Shola Ameobi, almost the forgotten man at Newcastle these days, has been talking about his injury and the fact that he wants to impress manager Sam Allardyce at Newcastle.
But we think Shola is almost on borrowed time and has to quickly establish himself at Newcastle, before the end of the year.
But as Shola admits, itâ€™s hard to do that when you are injured.
Shola Ameobi – the forgotten man at Newcastle
Shola was speaking at Durhamâ€™s Gilesgate Sports College, where he presented Derrick Gurney, Durham Countyâ€™s chairman, with his Umbro Football Hero award.
â€œPlaying football is the most important thing for me and Iâ€™ve got to be doing that, whether itâ€™s here or somewhere else,â€ â€œIf Iâ€™m not playing here, it (changing club) might have to be something I look at because I need football.”
“That hasnâ€™t changed and itâ€™s something Iâ€™ll deal with if and when the time comes. Iâ€™m focused on being the best I can be, but I canâ€™t do that if Iâ€™m not playing.â€
â€œItâ€™s not the best scenario, but if it ever came to it, I would have to make a big decision. But I still believe that I can help this club achieve what it wants to. You have to believe. If I wasnâ€™t good enough, I wouldnâ€™t be here.â€
We think Shola has to make an impact soon at Newcastle or heâ€™s in danger of being moved on by Big Sam. We need another big striker to share the work with Mark Viduka, and Shola must take his chance soon. There is news that Sam may be interested in Nicholas Anelka at Bolton, and of course Anelka would just jump at the chance of joining the Newcastle revolution under Allardyce which is going on right now at the club. Ameobi made his senior debut a full 7 years ago yet the former England Under-21 international is still striving for recognition as a first teamer at the club.
â€œIâ€™ve taken stick over the years, but it has never got me down,â€ â€œIâ€™ve kept on going, kept on battling, and it will be no different this time. I see this as a challenge. We all face challenges and this is something Iâ€™m going to fight for. “
“Weâ€™ve got great strength in depth, it (the clubâ€™s striking department) is perhaps the strongest it has been while Iâ€™ve been at the club, although I donâ€™t think there can be stiffer competition than challenging Alan Shearer for a place.â€
â€œIâ€™ve had to endure that and Iâ€™ll take anything on because I believe in myself, that has never been a problem. I just hope that when Iâ€™m fit I can go out and demonstrate what I can do.â€
Ameobiâ€™s only start this season was in Newcastleâ€™s worst performance of the season at Pride Park, when we were beaten 1-0 by Derby County, who were at that time bottom of the league. Ameobi wasnâ€™t the only one to play poorly that night, but he did look terrible in all honesty.
Shola has been out with an injured groin, picked up during last monthâ€™s Carling Cup defeat at Arsenal. Shola has had lots of problems over the last 12 months that include a hip operation at the famed Steadman Hawkins clinic in Colorado, and recent events have hardly been helpful to Shola, with his groin injury and poor form.
â€œIt has been a frustrating start to the season,â€ â€œIt has really affected my confidence and, as a striker, you live on confidence. The fact that Iâ€™m injured â€“ given what happened last season â€“ is hard to take. Itâ€™s not the best, itâ€™s not what I wanted.â€
â€œThe timing is bad given that the manager has just come in because I want to impress him, demonstrate what I can do, and I havenâ€™t been able to do that. I just have to make sure that when Iâ€™m fit again, I do it. I will give it everything Iâ€™ve got and I hope I get a chance to prove a point.â€
â€œI need to be playing football. Iâ€™m almost 26 and I feel Iâ€™ve been given a lifeline with the (hip) operation. I have to do myself justice by playing and by playing regularly.â€
Shola is due to be back in full training from his groin injury on 22nd October along with Viduka, Babayaro and Carr. Heâ€™ll have to press on and try to establish himself before the end of the year, because it wouldnâ€™t surprise us at all if Sam brings another big man into the squad during the January transfer window. Of course we also have the option at that time of bringing 6’3″ Andy Carroll back from his loan spell at Preston.