Oba and Michael to Start Up Front For Newcastle

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce seems confident that Michael Owen and Oba Martins can spearhead Newcastle United to victory against Tottenham on Monday night.

The two small strikers have never started together under Big Sam’s reign since Sam seems to prefer a big small partnership up front.


Michael Owen and Oba Martins – our £27M strike force can scare the life out of most defenses

But news today that Mark Viduka may not be ready for the game and Alan Smith suspended then Owen and Martins could well be our £27M strike force against Tottenham. Of course Big Sam admits that Newcastle will need to have a completely different game plan up front to play to the two players’ strengths.

This is what Sam said today about the possibility.

“They are two very talented players together and they are very good as individuals,” “It’s been difficult this season to find a partnership because we have had to change things around quite often.”

“We will have to play slightly differently to make sure we play to their major strengths and that would mean playing balls in to feet and down the side.” “We can’t play too many balls up the middle to allow Spurs to head it straight back.”

“I don’t think they are similar players, they are only similar in size.” “Oba plays a completely different way to Michael. Michael likes to drop in the hole and work off the shoulder and Oba likes running with the ball at players.”

“I’m confident they can work together but we’ll have to see how it goes on Monday.”

Well we know lots of Newcastle supporters have been wanting to see this combination work together. And Oba has already said in the past that when the two have played together up front in training, the two of them work well together. This may also work against the big men at the back for Tottenham. Certainly they will scare the life out of most defenses. Let’s hope they do that against Spurs come Monday.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Snake

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Personally I cant wait, very, very excited! This could possibly be the most exciting partnership since Shearer and Ferdinand! Fingers crossed!

  • Howie

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #2

    to be honest even if vid or smith were fit and available i think is the best combination to play spurs as kaboul and dawson are good in de air but not de quickest and don t forget dyer and martins ripped spurs apart in the first 30 mins at st.james park last year so the small men could work

  • darren mills

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #3

    Totaly agree think alot of people have been waiting to see this parnership, think viduka is a great player and would probably start if he was fit but these 2 could scare the life out of defenders.Think like most people though really dont wanna see Martins on the bench, looks a real handfull.

  • indian toon

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #4

    this partnership will be extremely interesting.. two physically similar strikers . one who waits for the ball to come onto him and the other who like’s to run with the ball and terrorise the defence.. will be very interesting to see how they both gel, and surely if this strike duo succed then were in for some good treat only when playin at home when we go on a all out attack.. lookin forward for the clash.. spurs hav good attacking options but a weak defence.. they dont look like defencively solid without ledley king.. berbatov will be the man to look out for and even the partnership of lennon and melbranque look threatning.. predicting a similar 3-1 rout same as the last season..nufc forever .. cheers from an indian fan..:)

  • indian toon

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #5

    not to forget our former target gareth bale.. this kid has some pace.. the way he opened the liverpool defence was amazing..

  • Nathan

    Oct 19, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #6

    It’s about time!

    I really can’t wait to see them playing together, 2 world class strikers, Martins has been saying he wants to play with Owen, this is very exciting for me.

  • michael

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #7

    It’ll be rubbish. Oba is jut not that good. Yet to start banging them in and begining to look more and more like lua lua. Lets’s sell him to Arsenal while we can and buy Gudjohnsen, he was so good when he was at Chelsea that year before he left!

  • michael

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Plus I think Steven Taylor is begining to look a bit of a dead duck now too. I hope we don’t get held to ransom over contracts because he’s a local boy. Duffers and Barton are nearly there, that’s what’s exciting me more!!!

  • Mick G

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #9

    Now that Owen and Martins are finally going to play together,Emre must certainly play in the centre of midfield with Charlie on the left Milner on the right and anyone from Butt Geremi or Faye in the holding role.It is now pointless playing like those long ball merchants England.

  • bowsie

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #10

    Yeah Oba has some great tricks in his bag but he’s not a striker you can rely on.

    Hopefully the partnership works well.

  • Mighty Mouse

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #11

    Oba is on fire. Hoping for another 30 yard screamer. This is my favorite fixture of the year and it falls on a Monday. I couldnt be any happier since Ill be away this wknd and would have missed it. Come on you Toon!

