Given Looks To Be Fit – Oba Martins Doesn’t

It’s rather surprising but it looks as though Oba Martins will still not be fit enough for the game with Manchester United on Saturday.


Oba Martins – probably not fit for Saturday

Since that game is still 4 days away to say he’s doubtful now is not a good sign. Oba returned from Ghana with the sprained ankle he picked up in training with Nigeria, but it’s now been 3 weeks since he’s been back, so this injury is proving more serious than we thought.

Kevin Keegan said today:

“Oba’s looking doubtful for Saturday, if I’m honest, but I wouldn’t rule him out yet.”

It seems to be looking a lot better for Shay Given, but if there’s any doubt about him Keegan will play Steve Harper and have Fraser Forster on the bench.

Keegan added:

“Shay still has a chance, and we’ll know more later in the week. Shay still thinks he has a chance of being fit.”

“If not, Harps is ready. We’re in safe hands either way. As clubs go, we have two of the best keepers in the Premier League if you take them as a pair.”

“We’ll have to see. Shay’s saying all of the right things, and thinks he has a chance, but Thursday will be the day when we decide that I think.”

We have 4 players out injured according the Premier Injury Table.

Here’s our official injury list right now.

Player      Injury               Return Date

S Given     Groin Strain 	 no return date
O Martins   Sprained Ankle 	 no return date
T Krul 	    Dislocated Shoulder  no return date
P Ramage    ACL Knee Injury 	 5th Apr 08

We may still see Peter Ramage return before the end of the season, and Tim Krul is still out for a while, with his dislocated shoulder.

Comments welcome.

44 comments so far

  • James

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #1

    He’s only saying this about Martins because he watched him miss loads of sitters in training and assumed it was a lack of fitness – no Keegan, that’s just the way he is

  • MagpieNeil

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #2

    Dont slag Martins he is our top scorer!

    One of our only good players may I add.

  • nomis_jade

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #3

    From what iv read, it seems like some of the kids we sighned over jan may be good enough to help out in the first team squad already. At the time i just assumed that they would be sent to the acadamy and reserves and left to work on getting better and eventually a call up. But both kadar, zablera and tozer seem to be fitting into the first team training already. Ok, obviously this isnt as good as buying proven european and uk players but maybe we should give out scouts or whover more credit. Maybe they saw these players as guys who would fit in ( and be good enough) pretty quickly? If thats the case, id prefer these over another luque anyday, and maybe they are better than a giles barnes type player? Am i talking sense or shit? what do people think?

  • John

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #4

    every player goes through a bad patch and it seems like every one of our players under fat sam had one at the same time. Great man managment.

    Give him a chance under Keegan..He’ll come good

  • Eric

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #5

    Was hoping like mad for Oba to play. He’s our best. I really do think he wants to play for the Toon. Convinced he cares. Who else does up front? I think Ameobi did once but seems to have lost the plot. Come on Oba – you are wearing the number 9 after all.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #6

    James – I agree to some degree. I think it’s a cover up from Keegan and giving him more time to get his goal-scoring touch back. In Martins we have a great player but he does have to improve his finishing and first touch. Next season he will be on fire for us again you’ll see.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #7

    I think the youngsters are in the first-ream picture only because we a lacking quality and determination from our players. I doubt it’s because they are that good and ready for the premiership.

  • Johann

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Well I will be majorly disappointed if either Given or Martins play. I´m seriously thinking about whether it isn´t time for Fraser Forster to get his chance. Now it´s as good time as ever to start him.

  • MagpieNeil

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #9

    What are you talking about playing Fraser Forster for? Harper is our number two. He is a great goal keeper who will put in a great performance if he is given his first league start under Keegan.

    Why would you decide to play a keeper with no premier league experience against a top four side?

    Are you mad?

