Oba Martins - Is He Worth The Risk?

Last updated : 24 January 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

With Shola Ameobi and Michael Owen both long-term casualties, the threat of injury to Newcastle's only recognised striker is looming clear. Because the `friendly' match with Ghana in London (Brentford's Griffin Park) on February 6 is more like England v Scotland or Holland v Germany, and these countries have a past history.

The Nigeria Football Association are desperate for their big-name stars to play in the game which has been billed as an unofficial African Nations Cup final.

Ghana are the dominant force in African football, and this will be nothing like a friendly.

Nigeria FA: "I can tell you that Obafemi Martins is looking forward to playing the match just like (Nwankwo) Kanu and Aiyegbeni (Yakubu). They want to prove that all the hype about Ghana's football being on the high side is nothing but a ruse. Obafemi, in particular, wants to score against the Black Stars just as Taye Taiwo is also warming up to score again, as he did in the Nations Cup in Egypt last year, when his solitary goal separated the two sides."

Roeder could soon be facing similar problems that Sir Bobby Robson had to deal with concerning Nobby Solano and Clarence Acuna, who both made regular flights to South America and had to miss Newcastle games the following Saturday.

Youngsters Matty Pattison (South Africa) and James Troisi (Australia) have been involved with international call-ups, but that is problem to be faced at a later date.