Shola – Why Do Fans Question Michael?

Shola Ameobi has been talking to the Newcastle Chronicle today about Michael Owen, and thinks Michael is getting a bit of a raw deal from the Newcastle fans.

The Newcastle faithful have never really accepted Michael at Newcastle yet for a couple of reasons.

One is that he’s been out injured so much during his 2 years on Tyneside. The other is that there is a persistent perception that Michael is a lot more interested in playing for England than he is playing for Newcastle.


Michael Owen – should get a long run in Newcastle side through the end of the year

That is probably unfair to Michael but until Michael starts putting those goals in for Newcastle and helps Newcastle rise up the table, that perception will probably persist.

Shola told the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“It’s a shame people keep on questioning Michael,” “I just don’t understand it. The criticism that he has had is unfair, although he just shrugs it off. He is a strong enough character to do that and get on with what he does best and that is scoring goals.”

“ People keep on knocking Michael down but he continues to prove he’s a world-class player. He has proved he wants to be at Newcastle. He demonstrated his desire when he came back from his (latest) operation in such a short time.”

It’s very true that Owen did fantastically well to come back after his hernia operation and not only played the last 20 minutes or so of the Everton game but scored a goal and made a goal in that great 3-2 win. So there’s no doubt he did very well then. The cynics of course will say he did that only so he could play for England in the international break which followed. And he did – playing in both games including the disaster in Russia.

Shola continued:

“Michael has shown a desire to be out there not just for England, but also for Newcastle United,” “He deserves credit for coming back in such a short time.”

“For me, that proved that he wants to be here. Michael’s the same as us all here, we’re all desperate to be out there on the field doing what it is we’re best at. Michael’s like that and what he’s best at is scoring goals.”

“He is just a special guy,” “He has an ability to score goals that’s rare in this day and age. Michael’s a world-class striker, he’s someone Newcastle need to reach the heights we want to reach and to realize our ambitions as a club.”

“He has proved his class this season and he will continue to do that – not that he has to prove anything to anyone.”

We think Michael will do just fine once he’s given a run in the team and it looks like he will be getting that through the end of the year at least. He’s a strong-willed lad and seems very mature for his age. It’s a challenge to him to win over the fans, which of course, he really wants to do. The main thing is that he keeps fit and gets the games for Newcastle – and then the goals should follow.

Shola also has to show what he’s made of. Ameobi has had no impact in the team since Big Sam came to Newcastle, and while it’s true he’s been out injured he must take his chance when he next gets into the side. His time we feel is running out, when there are players like Nicholas Anelka and Peter Crouch that Sam could well bring into the squad in January. We need a second big striker up front as support for Viduka, and it’s not clear to us that Shola is the man – well not yet..

Comments and opinions always very welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Dirk

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Completely agree, y we keep questioning owen is beyond me. He come out and said he wants to stay and prove his worth to newcastle and others around him have come out and quoted michael saying he wants to say! Shearer anyone?

  • yemozone

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #2

    D on’t start again wit owen

  • dougy j

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #3

    completely agree. glad i read this article quickly as well, am sure in about ten minutes it will be followed by the usual 10 pages of tedious ameobi-bashing…

  • stk

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #4

    i am sick to death of a non-starter of a topic becoming headline news in the gossip rags, london based media trying to unsettle our club! the club and mike say theres no problem, so surely that means theres no problem, right? no not according to the rags! they keep on banging on with the same old tripe! give it a rest for cryin out loud!

  • al gardiner

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #5

    personally i hope owen goes in the january transfer window, if you saw him at reading his whole body language showed he wasnt interested, when martins was substituted and owen stayed on the fans went mad, martins shows more committment every game and should start every game until owen either changes his attitude or goes back to liverpool

  • Daniel

    Oct 31, 2007 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #6

    At the same time I question Sam’s judgment. How on earth can Shola cracks into England team? When suddenly England first team plane crash? I started to like Southgate lately. He is a funny guy, suggesting that getting rid of premiership relegation will be more interesting. And most importantly, he admires Shola! Act fast Gareth on January. Imagine Aliadiere and Ameobi up front…wow, what a strike force! Holiday for EPL defenders when they play against Boro.

