Bigger Squads Have Their Own Challenges

Having a small squad has it’s distinct challenges but so does a bigger squad.

Shola Ameobi – still has part to play at Newcastle

And one of the challenges when you have a sizable squad is to keep the players happy, by giving them frequent games.

That certainly hasn’t happened to Shola Ameobi recently, but manager Chris Hughton says the Nigerian-born player, who grew up in Newcastle, still has a part to play for the Magpies this season.

Ameobi was an unused sub last Friday, when Newcastle dismantled Cardiff City, in front of a 44,000 home crowd.

Chris Hughton talked about Shola to the Evening Chronicle today:

“Shola, of course, had come back from an injury, and then missed a couple of games."

“What I expect from all of the strikers is for them to play a big part between now and the end of the season.”

“It does give me options. That’s what you want from him.”

Shola may get an opportunity tonight, either by getting a  start alongside big Andy Carroll, or coming off the bench in the second half.

And certainly at the beginning of the season, before he was injured, Shola played some of his very best football since making his debut at Newcastle a full 10 years ago, under the incomparable Bobby Robson..

Hughton continued:

“He’s a Newcastle lad, and he will have been as pleased as anybody that we got the result, and the goals went in, even though he wasn’t involved.”

“Ultimately, he wants to be part of a team that’s winning games.”

For the record Ameobi has now played 270 times for the only club he’s ever played for, and was capped 20 times at the England U-21 level.

He currently has 58 goals at Newcastle, and we would hope he can add to that total tonight, here’s hoping.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • MacToon

    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #1

    I hear Gazza’s been arrested twice in the last couple of days for disorder offences. I really hope he sorts himself out before it’s too late.

    As for strikers, who is everyones no.1 choice? Carroll? and what about the rest? I find it difficult to choose between them tbh, Carroll, Loven and Shola.

    Who’s ur no 1 choice? and best player to play with them?

  • sas

    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #2

    “For the record Ameobi has now played 270 times for the only club he’s ever played for”

    for the record, he played for Stoke too


    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #3

    will never hold down a start. given the signing of best, poor old shola is now prob 4th or 5th choice. time to thank shola for his contribution and let him go in summer

  • MacToon

    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #4

    LuaLua out on loan for a month to Brighton, hope he’s careful in the night clubs 🙂

  • baro

    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #5

    Is the match coming on live? Or just commentary?


    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #6


  • toonboyjake

    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #7

    hi regular reader of the blog thought id start commenting, think shola has gone down the pecking order big time, loven and carroll are our in form forwards and best and ranger are next in line, think he’ll go in the summer. btw who was the scorer for the u18s?


    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #8

    paul dummett

  • toonboyjake

    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #9


  • Bryan

    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #10

    One of the most frustrating players to watch. One day unplayable the next day Sunday morning football springs to mind. I was at the game when he made his debut at SJP against Leeds. He gave Woodgate a torrid time all day. I left the game thinking ” theres a good one for the future”. But i think his career has just stagnated and he just has not developed as a player during his time at SJP. On his day he looks very good but unfortunately those days are very few and far between. I think the club made a mistake by giving him his last contract. I think he needs a change of club to mybe ignite that spark that we know he has.
    I for one would not be too bothered if he left in the summer.

  • MacToon

    Feb 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #11

    “Carroll is on fire with a goal per each of his last 75 minutes on the field. Lovenkrands can boast a better average of 43 minutes for his last 6 goals whilst Shola has 7 from 8 league starts. Leon Best can not be ignored as a new signing who scored at Pride Park for Coventry (as did Routledge last season for QPR) and Ranger has scored 2 from the bench.”

    From Talk of the Tyne dotcom, sums it up quite well really.

    Bryan, let us in on the secret, who are you talking about?

  • toonboyjake

    Feb 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #12

    Its a nice dilemna to have mactoon but shola is a very frustrating player as (as shown at the beginning of the season) he can be a good goalscorer but on the other hand he can be a waste of space and not really do anything in a match except try and pull off silly flicks. I think Lovenkrands and either Best or Carroll should be our starting strikers with Shola and one of carroll or best able to come off the bench and make some sort of impact

  • lesh

    Feb 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #13

    4 MacToon // Feb 9, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    LuaLua out on loan for a month to Brighton, hope he’s careful in the night clubs ..

    Mac, as long as he’s careful which night clubs he gets into and then he starts to be careful when he’s inside!

    As long as he’s not colour blind when he sees the flags, he’ll be able to decide which establishment caters for what clientele

  • Bryan

    Feb 9, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #14

    Mactoon- Shola of course.


You must log in to post a comment.