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Oba Not Happy Playing Second Fiddle at Newcastle

9:40 am, Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

Obafemi Martins is said to be concerned about his future at Newcastle United.


Oba Martins – where does he stand with Kevin Keegan?

This news is reported by the News of the World today 🙁 and indicates that Oba has had talks over a new £90K/week contract at the club, but will not sign anything until he knows where he stands with new manager boss Kevin Keegan.

This is not a surprise to us at all, because we’ve discussed many times this season about where Oba will fit. It’s obvious Kevin will build his attack around his new captain Michael Owen. In fact, Oba was bought by Glenn Roeder for £10M to fill in for Michael while he was out for a year with his ACL injury.

Is there a place in the structure for another small striker? It’s also clear that Oba doesn’t just want to fill in for Michael, when he’s injured.

In realistic terms Martins, 23, is fed up playing second fiddle to Michael Owen.

That’s a concern we have right now too, and we don’t want Oba to leave the Tyneside club. But how many appearances he’ll get next season is debatable because we’ll be bringing in at least one top striker.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Michael Owen · Newcastle News · Obafemi Martins

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SeanMcCabe // Mar 23, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    Don’t let him go! The big guy / little guy pairing can work, but i’d like to see to small, quick strikers working togethor. If i was defending it would scare the hell out of me …

  • 2 A geordiedoonsooth // Mar 23, 2008 at 9:48 AM

    If they can get £15m for him it would be great business. I agree he’s fast but his 1st touch is poor.

    Super Mac he ain’t

  • 3 Leo // Mar 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    no quotes so i am not going to believe this, its all tattle telling.

    obafemi will realise that his subsitution was for the best of the team, he is getting alot of football now and it will only get better im sure of that

  • 4 GP // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    I can’t say I’d be happy if Oba went, he seems to have a genuine passion for the club and the city plus I think he has bags of talent. Let’s not forget though that the reason he left Inter was because of competition for places, maybe he just wants a club where he’s in the starting 11 every week. I don’t know if he can do that at another club similar in size to ours though, maybe we could just rotate the strikers?

  • 5 tabloid hater // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    The source is News of the World. This is just tabloid rubbish to fill a few columns. All contract negotiations are put off till the end of the season as we could be relegated. If you were a journalist that is a easy story to come up with. THIS IS CR@P JUST IGNORE IT. Next week we’ll be linked with Chimbonda because Beye wants to leave because Keegan didn’t like Senegalese food!

  • 6 Lasse // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Paper crap, bollocks.
    This “story” has been lying at the desk just waiting for us to finally win a game. They just cant let us enjoy our victory for long can they? Idiots…

  • 7 John in Warwick // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    Oba has great potential, and he’s shown us that he’s learning how to play in the EPL, but he is immature, high mantenance, and he aint that fast either – when did you last see him screaming past defenders on a break? I see him running into 2 or three defenders and losing the ball mostly?
    I think KK needs to change players expectations at the Toon. If KK is building a strong side with realistic expectations of being a top 6 club at first, then challenging the top 4, then Oba and others need to understand that a guaranteed starting place week in week out is not realistic.
    Nor is it for Michael or any other player.
    Decent players like Oba (i.e. not world class) can certainly demand a starting place every week, but they will have to move to a club with lower expectations for the future … Middlesburgh, Reading, Birmingham … that type of club. But then he’ll have to accept the appropriate wage cut, and the anonymity that goes with playing for a lesser club – who are their strikers by the way??? You get my point ???
    I think he should stay, take the chances he gets, and either develop into the world class player that he thinks he already is, or become comfortable with what he really is … decent, but not great.
    We can certainly use him as either rotational, or he’ll get at least 40% starts as injury cover alone.
    Let him prove his worth – if he scores goals he’ll be impossible to leave out, won’t he?

  • 8 Eric // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    So, another Sunday, and the media hacks are at it again. Extra nastiness because we won. Not just about Oba but also Ashley selling up again. Same two – NOTW and Sunday Mirror. Those crap rags should remain on newsagent shelves anywhere a Geordie lives. Oba has to stay. Oba and Owen could be a good duo with skilfull wingers and a quality midfield.

