Keegan – Oba’s A One-Off In World Football

Kevin Keegan has been talking to Newcastle World TV about one of our favorite players at Newcastle United – Nigerian Oba Martins, and it’s very interesting what Kevin says – very interesting indeed.


Oba Martins – a one-off in World Football – looks like it 😀

Kevin thinks that Newcastle striker Oba Martins is a “one-off” in world football. The unique striker scored 17 times in his first season at the club, and he currently has just 7 goals this season, tying Michael Owen for the highest scorer at the club.

But Oba’s has scored some spectacular goals, and you just never know when to expect an explosive shot from the young lad. Oba is also so honest about things, it’s refreshing.

Two examples of his explosiveness were his wonder goal at Tottenham last year. The shot, from all of 30 yards with his left foot, was clocked at 84 mph and gave Paul Robinson no chance to even move too much.

Recently Oba hit a rocket that nearly broke the cross-bar at Liverpool from 40 yards and didn’t it look like Reina was trying to get out of the way of it, but with so little time. 😀

Oba is of course a big fans’ favorite at Newcastle and is likely to get a great welcome on Saturday, following his wonderful second half display last Monday. In our poll of who was the best player last Monday, Oba got 60% of the vote and Michael was second with 13%, after 686 votes.

Martins finally started his first game under Kevin last Monday and as we all know played a key role is helping the club to their first point in five outings. And he also was linking up so well with Owen in the second half. They scared the living daylights out of the Birmingham defense, who were rescued, unfortunately for Newcastle, by some great goalkeeping on the night from Maik Taylor. Taylor made great saves in the second half from both Michael and Oba.

Keegan believes Oba can be a great asset in Newcastle’s remaining 8 games this season.

“Oba is capable of doing spectacular things, he’s got pace and frightens people,” “He gives us something that we have not got and is a totally different player to anyone at the club and is almost a one-off in the world.

“He does things that excite you so much and can score fantastic goals and for a small guy has got a good leap.” “He played very well on Monday night and hopefully will continue like that for the rest of the season.”

We know Oba’s pleased with Keegan’s attacking style, which suits his style of play perfectly.

As you know we like Oba a lot, but we have to admit to a concern that he will not get enough playing time under Kevin. We hope we’re wrong there, but if it happens he may become disenchanted at the club.

There will without be a host of PL clubs lining up, if indeed Oba ever leaves Newcastle. Only recently there were reports that Tottenham would take him in a heartbeat.

However, the rumors we keep hearing are that Newcastle are trying to sign Oba to an improved long term contract, that will keep him on Tyneside for another 6 years. Hope so.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Comments very welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Gloryhunter

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Oba has to learn to track back otherwise he will constantly be taken off when 🙂 we’re winning.

  • Penalty-Spot

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #2

    If we can keep him for the next couple of seasons he’ll either become a massively sellable asset or a huge goal scoring asset. Win win. I love the player, just what the club needs and a real shining light in a league of over priced, under committed ‘sportsmen’.

  • Betting on the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #3

    Good to hear KK talking about him in such positive fashion and hopefully he will remain in the starting XI now for the remainder of the season. I think he could be the perfect foil for Owen and if the two are given enough time together up front they could develop into one of the best partnerships in the league.

  • ken from jarrow

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #4

    Our best player by far and needs time on the field. I am afraid he may become fed up playing second fiddle to Owen and leave. He spured the team to life on Monday night as he was always trying to do something when on or off the ball. Make him the No 1 striker. Go Oba Go

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #5

    everyone loves oba because he is a tryer- he tries things that most would not even have imagined. his pace and potential to shoot from anywhere makes defences mark him even more, giving room for other players to run into.

  • stjames

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #6

    I like Oba as well and for much the same reasons that you do ED. His genuine sincerity is so rare in these days and last Monday he proved many critics wrong by playing very well with Owen.

    It is often a matter of opinion who plays for whom, but I thought he played for Owen much of the game. Owen of course played his best game of the season. 🙂

  • Macas

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Great pace, powerful shot, just a shame he’s not the most intelligent of footballers otherwise he would be a top class player

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Betting on the toon, who has KK not spoken about positively? Were you worried that negative words would emerge from Keegans mouth. This man would Say Branble is world class, certianly from recent weeks his comment have only been positive.

    Pity the results are not as positive.

