Oba Martins scored again on Monday night, and it was another typical opportunist goal. Having just returned from the international break where he sharpened up his goalscoring with 2 good goals for Nigeria against Mexico, he did it again for Newcastle.
Of course, all we hear during the international breaks is about Michael Owen but Oba seems to have adapted well to the new atmosphere and he seems to love playing for Big Sam. What is it about Sam that makes all the players like him so much?
Oba Martins – seems to love playing for the big man
Whatever it is itâ€™s a key element in Samâ€™s success in football, because it seems like the players will do just about anything for him â€“ and itâ€™s great to hear from his players talking so highly of the big man. Oba told the Newcastle Journal today:
â€œIt was a very good result for the team, another three points at home and a good goal for me as well, so Iâ€™m very happy with things,â€
â€œI feel settled in English football. Glenn Roeder was right, it wasnâ€™t that easy for me to come to Newcastle and it took me a few months to learn new stuff about the Premier League, English football and living in Newcastle.â€ â€œI had to adapt to the style of football and it took me some time, but Iâ€™m very happy here. Things are going well.”
â€œI didnâ€™t really feel as though I had to prove myself to a new manager when Sam Allardyce came, I just knew I had to work hard and he would see what I could do. Iâ€™m happy and settled at Newcastle, I never took any notice of the stories saying Iâ€™d leave in the summer and, if Sam Allardyce is here for five years, I will be here for five years also.â€
â€œThat is how much I enjoy playing for him. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be going anywhere while Sam is here. Iâ€™m scoring goals and Iâ€™m playing games, thatâ€™s all you can ask for as a striker.â€
Weâ€™ve independently looked at Martins games and goals record at Newcastle. Last season he appeared in 46 games and scored 17 goals. So far this season he has appeared in 11 games and scored 5 goals so in total we make it that heâ€™s played in 57 games for Newcastle and scored 22 goals. And we have to remember the lad is still just 22 years old â€“ and the best from him is still to come.
â€œMy goal return is 22 goals in 50 games which is almost a goal every other game.â€ â€œI donâ€™t set myself targets of say 20 or 30 or even 40 goals in a season, I just try hard to score as many goals as I can.â€
â€œThey say a good mark of a world class striker is a record of a goal every other game and Iâ€™m quite close to that at Newcastle. That is something Iâ€™m happy about, I just concentrate on trying to keep scoring a goal every other game because that will keep me in the team.â€
Of course when Martins came to Newcastle he was quite happy to take the number 9 shirt vacated by the great Alan Shearer but Oba doesnâ€™t seem to be phased at all by this. Martins continued:
â€œMy record has been like that through most of my career, but there is no way I can compare myself to Alan Shearer. he was a great, great player. When I wear the number nine shirt Iâ€™m just trying my best to do as well as he did, but he played something like 500 games. Iâ€™d like to try and do that.â€
â€œPeople have said two small strikers cannot play together but I think â€˜of course we canâ€™. We are both good players and thatâ€™s the most important thing. Itâ€™s the same with Mark Viduka or Shola Ameobi, I think I can play with all of them.â€
Glenn Roeder to his credit brought in a great little striker for Newcastle and Oba seems to love it here at Newcastle. Heâ€™s already on track for say 20 goals this season which would be a good tally to add to his creditable 17 in his first season. But Martins is his own player and itâ€™s really hard to compare him to anybody. Heâ€™s forging his own way and seems to be doing so well for Big Sam.
But thatâ€™s why Sam is so good â€“ heâ€™s a real coach and gets the very best out of every player under him. Long may it continue.