By the time Michael Owen limped off in England’s 1-0 win over Austria on Friday after 32 minutes with a thigh strain, Both Alan Shearer and Sam Allardyce has questioned Steve McClaren’s decision to pick the striker in the ‘meaningless’ friendly.
Allardyce was quick to question the wisdom of England boss Steve McClaren’s decision to pitch injury prone Owen.
“While we do not want to prejudge how long Michael while be out, our assessment is four to six weeks and it is so disappointing it has left us gutted.” Said Allardyce, “To tell the truth, it looks about six weeks but we will be hoping to get this speeded up a bit.”
This is for the second time Allardyce has questioning Steve McClaren decision to field the injury prone Owen for an England match. Allardyce was first unhappy when Newcastle United’s £17m Owen faced Estonia and Russia in last month’s right after having a double hernia operations.
Allardyce, who has already seen little of Owen in his starting line-up since he took charge at St James’ Park in May, will have to once again losing him for up to six weeks, and will not appears on couple of Newcastle important fixtures against Liverpool, Blackburn and Arsenal.
“The games are coming fast and furious for us, especially in December, and it looks as though Michael is going to miss a lot of them. We don’t have the biggest of squads and it’s all so disappointing.” Said Allardyce.
Owen’s time with Newcastle has been limited by injuries, the most significant injury was a broken metatarsal on New Year’s Eve 2005 and cruciate knee ligament damage which he suffered with England at the 2006 World Cup.
While everyone is speaking about his latest injury, Michael told the NoTW today that his despair of picking up another injury in the friendly against Austria began to disappear as the outcome of the games in Israel and Macedonia began to unfold.
“Even though I will not be able to play against Croatia, the gateway to the Euro 2008 finals is open.” Owen said, “Suddenly the world looks a brighter place.”
His latest injury came when he planted his left foot beside the ball to line up a shot in the Austria game last Friday, and even though he can managed to get the shot away, he knew that he had torn a thigh muscle and the game was over and so was all hope of playing against Croatia.
“On personal level, it is back to the treatment table. Walking off on Friday night a lot of thoughts raced through my mind. I couldn’t dwell on how it would be received back at my club. Newcastle are very important to me, and I fretted about having to miss some important games, including one against my old club Liverpool.”