat, updating his Twitter with the following:
“Just to clarify. My tweet yesterday referred to no contract offer after Newcastle relegation. Which I said was understandable. Newcastle did make me an offer to extend in 2008 when Joe Kinnear was manager. Apologies to the club if there has been any confusion. I just didn’t want the fans to think I had deserted the club after relegation. I didn’t.” (more…)
It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.
On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.
The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)
Venue: White Hart Lane, Tottenham. Date: Saturday 11th Feb, 2012. Kick-off: 5.30pm. Referee: Andre Marriner.
It would be tempting to think that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had been distracted by one or two other things this week whilst preparing his ‘Spurs squad for this weeks game, but that would probably be folly. With the weather and his other “distractions”, ‘Arry couldn’t even make it to Tottenham’s last game against Liverpool away, and they still drew 0-0 against the mighty Reds.
One could also say that the ‘Spurs supremo is having something of a “lucky” week too, up before the beak as a suspected tax evader one minute, and hot favourite as England manager the next. Though some might even think that the could be more damaging in the long run, a perfect way to ruin a glittering career if some of the previous incumbents are anything to go by. Even our own Silver Supremo, Alan Pardew, felt the need to rule himself out for some reason, though one or two of the media have been quick to link him not with the England job, but with a certain managerial position in North London which may or may not be coming up in the near future. But enough of such silliness, let’s get on with the game!
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle Date: Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 Kick-off: 3:00pm Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Roberto Martinez brings his Wigan squad up to Tyneside this Saturday, as Newcastle United will look to continue their undefeated record in all competitions so far this season.
There is no live UK broadcast of the match, but due to the wonders of the internet, you may likely be able to find a link here
Wigan’s form so far this season has been dreadful. They started the season with a 1-1 draw at home to last seasons Championship winners, Norwich City, followed by another share of the spoils against the newly promoted Swansea City. Franco Di Santo helped Wigan record their first victory of the season in their third Premier League match against QPR at the DW Stadium, but after that victory, they went on to suffer four straight defeats. Their most recent encounter was versus another struggling side – Bolton Wanderers, but they suffered yet another defeat, losing 3-1 in front of their own supporter(s). Away from the DW Stadium, Wigan have played four, drew one and lost three. In that process they have scored one, and conceded eight.
As I write this, we sit at the top of the Premier League injury table alongside Spurs and the rabble from down the road and my perception is that we get a lot of injuries compared to other teams.
However, my perception might be clouded by the fact that I support Newcastle, so I set about trying to find some historical stats about injuries and – in the main – failed dismally to do so. I did find a site called LadyArse – a gooners’ fan site – which does contain an injury list that has us 5th, but I can’t vouch for the accuracy of said table.
Another thing that might cloud my perception is that injuries to key players are obviously noticed more than those to squad players, and we seem to have had a lot of those in recent seasons too.
So I guess my first question is: do we get a lot of injuries for a Premier League club? (more…)