Last Chance Saloon For Ameobi This Season


Big Sam Allardyce has recently given Shola Ameobi a confidence boost when he says that not only can Shola have a good career at Newcastle but there’s a chance that Ameobi can also make the England team.

Well if Steve McClaren is down to bringing back Emile Heskey, who has proven again and again that he is not a goal-scorer and an average player at best, then we think Shola should be given a chance.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let’s see what Sam actually said on Friday.

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Shola Ameobi – over his hip problem now

This is what Sam told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle recently:

“I think Shola’s got a great chance now. He’s 25 years old. He’s been waiting a long time for that other man that used to play in front of him to retire. I don’t know why he didn’t get a game”

He had to live behind a world-class player, so there were limited opportunities.” “He’s now resolved his injury problem. He’s never felt better in that department as he used to be in constant pain.”

Now he wakes up in the morning looking forward to coming to training, and that can make a big, big difference to a Premier League footballer.” “At 25 and with his ability, he should be an alternative for Steve McClaren if he gets his act together.”

If he wants to, he could be an alternative centre-forward for England, never mind Newcastle United.”
“He doesn’t look silky smooth, but believe me, there aren’t many big centre-forwards around who have the potential he has.”

“What he’s got to do now is realize his potential.”

Shola should have benefited form playing with Alan Shearer and seems to have learned how to throw his weight around more. No doubt he’s an awesome physical presence on the field at 6′ 2″ tall. Shola has appeared 226 times for Newcastle with 132 starts and 46 goals.

Sam seems to prefer the big man-little man formation up front so Shola will be in competition principally with Mark Viduka, at least until the impressive Andrew Carroll returns from his spell at Preston, probably at the end of the season. Shola is Newcastle’s leading goalscorer, with 46 goals since he made his debut in 2000-2001 as an 18 year-old. Solano scored 48 times for Newcastle but has now left for the last time to join up with West Ham United for family reasons.

Shola is probably a much better player than fans have seen. He seems to be one who looks much better in training than when playing in games. One thing Shola just has to do to cement his place and career at Newcastle is to score more goals,. Before his hip surgery last November, he had started to do that under Glenn Roeder and that’s the big thing missing from his game. If he gets a run in the side that’s what he has to do to keep his place.

There’s no doubt Shola is a good player even though he is very awkward looking and he has played well when he has been introduced this season. Shola has set up some good goals for others but with Andy Carroll looking like a potential future super star, it is important that Shola has a good season with a good number of goals – 10 at the minimum. Then he will certainly have a future with the club.

If not he may be pushed down to 5th choice striker next season and that’s certainly not what Shola wants or needs at this delicate stage of his career.

Comments welcome.



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27 comments so far

  • good,the bad and the beardsley

    Sep 9, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #1

    shola 4 england!ha,ha unless mclarens hit the bottle or the england team plane crashes,no am afraid at the new united hes bk up at best.but ad love to see him prove me wrong

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  • Number 70

    Sep 9, 2007 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #2

    Its the same every season the manager comes out and say’s Shola “CAN” do this or he “CAN” do that but at the end of the season the fact was he “DIDNT” . Hes a good squad player and a geordie boy but his play is fustrating to watch, always wants the extra touch and wants to do that bit of magic when playing the quick simple ball is much easier. Ive always thought hes a poor mans peter crouch as for next season he’ll be 6th choice behind Owen, Martins, Viduka, Smith, Carroll with the exception of carroll who hasnt had the chance all have the ability to score regular at the highest level

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  • gordon

    Sep 9, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #3

    ameobi’s been at newcastle for over 6 years,excuses and injuries and some of the worst play i have seen from a footballer,andy carroll a future superstar are we again overating another round of above average local lads.

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  • Mart

    Sep 9, 2007 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #4

    Let’s hope Sam can inspire Shola to greater things. As a local lad we all want him to succeed, but we’ve been waiting a long time now. As you say Ed, when he gets games this season he has to deliver some goals. It might take an injury to Viduka before he gets a regular place.
    From what little I’ve seen of Andy Carrol he looks a player much more in the Shearer mould, so watch out Shola this could be your last season to prove yourself. You played well at under 21 level, but until you can command a regular place in the starting 11 and start to pop more goals in, I cant see Steve McClaren knocking on your door.

