Roeder fury at Martins claim
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder has reacted angrily to Nigerian FA chief Waidi Akanni's claim.
Glenn Roeder has reacted angrily to Nigerian FA chief Waidi Akanni's claim that Obafemi Martins should quit St James' Park.
Akanni remarked this week that the £10 million signing made a mistake in swapping Internazionale for Newcastle, leaving Roeder riled.
The former West Ham boss is preparing his side for a difficult trip to face Arsenal on Saturday - a match that the fit-again Martins, who has missed the last five games with a groin injury, will hope to play some part in.
The 22-year-old is bidding for just his second Premiership goal in what would be his ninth league appearance.
"Like everyone else in football he [Akanni] is entitled to his opinions, but who wants to hear them? He should keep them to himself," said Roeder.
"As far as we are concerned, he is just making trouble and I do not like him poking his nose into Newcastle United's affairs. All it does is cause unrest.
"He has never been to St James' Park and seen what it is like to play in front of 52,000 fans in their black-and-white shirts."
Roeder admits Martins has not enjoyed the happiest of Tyneside inductions, but claims that is only because of his injury lay off.
"What I can tell this guy is that Oba Martins is very happy here with us. He has been miserable all the time he has been injured," added Roeder.
"But he has trained all week and he cannot wait to get back and on to that plane for Arsenal on Saturday.
"I can tell the Nigerian FA that the comments of one of their officials are most unwelcome at a time when we need everyone pulling together."
And Roeder believes it is only a matter of time before Martins proves his worth.
"I wasn't happy because Oba's happy here - he's making that clear to his team-mates and me," Roeder told Sky Sports News.
"He's taking a little bit of time to settle in, but he's only 22 years old, and just 22 at that. There have been some very big names who have come here in the summer like (Andrei) Shevchenko, who's 30, and it has taken him time to adjust to life in The Premiership.
"There are a lot of factors that haven't helped Oba - obviously there's the culture, living up here in the North East, then there's the consistent high tempo of The Premiership, but I'm absolutely certain that once he settles in and we find him the right partner to work with he will be a big success."
Shola Ameobi is unlikely to be that partner, in the short-term at least, as the player is poised to play his final match this weekend before undergoing hip surgery.
"He'll be available for this weekend, and then we're just waiting for the phone call from America that the surgeon is free to get him over," added Roeder.
"Hopefully that for him will be the end of a hip problem he's had for two years."
In Ameobi's absence, the onus will fall on Albert Luque to finally find his best form for the club, but the Spaniard has recently been linked to a move away, with the player admitting that he would relish a switch to Barcelona.
Roeder, though, insists he knows nothing of the link, and is banking on Luque applying himself properly.
"I don't have any information of clubs being interested in Albert and as far as I am concerned he will carry on working hard every day and hopefully get a place in the team," added Roeder.