Martins Can Be Vital Player For Newcastle

Kevin Keegan has talked about our 23 year-old striker Oba Martins, just back from the African Cup of Nations in Ghana, and he is hoping his pace can help us in the coming vital games.


Oba Martins -we need him to hit the goal train quickly

Kevin talked about Oba and first of all addressed his ankle injury, which prevented him playing at Villa Park last Saturday, in what turned out to be a disastrous result for the Magpies:

“Oba will be fine, he just turned his ankle before he came back and he’s had to have a couple of days’ rest,” “We’re confident he will be back in training with the rest of the group by the end of the week.”

“I’m looking forward to him joining us because I’ve seen quite a lot of him previously and I know what he can do. It’s just a case of having a close look at him on our training pitch now.”

“He’s got great pace and he’s still our top goalscorer, even though he has been at the African Cup of Nations for the best part of a month.”

Oba is going to be an important player for us for the rest of the season, because we need to start scoring goals, and Oba is now joint top scorer with Michael Owen on 7 goals in all competitions. That’s not particularly high for this time of the season, when we are used to Shearer scoring so many goals for us in the past.


Michael Owen – captain just scored – hopefully he can start playing well with Martins

But we don’t think it’s going to be a case of whether it’s Owen or Martins, because we need to utilize both of them. We need to do this by either playing both of them together, or by substitutions that bring out the best in both of them. Keegan also has a tricky job on his hands to keep Oba happy at Newcastle, because it would appear he will want to start Michael, who he has already named as his captain.

The last thing we want in the summer is for some of our current squad to want away. It’s already too small and if we can sign 4-5 top players in the summer, and say another 3 top youngsters, the squad will be big enough and hopefully strong enough for next season.

We don’t need a huge squad because we will not be in Europe so would expect at most 50 games next season at the most. But it’s already worrying that young N’Zogbia wants away in the summer.

We’re looking forward to Oba being involved against Manchester United in our next game, and hitting the goals train just as soon as possible – we just have to start picking up points to relieve the pressure of relegation.

Comments very welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Kash2

    Feb 13, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #1

    Hopefully KK can get Oba to use his pace better than he has. He really has pace in abundance but always never seems to be at full pelt. I think he’s as quick as Agbonlahor or Lennon, so if we could get him running as direct as they do then imagine the possibilities!!!!

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #2

    Brilliant that Keegan acknowledges Martins as the good striker he is, not only was he away for a month but Allerdyce messed him about, including playing him on the wing, that did nothing for his scoring record either.
    If a player is the top striker it should be acknowledged, the last thing we want is our top goalscorer leaving, look what happened the last time when our top scorer Bellamy was taken off the pitch without first having a good replacement.
    I would like to see an additional striker bought in the Summer that would play well alongside Martins first, Djibril Cisse is a pacey player and one who is big and strong and I think would play well alongside Martins, that would be a fast difficult to handle duo, both capable of scoring from very little but also two that I think would link up well as they move and pass at a similar speed.

  • thelongshanks

    Feb 13, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #3

    Martins is the man,best striker at the club and with us trying to play attacking football martins will get us some goals.welcome bak oba

  • Leo*

    Feb 13, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #4

    yep allardyce ruined his confidence and he still managed to score 7 goals. alot of the time out of position, hopefully they will be able to play oba and owen up front together, they both can jump and head the ball and both have good pace…

  • Eric

    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #5

    Glad Oba is back. Our best striker and still young enough to dvelop even more. Has the pace and enthusiasm to do justice to the number 9! Needs to play and play every game. Compared to Oba the likes of Viduka and Smith are the pits. Again, Oba was another player plonkered around and underestimated by Sam the Sham. With Oba in the side we have no worries about going down.

  • tony

    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #6

    we have to play owen and martins together because we need goals double quick to get some points on the board

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #7

    Having Smith as forward has been like having a player missing so Oba should and hopefully will get a chance to play alongside Owen and hopefully develop a striking partnership.

    Hopefully Oba and KK will love each other and we’ll see a hatfull of goals before the end of the season.

  • Graeme

    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #8

    A good CF would have been a good buy in the January Sales, but it didnt come off. Owen and Martins both play better and score more, when they have someone to play off.

    Whats wrong with giving Andy Carroll the role until the end of the season, see if he cant create enough chances for Martins and Owen. If it works, it might just save us a fortune in the market!!!!

  • Martins

    Feb 13, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #9

    Martins does not need service to score goals he can do it indivdually.

  • Nobby!

    Feb 13, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #10

    Can be? Isn’t he already a vital player? 🙂

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #11

    The other way to look at the importance of Martins is how many matches have we won, forgetting the amount of goals with Martins on the pitch, then how many have we won with Martins either not in the line up at all or stuffed on the wing???

    The reason we win when he is on the pitch is that they darent not mark him or keep players back or he will score, without him on the pitch they can throw more players forward without much threat of us scoring.

    Anyone got the wins when Martins was on the pitch and the stats when he wasnt??

  • Reb

    Feb 13, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #12

    I’m not slating Martins, before anyone shouts me down. Just pointing out, Ian, that those statistics could be problematic because Martins missed some of the toughest matches Newcastle has played (ManUtd at OT, Arsenal away twice) whilst being here and fit for early in the season (like Viduka) against the somewhat easier teams. That said, Martins’ fitness is definitely a plus. Most reliable striker in that sense — although unfortunately, one of the least reliable in terms of actual finishing.

    Still, looking forward to seeing Martins and Owen upfront. Martins’ unpredictability and Owen to make his runs and hopefully things will look up.

  • Mr T

    Feb 13, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Why not play with all three, Duke and Owen up front, Martins Just off overlapping with his pace? If you’re questionning his finishing, then surely he’d be better as a forward than a striker?

    To fully exploit Marins, Emre needs to be in the team though. Maybe Geremi as well? and I don’t even like Geremi if I’m honest…..

    On the other hand, Zog, Milner, Martins……Them 3 with their pace, two on the wings, one in the middle……

  • johnr

    Feb 13, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #14

    If Martins had been a half decent finisher we would still be in the top half now. If Keegan can improve this massively frustrating player, then we may get the benefit, if not, he has no place in the side. Time and again he loses possession by being over complicated, and rarely hits the target with glorious chances. Its a pity because he promises so much better with his pace and aggressive movement. That why folks like him. Its no use without the end product so I see him being frustrated on the bench and wanting away soon. Its upto him to learn some basics.

  • Ian

    Feb 13, 2008 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #15

    Owen doesnt score he doesnt get the service, Martins doesnt score it is Martin’s fault, he is maybe over complicated because he is having to create goals from nothing, if he had to hang around the box for good service it probably wouldnt be so complicated!!
    Even with Allerdyce doing his damnest to upset Martins he still somehow has managed to be our top goalscorer, I thought he might have wanted to leave.

  • Tripp

    Feb 13, 2008 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #16

    Ian, that first sentence is apt. That about sums it up. Martins misses too many chances that he really should take.

    That said, we do need him back and having the two up front could cause problems for defenders and create some space. Just having Martins on the pitch will create more space for Owen (potentially, at least). Both of them need good service from the midfield if they’re going to score a lot of goals. I’d like to see Viduka playing in the whole behind them. Maybe with the midfield in a diamond 1-2-1 formation. Not sure who I’d put in the other positions. Faye, Emre, Duff? Maybe Milner on the right, iff his crossing improves.

  • Nicky Butt is crap!

    Feb 13, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #17

    tripp that certainly sounds like a decent idea…. give it a go.

    emre duff


    owen oba


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