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #10

    Personally I think too many of our players are judged on the training ground, Edgar for instance is brilliant in 1st team matches, but he must be crap in training as they dont pick him.
    With Martins as the main striker we win games, when he isnt we dont, he ties up more of their players, they know Viduka and Owen wont be running anywhere but have to keep players back for fear of Martins on the counter even if he is alone.
    It is no coincedence that we win when Martins is on the pitch, not that I expect us to beat Man Utd!!

  • Eric

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #11

    Ian is right. Oba is a little engine on the pitch and
    he worries opposing players. You have to wait all day to see Viduka coming. As for Owen? Can we see through the mirage for once? Oba is our centre forward!!!

  • JAY

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #12

    Martins is pap

  • Jim Baker

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #13

    I’m no Martins fan…
    Play the youngins like Carol and Edgar!
    Carols class…Edgars better than most of our defenders, play them and play them on saturday Mr Keegan.

  • James

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #14

    Ian – we have lost loads of games when Martins has been on the pitch, and we lost them cause he missed loads of chances.

    Remember the hat trick of sitters he missed in the Carling Cup against Arsenal? Or the unbelievable chances he missed against Blackburn?

    If I was Newcastle I would get Shearer to work as a striker coach, and have him work with Martins all the time. His decision making has to improve or we have another Andy Cole on our hands. A fast Andy Cole, but an Andy Cole nevertheless.

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #15

    eric, agree with your first comment too, I do not understand anyone who thinks any of our other strikers are better, there are no facts to back them up, neither on goals or wins, I want some silverware here and to me the type of players who will bring it here are Martins, NZogbia, Milner, Beye, Taylor, Given and Harper, Lua lua and Edgar, Gerami needs to be tried in his proper position, have not seen enough of Faye, Viduka can be good if he stays fit long enough, the rest could be exchanged providing better players are brought in.
    No Martins then the only wins will be fluke or easy games.

  • cooldj

    Feb 19, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #16


  • broon ale

    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #17

    James- how do we have another andy cole on our hands. ?

  • sparetheman

    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #18

    “Why would you decide to play a keeper with no premier league experience against a top four side?

    Are you mad?”

    I take it you didn’t see the Barnsley – Liverpool game last weekend? The Bansley keeper had no premier league experience but it didn’t stop him from putting in a great performance. Experience is overrated (Nicky Butt is a prime example) – you’re either good enough or you aren’t.

    That’s not to say a player cannot improve with experience of course…


    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #19

    you all punish MARTINS for his goalscoring lack…well I have to say to you that he’s the only one who creates chances! So to miss chances you have to create some and that’s what he does.

    I really hope he will be fit on saturday and pair up with OWEN in front to form a killer duo and I’m sure it is possible!

  • petworth magpie

    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Gutted that we didn’t pull the trigger to bring Kalouda here. Now we have to compete with Juve and Chelsea? The one that got away…

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #21

    Agree Kalouda would have been a good buy and much needed.

  • Kash2

    Feb 19, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #22

    Whats the chances of us signing Xabi Alonso in the summer. He’d be a class buy and exactly the type of passing ability we need. Actually him and Carrick would be absolutely solid in the middle!!!!

  • broon ale

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #23

    those talking about Kalouda has any of you’s seen him play besides video clips on Youtube?

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #24

    James, we have won more games with Martins on the pitch than we have when he hasnt been playing, or when he has been pushed out of position, I agree we still lost too many, but that is surely getting him partnered with other good players, Rooney is good but he doesnt score all of Manchester Uniteds goals (nearly wrote City there!), it is a case of making sure we surround him with better players.
    Martins has not been paired with a good striker for any length of time, has he had two full games with Viduka? Not a fit Viduka, he missed some goals but he was there to miss them and they were attempts on goal, we recently are going full matches with two attempts on goal with two international strikers!!! Not one on his own, if a striker has attempts but is missing some of them, a coach can work on that, if there are no attempts where the hell do you start? No good all of this supply talk, Martins is in front of the same players yet no-one says he has a supply problem.

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #25

    broon ale, not many!! Whats wrong with youtube!!!!!!!