  • 9 GP // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    I know – I can’t believe people up here actually buy these papers, all they ever do is slag us off. Perhaps we should organise some sort of boycott?

  • 10 George // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    I think a few of the blog readers may have forgotten comments made in the last 10 days by both KK and Oba.
    KK was first last week, when he said “I am a great admirer of OFM and his ability and thirst for the game. He is a player iam looking to work with over the years. He is exciting and unpredictable”.
    Oba a few days later is reported to have said ” i love working with KK, he is enthusiastic and has lifted moral. He is a great tactician who knows a lot about the game. He is someone i have admired from a small boy to now and am looking forward to working with him over the years”.
    Seems strange that it is only the NOTW that has this story, obviously they think Paul and Heather are past their newspaper sell by dates and it is back to good old NUFC.
    In reply to GP, i am all for it. Start the ball rolling mate, look at the damage the scousers did to the Sun.

  • 11 scott9 // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    i would play owen over oba anyday of the week but i love oba and never want him to leave and i think the three up front works as it has proved the last 2 games

  • 12 ToonKing // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    I don’t believe this but still…if he doesn’t like it, sell him. Oba is a Scorer of Great Goals but until we have Mickey who is a Great Goal Scorer he will always play second fiddle as he will never reach Owen’s level.

  • 13 John in Warwick // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    My comment was based on a reasonable understanding of Oba, his situation, and nothing else.
    I certainly don’t draw facts from either negative articles (god knows there are enough) – nor do I assume that a couple of mutually appreciation comments from KK and Oba mean that everything is rosy.

    Didn’t you see Oba throwing a paddy when KK last subbed him off? – and he’s been problematic many times before – for his club and his country – Disappearing for days whereabouts unknown, tantrums, sulking when subbed, refusing to play for his country etc etc etc

    Have you forgotten these facts George?

  • 14 GP // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    I think you’re right in the fact that Oba is immature but surely it will only help him – and us – if we keep him here and give him the responsibility of being one of our first choice strikers I think he can rise up to the challenge. His crucial goals for us so far in his Newcastle career have surely earned him that much?

  • 15 AdamCF // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t mind the whole 3 up front. The midfielders just need to be better. Play N’Zogbia on the left, Emre/Barton CM and Milner on the right. I know it all depends on fitness but if N’Zog is fit, then play him from the start.

  • 16 Matthew Tom // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    I think all of us would have had a paddy at Birmingham if we’d been taken off after being the biggest threat to the Blues defence.

    Oba isn’t the finished product yet, but he’s going to be an excellent player for us. I haven’t seen any striker for a long time with the instinct he has for taking split-second opportunities to shoot when an opportunity opens up for a fraction of a second, such as his first half low shot to Keller’s right yesterday, having beaten two defenders to create the slightest of openings.

    I agree with one or two posts up above though, the critical thing is going to be to get through to him that he will play as part of a strike force of at least four strikers and that every one of them will have to learn to be rotated from time to time.

    There’s every chance that Viduka will get injured again and then we SHOULD see if Owen and Martins make for a good strike pairing. If KK’s response is to play Smith instead of Martins, then I’m buying a one-way ticket to Lagos with him.

  • 17 clinta // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    you lost me at ‘this was reported by the news of the world’…….

  • 18 Ed Harrison // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    While this story is in the NOTW today we still think it’s an issue at the club – just where does Oba fit, and it’s not the first time we’ve mentioned this.
    But, yes because it’s the NOTW we lose credibility – but how will Oba get a game if Owen is fit next season, and we bring one or maybe two top strikers in this summer.
    We love Oba and want him to stay.

  • 19 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    I love the way they recycled his quotes when he was leaving Inter Milan.

    And how they think his situation would improve at Arsenal or a return to Inter:

    Arsenal strikers: Adabayor, Van Persie, Eduardo, Walcott, Bendtner

    Inter strikers: Ibrahimovic, Crespo, Cruz, Suazo, Adriano

    He is playing at the moment, but yes he is being subbed at the minute as you cannot leave yourself open down the wings for 90 minutes and lets face it he should have been substituted a lot last season after some dire performances but only stayed on for the full 90 minutes as we had Owen and Shola injured and Roeder wouldnt use Rossi or Carroll.