  • Hammy

    Oct 31, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #7

    Shola should think himself lucky that Owen is there to deflect some of the flak that would otherwise be heading in his direction………

  • George

    Oct 31, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #8

    I do not like it when Owens loyalty is brought into question, especially after his loyalty to england. However, i have noticed something, MO`s second game for england against russia, he did not quite seem up for it, or rather looked lack lustre, since his return to NUFC and the ensuing 2 games, he has looked just the same in those games. I do not question his loyalty, but i question his fitness, reason, on a clip in football focus it showed MO stripping a Reading defender for pace, during the recent game, MO could not keep up with same reading player. Only a year between the games, so what is up. Is he carrying an injury. I do not think it is loyalty, i think there is a problem with an injury lurking in the background.

  • nightfall

    Oct 31, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #9

    owen has proved nothing…yet.. and i’m not sure he will… i’m not impressed with michael…he can’t create chances for himself, he loses every fight for the ball ‘cos he’s just too weak and without pace… the fact is he needs a big, strong partner and a creative midfielders to score…and that’s sth we lack… he’s not sam’s type of a player… so we have 2 options… 1 is to adjust/change our midfield for owen or to sell him and get stronger attackers who can create chances for themselfs out of nothing (berbatov, anelka,..)… and that’s more likely with sam… he play a rough football with long balls and hope our strikers get it and score… we all know owen can’t play like this…so the best thing for us and michael is to just sell him… any comments?

  • Leo

    Oct 31, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #10

    because we do. not as much as we question that you are good enough

  • malaysian youngster

    Oct 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #11

    yah dont question owen. we shud question over shola. when only he will learn to use his physical pressence??

  • hadrian

    Oct 31, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #12

    TAXI for shola .

  • hadrian

    Oct 31, 2007 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #13

    the only way shola should be putting himself in the spotlight at the moment is out on the football pitch .
    with calls to flog the lad he’s doing himself no favors doing interviews like this , especially dragging out a story that toon fans are sick of .
    here we have a story that were sick of hearing about , from a player we are sick of waiting to come good .
    ive said it before and got shot down , but as a lad me and shola played in the youth team and my god was he quick for someone his size , and his strength was obvious . yet out on that pitch he shows none of the traits that got him this far , so much so i got laughed out of the thread when i mentioned shola and pace , half of the scout’s that used to watch him will be wondering what the hell happened .

  • indian toon

    Oct 31, 2007 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #14

    ”He has an ability to score goals that’s rare in this day and age”.. ed.please put this in the funny quote section..

  • Reb

    Oct 31, 2007 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #15

    Given today’s news — that Owen’s missus just had his third on Monday morning — I’ve wondered if this hasn’t been affecting him somewhat (esp. at Reading on Saturday). He’s looked a bit tired, recently, and perhaps a bit distracted. Having known many expectant fathers, well…it’s a possibility his mind really wasn’t entirely on football. I also think that Owen knows when tactics are not going to suit him, and that was the case for England v. Russia and in my opinion against Tottenham and Reading (one he was playing “link” and the other, it was defensive from the start). I’m not sure I’d say he looked uninterested, but he hasn’t been grinning as much lately, that’s for sure. Then again, if I was taking the stick MO has been because of the London-based press and a small but vocal group of fans…I’d be a bit more serious too. Would you enjoy playing in front of fans who are just waiting to slate you? Owen had periods at Liverpool very similar, where everyone was on him and he looked like he wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. He always came good in the end, and did the business for the ‘pool.

    As for helping Newcastle rise up the table, Owen has accounted for four points of the squad’s total of 17 with his two winning goals (v. Wigan and v. Everton) — four points, despite his spotty fitness thus far. Where would Newcastle be without those four points? 12th, just ahead of Reading, right about where they ended last year. If Owen continues to personally account for four places on the table, I’ll be content with his overall contribution to the squad.

  • JJ

    Nov 1, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #16

    I dont believe Owen has done anything wrong, he is a great guy and great player… however I too hope he leaves in January, not because of him but because of the baggage he brings with the pathetic wranglings of the English media. It is a sad situation but until laws and retrictions are placed on the emphasis of truth and proof stated behind twisted stories which appear on UK new channels and papers then the problem will persist for years to come and fantastic players will be forced out of clubs.


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