Why Shola Ameobi Can Be Big Success Next Season

One of the many things we have come to like about Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager, over the last 11 months, is that he prepares so well for every single game, and never understimates any team.

Shola Ameobi celebrating with Newcastle fans at Plymouth

It was a lot easier to underestimate teams last season in the Championship, than it will be back in the Premiership, but Chris drummed into his players that the next game is always the most important game, and in fact the only thing that matters – whatever happened in the previous game.

Thats’s a wonderful psychology  to get over to your players, and of course it’s the basis on which teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and the Chelseas of this world are built.

Another thing to remember is that things are never as good as they may seem after a good win, and never as bad as they may appear after a big defeat. That viewpoint tends to keep everything in moderation.

One of the players who has a chance nest season to be a big player for Newcastle is the 28 year-old and very experienced 6’2″ striker, Shola Ameobi.

Ameobi talked about next season to the Evening Chronicle today:

“Hopefully, our home form can mirror what we did last season.” “That’ll be very important for us – being solid at home and nicking a few points away from home.”

“Every game means a lot, regardless of what’s gone on in the past.” “It’ll be exactly the same – we’ll go into next season wanting first and foremost to win games and stay in the league.”

As Shola goes into his 10th season in the Newcastle first team, he has absolutely no regrets about staying on at Newcastle after the disasters of May 2009.

Shola made his debut for Newcastle on 9th September 2000, in a home game against Chelsea. when the great Sir Bobby Robson was manager at the club.

That was a full 10 years ago and Shola talked about the last 10 seasons on Tyneside:

“If you’d asked me if I’d have been here for 10 seasons when I started, I wouldn’t have believed you.”    “It’s been an up and down time, but I’ve loved every minute of it.”“It’s unbelievable to play for the team you support, and to cap the 10th season off by winning the league was wonderful.”

“It was a pleasure to come into and put in performances like we have done.”   “I haven’t played consistently in the Premier League – that’s the one thing I’m looking for.”  “I know if I play games on a consistent basis, I’ll score goals.”

“I think I’ve proved that when I’ve been given the chance.”   “I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone – I just want to go out there, play football and score goals at the end of the day.”  “Hopefully, I can do that next season.”

Ameobi has made a total of 279 appearances for his home-town club with 63 goals, and he looked as good as he’s ever looked in a black and white shirt last August when he scored 5 goals before being injured and helped Newcastle get the start they needed with 6 wins in our first 7 games of the season.

Shola also appeared 20 times with 7 goals for the England U21 side from 2000-2003 and as long as he can stay fit from the many hamstring injuries he picks up – we have to think (or is that hope?) he will have a good season next time out.

The Zaria, Nigeria born player added:

“I’d like to have doubled my tally, but such is life. Injuries and stuff have stopped me from doing that.” “Every game I play I want to score – that won’t change.”

We think Shola Ameobi, like Andy Carroll, as another example,  has benefited last season from the excellent coaching of  Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.

Chris may be quiet but he’s no-nonsense when it  comes to coaching,  and tells his players the truth about their games, in an effort to improve their play.

And we saw last season with Shola, Andy, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Tamas Kadar  and others, that Chris sees the positives in their play and brings them out.

That’s what good coaches do – they get the very best out of the players they have at the club.

We think that Chris Hughton can have a  further big impact on the play of Shola Ameobi, and while he will start next season as probably the number 3 striker at best, it is a perfect time for Shola to show exactly what he can do at the famous Newcastle club.

Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Bucks mag

    Jun 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #1

    Shola’s got to go.
    I’ve no doubt a Championship club would pay around £1m for him after last season, use that money for something better.

  • snoutshuffler

    Jun 5, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #2

    “We” may think he has benefited from Hughtons coaching…

    “I” think he has benefited from finding his level in the Championship…..

    Bye Shola, you have had 9 (yes nine) seaosns in the Prem and you couldn’t hack it. You can take that waste of oxygen Leon Best with you!

  • toongloom

    Jun 5, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed, wat is wrong with you lol 1st this morning – anelka on loan and now shola – tht he can be success.

    Personally, i rather keep ranger than shola and best. Atleast hes young and has shown some promise!

  • catchy in norway

    Jun 5, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #4

    Ed ed ed, please , your a man of the world, i would imagin you have a lot of Knowledge on many subjects, from some of your blogs i am starting to think NUFC is not one on them,,

    i mean come on , as the guy above has stated, 9 YEARS, he is not good enough for our team, and there is 9 YEARS of proof for you,

  • boater

    Jun 5, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #5

    Sorry I am going out on a limb here.

    Shola is fine for us. He is improving with age. He was a class above when he did play last season and scored in very tight games. I can see a zamora type of season next year under Hughton’s steady leadership.

    There is a technical aspect to his game which sets his apart – he can create something for himself, which the others can’t do. Invaluable next season with possession at a premium.

    You are all so desperate to throw out the baby with the bathwater on this one, a kind of sacrificial gesture. Need I remind you of the players we do have – an untried Carroll, very inconsistent loven and a kid who scored 2 in 17 appearances. Hardly the days of shearer, tino and sir les is it? We’ll need him and his 8 goals or whatever next season I guarantee it.

  • boater

    Jun 5, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #6

    My apologies 2 in 30 from Ranger in the CHAMPIONSHIP. Is it the romantic projection of him you all like, or the reality of where he is NOW?