    Now he has top class competition in his place so he cannot expect to stay on every game, The same as N’Zogbia cannot expect to be the only left winger at every club he will no doubt play for as he wont last five minutes at Tottenham with the competition he will have on the left wing Bale, Malbranque, O’ Hara, Taraabt also could play there. Let alone Arsenal with Rosicky, Diaby, Hleb, Van Persie could play there as well.

  • 20 Punk Skunk // Mar 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Don’t tell me…We win a game & everyone wants to buy our players…We let a goal in & our defense is cack…Blah, Blah, Blah…

  • 21 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    guys dont fall for this rubbish, Oba knows we love him, it is clear everytime he is subbed, we had the same thing last summer and in the end he simply came out and said it was all rubbish, Oba is ours.

  • 22 GM // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Sky are reporting the same bollox, however they are saying he is unhappy at being replaced early in to the 2nd half against brum and the fact HE ONLY PLAYED 16 MINS against fulham not sure what game i was watching but I was sure he started and played a lot more….its total shite southern press stiring up crap. Just ignore it

    I agree with the comments earlier I like the 3 up front although I would get a top class striker in to replace viduka and then get some midfielders in that can actually pass, butt barton and geremi are championship players at best, I lost count of the number of times those 3 gave the ball away, passed it straight out of touch or sloweed a quick move down to walking pace.

  • 23 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    As for Owen and Martins, I think Owen is adding a new dimension to his game and will from now on poach AND come deep and provide link up play for the two strikers in front of him (vid and oba)

    With those three up front working hard there is NO defence who can have them in their back pocket, NONE!

  • 24 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    GM it is absurd to say Geremi, Butt and Barton are championshp at best, they have proved their worth in recent games. Especially Butt and Barton, Geremi has been slated unfairly recently due to people judging his whole performance on his set pieces, which in truth have been awful. However, his strength and defensive capabilities provide our midfield with the ability to not only keep possession, but also bully the opposition. Same goes for Butt and Barton

  • 25 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Spyro join my campaign to get Gonzalo Rodriguez and Michael Carrick to the toon

    Im going to streak across KKs lawn twice daily with Carricks face tatooed on my belly and Gonzalo and Rodriguez in writing on each butt cheek

  • 26 Andreas // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Simple, the big man/small man theory is dead. Most of the clubs in PL don’t even have “strike partnership” nowadays, either they play lone striker with support from midfield or a 3-pronged attack. Tottenham is one of few with a strong “pair”, and one could argue that Scums sorta have a “pair” when Rooney/Tevez play.

    I wouldn’t mind to see Oba/Owen playing up front in a 4-4-2 focused on quick passing (and keeping the ball on the grass) with through balls and crosses the mean to create chances. Moreover, as we have seen 4-3-3 might be a viable option for some games and both Oba/Owen fits into such a system too.

    So I would like to keep both Oba and Owen for now. It isn’t illegal to have to “short” strikers playing up front.

  • 27 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    I think it is harsh to say those three are championship players

    Butt will be the back up DM to carrick next season

    Barton to compete with Emre for the AM role next season.

    Geremi can go back to smog land for all i care we need an Arshavin type player who can play wide right rotated with Milner and can play all across the midfield as well as covering up front.

  • 28 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    KK played Cole and Beardsley origianlly at the toon with amazing results but changed the style of play when Ferdinand and Shearer joined with equally devastating results

    Have faith in KK he is a lot better Tactically than people give him credit for and the improvement already in Owen and Barton this season and next season his management ability will be evidant in Milner, Taylor and Martins as all just need to improve certain parts of their game and N’Zogbia would improve as well under KK and his staff but he wants to take the Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer road to mediocrity awful sides with no ambition or credibility but some good landmarks and a decent nightlife to boot.