  • broon ale

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #26

    nothing wrong with youtube ian, if you look up albert luque on youtube from his days at deportivo you will understand that these video compilations dont always guarantee what you will get.

  • Jon

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #27

    How come Oba always gets so many chances in a match? Owen hardly ever gets a chance in a whole match.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #28

    Martins makes his own chances like modern strikers should. No place for Inzaghi’s (Owen’s) in modern football anymore.

  • Kash2

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #29

    Xabi Alonso and Aiden McGeady!!!!!!

    Enough Said!!!!!

  • petworth magpie

    Feb 19, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #30

    looks like Sven is on to McGeady (Oh, if we had landed the Swede)

    Carrick and Xavi “solid” in midfield?? You’re havin a laugh right?

    I’d take em both but u’d need some real steel to play them on the same field.

  • Ian

    Feb 19, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #31

    Tom Toon, nail on the head mate!!! Exactly my thoughts, that is exactly the way I see it, the top strikers can get the final touch but they can also make their own chances, Anelka, Drogba, Torres, Tivez, Rooney adawhatever from Arsenal, Benjani, Yakubu and on and on,
    Martins is that type of player, dont criticise someone who worked hard to get there but misses sometimes, criticise the player who isnt there to miss or doesnt create the chance, like I say if he has a decent player alongside which he has never had, and someone who can supply then the goals are going to increase again, the only problem I see with Martins is if we hack him off when he is top scorer, that is the coach or the fans. He loves playing at Newcastle, i think even more than for Nigeria, what more can we ask??

  • petworth magpie

    Feb 19, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #32

    Oba is undoubtedly one of, if not the, best talents at the club. Let’s not forget he is younger than Shola and just older than Milner and N’Zogbia, neither of whom are the finished article yet we seem to give them the benefit of the doubt more often than not.

    And you guys are right about his style of play, he reminds of Bellamy with all his running around, putting defenders under pressure and creating chances/free kicks. A decent partner and he’d be amazing. I think Berba is the fit 😉

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 19, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #33

    Petworth – Xabi Alonso is a bit more reaslitic than Xavi. Xavi is one of the best cm’s in the world easily, hugely underrated.

  • petworth magpie

    Feb 19, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #34

    Oops agreed. I am a fan of both Xavi and Xabi. I was just responding to Kash who thinks Alonso and Carrick would make a solid midfield. Personally I feel there is only ever room for one deep lying distributer.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 19, 2008 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #35

    Carrick and Xabi Alonso in the midfield means the spread of play and distribution from deep will be good but where are the majority of ball is the final third and where are the goals from midfield? Carrick and Xabi Alonso offer none of these.

  • Mat

    Feb 19, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #36


    “I really do think he wants to play for the Toon. Convinced he cares. Who else does up front?”

    What’s your criteria for caring? Someone who runs hard and achieves little? Isn’t it more likely that the guys who run hard all day, do so because they’ve got nothing else other than speed, (Smith, Butt, Martins)?

    See the connection? Headless speed chicken = ‘clueless’ not ‘determined’.

  • Leo*

    Feb 19, 2008 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #37

    given is such a greedy pr1ck, he is obviously injured and only isnt saying so because he doesnt want to loose his place as the keeper, if this is the case then it makes me sick, he will no doubt have a crap game and will make me more sick

  • Jóhann

    Feb 19, 2008 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Magpie Neil, we are not exactly gonna win, so why not throw him in at the deep end in this game. Then we can see if he´s cut out for it or not

  • Ausgeordie

    Feb 19, 2008 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Smith has had more time in his preferred position this season than Martins….that to me does not make sense. Smith is just not that good at football.

  • lee

    Feb 20, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #40

    Wasn’t young Edgars last first team appearance against Man utd, when he scored. 2-2?

    I see he’s making noise in the papers about moving if he doesn’t get some first team chances, or at least his AGENT is. Agents are real wa***rs mostly, i would do away with all of them.


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