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  • Alex

    Sep 9, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #5

    Shola is a decent backup for Viduka but cant see him getting arun in the first 11 unless Viduka is injured.Shola has himself had to many injuries or to many beter strikers ahead of him in his time at the toon .Next season Carrol will be back from Preston with a season long first team experience ,then i dont think Shola will still be a newcastle player.

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  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 9, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #6

    It would be a travesty if Shola kept a fit Owen or Martins out of the first team.

    To say he’s never had the chance to prove himself at the club is ridiculous – he’s made over 150 appearances. The sad fact is the kid just isn’t good enough.

    If Heskey can play for England than maybe there is still hope for Shola. I won’t be holding my breath though.

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  • Murvar

    Sep 9, 2007 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #7

    The problem with Shola, as I see it, is that he should be the finished article by now and he plainly isn’t. There are reasons for that – Al, injuries, inconsistent treatment, playing him out wide – but nevertheless the best that can be said is that he now has a manager who seems to get the best out of players, and it’s make or break time. But will he get the games? With 4 better options in front of him (and Carroll waiting at the bottom of the Championship) it’s hard to see much of a future at SJP; Huntington left when he had a look at the queue in front of him for a central defensive berth. If Shola had ambition he would have done the same.

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  • Daniel

    Sep 9, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #8

    This is the first time I disagree with Sam (Or he is trying to joke with fans?). Ameobi for England?? I can only see this when England is playing against Malaysia / Indonesia. Or Sam wants the axe fall on Macca so that he can be the next England manager! hahaha! For me i’ll certainly pick Andy Carroll ahead of Ameobi anytime, any match. His playing style is much more interesting than Ameobi.

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  • t-g-w

    Sep 9, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #9

    Ameobi is a very good player. He has been for about a year – last season, before he was injured, he scored something like 6 goals in 11 games (not exactly sure but something impressive.). I think people judge the Shola Ameobi of 4 years ago when he missed open goals from 1 yard out (literally), but he has progressed to be a good player. That wasn’t seen for most of last year because he was injured. We need competition for places and i think a fit Shola will provide healthy competition for Viduka.

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  • Little Kenny

    Sep 9, 2007 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #10

    Ameobi is and never will be Premiership class, more Championship class. I have nothing against the lad but after all these years, talking about potential is rediculous. He has played enough games now for us to know that he is not consistantly good enough for this league.

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  • Joe

    Sep 9, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #11

    I think Shola has the potential to be a really good player. I think England is a bit out of his grasp but he definately has the ability to score ten goals for us this season and cement a regular role in cup games. Can’t see the 31 year old pork meister play every game for us this season; despite how good he is there needs to be competition for places and Sam will be looking to rotate his strike force regularly this season.

    On another matter – almost related – how disgusting was it to hear England fans boo David Bentley last night? I know what he did against the U21s was terrible but every man who goes out with a white shirt representing England needs the fans full support.

    I hope Shola gets that from us when he goes out wearing Black and White.

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  • Murvar

    Sep 9, 2007 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #12

    Shola isn’t in a head-to-head with Viduka, in my view; it should be Smith covering for Viduka, freeing up Barton to take his role in midfield. On that basis, Shola is 3rd in line, not 2nd.

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  • Lamesley Mag

    Sep 9, 2007 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #13

    Let’s take 1 season at a time and assume Shola will provide cover for Viduka this season. He’ll give 100% for Newcastle and while not being the most gifted of players, his comittment is impecable.

    We still have those dreaded buy-out clauses in contracts of Owen and Martins so until these issues are resolved, expect Shola to stay on Tyneside regardless of whether he makes the England team or not…….

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  • apan

    Sep 9, 2007 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #14

    his just another plain squad player, his first touch is horrible

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  • ben nigam

    Sep 9, 2007 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #15

    Carrol is nowhere near Ameois current ability. Theres no doubt in my mind if he plays the games he will get the goals!

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  • jacob

    Sep 9, 2007 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #16

    Although I understand the frustrations with Shola, clearly seen by these comments, I feel he gets a bad press unnecessarily. Yes he has had bad games and missed one yard sitters, yes his first touch has let him down at times but…on his day he’s magnificent. Yes I accept that he needs consistency but for a big man his close ball control is outstanding. I’ve seen him on several occasions picking a ball up in midfield and ploughing through the opposition, the ball appearing to be stuck to his feet with superglue…and yes, I’ve attended all but a handful of Newcastle’s home matches since 1989 and in that time seen ‘a few’ skilful players grace the turf of SJP. I do genuinely feel that with Big Sam’s guidance, and a pain-free hip, Shola can and will become the legend he’s capable of becoming…let’s give him a little more time to prove this.