  • 29 marcus owen // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    The way KK insists to sub Martin every game after 70min surely make him unhappy there. Hopefully KK will realise it is a mistake to do so before too late like keeping Smith on the field to caused us 8 matches.

  • 30 jeff // Mar 23, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Ive just read the report on sky sports web page and they claim he is unhappy because he got brought off against Birmingham then only came on for last 16 mins yesterday,while we all know he started yesterday…They cant even get a report correct so why should we believe it……….Id understand him getting frustrated,but if it is true he needs to be proving that he should be in a team,I mean after all Owen has scored four goals since Keegan returned so he would be classed a striker in form….I like Martins,the fans like martins mainly because of the type of goals he can score…but he still has alot to work on in his game…ie first touch and passing…..Owen had a good game yesterday in a different type of role than an out and out striker…Match of the day covered this point well…Message to martins….Get your head down and keep giving your all,I really think he could be an even better class act under keegan next year in an attacking team.

  • 31 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Craigg Rodriguez is good but i dont rate him as much as you and tom toon do. I still feel Cahill is a good player and we should go for him now as Bolton are clearly going down. Cahill or Dawson are needed as i feel Taylor works best when paired with another english CB. If Arshavin came i would not want him to rotate with Milner, Milner would be warming the bench until Arshavin was injured. However, we should not rush into signing Arshavin as better, younger midfielders are all around and we could maybe do better

  • 32 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Just think how much of a different club we would be if we beat manchester united for the title all those years ago, those last few games have had an enormous effect on the clubs status. crazy

  • 33 Steve // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Load of tosh… Martins was laughing when kev embraced him after subbing him last night… Don’t give these stories any respect Ed. They don’t deserve to be posted on what is an otherwise brilliant website…

  • 34 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Spyro i still like Cahill but like i said i was thinking about this watching the match about Taylor going for all the headers, and flying forward to win tackles whereas Rodriguez will drop off and play deeper to make interceptions and cover gaps left by Taylors all action defensive style. Cahill and Taylor maybe too similar as much as i rate both of them.

  • 35 Tom_Toon // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Why does it say on skysports he only played 16 minutes yesterday?!?!?

    Priority has got to be a class CB and a CM who ca defend, pass and score goals.

  • 36 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    How about Bobby Moncur and Rob Lee

  • 37 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    No in all seriousness i think this should be our squad for the first match of next season:





    I would love a big target man like Chamakh or Ashton but i think KK will keep Smith.

    Also Tom_Toon Boro are lining up a bid for Chikaoui.

  • 38 Tom_Toon // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    where did you see that?

  • 39 CRAIGG // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    News of the world i wont be true

  • 40 Tom_Toon // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Thats a dead cert then 😉

    Hes too good for Boro.

  • 41 Michael // Mar 23, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    The club is bigger than the player and frankly I do not like these suggestions from Martins. He is tacitly saying play me or lose me and that immature. If he is not playing or taken off for the good of the team then he should accept it, it is after all a team effort.

    He is only potential at this stage and it means nothing until realised. Do your talking on the pitch like Viduka and Owen did on Saturday and only then will you be heard.

    If he wishes to go we can get a bundle for him, he is not irreplaceable. We need wholesale Changes in the summer and that means offloading the players we expected a lot from this season because clearly they did not do the job.

    We did not expect Butt, Smith Faye, Geremi and Cacapa to be match winners, we expected Nzogbia, Milner MArtins, Owen, Barton and Viduka to be our match winners and these are supposedly the big players in our team. They have not performed or they have not been utilised well by either manager. I would argue the latter, some the former. As such, we need whole sale changes. Keegan made a hard decision yesterday taking Martins off for a second time considering his response in the Birmingham.

    We too need to make hard decisions, while we have great affections Martins, these comments smell like he is stipulating untenable conditions under which he will stay.

  • 42 Punk Skunk // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Aw man, the press are just stirrin’ the proverbial, like they always do…Anyhoo, it’s last weeks news, tossers!..They’re just tryin’ to destablize us even when we win, tossers!..They’ve obviously got nothin’ positive to say…It just goes to prove how bad they want us to go down…Totally ignore them, tossers…

  • 43 Punk Skunk // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    There’s much better stuff on the net to read, we don’t need them!..

