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Obafemi Martins advice will always stay with DeAndre Yedlin

4 years ago

DeAndre Yedlin crossed paths with former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins, when the pair were together at Seattle.

The Newcastle United right-back says something Martins said to him has ‘stuck with me to this day’.

The striker who now plays in China, told Yedlin that you had to expect ‘at least one point that you’re just going to hit a wall’.

For the United defender it came relatively early.

DeAndre Yedlin was only 19 when he found himself stepping up for Seattle to appearing in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup for the USA, this was then followed only months later by a massive club move to the Premier League and Tottenham.

However, that is when he his his wall, only playing 11 minutes of Premier League football for Spurs.

A spell on loan at Sunderland followed and ironically, whilst he was playing football for the Mackems he actually lived on Tyneside and this helped swing it when it came to deciding on a move from Tottenham.

In a previous interview, Yedlin said how he loved living on the banks of the Tyne and his family also loved it when they visited, walking over into Newcastle City Centre from his apartment on the Gateshead side of the river.

DeAndre Yedlin speaking to Sports Illustrated:

“Obafemi Martins told me in everybody’s career, there’s going to be at least one point that you’re just going to hit a wall.

“Whether it’s an injury, whether you’re just stressed out…nothing’s going right. There’s going to be some sort of bad time in your career.

“At the time, it (what Martins said) was a bit frightening to hear. I’d been on this run of two years of madness, going from Seattle to the World Cup and to Tottenham.

“Now, especially that I’m a bit older, I’m so glad he mentioned that to me. It was huge, and it’s one of those things that stuck with me to this day. If I’m going through a hard time, I think about what he told me just reminds me that everybody goes through this. You just got to get through.

“I knew it was going to be a tough time when I got there (Tottenham) and saw the level. I just tried to make the best out of the situation.

“It started as a very exciting time for me and for that first month, I was just trying to take everything in. It was a city I’d probably compare to New York, very fast-paced. Everybody’s a bit hectic. It’s massive.

“Just being in that big of a city, it stalled me, I guess. The football wasn’t going as I wanted it to (only played 11 minutes of Premier League football for Spurs). You try to find other things to do, to distract you a little bit. It’s just human nature.

“If you’re not fully happy doing one thing, you try to do find another thing to take your mind from it. I probably went out a little bit too much. I’m not a huge party guy but more than I had been in the past.

“That (got subbed in 19th minute of Sunderland match v Watford) had never happened to me in my life. It was eye-opening. It was embarrassing. I didn’t understand it.

“I needed to make the best out of the loan, I was really trying to figure out, what is my problem? What can I do to better myself?

“I figured out that mentally, I needed to get stronger. In England, especially, mentally if you’re not strong it can eat you up. There’s the media, all the negativity surrounding footballers. If you’re not mentally strong, it can eat you.

“In the middle of July my agent said there was Newcastle interest, but at first, I didn’t want to go down a league.

“It was a risk (joining Newcastle in the Championship), it was a very, very tough choice. But I made it and stuck with it. I kind of took it on myself. Obviously, I spoke with different people. But I tried not to let their opinions weigh on my decision.

“I sat down with myself. ’What do you want to do? What are the pros and cons?’”

Newcastle doesn’t have the mountain but it has its nature. It’s a little bit isolated. There’s definitely a more Seattle feel. Living in London and having a lavish lifestyle, it’s not that important to me. I’m fine with just a simple life. That’s what got me here.

“Seattle is bigger, but in terms of the calmness of the city, which is a big thing for me, I think I do a lot better in a city that’s more relaxed.

“The way the whole scenario turned out, it was incredible. There’s no feeling like it, I lifted [the trophy and it was pretty heavy. But it felt real.

“I definitely needed a little bit of a break, but I love football. When I’m gone for a week or two, I start to get the itch to get back onto the field. That’s the way I am.”


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