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That was no Oba reaction.

Byline: Alan Oliver

MOST fans in football have a pet hate.

I know I have.

I hate it when footballers trudge off the field as though they were on their way to the gallows whenever they are substituted.

Of course they are disappointed at their very public exit from the game.

Well, they should have played better, shouldn't they?

In the past few seasons, Laurent Robert is the player who springs to mind as far as Newcastle United substitutions are concerned.

He usually had to make his way over from the far side of the field, and the French winger used to take an eternity.

In contrast, Obafemi Martins has always sprinted off whenever his number came up.

That is until last Saturday in the goalless draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium when he gave way to Mark Viduka.

First, there was a look of disbelief, replaced by a look of anguish on his face.

This was followed by a slow walk off - but not before he had thrown off his wrists-bands.

The little striker did not give the United bench a second glance as he made his dejectedly down the tunnel.

And with him went my principles of wanting to get players off and the subs on as quickly as possible.

As Martins trudged off I felt like shouting "take your time, son" because he had been badly done by.

CAPTION(S):

OUT OF LUCK: Oba Martins was furious at being substituted at Boro last week
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 6, 2008
Words:248
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