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  • dragoner

    Sep 10, 2007 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #17

    common people, read between the lines, obviously Sam doesn’t think Ameobi is good enough for England, Sam, who is great at recognising and bringing out the talent in players, has obviously realised that the biggest factor holding Ameobi back is his confidence level, so he is simply using the media to give Shola a boost in confidence, he will then give Ameobi some part in the next few matches and see if the boost in confidence has had a positive effect on his match performance, if it hasn’t then he will probably be up for January or summer sale.

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  • dragoner

    Sep 10, 2007 at 12:25 AM

    Comment #18

    LOL i meant “come on people” not “common people”

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  • Len Smith

    Sep 10, 2007 at 3:38 AM

    Comment #19

    Or BSA could just be talking the price up for the January window? Arsene offers 8 million for Ameobi? maybe not. Wigan offer 1 million? possibly. He has made virtually no progress over the last 7 years with the club and at 25 he isn’t going to get any better.

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  • GS

    Sep 10, 2007 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #20

    Shola looks gangly but doesn’t lose the ball very often. If he does, it normally goes out for a throw in in the opposition’s half. I think he and Owen will be good together.

    Who do you all want? Drogba? He’s not leaving Chelsea. Shevchenko? Name me a few big forwards who cause as many problems as Shola? Ashton? Kevin Davies, Hesky? How many goals do they score?

    Everybody is always on Shola’s back. He cost nothing, and who could we get to replace him? I think he is the best backup striker in the league. And don’t tell me about Huntelaar, every big team in Europe is after him, and at 20 million pounds he is not a straight swap for Shola, is he? It’s not like Viduka is beyond criticism, he has a sublime first touch but is always called fat and slow.

    Get some perspective. because some of the comments on here baffle me.

    Do any of you remember Chris Waddle? Gangly, but a good player, wasn’t he?

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  • dragoner

    Sep 10, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #21

    i honestly think we should go for Adriano, he is unsettled at Inter and apparently wants to leave permanently, he will cost big funds but Mike Ashley said he wants a superstar, if we were to get a player like Adriano then now would be the best time, because he is currently not favoured by the Super clubs due to his recent poor form and injury, we could sneak him and Sam could then get the best out of him, premiership is ideal for him if he could just learn to be quicker on the ball

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  • Joe

    Sep 10, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #22

    I agree with GS..there’s absolutely no harm in having a player like Shola in the squad! He cost nought, doesn’t demand much and doesn’t throw paddies when he doesn’t get it, he loves the toon and is a worthwhile backup. Considering the amount of first team talent we have, we don’t need world beating back up strikers do we? He’ll get us ten goals this season..if not I’ll eat my own head.

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  • Joe

    Sep 10, 2007 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #23

    I don’t think we should get Adriano…bad attitude, bad injury record..exactly the sort of player who thinks he is bigger than the club! Didn’t Sam just get rid of a load of players like him?

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  • dragoner

    Sep 10, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #24

    i dont think he has a bad attitude, he has height and power, and we ALL know what a shot from his left foot is like, If Adriano came it would be a reunion of Inter strikers up front, and since martins can use both feet i think they would make a good partnership in the premiership

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  • Beastie

    Sep 10, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #25

    had there look the man is a clown he is a joke ok a hope he proves me and thousands of other blokes rite and comes good but a cant see it! he is to slow he cant read the runs the flick ons the one twos he isnt good enough for newcastle united! as for england hahahahaha give it a rest will ya hahaha! offer west ham or harry at pompey or even the smogs they wanted him ! Shola for england hahahahahahaha

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  • Beastie

    Sep 10, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #26

    joe just seen ya comment bet you a 5quid he doesnt get 10!!!!

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  • Beastie

    Sep 10, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #27

    chris waddle was a hell of a player and he was an international player summit shola will never be!!! look ok a agree ad prefer shola in the squad than sum money grabbin arsehole like adriano wantin 135,000 a week!

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