No Starting Place for Oba Martins?

We expect Joey Barton to return to Newcastle’s midfield for the game at Birmingham City on Monday night.


Joey Barton – due a good performance for Newcastle

But it’s also looking like Oba Martins will not be in the starting line-up on Monday as reports suggest Keegan will start Owen and Viduka up front.

It was Barton’s bail restrictions that made him unavailable for last Saturday’s game at Liverpool. He is not allowed to play in the City where his latest altercation occurred. That also means he will miss the Everton game, which is our last game of the season on 11th May.

But by then we should be well clear of the relegation zone.   😀

Australian striker mark Viduka is still expected to be fit to start at St Andrew’s. But if Keegan starts Viduka, which seems likely, that will mean there will be no starting spot for Oba Martins, which would be ridiculous.

While we don’t expect Kevin to drop his captain Owen, we would prefer Martins to Owen on Monday, if he wants to play a big striker and small striker together.  We are now getting concerned about what Kevin is thinking for the line-up on Monday night.  🙁

If Oba cannot make the team for these remaining games don’t be surprised if he wants out come the summer. He looked very very menacing in the second half last Saturday against Liverpool and hit the cross bar from fully 40 yards.

That shot reminded us of that fantastic goal Oba scored against Tottenham last season, when he hit the ball with his left foot like a guided missile past Paul Robinson, into the top left corner of the net.  Those are the type of goals that can turn a season around.

We think Oba has earned his starting place for Monday – but Mark Viduka has not.

Kevin said today:

“We knew we couldn’t play Joey against Liverpool, and we know we won’t be able to play him against Everton in the last game of the season, and we have known that for a long time,”

“He’s a player who, a little bit like Mark Viduka, gives us something we haven’t got.

“With the small squad we’ve got, we need everybody fit and trying to get into the side and making the competition tough, and I’m delighted to have him back.”

Let us know what you think if Viduka and Owen start – who do you think Kevin should start up front on Monday?

Comments very welcome.

73 comments so far

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #1

    what an idiot!

  • tdt

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #2

    martins and carroll would be way better!

  • Dan

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #3

    start martins over owen! at least martins wants to play..

  • Doctapaul

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m cool with 4-3-3.

    Oba-EMO and V up front with Oba and EMO willing to drop back and work the midfield.

    It is more important that we take the game to Brum rather than do a Sam type “let’s go for 0-0 and try to nick one”

  • Hadji

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #5

    We’re simply asking for trouble.

  • Doctapaul

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #6

    huh? pls explain H

  • Jamie

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #7

    share stupidity to leave him out! what is kk thinking?

  • Gazzatoon4

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #8

    I believe that viduka and owen should be giving a start together as although they lack the pace of martins, ability wise they are proven goalscorers and have potential to combine into a great attack force if provided with the service.

    Another thing is that owen is more likely to score than martins if given a chance as i believe martins although a great player with huge potential is still very inconsistent when he does play he tends to score a wondergoal one week then not hit the target for another 3. the same can be said for viduka as he often is lazy and lacks motivation but playing with a striker like owen could bring out the best in him!

  • Penalty-Spot

    Mar 14, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Got to be Oba/Owen followed by a 65min sub for Vids/Caroll should we need the big people.

  • nomis_jade

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #10

    From all the interviews coming from KK it does seem like he will start with dukes on Mon. To be honest im quite happy bout that, and im surprised nobody seems to ahve ponted out that it will surely mean smith is dropped to the bench! That at the very keast is something to chear about!
    Id be more inclined to play big man little man at the moment considering we really dont know how well martins and owen would work. So the question is, will it be Martins or Owen. Obviously KK will not drop owen as he is captain so it will be owen and dukes. I like what Docpaul said about 433. Without milner on the right wing, maybe playing 3 in the middle would be more balanced and it would mean we could have dukes, owen and martins up front! Now how good would that be!

  • Tommy

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Jesus wept..

    Like someone here said, at least Martins wants to play.. And if there is anyone in the squad who gives something a bit ‘different’ then it is Martins..

    I said at the very beginning that KK was a bad appointment, and I’m still sticking by my guns..

  • Mighty Mouse

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #12

    Oba and Charlie to start!

    If he benches Oba and Zog I might puke~!

