Shola Ameobi is just one player that is delighted that Kevin Keegan has returned to manage Newcastle United, and heâ€™s hoping that will help to save his career at the club.
Shola Ameobi – hopes to extend Newcastle career under Keegan
The 26-year-old had already thought he would need to leave the club to find first team football elsewhere, and Glenn Roeder at Norwich was only too willing to take him to the East Anglia side.
Shola, who is one of the few Academy players in the first team squad, didnâ€™t even get time on the bench with Sam Allardyce, even though he had recovered from injury.
Keegan’s arrival changed all that, and after making his first Premier League start since September 17 in Saturday’s goalless draw with Bolton, Shola is hoping for better things ahead for himself at the club.
Shola said today:
“When they say a week is a long time in football, it certainly is,” “The situation under Sam was that he had his own guys and, unfortunately, I wasn’t part of his plans.“It was a hard pill to swallow, especially after having been at the club so long. All of a sudden, I found myself frozen out.â€
“As a player, you have your ups and downs, and the last few months have definitely been a downer, but in steps King Kev and he’s given me a lifeline.” “I could have left the club,” admitted the former England Under- 21 international. “I have been out for virtually two years, and I need to be playing football.â€
â€œI didn’t ask to leave in so many words when Sam was here, but I have always said there is not a place for me where I am not wanted, and the (former) manager knew that.â€ “I have always wanted to play for this club and, if I’m given the chance to play, there’s no way I would leave.
“It’s a clean slate for me now, and a fresh start for everyone. That’s something Kevin said to all of the players straight away, and it was music to the ears for me.”
Both Steven Taylor and Ameobi were at St James’ Park regularly during Keegan’s first management tenure at Newcastle and used to stand in the old East Stand paddock. They both just loved the attacking football that Newcastle played in those days (who didn’t?) and had them hailed as the Entertainers.
“I was with Newcastle schoolboys when Kevin was here last time,” he said. “And I remember going to the games. I didn’t really have anything to do with it because I was still at school, but I went to every home game and remember the great football we played.â€
“Living in the city, you can’t fail to notice what has happened since he returned.â€ “I am a massive fan myself and I don’t think I have experienced anything like the impact he has had on a lot of my friends. Being a part of that now is amazing.â€
“Unfortunately, we didn’t play to our potential against Bolton.â€ â€œThey stuck everyone behind the ball and we didn’t break them down, but that isn’t going to stop the positive energy that the last two or three days has generated.â€
“We didn’t lose, we gave everything we had, and we kept on going. We had great momentum from the crowd, and hopefully it’s a stepping stone to do great things.â€
“This was the just the start.â€ â€œWe would have loved to win, but it’s a draw and it’s one game unbeaten.”
Shola will have another chance at Newcastle, but he will need to start scoring goals regularly for him to survive in the Keegan era. A big strong center forward is at least one type of player Keegan is almost certain to bring into the club, probably in January if Chris Mort can do that.
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