August 30, 2005

Michael Owen signs up with Newcastle.: Following up on a past post, the deal was done for an undisclosed Newcastle "club record" fee that puts the deal at over GBP15m paid for Alan Shearer, Owen's new strike partner. The BBC suggests that Liverpool may hijack the deal at the eleventh hour and there are numerous contract "out-clauses" based on team performance that may release Owen from his four-year commitment. If Liverpool doesn't steal Owen (as they did taking Sissoko from Everton), it'll be strange and scary to see him line up against his home club.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 11:05 AM - 13 comments

Now all we need is for pissed off Cisse to go to Monaco and that idiot Benitez can get fired in January.

posted by StarFucker at 12:14 PM on August 30

Hey i didn't care where Owen went as long as he isn't helping the scousers.

posted by acesrt132 at 01:08 PM on August 30

I had a feeling Newcastle would struggle but certainly didn't think they would score zero goals in their first four games. They were right there with United for the first 65 minutes this past Sunday but once Boumsong opened his bumbling act, you could just see the belief drained out of them. I think Owen's a great fit to partner Shearer and if he can stay away from hammy/groin problems, Newcastle could be dangerous again. I'm just glad Mikey's back in the Premiership...he's one of those opposing players I can't help but like. about this: John Terry out with a knee injury for England and possibly Chelsea. There seems to be conflicting reports as to the seriousness of his injury. I think England have good options to partner Ferdinand in Terry's absence, but what about Chelsea? Their fixture list through the end of September is Sunderland at home (league), Anderlecht at home (Champions League), Charlton away (league), Villa at home (league) and Liverpool away (Champions League). If he's out 4 weeks, as one article reports, this could be a real problem for Chelsea. As deep as Chelsea are, Terry is the one player they can't afford to lose, imho. Does the Carvalho/Gallas tandem worry anyone? Is it Huth's time to show what he can do?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:23 PM on August 30

I bet the LFC board simply couldn't stomach the idea of paying more to RM than what they got last year and the difference was enough for RM to force Owen's hand. Should be interesting to see how Magpies rotate him, Shearer and Luque who, let's not forget, they also just paid a big chunk of change to get. Chelsea, I think they have enough depth to deal with most of these opponents without Terry--his absence will screw fantasy managers like me who have him more than Mourinho. The one match where he'll be missed most is Liverpool, especially if the injurytakes a bit longer to heal than expected and he misses both the EPL and CL meetings. Huth? Huth is already three steps out the door on a loan and while Terry's absence may keep him on the roster I doubt it will get him much playing time.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:39 PM on August 30

Does anyone know if Owen has an agent? Or a life coach? Either way, he's been getting bad professional advice for a couple of years now. This one won't last, primarily because his style doesn't suit Newcastle who build through the midfield. Owen is a one trick pony - he wants it played early through the back four to chase. As he gets older and loses his youthful speed, this won't be as effective. At the last WC, this was Sven's and England's only tactic, there was no Plan B. Provocative statement: Both Liverpool and England play better without him in the team.

posted by owlhouse at 05:18 PM on August 30

If you're right (and I'm not saying you aren't), that's going to be an expensive lesson for Newcastle. Owen is fine. He has exit clauses that will probably let him "re-evaluate" whether he still wants to be at Newcastle at the end of the season, four-year contract be damned. His main goal is being match-fit and in the running for World Cup 2006.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:36 PM on August 30

Wow. Newcastle look like they're finally on a roll, transfer-wise. As it turns out, it was GBP17m for Mikey. (Real Madrid, you lucky puckers.) Then Newcastle turned around and sold Jenas to Spurs for GBP7m to cover Mikey's transfer fee. And, while they were at it, the Magpies bought Solano back from Villa for GBP 1.5m. Busy busy busy. Meanwhile, Liverpool is losing out on all its latest transfer bids, including Solano.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:03 PM on August 31

And sending Salif Diao to Portsmouth. I guess Rafa figures... I have no idea what he figures.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 AM on September 01

I'm no football genius, but I live in Tenerife and I watched Benitez take over a mediocre Tenerife club that was languishing in Segunda and was going through like their third coach of the season and promptly take them to Primera. Valencia paid him big money a year later and he helped them win what 2 Ligas? Then he goes and helps the Reds win the Champions. How about giving the guy a freaking chance before you crucify him? Or not, I don't care about the Premiership either way. (Oooh, but I likes me some Liga de Campeones!)

posted by sic at 08:56 AM on September 01

sic, well said. I still don't like the Crouch move though.

posted by garfield at 09:07 AM on September 01

Sic, I apologize if that comment came across as critical. But I meant it literally, I don't understand the thinking behind some of the transfer decisions at Anfield this close season. If you recall some of the post CL win threads I was standing up to StarFucker's criticism of Benitez--how can we criticize a man who takes a team that nobody believes will win anything and in one season wins Europe's club championship?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:17 PM on September 01

On a side note, the Spanish sports media is all abuzz about Liverpool, since they have a few new Spanish players. I guess I'll be keeping an eye on them too. I really think Morientes (and Owen!) has gotten the shaft the last few seasons from RM, and I'd like to see both of those players shine again. Keep an eye on Luque as well, I think he's tough enough to do really well in England.

posted by sic at 07:48 AM on September 02

Further defense of Benitez: witness how Valencia fell apart once Ranieri brought in his Italians to replace Benitez' players. Maybe, just maybe, he has an eye for talent.

posted by sic at 07:50 AM on September 02

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