  • Yeomsta

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #13

    I for one am getting sick of the continuous selection of deadbeats, if KK can’t see that the selections he is making aren’t working then he isn’t fit to be to be a premier league manager. I agree that he has been left with Sam’s squad which, lets face it, isn’t up to much, but there are key changes he could make. Pure pig headedness by our “manager” is going to be our downfall and if we do go down then the blame must fall on his shoulders.

  • Hadji

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #14

    Viduka just came back from injury and he’s putting him in the starting line up while Oba had 25 min against Liverpool and almost scored which would have been a goal of the season.
    I don’t understand this”Big man & Small man”
    Owen and Martins is a much better choice,just remember the game against Wigan.Then Alex Ferguson must be crazy for starting Rooney & Tevez cause they’re almost same height as Owen & Martins.

  • cloudstrife

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #15

    just read that KK has two games to save his job. righy now i think that’s two games too many. what is wrong with the man?!

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #16

    This is speculation tbh, he hasn’t named his team as yet.

    I’d be disappointed if Oba doesn’t start but Duke is a big improvement over Smith.

    Considering Duke has just come back from injury he should maybe be on the bench with a 25 to 30 minute run out at the end of the game.

    That means Oba+Owen to start (with luck) or maybe as suggested already a 4-3-3 with Duke-Owen-Oba together! wow.

    Unfortunately we have to wait till Monday for the team and for their display……. whatever the team lets hope they play well and play the Brumms off the pitch.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #17

    Why on earth does KK keep praising our worst players?????? That really pisses me off!! It should be Martins and Viduka up front, so what if Owen is captain he hasn’t impressed much, on the other hand Martins has. And Carroll must be wondering what the hell he has to do to get into the team. Barton in midfield for Fu*k sake!! I bet Smith will play too. This is the reason we’re are sliding down the table…more BAD DECIOSIONS!!!!!! AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kevin

    Mar 14, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #18

    nomis jade –
    it HOPEFULLY means smith will be benched – but this is another possibility:
    Owen – Smith
    Duff – Barton – Butt – Smith
    Enrique – Taylor – Faye – Beye

    This would be horror.

    Please do your job King Kev and put out the side best equipped to do the job and get a difficult three points away from home. Please do NOT go with personal ties, or with previously favored big names, or with players with “special” clauses for playing time in their contracts. PLEASE listen to the fans and your heart and field a side that will go in, suprise, and completely DESTROY Birmingham.

  • GP

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #19

    Smith playing two positions at once? He can’t even handle playing one.

  • Gazzatoon4

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #20

    kevin.. smith playing two positions at once is he??? also teh people who have been suggesting 4-3-3 im doubting this would work as we do not have the players to suit this formation martins vid and mo upfront wud definatley not suit this as this would mean playing owen on the right wing almost which would mean taking the best parts of his game away which is goal poaching our best bet is to play 4-4-2 with owen and oba upfront!

  • Egar

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #21

    Age of multitasking finally caught up with football???

  • daiv

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #22

    Where will SMITH play because he surely will. KK has unfinished business to get us relegated. KK inherited a bad team but he is picking the worst players in the squad. The mackems are paying his wages.

  • Toon Andy

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #23

    IMO Smith will be played on right wing to replace Milner. This may not necessarily be bad as we do need his work ethic to rub off on other players, even though he has lacked cutting edge (to put it mildly).

    It will be a travesty if Martins does not start. If I had to rate our strikers out of 10, only Martins would score above a 3. It’s that ridiculous.

    Having said all that, Birmingham will play 5 in midfield (or at least 4, with McFadden dropping deep off the striker to assist) and no doubt some big fellas at the back so we need to make sure we compete as well as providing a greater creative edge. I would play the following, albeit with a strong temptation to replace Viduka with Carroll:

    Harper; Enrique, Diatta/Cacapa, Taylor, Beye; Duff, Emre/Barton, Faye, Smith; Martins, Viduka

    I think we need Faye in midfield to win the second ball and provide some general solidity given that Butt, although fantastic early this season, clearly lacks the stamina to play every single game. Faye needs to match two men just to help Barton/Emre pick out passes, which is all either of them have shown a willingness to do.

