Howay man he's all we've got!
More than a decade ago on a cold Tyneside winter afternoon Alan Shearer was lying in a heap on the floor after a heavy challenge with the St James's Park crowd anxiously waiting for him to get back on his feet.
Suddenly the bloke behind me in the Gallowgate corner piped up: "Howay man! He's all we've got."
Too right he was, Newcastle's only real hope of success wasn't an influx of quality youngsters coming through the ranks like Manchester United, it wasn't a bottomless pit of money like at Chelsea and it wasn't through using ProZone and boring fans to tears like Bolton - it was down to the presence, influence and goals of one man - Alan Shearer.
It's a bit like how I feel now when it comes to Michael Owen.
They say that football isn't about one man and is a team game but without certain leaders and lynchpins, you don't even have a team.
That day, Boxing Day 1999, United had been playing Liverpool with Shearer opening the scores and a certain Michael Owen bagging two before Duncan Ferguson rescued a point - two lynchpins (In MO and Big Al) driving their teams on and helping them get a result.
Today on Tyneside and the internet wireless wonderland, it was Owen's name back in the headlines again and like Shearer many fans - with James Milner's departure still fresh in the memory - know that Owen's importance these days is akin to the presence of Big Al back in the day.
Yes, Newcastle do have Jonas Gutierrez, Fabricio Coloccini, Shay Given and Nicky Butt as important cogs of the black and white wheel.
But I'm sorry, without Owen, Newcastle will struggle to score goals.
Even though a quick glance down the excuses list has the absence of injured strikers like Mark Viduka and Oba Martins on it after the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal, having Owen on the pitch is still more important.
Unlike both Viduka and Martins, Owen doesn't have to be on top of his game to score goals at vital times.
Whether he is rescuing a point, saving blushes or grabbing the glory with a hat-trick, his predatory instincts make him a one off just like Shearer when it comes to getting goals.
The crafty little striker knows he needs just one chance to win a game and despite his injuries at Newcastle, he has generally delivered the goods when he's been fit.
Players have admitted that having Owen in the dressing room gives them an extra lift and they know they are walking on to the field with a great chance of getting goals and winning with little MO on their side.
Three years ago today we were celebrating the arrival of Owen in Shearer style with fans packing out the Leazes End to welcome him to Tyneside.
And with the deadline ticking dangerously away before the window slams shut, the renewal of Owen's contract is just as vital as any incoming new faces right now.
If anything just for his goals but it's more than just that.
Like Kevin Keegan did in his first stint as boss, players signed for Newcastle (Gavin Peacock, Rob Lee and Scott Sellars for starters) because he was their hero.
And while Shearer was a player, the likes of Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy and of course Owen himself meant that the presence of Big Al was a major factor in them coming to Newcastle.
Now Owen takes on that mantle as captain and he will help attract better players to join him at Newcastle just like Shearer did when he helped push the deal for Owen in the first place.
From a global point of view, having Owen in the team makes Newcastle a much more attractive proposition which is great news for the club from a marketing point of view.
Owen may not reach 206 goals for Newcastle like Shearer did but if he does sign this new contract it's going to be fun watching him give it a good flipping crack.
Over to you MO.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?