Michael Owen has been talking about Newcastle United and their start to the season in the Premier League.
He describes the start as ‘indifferent’ in the three games so far.
Owen predicts a win against Burnley to give Steve Bruce a lift and Newcastle to have seven points from four matches heading into the break.
If indeed Newcastle do win on Saturday night, it will be only the third NUFC Premier League home win in 10 months, since 21 December 2019.
I often wonder just how much research former players, now turned well paid pundits, actually do to earn their money, when forecasting what is going to happen in the next lot of Premier League matches.
The answer to that would be, very little, certainly in Michael Owen’s case.
Michael Owen when predicting a comfortable 2-0 win over Newport earlier in the week: ‘Newcastle will have to be wary of the League 2 side but they should have enough in their locker to win after a very encouraging performance against Spurs at the weekend.’
You would almost think Michael Owen was just possibly basing his entire argument on the scoreline at the Tottenham Stadium.
Unless you are talking about Karl Darlow and the woodwork, exactly what else made it an ‘encouraging performance’ against Spurs?
When you look at the actual reality, Michael Owen’s comment / claim is simply bizarre.
Steve Bruce sitting the jackpot in terms of luck, getting a ridiculously fortunate draw at Tottenham despite Karl Darlow having to make 11 saves and Son hitting the woodwork twice, whilst Kane especially wasted chance after chance. Then at the other end not a single effort on target for Newcastle, until that VAR intervention and penalty on 97 minutes. When you include the Brighton match, it meant Newcastle had gone over three hours of Premier League football without an effort on target.
On the subject of Michael Owen and his research, he also uses this as a factor in claiming Newcastle will win: ‘…up against a Burnley team that are desperately short on numbers.’
Well key players Ashley Barnes and James Tarkowski are now back and successfully came through the midweek match against Man City without any injury issues, whilst Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady also have a chance now of returning to the squad in time for this Newcastle match.
Burnley picked up 54 points last season and did the same in 2017/18, finishing 7th and 10th, the one in between they still reached 40 points and 15th spot in the table.
Reports of their demise may be a little premature, yet again, they have only played two Premier League matches so far, losing 4-2 at Leicester ,who have started the season with three PL wins, but actually Burnley had more shots (16 v 14) than the Foxes.
Burnley’s only other PL match so far was a 1-0 home defeat to Southampton, Danny Ings scoring with the Saints’ only effort on target. Burnley had more possession, more corners (8 v 2) and more shots (10 v 5), so I think they will be picking up points very soon.
Newcastle have Man Utd (home), Wolves (away), Everton (home), Southampton (away) and Chelsea (home), coming up after Saturday night’s match, so Steve Bruce surely needing a win to protect against that tough run of matches.
Here’s hoping Michael Owen is proved correct with his ‘expert’ assessment for tonight’s match.
Michael Owen speaking to BetVictor:
“Newcastle have had an indifferent start to the season.
“They got off to a flyer against West Ham in the opener but had a woeful time of it when Brighton dispatched them easily by a three goal margin.
“Last weekend’s draw with Spurs will have given the Magpies a much needed confidence boost.
“And up against a Burnley team that are desperately short on numbers, I think they can get a result.
“Newcastle to win.”