Fit Ameobi Can Be Pleasant Surprise Next Season


It’s been a tough road over the last two years for 25 year-old Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi.

We know that Shola is not everybody’s favorite at Newcastle but we think he’s going to turn out just fine – especially since there will be great competition for the striker positions at Newcastle.

Shola is full of heart and played over the last couple of seasons when he was obviously injured – but that hip injury seems to have fully healed after a trip to the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail Colorado.

Shola talked yesterday to Lee Ryder of the Evening Chronicle – so we’ll take a look at what Shola said – and take a quick look at his Newcastle record.

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Shola Ameobi

Shola – who of course scored a couple of goals on Tuesday night against Hartlepool United – spoke to the Evening Chronicle yesterday.

“My hip was quite painless and it is great to be out there again. “I was out a long time and it was a great feeling to hit the back of the net.”

“You get the feeling of the new regime coming in with the new board and management team starting their work. “But we know we have to win football games.”

“Last season things weren’t up to scratch and we want to prove a point, not just to the fans and the city, but to ourselves. “We want to make sure we are a top side in the Premiership and in Europe again – just like we were five years ago. “This is a new season and we are excited.”

United played well against Hartlepool but for Ameobi (and Michael Owen) it was about getting match fit after being out of the team since last October. Newcastle fans are certainly excited about the possibilities the new regime will bring to the club – and getting – and staying in Europe is only one goal of the club.

Shola went on:

“You would be surprised how you can lose fitness over the summer. “I was out all of last season almost and I have a lot of catching up to do.

It’s been tough, but I’m getting through it and hopefully now I can start improving on the technical side and the fitness will take care of itself.”

Newcastle’s next game is against Carlisle United at Brunton Park on Saturday, for their second of six friendlies in the run up to their first game against Bolton on August 11th.

Shola added:

“You don’t learn a lot in friendlies as it is mainly a fitness exercise.“We want to try to play the right way and score goals, and we did that.”

“We’re delighted, it’s the first step in pre-season in terms of games, so we want to step it up against Carlisle.”

Shola was starting to score goals regularly until he had to have the hip operation. Now that Shola appears 100% fit we expect him to be a pleasant surprise next season where his size 6′ 2″ frame and physical play will be a boon alongside Martins and Owen. Not liked by all fans – Shola nevertheless gives his all for the club. He was raised in Newcastle since he was nine years old – and of course Shola came through our academy system. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria in October, 1981.

Since his debut in 2000 Shola has appeared 214 times for Newcastle (131 starts) and scored a total of 46 goals. He appeared 20 times for the England Under-21 side (2000-2003) and scored 7 goals. The criticism against Shola is that his scoring record just isn’t good enough – but we think that will improve. He was certainly doing well in that regard under Glenn Roeder – and he knows scoring goals will keep him in the side.

Let’s hear what you think about Shola – of course his main competition in the squad will be provided by Mark Viduka next season – but we think that will only make him more determined to be successful.



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7 comments so far

  • Raskkal

    Jul 19, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #1

    I would love nothing better than to see Shola do well and finally prove his critics wrong now that he his finally fully fit and out of Shearer’s shadow. Unfortunately though Shola has had several false dawn’s in the past and the jury is still out. Only time will tell.

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  • Guy Maxwell

    Jul 19, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #2

    A fit Shola can be a great asset for almost any team in the Premier League, and that includes the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal & Chelsea. Perhaps not as a starting player, but I would have Shola in my team ahead of Alan Smith and Solksjaer anyday, and he would be a more potent target man for Arsenal than anyone they’ve had since Wenger arrived.

    There are many doubters, and they have every right to their views, but think back to the end of the 05-06 season, when it was Shola’s goals as much as anything that guided us up the league to finish 7th under Roeder’s success caretaker regime. During that period, he played up front and not on the left-wing like he did under the Scottish Fool Souness.

    Would I play him ahead of a fit Viduka, probably not, but is he a valuable squad player, almost certainly.

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  • Paul

    Jul 19, 2007 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #3

    Shola For England!!!!

    Not really – I think he could get into at least double figures this season.

    I like what I see of him when he’s fit. All the criticism aimed at him is mainly because the daft sod has been playing while injured. He should have had the op at the end of the 2005-06 season as planned until the shot one did his knee in.

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  • Tony_D

    Jul 19, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #4

    It is good to have Shola in the team, with Martins and Owen we also need a big strong player up front.

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  • TOON1

    Jul 19, 2007 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #5

    Shola definately has the potential to be a great player next season.He was playing through the pain barrier the whole of last season,so lets just hope he injury jinx is now over ,and he can push on and be a success.

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  • t-g-w

    Jul 19, 2007 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #6

    I am not merely jumping on the proverbial band wagon by praising Shola Ameobi after he scored 2 goals in a friendly – that alone does not prove that he is a good player. Shola’s record when playing injured was remarkable – I think he scored about 6 goals last season before he got injured (not sure how many games) which was a lot better than Martins! I think that, because he has not been fit and had a decent run in the first team in about 2-3 years, everyone remembers the old Ameobi, the one that missed an open goal from 2 yards out, sliding in but putting the ball over the bar – a seemingly impossible task. From his first season in the first team, he has improved greatly, and now I think is a good time for him to show what he can do, and I think many will be surprised that he can score a lot of goals for this football club.

    Interesting to see thath none of those who were calling for Ameobi to be sold so we could bring in Gudjohnsen have entered into this debate yet…

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  • Dave

    Jul 19, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #7

    t-g-w.

    I agree and I think any further interest in Gudjohnson would, a least before Christmas, be folly. Lets see what we can do with the strikeforce we have and concentrate on theose elusive defenders!

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