Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Saturday May 12 2007
The Ashington Express has been quick to chip in with his view on Newcastle. A lifelong fan, Stevie Harmison can regularly be spotted watching the lads, when not on England duty. He`s given his opinion on everything going on at SJP at the moment:
"Newcastle have got to keep Michael Owen, it's absolutely vital. As a Newcastle supporter I'd ask him to stay and show us exactly what we have been missing for the last two years. I'm not going to tell him he must stay or he should feel guilty because that's not my place. I'd just, like every single Newcastle supporter out there, ask him to stay.
If the club can keep Michael the supporters will have hope that next season can be a lot better than this one. Michael has to realise how much love he will get if he stays.
Newcastle fans worship goal-scorers and he is one of the best around. Michael is world class, he is the sort of player that lifts everyone at a club, the players and the supporters, just by lining up at the start of a game. We've been so unfortunate to lose Michael to injury for so long.
If we'd had him this season, we'd be in Europe and he probably wouldn't want to leave. I can understand why he might be thinking about it because it's a short career and he wants to be playing in the Champions League, but he can get us back to that level.
Look at Alan Shearer. We signed him at a similar age and look what he went on to achieve and the amount of personal satisfaction he got as a result. Michael can have all of that at Newcastle and, if he helps us win a trophy, he can achieve even more than Alan did.
If the new manager knows he is going to have Michael Owen playing for him next season it will make it easier for him to sign other world class players and it will make it easier for him to keep the good players already at the club. I know this has been a bad season, but we shouldn't forget that Newcastle have the core of a very good team.
I can't believe Scott Parker has been criticised because he puts himself on the line in every game he plays. It's the same for Kieron Dyer. He's another world class talent who just needs encouragement, not criticism. I don't want either of them to leave.
Then if you look at Nicky Butt, he's had a great season, Steven Taylor, Emre, Shay Given and Damien Duff, if he can shake off his injury problems, that's the makings of an excellent team.
I'd keep Titus Bramble and James Milner as well because they are young and, with the right manager and the right players alongside them, they will get better and better. I reckon we're going to need six or eight new signings to add the necessary quality, but if Michael stays, I think we have the pulling power to do that.'
Don`t agree with some of your comments Stevie lad (Bramble and Dyer in particular) but at least your hearts in the right place. Good luck v Kent today.
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Date:Saturday May 12 2007
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