Shola Ameobi had a long talk earlier in the week with Luke Edwards of the Newcastle Journal when he told Luke his ambitions for the season.
But with the strikers we now have at the club it’s going to be a tall order for Shola to be a starter, which is his stated goal for the season. But he can still do a job for Newcastle coming off the bench, that’s for sure.
The important thing for Shola is to knock those goals in, and then it will be difficult for Sam to leave him out of the team. That’s Shola’s challenge for this season.
Shola Ameobi - wants to be starter this season
Ameobi told the Journal:
â€œThe injury is over and I am only looking forward. I want to play a big part for Newcastle this season. I feel I have to do that. I am nearly 26 and I want to be playing football week in, week out.â€
â€œI am mentally stronger now after what has happened to me with the injury. I think it will help me in the long run and now I just have to produce performances which keep me in the team.â€
â€œMy aim is to get into the first-team starting line-up and stay there, to become the gafferâ€™s first-choice striker. I am not getting any younger and the days of having potential and promise are over. I now have to prove it on the pitch.â€
â€œI have always been a competitive person. Just ask Alan Shearer. He was in the side, but that didnâ€™t put me off because I love the competition for places. “
â€œIt keeps me on my toes and as a striker I think you need to be looking over your shoulder all the time and wondering which players the manager is going to favor. It keeps you fresh.â€
â€œI think I deserved to be in the side when I played and I believe I am good enough to be in the starting line-up now. I know what I can do, but I also know that Newcastle are a big club and they need fully-fit strikers, which is what I have to prove.â€
Whether Ameobi â€“ who picked up a slight ankle injury in pre-season â€“ will begin the new campaign as one of Allardyceâ€™s first-choice forwards remains to be seen, but it’s very doubtful to us. We expect Smith and Viduka to start up front or maybe Martins in place of Smith as the starters. In fact it may even be hard for the Bolton game for Shola to make the bench â€“ and that’s with Owen still injured.
After surgery on his hip last year in Vail, Colorado at the Steadman – Hawkins Clinic and a long and rehabilitation program Ameobi will be ready to fight for his place and prove himself to the new manager.
â€œIt has got a lot better and I donâ€™t feel any problem with the hip at all, so I am looking forward to helping Newcastle get back to where we belong this season.â€
â€œThere is a big emphasis in my life to get fit and stay fit. At the moment I feel wonderful and that has to remain. I have missed far too many games, but I now feel stronger and fitter than ever before.”
“Now all I need is match fitness and Iâ€™ll be ready. It has been a very tough year for me with the hip injury. As a player, all I want to do is play football every day, so when you cannot do that it hits you hard.â€
â€œIt can get very frustrating. I am pleased it is all over and I really believe the injury I had is now in the past. I just hope and pray I do the business this season because Newcastle fans have still not seen the best of me.â€
â€œMy game is improving all the time. I know I can score a lot of goals in the Premiership given the chance. I have to take that chance when it comes along.”
“I am nearly 26 and I want to be playing football week in, week out. I love the competition for placesâ€
We agree with Shola that we have not yet seen the best of him but we are not at all critical of Ameobi. He has a feel for the club and has done a lot better for Newcastle than most fans give him credit for. But we are hoping Shola can make a good contribution to Newcastle’s cause this season and if he can do that, and we do well as a club then everybody will be happy. Then it will be on to bigger and better things for everyone concerned as we push forward with Sam’s revolution.