  • yemozone

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #12

    michael – What are the possibilities that if gudjohnson comes in ,he will be a great player.

  • Ashton

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #13

    Fainally !

  • Geordie joe

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #14

    micheal – oba martins IS a very good player. How can you compare him to Lua lua. Why do so many people not realise how good he is. There is few strikers in the premiership who are as threatening as him. he bagged TWO in the international break. He does garantee goals.

  • Obafan

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #15

    Geordie Joe – I completely agree; Oba is a fantastic player. I’m a bit surprised that some out here are always that negative now about him; if the rumour started in July that he could leave for Arsenal everybody was crossing their fingers that he would stay and then we all were hoping for a new clausefree deal. Now some out here are negative. And to be compared with Lua Lua is just not fair. On the other hand if I had to choose between Lua Lua or Ameobi in my squad, I would defenitely choose Lua Lua.

    If he scores on Monday then he again is the class player from the opening game day; this is ridiculous. He is and will always be a very good striker.

    What a turnaround in BS his head. All of the suddan it looks all normal that the Oba and Michael can play together and a couple of weeks ago he would never mentionned this. Perhaps Howie is right about the weaknesses of Dawson and Kaboul (not that fast).

    Beye – Faye – Cacapa – Enrique
    Geremi – Butt – Emre – N’Zogbia
    Owen Martins

    Subs: Harper – Taylor – Barton – Rozehnal – Viduka

  • Bob

    Oct 19, 2007 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #16

    Michael – Oba has scored 21 goals in 49 starts – a fair record, considering how poor our season was last year.

    In addition to this he has scored 13 goals in 18 games for Nigeria!

    Alessandro Nesta used to say that Martins was the striker he feared the most, he must be a real handful for the defence (and he was only 18/19 years old at
    this time)

    Yes, he still over thinks and doesn’t trust his instinct enough. His confidence is still pretty fragile at times.

    But look at Didier Drogba: he didn’t become the player that he is until he was about 27/28yrs old.

    Martins has all the making of a top quality striker and I believe his consistency will greatly improve with experience.

  • Hadrian

    Oct 19, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #17

    wayne rooney
    age – 21
    apps – 229
    goals -78

    obafemi martins
    age – 22
    apps – 187
    goals – 70

    this is a lad who hasnt been ale to cement a first team place at inter or the toon , having to come on here and there and still knocking the goals in .
    and he’s never been breastfed by sir alex and manu’s training staff .

    as a further note , at thier age owen had practicaly doubled that goal tally

  • Bill f

    Oct 19, 2007 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #18

    To be fair to Sam this is probably the first real chance he’s had to start them as a pairing due to the previous doubts about Michaels fitness. Lua Lua was another if only player, and I think that Oba’s triple back flip is much more stylish, just hope we see lots of it starting Saturday.

    India Toon are you living in india, if so what is the state of the footy out there, don’t hear much about it over here.

  • rob the geordie

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #19

    obafan….why no milner in your side…not even on the bench

  • gordon

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #20

    bale is not that fast.

  • Graham

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #21

    So allardyce likes a big / small combination – but Oba can jump at least a foot higher than crouch (or ameobi) and yet he’s 7 foot shorter than him.

    Bring it on with Owen and Oba up front – could be very interesting…

  • Tom_Toon

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Bout bloody time. Should be good!

  • ToonKing

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #23

    Dunno what to say about this, as everyone else i’m looking forward to seeing them play together, but dunno if it will work. Michael likes to play off the other striker, preferably a big man and Oba likes the ball a little to much. I feel that many times he tries the a difficult shot instead of setting up a teammate for an easy one. This is the perfect opportunity to try them out, hopefully it will work, if not i say give Smith and Owen partnership a chance.

    Most probably Rozy will move back to the center and Faye will drop in the middle midfield cause we are lacking height playing Emre, Oba, Owen, Zog.

