Why Does Obafemi Martins Keep Going Missing?


Paul Gilder of the Journal is reporting Obafemi Martins has had another bust-up with the Nigerian FA after he failed to appear at the Nigerian training camp before the mandated time by the FA.

This is the second time this year that Martins has not appeared for Nigeria when they were expecting him – and Martins did not inform them ahead of the event that he wasn’t coming.

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17 goal Oba Martins

Martins upset the Nigerian FA in February when he failed to show for a friendly at Brantford’s Griffin Park with Ghana in February. Oba as it happens was bringing his sick mother to Newcastle for treatment by the club’s medical staff. When spotted in Lagos’ International airport he was booed by the Nigerian fans for not turning up for that game.

Why Oba didn’t just telephone them or send them a telex is not unknown – but that’s something he may want to consider in the future.

Berti Vogts, the former Scotland manager and German (who seem to be sticklers for rules and regulations) was reportedly furious with Martins because he broke the FIFA five-day rule – which says players must arrive at international camps five days before games. The Newcastle striker was reprimanded but Oba was still selected in the squad for the game against Kenya yesterday in Nairobi.

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Nigeria Manager Berti Vogts

Vogts talked about the situation with Martins:

“We organised this match mainly for the England-based players to keep them in shape as their league finished early,” “Martins hasn’t played football for two or three weeks. But he isn’t here. Can you in the Press ask him why he has been in Lagos and hasn’t reported to camp?

We know that the Fifa rule says players should be in camp five days before a match. This is a player who has been released by his club, but he has been in Lagos when he should have been here (in Nairobi).”

As it happens the Super Eagles (Nigeria) beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars 1-0 in an African Nations Cup warm-up on Sunday – in front of an estimated 35,000 spectators, one of the highest soccer turnouts there since 1997. Nigeria now takes on Uganda in Kampala in a Group 3 game next week.

Martins of course also went missing for our last game of the season – against Watford – which is still a mystery to the fans as to what exactly happened.

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Man Manager Supreme – Sam Allardyce

The good news from the Newcastle viewpoint is that man-manager supreme – Sam Allardyce – has already cleared up the Watford problem. Talking about this event a United insider spoke to Paul Gilder of the Journal and said:

“Oba has already sat down with Sam and cleared up what happened at Watford and it is no longer an issue.
“The manager has already stated he wants him to be part of his plans.”

This is really good news for Newcastle – because Martins can be a big hit for us next year – anybody who can score 17 goals in a fairly poor side in his first season in the Premiership at 22 years old – must be a good prospect.

Let’s hope Sam can guide Martins along – as he has done with so many young players at Bolton – and not only clear up Martins AWOL problem (because he cannot keep doing this) but also because there’s no reason why Martins – in a better side next season – cannot score 25 goals for us.

That’s the bottom line – and then we’ll not have to be so focussed on Michael Owen.

Comments always welcome.



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11 comments so far

  • Cathal

    May 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #1

    martins should be kept, he obviously had a reason to miss the game against watford, unlike nzogbia! and maybe we should look on this as a good thing-that martins has a bust up with the nigerian fa-because that might mean he will not go to the african cup next year!! if he does go newcastle will lose him for up to 2months! but lets keep our fingers crossed he doesnt go!

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 28, 2007 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #2

    Cathal – Babayaro was one who hardly ever played for Nigeria – he kept pulling out of the squads until they just got a bit sick of it. The African Nations Cup next year will be a pain for a lot of clubs. If Martins is doing really well for us – he may well just pull out.

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  • Soren

    May 28, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #3

    Martins will be king scorer next season for Newcastle. But it’s a bad habit going AWOL from time to time. Martins Premiership topscorer 07/08 or 08/09? 😀

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 28, 2007 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Soren – he should do really well – and Sam will be the perfect boss for him.

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  • joe

    May 28, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Can’t see him being top scorer next season – he’ll miss 3 months through African nations. Season after he’ll be flying!

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  • Hulker69

    May 28, 2007 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #6

    I have it on good authority tha tMartins AWOL incident before the Watford game was because of the following:-

    1. He attended, with his agent, a transfer interview over in Italy early in the week (despite NP forbidding this)
    2. On his way back to UK he then spent Thursday night at the “best” nightspot for that night, Paris.
    3. NP then picked Ameobi ahead of him, for which he flew a wobbly (tbh if anyone picked Ameobi ahead of me I’d be p1$$ed!

    Choose to believe this or not I’m pretty sure its right due to my source.

    Maybe BSA can whip the guy into order but I’m very uneasy seeing him in the No 9 NUFC shirt …

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  • Soren

    May 28, 2007 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #7

    Joe – It’s was only if he misses Africa Nations, if he is to be topscorer 07/08, through these troubled times he could be pulled from the squad?
    But 08/09 he’ll definenitly challange for the title! 😀

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 28, 2007 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Hulker69 – and Allardyce was OK with that?

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  • Cathal

    May 28, 2007 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #9

    hulker69- i reckon a lot of that is just rumours! i heard stuff about juventus wanting him but I doubt Big Sam would have come out and said he understood Martins reasons if the three reasons u mentioned weere the ones he gave!! maybe he was just suffering from fatigue and it wasnt as if the game against watford meant anything anyway!

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  • billy isadia

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #10

    Okay. Oba hit some goal past Lenman at some point in the champions league. I may consider him as trouble to any defence. So let Wenger catch him.

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  • alex

    Aug 14, 2007 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #11

    its a bit late now but i heard the reason he went awol for the last game was because he completly lost it and didnt know who he was or why he was in this country

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