  • Hadji

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #9

    Michael you’re really starting to piss me off with your negative attitude.I mean we all have a slight dose of negativity sometimes but you my friend,your full of it.
    We all know that our situation is fuc…d up at the moment but all of us here are trying to get the best out of it.
    In your previous post you mentioned that we have title winners(Cacapa,Smith,Butt)
    That’s exactly the problem Michael,these 3 have nothing else to prove except their bank accounts.You can judge Keegan after a full season which is next one but untill then why don’t you give us all a break with your negative attitude.RESPECT

  • TooooooN

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #10

    we need to keep him happy…..thats the major point

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #11

    Oba is KK’s sort of player and hope that he’s in the starting line-up for every game to come.

    Oba is the sort of player you get excited when he has the ball, a rare thing @ Newcastle at the moment. 6 year contract…. nice.

    Zog is the same in a way but he needs to learn when to release the ball.

    Oba is a Geordie 🙂

  • obafemimartins

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #12

    we need to realise OBA=GOALS it is that simple. man city are very ordinary and i have started to wonder how we managed to lose to them twice. Joe Hart is a player i would buy from city in the summer and he is a realistic target. 😀

  • Matthew Tom

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #13

    I’m just a bit amazed that KK didn’t put Oba straight in as soon as he was available. Maybe he’s seen the light all of a sudden – let’s hope so. Oba should be in the team every single week. The lad is going to be a huge player for us.

    We do need a new “big” striker in the summer though. Shola hasn’t quite made the grade, at least not with any consistency, Viduka is good but he’s slow and always injured, Carroll is potentially good but a few years away yet.

    I’d like to see us trying for Berbatov, Heskey, Crouch – and a cheeky bid for Henry would be potentially very interesting. Out of all of these I think Heskey and Crouch would be the most likely – and I’d probably prefer Heskey as he always seems to know exactly where Michael Owen is going to be (which is probably the main quality we’d be looking for in a big’un).

  • Mighty Mouse

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #14

    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!
    Oba is a Geordie!


    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #15

    no way that he leaves! his hart is so good and beats for newcastle! KK is the right man to handle his “frustrations” to not be able to score and help the club. I have no fears of loosing him, he’s our future!

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #16

    whats happened to crouch at liverpool he hardly plays atm… surely he should be along side fernando torres…


    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #17

    leo liverpool play gerrard upfornt with torres and gerrard scores more than crouch

  • Eric

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #18

    At last KK sees Oba for what he is – our very own NUMBER 9. Play every time.

  • keep oba

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #19

    8 matches left, better mean 8 STARTS for OBA…and for once I would like to see play the whole 90 minutes. As for Oba tracking back he sure as hell goes back more than Viduka, and once Viduka goes back to help the midfield its all over for him attacking the next couple minutes as it would take him forever just to move his glacial butt back to the goal. Please…8 games, 8 oba starts.

    Heres how I would use my strikers against fullham,

    First 45


    Second 45


    I am really interested in seeing what a pairing of Oba and Carroll can do together. I remember they seemed to gel nicely in the pre-season matches. Lets see what they can do against Fulham.

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #20

    Obafemi Martins
    Obafemi Martins
    Na nar nar na
    Na nar nar na
    Reapeat, ad nauseum!..

  • ScottyT

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #21

    exactly hadji said the same thing myself yesterday

    about oba he has to be given enough starts to keep him here and like i said yesterday we should keep either oba and owen or oba owen and viduka partnrship until the end of the season. if viduka gets injured stuff carroll in his place or leave owen and oba together. the thing with oba is hes exciting and unpredictable which makes him different to the team in terms of pace and how predfictable the rest are with their play.

  • Marty

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #22

    MATTHEW TOM!I actually think some of you guys are losing your minds by wanting to take Heskey to this club,he is just a BULL-DOG not a goal scorer.
    He holds the ball up but not much else.
    Crouch scores only because he has a team round him that send gr8 passes,Torres on the other hand is pure class.
    Oba is in the same league as him but needs playin time n good passes

  • M. Stockley

    Mar 20, 2008 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #23

    oba just needs a good foil. he is golden and creates something out of nothing, he just needs someone who can hold it up for him and win a few headers, andy carroll sounds good to me… oba is going to be key in the next 8 games and i sincerly hope he gets the nod every time. its been said alot on here but oba and big andy would be a great partnership!

