Newcastle assistant manager Chris Hughton has said openly that any disagreement with Oba Martins, following his annoyance at being taken off after 65 minutes for Mark Viduka, will be dealt with internally, by the club.
Oba Martins – upset at being taken off
The 24 year-old Nigerian was disappointed at being substituted in the second half of Newcastle’s second no score away draw on the trot this afternoon, at The Riverside stadium.
It was a surprising decision by Joe Kinnear, given that Oba had looked the most dangerous Newcastle player on the field, and Oba already had a brilliant shot hit the cross-bar after 35 minutes of the first half.
The 24-year-old stormed straight down the Riverside tunnel after being replaced by Mark Viduka, who was making his return from injury after 6 months on the sidelines.
We saw no reason why Mark shouldn’t have come on, but the more logical choice for the the player to come off was Michael Owen, based on the performances of Michael and Oba up to that point in the game.
And while Oba should hardly have been replaced, he still had no right to come off like that. More maturity could have seen him bring it up with Kinnear after the game – that’s the real way to deal with these situations.
However, we can well understand why he was annoyed, and we don’t want to see Oba be the scapegoat again, as he was under Big Sam, when he was always second best to Michael Owen, however each of them played.
Big Sam always preferred Michael as a starter and Oba never really got a fair crack of the whip under Sam Allardyce, during his 6 months tenure as manager of the club.
Chris Hughton talked about Oba’s substitution after the game:
“You want nobody to be happy to be taken off,” “But any issues that way are always dealt with in-house, and that’s always the correct way to approach it, always.”
“On the back of last week, what we wanted to do was keep a clean sheet,” “We felt we had enough in the team to score us a goal here, and as the game opened up in the second half, I genuinely feel, although it could have gone either way, we got into the better areas.”
“If our final ball had been a little bit better, we could have gone on and taken the three points.” “That would be the only disappointing factor, but to come here and get a draw is a good result.”
In truth it was a good performance and a decent point for the team, but Newcastle fans will still be disappointed at not being able to secure our first away win of the season in the league.
We now have Stoke City at home, as our next game, which is now a must-win game for us, and then the following Sunday we’ll have a chance to get our first away win at Fratton Park on the south coast.
Now that Harry Redknapp has moved on from Pompey, that becomes more of a possibility, but we just must start picking up 3 points from these “easier” games.