    Beye and Enrique are must-picks: not only are they our only players worthy of the name in their position but they have potential, especially in the short-term in the case of Beye, if they can complete their adaptation to the English game. As KK rightly points out, if they’d gone to Liverpool in the Summer they’d be making their debut about now, such is the luxury some clubs have in introducing foreign imports.

    This season has been more of a mess than it should have been, thanks to “Big” Sam (God knows why he’s called that when he’s clearly a small-club manager…), but it was never going to be easy and we can escape if we get behind the lads. That includes still supporting them if we draw on Monday, which will be more enough if we win our winnable home games (Reading, Fulham, mackems) and Bolton have their predictably nightmarish run (their manager is deliberately exiting Cups, a la the chap we took from them, which says it all!)

  • obamagic

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #24

    OMG… if oba doesnt start…. i’m afraid i have lost hope in the king…. someone needs to stage a coup!!!

  • wat u reckon

    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #25

    wat u reckon to dis
    owen viduka martins
    n’zogbia emre(if fit if not butt) duff
    enrique taylor diatta beye

  • Andreas

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #26

    nomis_jade, unfortunetly it will mean Smith at RM and Oba on the bench = disaster.

  • Scott Hodge

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #27

    I couldnt manage a football team if i tried but surely up front you need some pace , strength and if possible some height. That would mean Martins (pace) and for height well I’d go for Carroll. I think Owen is struggling to adapt his game post injuries. If we want to play a forward who can hold the ball up well then it wouldnt be Owen it would be Viduka. I dont know where that leaves Smithy, wherever he wants I suppose cos he’s automatic choice. I still think we’ll be safe…….Derby, Fulham and Bolton for the drop !!

  • daiv

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #28

    IF kk picks Smith, I’m putting a contract out on the Messiah. The problem is God is indestructable so we will get relegated. Whats the chances of Butt and barton playing as well. Its all very well blaming sam for the squad, but KK picks the worst players in it. The best 11 would do OK, but the worst 11 (many of whom are chosen by KK) will get us relegated.

  • cloudstrife

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #29

    maybe KK is hoping to get fired early so that he can get the money he’d lost thru his soccer circus without doing the job for the full time?

  • daiv

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #30

    KKs job is safe if we lose at Brum. It will get very interesting if we lose to Fulham. Keep him (and probable relegation) or sack him in desperation? Over to you MA but I bet he must regret appointing KK. The owner must be having nightmares now when he thought he would be sleeping soundly.

  • baiaorp

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #31

    Martins is the best player we have. he has skill, pace, agility and can hit the ball hard. he is better than viduka and owen put together

  • CJ

    Mar 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #32

    Where is Gp the racist little bastard.

  • Daniel Petersen

    Mar 14, 2008 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #33

    Oba on the bench is insanity! We are the only team that benches someone for scoring goals. This is ridiculous. This slide toward relegation started with the benching of Oba for Owen by big Sam. We are the only club I know of that benches their leading goal scorer.

    I just want this season over with.

  • richie

    Mar 14, 2008 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #34

    cj cant agree wit u enough

  • richie

    Mar 14, 2008 at 11:35 PM

    Comment #35

    viduka owen maybe starting off wit martins at the ready..4-3-3 perhaps

  • Toooooooooooooooooon

    Mar 14, 2008 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #36

    its pure stupidity….martin can score from 40 yards and owen can’t even got any opportunity in a matter of 90 mins…whats wrong with the KK?

  • CJ

    Mar 15, 2008 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #37

    I prefer Martins than Owen but i think KK may go with Martins Owen upfront against Birmingham.

  • CcB

    Mar 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #38

    I’m thinking Oba in for Milner is a probability, with MO and Viduka up front.

    And it’s a bit early to slagg KK off for a bad choice he is yet to make…

    Besides I think we’ll win.

  • AdamCF

    Mar 15, 2008 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #39

    I’m at a loss as to why KK isn’t prepared to start Martins..

    KK!!! Doing the same thing over and over again expecting something different is STUPIDITY!

  • Leo

    Mar 15, 2008 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #40

    i can deal with martins not starting, if viduka can go well like he did against west ham… martins can come on in the second half and fire up the team some when we need to be very thretening


You must log in to post a comment.