Difficult for Ameobi To Be Newcastle Starter This Season

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:

“The 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.”

“I 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.”

“My aim is to get into the first-team starting line-up and stay there, to become the gaffer’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.”

“I have always been a competitive person. Just ask Alan Shearer. He was in the side, but that didn’t put me off because I love the competition for places. “

“It 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.”

“I 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.”

Whether Ameobi – who picked up a slight ankle injury in pre-season – will begin the new campaign as one of Allardyce’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 – 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.

Shola added:

“It has got a lot better and I don’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.”

“There 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 I’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.”

“It 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.”

“My 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 places”

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.

Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • adam

    Aug 10, 2007 at 4:43 AM

    Comment #1

    dont think so shola. 5th at best in the pecking order. maybe chris mort should swap me with owen. ill be working just as hard if not harder from the stands all season, ill even offer to do it for half his wages. reasonable.

  • Chris Mort

    Aug 10, 2007 at 4:50 AM

    Comment #2

    Thank you very much Adam. If you can come to St James tomorrow before 10, we will do a quick fitness test (the office is up a flight of stairs) and get you signed up on 60k a week. How does that sound? Just ask for me at the reception

  • azza jones

    Aug 10, 2007 at 4:54 AM

    Comment #3

    Im sick of reading Mark Viduka and Alan Smith up front….Thats a terrible combo in my opinion Martins should be first striker on the sheet and gives the team some pace, viduka or smith or ameobi are vying for one place or if we decide to play 3 up front, maybe two of them.

    Owen (when the little muppet is fit) and martins give the team speed which is what it needs to play good attacking football like Man U who we used to be on par with ten years ago….

    All the attacking players at man u have lightening speed which is what is needed in the prem league today!!!

  • Stephen

    Aug 10, 2007 at 4:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Owen is always injured Viduka is always injured martins is going away to the african nations cup in jaunary so he will get a chance and i like the player he doesnt perform to his best but you see glimpess of real quailty.really looked the part last season before he got that hip injuire looked like he wanted to fill Shearer boots so he may well gret a chance with Mr.Owen always out i bet he forgot even what the jersey looked like

  • Aussie geordie

    Aug 10, 2007 at 5:10 AM

    Comment #5

    Poor Shola. He’s a half decent forward and it might have all been different had he had the operation on the break instead of waiting, playing a few games (and scoring plenty) and then going out for a year. He really missed his window as he and martins would be a force. I think he will get games but Smith can also play midfield so may often play just behind one or two strikers making it hard. Good luck to Shola and I would like to see nothing more than him scoring so many goals that we cant take him off and clubs come looking next year. Not that he would be sold but I have never even heard a whisper of a transfer rumour involving our shola….and if even fullham or wigan dont rate him how can we.

  • Ian, Doha

    Aug 10, 2007 at 6:38 AM

    Comment #6

    Shola is a great backup player for Viduka who will miss minimum 40% of games this season.

    Shola will play for Newcastle through the pain barrier if needed and because of his height is a BSA type of player.

    Always liked Shola and believe he’ll do well this season and play in 50% of the games. Possibly even score a minimum of ………. 12 goals!

    But who’s going to be Newcastle’s top goal scorer this season?

    I’m going as follows:

    1. Martins…….18 goals
    2. Owen……….16 goals
    3. Viduka……..15 goals
    4. Ameobi…….12 goals
    5. Barton………11 goals


    Aug 10, 2007 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #7


  • MightyMilburn

    Aug 10, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #8

    Dont know quite what to make of Ameobi.. I have no doubt that he is very loyal towards the club – which is commendable.. but does he has the required level of skill to a first teamer – at a club which should be challenging for a top six spot in the EPL?

    Maybe his efforts on the pitch has been restricted by his hip injury in recent seasons – which is why he has underperformed.. I remember him against Sunderland a few seasons back where he was incredible.. but then he went into the oblivion again – indicating he cannot deliver stand-out performances on a regular basis..

    Happy that he wants to remain at the club and push some of the players (read: Viduka) who might become complacent if they dont have other players breathing down their necks for their starting spot in the line-up..

    I must admit that I am very much undecided about Shola.. Like the club this is very very important season for him.. He can no longer hide under the tag “player with potential” (like a certain Mr. Dyer) He has to produce the goods on the pitch – on a regular basis.. if not – thank you for good service Mr. Ameobi, but you have to move on..

