Pace and power are just two qualities that Michael Owen doesn’t have, so Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan will be delighted to welcome back Obafemi Martins into the squad after the Nigerian’s African Nations Cup adventure. King Kev doesn’t seem that keen on Mark Viduka (how else can you explain not playing him against Villa?), so it must be a relief for Magpies fans that he might field somebody half-decent at holding the ball up rather than hanging around the six-yard box for a tap-in. The official United website carries the quotes:
“Oba will be fine, he just turned his ankle before he came back and he’s had to have a couple of days’ rest,” explained the black and white boss.
“We’re confident he will be back in training with the rest of the group by the end of the week.
“I’m looking forward to him joining us because I’ve seen quite a lot of him previously and I know what he can do. It’s just a case of having a close look at him on our training pitch now.
“He’s got great pace and he’s still our top goalscorer, even though he has been at the African Cup of Nations for the best part of a month.”
What he really means is surely “I’m looking forward to him joining us because it’s been relegation form since I joined, the natives are starting to get restless and the exciting matches I promised upon arriving at the club have failed to even look like materialising.”