  • 44 Yorkie Dave // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Spyro i started with the Gonzalo Rodriguez thing a while ago but no one listened we should go for him Onuha (Man City) we would be solid and then get Carrick (BRING THE BOY HOME) his head will be getting poisoned in manc land

  • 45 ScottyT // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    this is from the news of the world so i dont believe a thing. like leo says no quotes .. bull****. sick of these stories no need for an article on this imo when these stories have no evidence at all id say please not to post them.

  • 46 Punk Skunk // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Here, here, ScottyT, don’t give ’em air time!..
    …THEY HATE US!..

  • 47 valle // Mar 23, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Oba really needs to learn how to move, otherwise his speed counts for nowt!!!… If any of you have the game from yesterday on tape, try watching it and see how he moves once we get to their box… He actually manage to make a run to the exact same spot Dukes is it while on the far left on more than one ocasion. Thats simply no brain football and add his poor touch and his lack of vision for a pass and he really cant make any demands to keep the likes of Duff, Zog and Milner out of the side… If its a transfer he wants, give it to him.

  • 48 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    anyone see reina today, he was awful, he lost liverpool the game

  • 49 Thomas // Mar 23, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    We need to keep him! He’s young, hungry, and passionate about the club. Not only that but he’s also extremely talented! We need players like him at the club if we are to progress and I agree that he should be in the starting XI regularly. I think its no coincidence that our results have been getting better with him on the pitch because his energy and work ethic lifts the rest of the team and he has been creating chances, not only for himself but for others aswell. Lets not forget he’s been at the club for a shorter period than Owen but yet as more goals to his name, although Owen has had his fair share of injuries.

    I think the talk of his lack of vision and no footballing brain is absolute nonsense. Owen’s goal against Birmingham was created from Martins’ shot blocked by the keeper and against Fulham he was creating chances out of nothing, that most strikers in the premiership wouldn’t be able to do.

    The little man/little man arguement for them not to play should be looked at again because he has a tremendous leap and can win headers, at 23 he can only improve on this.

  • 50 Obafan // Mar 23, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    I hope these are rumours, but on the other hand I would not be surprised. It is obvious that KK has got his favourite players and they won’t get substituted. Oba was really playing very good yesterday, and about his first touch; not always a good touch, but yesterday he headed a few difficult balls perfectly into the feet of Viduka and others. That also is a first touch (one-touch football) and is very difficult and that is something Martins is really good at.

    Letting him go would be a big mistake, cause he has got the passion and he is a very good striker who can play along MO.

  • 51 Cockney Magpie // Mar 23, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    i think oba n owen can play 2geva people keep sayin u cant play 2 little strikers but wat about rooney n tevez?

  • 52 Spyro // Mar 23, 2008 at 7:27 PM

    Oba and Owen can play together if we play 3 up front or have an attacking midfielder who is quite tall, we need some one to provide the flick ons etc

  • 53 valle // Mar 23, 2008 at 10:02 PM

    Extremely talented?!?!… We wish… He is a good young player, but putting it like that is going waaaay to far… Torres is extremely talented, but then again, phrases like that are used so much that they lose all meaning.

  • 54 Toooooooooooooooooon // Mar 24, 2008 at 6:30 AM

    why do people said oba is not good? he is one of our best player. he can win header, run pass defenders and even shoot from 40 yards…well he is better than michael owen because he is capable of doing someone from absolutely NOTHING. if we would to sell him then i can guarantee the top 4 club will want him and will be a legendary for them.

  • 55 Sandy McNair // Mar 24, 2008 at 8:36 AM

    Sell him and owen.

    Unless we undersand the concept of passing the ball from back to front quickly we are wasting there talents.

    Watch Arsenal or Man Utd snap him up and turn him into a star.

    Wake up Kev!

  • 56 evildick // Mar 24, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    a big thank you to whoever said “because Beye wants to leave because Keegan didn’t like Senegalese food!”

    i just spluttered my red wine all over my macbook!~!!! seriously

    funny sh!t!!

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