Former Nigerian international Etim Esin has suggested that Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins might lose his position in the National team.
Oba Martins – keeps missing games with Nigeria – so what?
Esin is accusing Martins have not having a good attitude towards playing for the Nigerian national side.
Oba pulled out of a friendly game against Austria in Graz last month to attend his friend’s wedding.
He again ruled himself out of this month’s 2010 Nations Cup/World Cup Qualifier, because of a bone fide ankle injury.
But Nigeria won their two previous qualifying matches without Oba and Etim believes the Newcastle striker will have to fight to back into the team.
“Somebody should talk to Martins and tell him to knuckle down,”
“How can a national team player prefer a wedding to a match for his country? Is the wedding bigger than the nation?”
“There are a lot of young players coming up and Martins should know the national team will not wait for him forever.”
“Look at what Uche (Ikechukwu) is doing and then there are still Victor Anichebe, Obinna Nsofor and others waiting for their chance.”
“I like Martins as a player, but he is not indispensable and Amodu might also be thinking along that line.”
“The coach knows what to do and if he decides that Martins is no longer in his plans, nobody should blame him.”
“I hope Martins won’t come back to say Amodu hates him if the coach insists in the future that he has to wait in line before getting another chance.”
“He just has to sit up and change his attitude; Nigeria is too big to be held to ransom by one player.”
We hate to be so straight forward here, but perhaps Oba doesn’t want to play all the time for his country.
He certainly hasn’t gone out of his way over the last couple of years, and put himself out to play for them, that’s fairly obvious.
As a Newcastle supporter, that doesn’t worry us at all, and yes, we are being selfish about it, and we wouldn’t expect Nigerian fans to agree with us.
But Newcastle pay his vast wages, and his first responsibility has to be to his club – period.
In today’s world of football these guys need a break, for their own good, during the summer, and it’s very hard to get it with all the club and international games being played these days.
And we certainly don’t blame Martins for not playing for his country while injured.
Far too many club players have done that in the past, and come back to their clubs crocked. Newcastle have suffered more than most in that regard.
That is not the way to go, and they should be very wary of playing at all, if they have any kind of injury.
And if they then get criticized for not playing for their country – so be it.
Comments very welcome.