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The patchy number nine - reflecting on Oba's time at Newcastle


The Prophet
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When Obafemi Martins took the number nine shirt it is unlikely he realised the burden to be placed on his shoulders. Unknown to some and questioned by others it was disputed if he was the right man for the job, a question probably still worth asking.

 

His potential was evident. Lightening pace, a powerful shot and a decent jump meant he was (relatively) quickly amongst the goals and as a consequence, swiftly became a fans favourite. However amongst the memories of goals against Spurs, Blackburn and the Mancs lay feelings of frustration.

 

To quote Andy Gray, Martins was “the scorer of great goals” rather than a “great goal scorer”. Although it’s cliched it’s probably correct. In Martins we had a striker capable of unleashing a thirty yard screamer but also a striker capable of blazing over from a matter of yards. In our time of need we probably saw the latter too often for our own good.

 

In his last season here we saw a forward woefully short of confidence. The need for his pace and unpredictability were evident in his absence and while his effort was appreciated his form was not. Unassisted by many of his team mates Martins left on the lowest note of all having been relegated in a team that badly lacked goals.

 

Now at Wolfsburg you can’t help but feel his best years are ahead of him. Still a raw talent but performing with the confidence we saw in his earlier Newcastle years. Personally when I look back at his stint there are a lot of positives, but it can’t be denied his contributions last season left a bitter taste in the mouth. On his day he really is an unstoppable force but his day didn’t seem to dawn all that often in a black and white shirt.

 

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I don't remember really seeing this lightning pace when he was with us.

The way he played for us he didn't get to use it much. It was one of the most frustrating things to watch when he would get the ball with back to goal, go on a mazy run in the wrong direction and eventually pass to Butt, who invariably lost the ball. Last year the injury definitely hampered his speed, but it seems to be back now.

 

I watch him a fair bit more than others in this forum because I have other interest in him, and I can say that I think he is a good asset to have because of his style and attributes, but he will never be a leader or great player for Nigeria or any club he joins. He's mentally weak and thoroughly inconsistent.

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i think he was very fast, it was his anticipation in advance of receiving a pass that let him down. he'd often only start a run after the ball had been played to him and, at best, was reduced to hassling the defender who was most likely to win possession. But i think he improved on this front in his time here, not so much to play on the shoulder as he did that rarely but to move into space out wide, an ability of his which most fans under-rated.

 

Typically we looked a much better side with him in it, and i always thought we'd have been better off playing him and one other up front instead of bothering with Owen. he was very hit and miss, would miscontrol, make the wrong choice in possession, but he was quick, strong, had a good leap, a half decent scoring record, and most of all unpredictable. he wasn't a great player but due to the squad he was in - one bereft of pace, flair and risk-averse, having a player who would go on runs, make ambitious passes or shots or try bits of skill (even if they rarely came off) meant he was just about our most important player. Unfortunately he was injured for much of last season when we needed him most, ie, playing through pain at the end of the season when his pace had deserted him. good effort on his part, but utter shite on the pitch.

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Guest BlacknWhiteArmy

He was a good player but so inconsistent and never seemed to put his pace (Which he did have in a huge abundance) to good use

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Guest samjack

When Obafemi Martins took the number nine shirt it is unlikely he realised the burden to be placed on his shoulders. Unknown to some and questioned by others it was disputed if he was the right man for the job, a question probably still worth asking.

 

His potential was evident. Lightening pace, a powerful shot and a decent jump meant he was (relatively) quickly amongst the goals and as a consequence, swiftly became a fans favourite. However amongst the memories of goals against Spurs, Blackburn and the Mancs lay feelings of frustration.

 

To quote Andy Gray, Martins was “the scorer of great goals” rather than a “great goal scorer”. Although it’s cliched it’s probably correct. In Martins we had a striker capable of unleashing a thirty yard screamer but also a striker capable of blazing over from a matter of yards. In our time of need we probably saw the latter too often for our own good.

 

In his last season here we saw a forward woefully short of confidence. The need for his pace and unpredictability were evident in his absence and while his effort was appreciated his form was not. Unassisted by many of his team mates Martins left on the lowest note of all having been relegated in a team that badly lacked goals.

 

Now at Wolfsburg you can’t help but feel his best years are ahead of him. Still a raw talent but performing with the confidence we saw in his earlier Newcastle years. Personally when I look back at his stint there are a lot of positives, but it can’t be denied his contributions last season left a bitter taste in the mouth. On his day he really is an unstoppable force but his day didn’t seem to dawn all that often in a black and white shirt.

 

 

 

 

I think you'll find that it was Fat Sam who came out with that Drivvel !!!

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I could never understand why folk held it against him that he clearly wasn't in any condition to play in the latter half of last season. A good player who will eventually become a 1 in 2 striker. He has the right attitude and the raw materials.

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Did we ever really supply our forwards with enough ammo last season, probs not.

 

This.  Same goes for Owen to be fair.  For all of the negative aspects these players have, they were only highlighted by our glaring lack of service to the strikers.

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Likeable player if very frustrating for long periods of his time here. Found it hard not to like the guy if i'm honest; i'd have loved to have seen him in a good Newcastle United side. He was never good enough (nor the sort of striker) to have the whole club depending on him; unfortunately that was the case for three years and it acted against him. Wolfsburg signed him as a third choice striker and that's effectively what he is in an ideal world (although i hear he's ahead of Grafite in the pecking order there?).

 

The stuff about his age and the idea that he only scored amazing goals were both absolute horeshite, btw. Martins had improved as a player come his second season imo, even if he didn't score as many goals (Allardyce shoving him on the wing for half a season, don't forget - didn't help his tally but arguably helped him improve his game). That period under Keegan, he looked like a more complete striker and from an individual point of view, it was crucifying that Keegan left. He could have worked wonders with Oba if you ask me.

 

But anyway. Both are gone now and it's not really worth talking about. He was never gonna be a great but i loved him to bits tbh.

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Guest toonlass

If Martins had a footballing brain he would be brilliant, but he couldn't time runs for toffee, he wandered round the pitch like a lost soul and then occassionally came out with a beautiful goal. If he had better service then we might have seen more goals, but we would have probably also seen more blatently miles offsides.

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Likeable player if very frustrating for long periods of his time here. Found it hard not to like the guy if i'm honest; i'd have loved to have seen him in a good Newcastle United side. He was never good enough (nor the sort of striker) to have the whole club depending on him; unfortunately that was the case for three years and it acted against him. Wolfsburg signed him as a third choice striker and that's effectively what he is in an ideal world (although i hear he's ahead of Grafite in the pecking order there?).

 

The stuff about his age and the idea that he only scored amazing goals were both absolute horeshite, btw. Martins had improved as a player come his second season imo, even if he didn't score as many goals (Allardyce shoving him on the wing for half a season, don't forget - didn't help his tally but arguably helped him improve his game). That period under Keegan, he looked like a more complete striker and from an individual point of view, it was crucifying that Keegan left. He could have worked wonders with Oba if you ask me.

 

But anyway. Both are gone now and it's not really worth talking about. He was never gonna be a great but i loved him to bits tbh.

 

Spot on - he looked excellent in the 433 and with us playing decent football with a manger who bred confidence. 

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