    To Ian, Doha – what about Smith? You think he will score 10 goals or less in the coming season? (Since he didnt make your list..)

  • jason

    Aug 10, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #9

    Shola Ameobi-injuries aside is not a premiership striker by a long stretch…he is too gangly and is not a natural goalscorer,if push came to shove I would go with carroll insted of ameobi ,carroll has at least shown hunger for the shirt and has youth on his side,surely Ameobi’s number must be up on the toon I have heard wigan is nice this time of year : )
    Good luck against Bolton Lads hopefully the Duke will knock em senseless !!

  • Ian, Doha

    Aug 10, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #10

    I have a feeling Alan Smith will be used more as a midfield player but still see him getting 10~12 goals in his first season for us…..

  • arctoa (D.)

    Aug 10, 2007 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #11

    You can’t really say that Ameobi isn’t good enough when fully fit; Since the arrival of Roeder he was scoring a goal every other game. Can’t really ask for much more than that, surely? The question is whether he can pick up that form again and keep with it, but with Allardyce’s man-management qualities I expect him to get goals when he plays; or at least rack up assists. As mentioned, Owen and Viduka are injury-prone and Martins will be off to the African Cup of Nations for some time, so he is needed in the squad and he will get games. Send Carroll on a six-month loan somewhere.

  • Doctor129

    Aug 10, 2007 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Shola – He makes me laugh. 448 Appearances since debut in Sept 2000. (180 as sub). Yet he qoutes – “Newcastle Fans have still not seen the best of me” .I think by now we have and I’m afraid to say – personally – I think he is completely over-rated. People say Owen is past his best at 27, yet Shola believes he hasn’t shown his best yet (26). I can’t work that one out. Shola is simply not good enough, he can’t anticipate passes (Likes of Cole, Owen, Lineker, etc,etc. He runs after the ball once it has been kicked. Bit like a dog running after a stick. He has scored 92 goals in all comps and at a rate of 448 (although including subs) makes his goal rate 1 in every 4.86 matches. This reduces to approx 1 in 3 if you discount the sub appearnces. Another qoute “My aim is to get into the first-team starting line-up and stay there, to become the gaffer’s first-choice striker” – He has got no hope. Simply a bit part player at best In My Humble Opinion, and I would rather we got shot of him. NOBODY has ever been linked with him transfer-wise because he is tosh.

  • arctoa (D.)

    Aug 10, 2007 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #13

    He’s played a fair percentage of games either carrying an injury or out of position (or both), in piss-poor teams. Even Alan Shearer’s goal ratio was terrible under Souness, for example — it took him over 12 months to get 11 goals.

  • evil dick

    Aug 10, 2007 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #14

    I say give him a clean slate for the new season like everyone else.

  • 9th June

    Aug 10, 2007 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #15

    There’s certainly a lot of crap talked on here but none more so than by Doctor 129.

    Ameobi has started 109 games and been used as a sub in a further 84 for a total of 193 appearances. In that time he has scored 41 goals. If you say those 84 sub appearances were worth say 21 starts (25%) that would give him 41 goals in 130 appearances or almost 1 in 3 (or 13 in a full season). That is not a bad return for someone who played second fiddle to Alan Shearer for the first 5 years including many puzzling appearances out on the left wing and of course the last two years played with a dodgy hip. He’s not a world beater but just take a look at the list of top scorers in the premiership and the number of players who get more than 12 goals is not a long one. There were 11 last season (Martins had 11). If all teams have 4 strikers then that makes 80 in total and I’m pretty sure our Shola would make the edges of the top 20 given full fitness. As someone has already stated he was scoring every other game for Glen Roeder before he got injured.

  • Doctor 129

    Aug 10, 2007 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #16

    9th June, Apologies – got my stats wrong (typing quick at work). My typing stats were incorrect but the goal ratio was the same. 224 apps (all comps) – 90 as sub – 46 goals. Thats 224/46 = 4.869 games per goal. Being extremely generous and removing sub appearances = 134/46 = 2.91 games per goal. The fact that 40% of appearances are as sub points to the fact he wasn’t good enough to get in the team. Other than that – I wasn’t talking Crap. He is tosh and he ain’t good enough IMHO for NUFC.

  • 9th June

    Aug 13, 2007 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #17

    The fact that 40% of his games were as a asub was because he was deputy to a certain Mr Shearer. He was lucky to get 40%!


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