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 â€“ so we’ll take a look at what Shola said â€“ and take a quick look at his Newcastle record.
Shola â€“ who of course scored a couple of goals on Tuesday night against Hartlepool United – spoke to the Evening Chronicle yesterday.
â€œMy hip was quite painless and it is great to be out there again. â€œI was out a long time and it was a great feeling to hit the back of the net.”
â€œYou get the feeling of the new regime coming in with the new board and management team starting their work. â€œBut we know we have to win football games.”
â€œLast season things werenâ€™t up to scratch and we want to prove a point, not just to the fans and the city, but to ourselves. â€œWe want to make sure we are a top side in the Premiership and in Europe again â€“ just like we were five years ago. â€œThis is a new season and we are excited.â€
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:
â€œYou would be surprised how you can lose fitness over the summer. â€œI was out all of last season almost and I have a lot of catching up to do.
Itâ€™s been tough, but Iâ€™m getting through it and hopefully now I can start improving on the technical side and the fitness will take care of itself.â€
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.
â€œYou donâ€™t learn a lot in friendlies as it is mainly a fitness exercise.â€œWe want to try to play the right way and score goals, and we did that.”
â€œWeâ€™re delighted, itâ€™s the first step in pre-season in terms of games, so we want to step it up against Carlisle.â€
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 6â€² 2â€³ 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.