    So i think this will be our team tomorrow:

    Beye Rozy Cacapa Enrique

    Milner Faye Emre Zog


    Should be a killer game, hope we can nick it, 3-2 for the Mighty Magpies. 😉

  • Obafan

    Oct 19, 2007 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #24

    rob the geordie – okay I’ll put him on the bench. I’m not a big fan of Milner;
    1. his dribbling sometimes is okay, but most of the time he keeps dribbling untill he lost the ball
    2. his crosses are wild, sometimes one of his crosses falls good, but most of the time they are too far or blocked
    3. he isn’t a big tactical wonder; always dribbling and using the long ball instead of giving short passes and play simple football (he would get the ball bck, but he prefers to keep dribbling or shoot an impossible pass)
    4. he has got a good shot, but I hate it when I see him to come to take a free kick (last year he sometime took the ball away from Nobby). If he strikes the ball most of the time he needs luck because he doens’t know where the ball is going to end

    I admire his passion and attitude to the club, but for me it is not enough to give him a start

  • Pete

    Oct 19, 2007 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Kinda agree obafan,

    Milners attitude is top class after we pissed him around with west ham. I also think his stamina and “engine” is second to none, he just keeps running and running.

    Technically he struggles but I still think he has a place in the first team (we have NO ONE ELSE to play RW). In jan I would like to see a RW come in (can Duff play there?)

    By the way, I don’t count Geremi as RW, they need to be able to beat a man and get a cross into the box

  • toonUSA

    Oct 19, 2007 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #26

    Excited to see the pair on monday not sure why Sam gave the opposition such valuable info since now they can work on divising a plan to stop them for 3 days, but regardless i am looking forward to the game should be a classic….

    on a side note: gudjohnson stinks and for all of you that get excited about getting bench warmers of the Champions leauge clubs please stop and think how the player got their. and if the player is not good enough to get a game when the team has so many games to play then why get the player???? We need to stop collecting players that are living on past accomplishments and go after those that still have it infront of them. We have realy good ones at the club with huge potential and one of them is Oba at a tender age of 22.

  • leo

    Oct 19, 2007 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #27

    i agree with u toonusa

    michael what are you on about, you actually watch football?

    i cant wait for the match, i get bad feelings when i read early comments about how many good attacking players they have got

    but then i am looking forward again reading other peoples comments about us having a stronger defence now and some great attacking players.

    coupled with a couple new signings during january, we could be looking at a real strong squad.

    how did sam alardyce do it?

  • Sinead

    Oct 20, 2007 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #28

    Interesting experiment like but I don’t think it’ll work. Interesting to see though. 2 very different players that don’t compliment eachother. Lets wait and see though.

  • evildick

    Oct 20, 2007 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #29

    I hope we destroy spurs. nothing could make me happier.

  • tommyinaustralia

    Oct 20, 2007 at 2:02 AM

    Comment #30

    im really excited about this.
    especially because Big Sam said that we wont play long ball with those two up front! balls to feet! YES

    also, play geremi out wide, give milner a break.

  • Jeremy9

    Oct 20, 2007 at 5:13 AM

    Comment #31

    It’s funny how people like to rip on Martins here and there. When Torres moved to Liverpool, it seems fans and media ripped on his goal record when in reality he is just as good if not better than Rooney. If Martins was from England he would basically be Wayne Rooney.

  • D.C

    Oct 20, 2007 at 6:48 AM

    Comment #32

    To add on we have barton coming back! exciting times are up ahead! yeah hoped both of them can get some goals between them on Mon

  • Brisbane Mag

    Oct 20, 2007 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #33

    Owen and Martins up front should be a formidable force if we play the correct balls to them; i.e. into space where both players can run onto the ball.

    With Milner and Zog feeding the front two, we should score a few goals. Just hope the defence tightens up, as Spurs are very good going forward.

    I’m going for a 3-2 Newcastle win……

  • Brian

    Oct 20, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #34

    Fowler and Owen could not work together, but lets wait and see the have to know each others game so give them 10 games together so the have a real chance.

  • dan

    Oct 20, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #35

    I think they can be a great partnership – i just don’t believe we have the quality behind them to feed them the right balls. Let’s hope so though!! that man could be emre!


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