Former Newcastle United striker Michael Owen has unleashed a damning assessment of his old side, and the impact of the two men who broke his club-record transfer fee, as penned for Bet Victor and quoted by The Shields Gazette.
The Magpies signed Owen from Real Madrid for a reported £17million in 2005, and the figure remained the club’s highest single outlay until the turn of 2019, when Miguel Almiron was brought to Tyneside from MLS franchise Atlanta United for £20million.
Toon fans did not have to wait another 13-and-a-half years to see the sum smashed again, as TSG Hoffenheim forward Joelinton joined United in the summer for £40million, but Owen feels neither have lived up to their price tags in Black and White.
“The Magpies need more from their expensive signings Joelinton – who spurned a gilt-edged opportunity at Carrow Road – and Miguel Almiron,” the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner claimed. “But they may need more time to gel.
“In the meantime, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable home win [for Tottenham on Sunday].
“Spurs rode their luck at the Etihad at the weekend but played their part in a wonderful game of football, and I expect them to have too much quality for a Newcastle side who have disappointed me so far this season.”
Amid Owen’s damning comments of our start to life with Steve Bruce at the helm, United have a slight reason for optimism.
If our head coach can ignite the fire within Joelinton and Almiron so that they can break free and live up to the expectations placed on them, they have the ability to cause Mauricio Pochettino’s side problems.
The North London outfit’s defence struggled to contain the pace and dynamism Pep Guardiola’s Citizens have to offer last weekend as VAR saved them from the clutches of defeat, and fast movement from Joelinton, Almiron or Allan Saint-Maximin in the box could see either of the trio break into a pocket of space.
Should Bruce also move away from his 3-5-2 as hinted at after the Canaries clash, having options on the wings will also see that players are able to take up positions where they can play the sort of passes that carved open Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, and hopefully lead to our first point, or points, of the season.