  • wickywoowoo

    Jun 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #7

    Your point about Ranger is spot on boater. People overlook his hideous scoring record and hammer Best repeatedly.

    Ignoring that Best got about 10+ goals last season for a much weaker team than we had.

  • borderreiver

    Jun 5, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Well said boater,Shola will do a job next season [injuries permitting must admit this is a worry].He has only started something like 116 league games and scored around 45 ish goals [don’t have the figures to hand] majority of games obviously come off the bench.Second highest scorer in Europe and he has bollocks, he’ll stand up and be counted eg the penalty against the filth season before last,he knew if he missed he would have been slated.

  • eltoro

    Jun 5, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #9

    Shola needs to get fit and probably lose a bit of weight. I know he has changed his style by bulking up a muscular upper body, but at the end of the season when he came back he couldnt run. I only saw him in the flesh against Reading (away) and his lack of effort was disgraceful if we assume he wasnt carrying an injury.

    He is a poor target man but he can do something unexpected – might win and score a few penalties and scored some really good goals last year. I think he still has something to offer the team and there is no way we could get any better for the money he’d bring in.

    A striker from the championship would probably be at least 3mil, when the likes of Chopra cost 4mil

  • G

    Jun 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #10

    Shola has always had the problem of living in the shadows of an expensive striker. I expect him to look something different next season, and step up to the mark. I will never expect Shola to be a 20 goals a season striker, but if he can break past 10 goals next season then I will be happy, as long as his performances are team performances, and not individual displays.

  • boater

    Jun 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #11

    Spot on lads. At the toon we think if you’re not Shearer, you’re wasting a place in the squad. We love a good scapegoat – which does us no favours in the long run.

    The other question is finding players who love the club – not just badge kissers, but players who understand the importance of a squad game. Shola is happy to come in and out the side where needed – cos he’s a mag and thinks about the good of the club not just his own career.

    We moan about players coming in – getting paid this n that, and not caring. Then turn on our own – for no damn good reason. It’s a shame.

  • boater

    Jun 5, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #12

    Eltoro – you’re right about the weight. I thought this coincided with some improving performances.

    The irony is he scored a number of goals which were reported by loads of press as ‘premiership class’,, sheff wed – first time volley, turn in the box against coventry (?) and the forest lone effort. He scores over 1 in 2 starts,, and people say “ahh he’s found his level”,, but somehow with Nolan it’s “ahh he’s too good for this league”,, once you’re tarred by the mob you have HAD IT.

  • boater

    Jun 5, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #13

    borderreiver – reet enough. Injuries has always been the concern. He seems to get 2 to 3 months lay offs at least once a season – dyer style.

    Same with a lot of gangly players – ferguson, cort, c cole etc. Still fingers x’d he has better luck. Aye reet – he’s capable of 8-12 goals in the prem when fit,, and how much would that cost to buy now!?!?! More than we have I knaa that.

  • JSYproject

    Jun 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #14

    totally agree with boater about who we could get for what he would fetch.. keep him if it gets to january and we can do without him, then make the decision.

    but with all the controversy surrounding the possible no transfers policy i cant believe people are wanting to get rid of a proven premiership goal scorer. fair enough not the best but he can guarentee us at least a few and they could be invaluable when it comes to the last day…

  • borderreiver

    Jun 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #15

    G there are’nt many 20 goal a season gadgies in the premier league,Owen for example has never scored 20 league goals in a season.The radgies amongst us talk about getting the likes of Carlton Cole [and selling Ameobi for 1 m FFS].For the daft lads out there look at the stats stop ‘spowting’ crap.I would like to see Nile Ranger come good ,but he’s a worry, goals record poor,he’s done time for a street robbery,his ‘tude apparentley is poor.And for all the ‘cockney haters out there,he was a Mr Wise aquisition…Shola or Ranger…no brainer to me.

  • sirjasontoon

    Jun 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #16

    Pile of Shit-10 years of plop.

  • G

    Jun 5, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #17

    There are far too many people who base their opinions of who can play on computer game statistics. You can usually spot them as they belive Vucic doesn’t need at least another years development. Vucic is a prospect, Ranger is a prospect and there are many other exciting kids in the bairns squad. Let them develop normally, don’t knack them by building them up just to persecute them on the field. Shola has waited a long time for the chance of leading the line, best is 23 and has lots more to come, Lovenkrands has never played in the Prem in a settled team. Things are not as bad as seems, and the squad we have is better than some of those in the prem. We have to trust CH on whomever he plays next season, after all, we aint gonna win the league, so lets just do the best we can do, and be the best fans we can be.

  • ToOn_26

    Jun 5, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #18

    Offload him please, has been given a number of chances in the PL..used to remember everytime he played in a PL game, he looses possession each & everytime the ball came to him..cr@ppy player, would never cut it in the PL

  • borderreiver

    Jun 6, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #19


    “..used to remember everytime he played in a PL game,he looses possession each & everytime the ball came to him…” FFS why don’f you write for the Daily Mail etc .Another daft lad …”each and everytime…” I rest my case.

  • Hoovernose

    Jun 6, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #20

    I’d swap him for Kevin Davies in a heartbeat.

  • borderreiver

    Jun 6, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #21


    Have you honestly looked at Kevin Davies scoring record?Obviously not.Davies is 33,i give up the will to live sometimes.


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