Oba Martins talked at length to the Newcastle Journal this morning and talked about how there is great respect building between himself, and his manager Kevin Keegan.
Oba Martins – wanted to help Newcastle win the game
It was a surprise when Kevin replaced Oba, because along with Michael Owen, he seemed the player most likely able to score the winner.
Of course the TV cameras were on Oba all the time as he walked off, and he was muttering to himself and of course his face told you everything. Hasn’t Oba got a really expressive face? 😀
But when he got to the line, he acknowledged N’Zogbia, and then Keegan put his arm around his neck and talked to him, and then patted him on the back, as Oba went to the dugout.
Brilliantly handled by Kevin, and don’t tell us that Kevin isn’t a great man manager and leader. After we hear some of his talks before each game we’re looking for our boots to playÂ Â 😀
Both Martins and Keegan have come out of this incident looking golden, because the emotion shown was for the good of the team, and that’s great right now, and was in short suplly, at least in the team.
â€œI like the manager, he doesnâ€™t mind people showing emotion on the pitch and that is good,â€ â€œHe knows that I wanted to try and win the game and he is happy with that sort of attitude.â€ â€œWe are not angry with each other. I was upset when I had to come off, I didnâ€™t want to go off because I wanted to help the team. I wanted to help us try to win the game.â€
â€œI felt we were going to get the winner and I was frustrated when I saw that I was going off. There were a few tears because I was frustrated and emotional, nobody likes to be taken off and Iâ€™m no different. It was a big game for Newcastle and I was desperate to do something on the pitch which might have got us all three points.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t understand why I was being taken off so I made my feelings known, but the manager was brilliant. He said he understood how I felt, he didnâ€™t get angry at me, and he just explained why he had done it.â€ â€œHe told me to relax because I had played well and that Iâ€™d been taken off because it was a tactical decision, not because he thought I wasnâ€™t playing well.â€
â€œI think it was a very good point in the circumstances because we were in a difficult situation at half time. It was a game we could not afford to lose, because if we had done we would have made things a lot tougher for ourselves.â€ â€œThere was a big improvement in the second half, we sat down and we talked to each other at half time. The manager told us what he expected from us, that we had to improve and we went out on to the pitch and did that.â€
â€œWe were 1-0 down again and that has been a problem for us during our poor run, but we didnâ€™t collapse. We didnâ€™t concede a second and that was important. I never give up and you know when there is just one goal in it that you still have a chance to win the game.â€
â€œWe had to stay confident in what we were trying to do and I think you saw the spirit and determination in the side. It wasnâ€™t a great performance, but we fought for each other, which is what you need to do at times like this when you are worried about relegation.â€
â€œIf we carry on playing like we did in the second half I think the season will have a happy end. We have to stay positive, in our thinking and the way we play our football.â€ â€œItâ€™s not going to be easy against Fulham, none of us think that, but we have to try to carry on where this game finished. If we play like we did in the second half against Birmingham, we know we can win that game.â€
There is no doubt that Oba has become a fans’ favorite, not least of all because he wears his heart on his sleeve. Newcastle fans also know that the Nigerian will give his all very single game, even though of course there are times when he’ll be off form a little.
But we want Oba to stay at Newcastle, and if he is going to do that, Kevin needs to play him. Playing Viduka, Owen and Martins together at the start was a brave move by the manager. He also showed courage to drop Smith and Duff, who were both not playing well.
Kevin showed the courage needed to become a successful manager again, and the players responded, well at least in the second half.
We’re looking forward to seeing Oba and Owen terrorize the Fulham defense on Saturday – and please let’s get all 3 points.