Did Oba strop prove he cares about Newcastle United?

By Lee Ryder on Nov 30, 08 10:45 AM

To all of the perfect people in the world Oba Martins storming off down the tunnel at Middlesbrough probably caused a bit of a stir in the Tyne-Tees derby.

In the heat of derby day Martins took his time to leave the arena and made his feelings known before a reluctant hand shake with Mark Viduka and stomp to the tunnel without acknowledging Joe Kinnear or the bench.

But as far as Newcastle United fans are concerned, it could be a good thing.

We all remember when Lee Clark caused uproar down at Southampton during the Entertainers era when he not only refused to take his place on the bench after being subbed at the Dell, but also had the audacity to kick over a bucket of water!

And within seconds of the south coast strop he was hooked straight back to the bench by Kevin Keegan who felt it was out of order.

No player should be allowed to just head back to the dressing room while their team is still battling for the points, or at least in the eyes of KK.

So serious, was Clark's strop it resulted in the player being dropped from the side for the next game against Wimbledon in the League Cup and Andy Cole also went AWOL as part of a mini storm.

There was even talk of Clarkie ending up on the transfer list!

It seems that this sort of behaviour after being subbed is much more acceptable these days by football's mega rich stars.

And certainly coach Chris Hughton was cool as a cucumber when asked about the incident by the media on Saturday night at the Riverside.

He too, felt that it was only a positive thing that Martins was so upset that he wasn't allowed to stay on the field.

It proves that Martins was desperate to win the derby and get on the scoresheet.

And it's all a far cry to some of Martins' earlier games in Toon.

He could be forgiven for having a few indifferent opening performances for Newcastle when he first arrived.

I think even he underestimated just how much responsiblity was on his shoulders when he took the number 9 shirt from Big Al.

But in time Martins has got used to the pressure and 32 goals so far isn't a bad tally for a player that has probably has plenty of chances to jump ship.

The reality is that Martins does seem to care about Newcastle United.

Therefore it would be no surprise if an arm goes round the Nigerian in training this week rather than boot going up his backside.


Burger said:

Sell MO and keep OBA!

al said:

Michael owen is older and isnt as effective alround,we need to drop owen and try and keep oba before he leaves


Martins at least shows he cares,Owen on the otherhand seems almost certain 2 leave,hes happy enough when he scores,but was totally missing on saturday may as well of been me on pitch & i am 55 yrs old & well overweight,shame but let owen go to somewhere he will be happy,and let Martins loose on a good run in the side,as i say at least he wants to do well for the toon.

Stevie said:

I think he was probably upset at being subbed when playing much better than the apparently disinterested Owen.
Owen didn't seem to want to make runs, to link up with Oba, or even to receive the ball at times.
Despite his failings, Oba is a trier and he has pace and energy.
Owen looks like a player who has had enough of the perpetual troubles at NUFC, he doesn't even know if he is getting a new contract and it is almost December in the last year of his current deal.

Ghostface said:

Sommat and nowt, people just need to ignore it, we need him in the team and that is that. I back Kinnear to start him against Stoke, pull him to one side and have a quick word in training and on ya go from there.

Owen should've made way but with the contract still up in the air I think Kinnear might be too wary of what might happen if he subbed him, what ever you might think of this I wouldn't back against Kinnear doing every little thing he can to keep Owen for the long run.

It's not like Owen isn't likely to grab a goal and if he had grabbed a late winner no one would be saying anything to the contrary about who should've been subbed. Those questioning Owen might want to look at his goal record for us and see he is absolutely vital for our survival this season.

Backing against Owen has proven time and time again that when the chips are down he is there to get the goals, not just for us but everywhere he has played.

Viduka and Martins, Owen in the hole for Stoke, I hope JK is brave enough to take the game to Stoke this weekend, 3 points are absolutely necessary.

john peacock said:

I was as chuffed as anyone when we signed M O.the beginning was also good enough,BUT now&of late it's a bit of a pain seeing him in BLACK&WHITE,he does'nt belong here he does'nt tackle,does'nt really know what it's all about RUNS around lost&the contract buisness is blowing out of proportion.OBA is much much more a team person on the field,he tries his socks off let alone his armbands.OWEN needs the MERSEY the TYNE does'nt,go west young man&let OBA RULE.

Jay said:

People should not be giving MO stick. He is a toon player, so support him! I do hope OM (MO & OM?! lol) stays,because he is a solid worker (if a little inconsistant). But does my head in seeing toon fans rip into players for having one bad game. Wtf is that all about? What about all the times Oba does nothing in a game, and MO gets the goal? No people forget the past and only focus on the current. Makes me sad. Support the team!

Brian Whitfield said:

So............a little passion is starting to creep back into the black and white shirts? That's a GOOD thing.

Ben said:

Some of the rubbish that is written on here by so called Newcastle fan`s amaze me! I cannot believe people are slating Michael Owen again!! what a total joke!! Yes he didn`t have the best of games and he should have been taken off, in fact it was one of the worst subs I have ever bared witness to! Owen had a bad game yes! but he is a goal scorer who needs chances to be made for him, he still worked hard and grafted, Anybody who watched the game last week against Chelsea last week could see how much effort he put`s in for the shirt,one bad game and idiot`s start slating him because of J K `s obvious mistake, Michael Owen is a huge asset to our club,HE WILL BE our top scorer come they end of the season and is by some country mile our best player(a point stated by JK himself). We should all be praying he sign`s a contract not writing c**p about wanting him to go so Oba get`s more Min`s on the pitch.

gordon said:

I would not be surprised if Owen got a couple of goals against Stoke, his record tells you that. Martins is inconsistant, against Chelsea he was awful, last week good. To get us out of trouble we need goal scores and that means both Owen and Martins, because if Owen leaves for Everton which I think he will, all it woulod take is a injury to Martins and we are in trouble. It's no use going abroad and bringing in another Xisco proven goal scores will keep us up.

bob harvey said:

Again lots of fuss about nothing really. It had to be one of the strikers who went off and Newcastle needed a goal. MO has about 1 goal per 2 games, OM has about 1 to 3. Why all the nonsense about one of them leaving the club? If NUFC want to be a top 6 club, then we need both of them. It's a pity that Viduka's 92nd minute effort wasn't a couple of feet to either side of the 'keeper.

expatkeith said:

agree with ben. Stop moaning about up front and focus on midfield. This slow build up stuff from Butt when we have pace and a little flare (jonas)is ridiculus.Stop going sideways and go forward at speed with OM, MO and MV up front
Sort the midfield, get a left back who can pass and stop crying!!!

medan said:

I do agree MO is a geat goal scorer and great asset for Newcastle, but let's be honest there is to much favouritism towards MO by the last 3 Managers. The idea that we are putting all our eggs in one basket called MO is scary. The Manager clearly needs to explain to the team that he will be selecting players based on form and sub palyers based on how well they played in the game irrelevant if you are captain or MO.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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