  • chuck

    Mar 20, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #24

    Allways thought he was a talented player since I first saw him in serie “A”.
    Seems he suffers from the lack of a partner up front who could compliment him and allow him to use his pace to get around the defence , in the manner of Shearer and Bellamy. Thought perhaps Viduka could fill the roll,as he is similar in playing style to Shearer (I said similar)
    Still think Bent would be a good buy in the summer, young guy,can score, may be a partnership that could click.

  • carl

    Mar 20, 2008 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #25

    love our oba, if we can keep him AND stay in the premiership hes going to be one hell of a striker for years to come

  • Tommyy

    Mar 20, 2008 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #26

    Those who say he’s not a very intelligent footballer, i disagree. He always looks to play it into space if he can and his first touch passing into feet is excellent. He keeps the ball moving forward aswell. He may not have great vision but he doesn’t need it, I think in time he will become world-class.

  • daiv

    Mar 20, 2008 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #27

    Oba is a good player but will never be a great striker and score 25 league goals. He scores great goals but is not a natural goalscorer. When does he score 5 yard tap ins.. the staple diet of a great goalscorer. Owen is a much more natural goalscorer.

  • Reb

    Mar 20, 2008 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #28

    Newcastle doesn’t need Martins to score 5 yard tap-ins — they’ve Owen, one of the world’s best at it, for that purpose. I can actually see the goal on Monday v. Birmingham being something of a staple when Owen and Martins play together: Martins taking the more adventurous shot, drilled hard and parried by the keeper only for Owen to pounce on the rebound.

    On an unrelated note that I just remembered — Monday was Owen’s first Premiership goal of this season to be scored with his feet (that was not disallowed). All the previous four were headers — an unusual record I would think for a player who is 5’8″. And all it took to have him scoring with his feet again was a proper partner upfront…

  • jeff

    Mar 21, 2008 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #29

    Id love to see Newcastle play with the three strikers up front again on saturday…Maybe changing Viduka midway through second half with Carroll….Martins and Owen were looking good together,it was just a shame Keegan took Martins off as I thought Newcastle were most likely to win the match,But Keegan had his reasons and with present circumstances you have to respect it……..I think we have to watch out for Fulhams midfield men,Bullard and Murphy….But our Strike force if they play like second half of monday night should be far to strong for them…….On the contract thing with Martins,If I was Keegan Id sit these players down,Martins ,Nzogbia….Maybe Owen too and re sell newcastle to them again,saying stick with us for at least next season see who keegan is interested in and see the type of football with HIS own players that newcastle will play…..and all three of thos players will love to be part of an attacking team,Its their style……Keegan will know we need pace in midfield and he’ll address that…..Howay the toon…………3-1 on saturday

  • Matthew Tom

    Mar 21, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #30

    Marty – my preference for Heskey is merely a preference over Crouch. I’d far rather Berbatov or Henry but I don’t think we could get them.

    Heskey’s been playing well at Wigan this year and he’s been talked about for an England recall. It’s not so much about his goalscoring as his apparently psychic relationship with Owen and that intangible quality of “partnership” among strikers that can really make the difference.

    I recall seeing some statistics a while back about Owen’s goal scoring record according to which player partnered him in the England team, and it was quite surprising. He scored something like double the number of goals per game playing alongside Heskey as he has playing alongside Rooney.

  • chris

    Mar 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #31

    his football intelligence will increase with his age and experience. It wlll also help to play alongside to Owen, who got lots of it.

  • Lawman

    Mar 21, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #32

    why Oba OR Owen all the time????

    As shown on Monday, play them both!!!! It works!!!!! Don’t need a taller stronger striker like Dukes to hold the ball for Owen OR Oba.

  • Ant

    Mar 21, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #33

    Imagine Oba could see this blog right now?

    I’ve said it since I first saw Oba for Inter and Torres for Madrid…I’d rather have Oba

    C’mon Boo-boys complain about my stupid optimim and ridiculous thoughts of a Toon player being any good, but I’d choose Oba in a heartbeat…and there isn’t much will change that.


  • Michael

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #34

    @Hadji: dude calm down. I stated the truth have I not? Keegan has been saying only positive things, has he not?

    The results have not been as positive as his remarks have they not?

    If there is any lie in there please let me know!!!

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #35

    hahaha michael we won, i bet that really anoys you, keegans tactics were spot on, ohh noo…

    when will that sorry come from you?


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