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 Bartonâ€™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.Â Â 😀
Australian striker mark Viduka is still expected to be fit to start at St Andrewâ€™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.Â We are now getting concerned about what Kevin is thinking for the line-up on Monday night.Â 🙁
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.Â 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.