Is Shola Ameobi Finally Fulfilling His Great Potential?

Ameobi has played some great games for Newcastle this season, and now has 6 goals, just one goal behind his captain, Kevin Nolan.

Shola Ameobi – hits home a classic penalty

And maybe – just maybe, he is about to justify the enormous potential he has always shown, since the mercurial Bobby Robson gave him his Newcastle debut some 10 years ago.

Shola talked about Sunday’s game:

“It’s indescribable. It’s something I dreamt of as a kid and I keep saying I feel lucky to be in the position to do it,” “It’s something I always wished for and now I’m here doing it. I feel blessed.”

“The most important thing was those three points – it shoots you up the table.” “If we’d have lost it, it dampens things – especially against our local rivals.”

And playing Carroll and Ameobi up front, was a master stroke by Chris Hughton on Sunday, and the two local lads both had great games, and were just too good, too spirited and too talented for the over-run Sunderland defense.

Shola seems to be thriving under Chris Hughton, and has been disappointed that he hasn’t started more games this season.

But he’s proved that he can play well with Andy up front, although it could be that Chris plays a more defensive formation at the Emirates on Sunday, but maybe not with Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez  and Barton playing so very well in midfield these days.

The arrival at the club of  Cheick Tiote in particular,  may mean Chris doesn’t need to play 4-5-1 as many times as he has done so far this season.

In any case Shola is having a great season – so far – and it’s hard to argue with that, given the 28 year-old’s performances this term.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • Purely Belter

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #1

    ill back shola coz he wears black and white but “great potential”????

    thats going a tad far Ed 🙂

  • repo

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #2

    No cause he is lazy and only turns it on when he feels like it..

    come arsenal he be back to his lazy self…

  • nomis_jade

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #3

    I think the formation works really well at the moment. Nolan is doing better as a midfield man that pops up in the box no and again, rather than a second striker. Basically shola and carroll cause so much problem for the defence that nolan gets more time and space. His runs are also really good. Although joey is not a winger, having him there allows him to fill into the middle when nolan moves forward. And above all that we have the main man tiote covering them all. Its brilliant. Id go with the same thing at arsenal. Lets go for it, we may as well! Still not totally convinced about shola, although iv never been quite as pessimistic about him as some on here. But he is scoring and working well with carroll. Iv been impressed by is runs into the channels, and he still has the skill to either often beat his man or win a foul.
    Neway, what do others think? fair comments?

  • Flop

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #4

    Repo – bit harsh. Let’s not get on his back just yet. Thought Shola was fantastic on saturday great penalty even better volley

  • tdt

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #5

    I think shola is a decent player, but his been held back by injuries for years. Given a run of games, a pro-longed injury-free period, I think he’ll sho(la) what he can really do. He does appear lazy sometimes though, even crap players can be heros if they give full effort and commitment – look at backpool.

  • mark9403newcastle

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #6

    I agree with you Ed, Shola has always seemed decent enough once he gets on a run but can be a donkey at times. U watch him this season and last (admitedly in the championship) but he looks more the finished article. People underate his first touch and hold play while he’s so effective at freeing up space for Nolan when he drops deeper. Much more the finished article now and Im beggining the rate this lad.

  • munch27

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #7

    When Shola is up front as the target man he seems like bambi but when the pressure is of and he’s playing of Big Andy he shows what he is really capable of keep it up Shola.

  • benscott123123

    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #8

    I think Shola looked a much better player against sunderland than i’ve seen before he seemed alot faster and powerful and was holding the ball up very well and was always a threat in front of goal. Hopefully gone are the days were he would drop short and walk arround aimlessly with the ball!

  • eplforecast

    Nov 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #9

    You do not give up Ameobi, you manage it..

  • nden85

    Nov 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #10

    He’s clearly the new Ferdinand, anyone can see.

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Nov 2, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #11


    Enough is enough. Your glasses are too damn black and white. 2 goals against the mackems doesn’t actually make Ameobi freaking Pele.

    He’s shite, and of.

  • RichK

    Nov 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #12

    I have to say that Shola has impressed me over the last couple of games. I think the form of Andy Carroll in particular has put a little bit of pressure/competition on him to perform and long may this continue.

    Shola will never be a 20 goal a season striker but is more than capable of getting 10-15 which would be a good return, particularly in the premiership.

    Both him and Andy seem to have struck a good partnerhip and they are certainly a handful for defenders. With Nolan and others scoring from midfield it takes a bit of pressure of the pair of them to bang the goals in!

  • Solaidback

    Nov 2, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #13

    I hold my hands up & say I was one of those who thought Shola wasn’t a 90min player but he proved me wrong against the Muckems, he showed he was capable of running, shooting & heading the ball for a full 90mins & I applaud his commitment to the side that showed the unwashed who the Top Dogs of the NE really are… 🙂

    Now if he can do that every match, then I hope & pray that he can but like others have said, he goes missing too often during games when we really need him, thats why maybe CH should get him some sort of contact lenses that he can wear which makes every team look like the Muckems, then that way he’ll play 110% every game & not just against our bitter rivals.. lol 😉

  • StevieGee

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #14

    @Macnoble, That’s a load of cr4p if ever I heard it.

    In the games Shola has played this season he has been affective, scored crucial goals and has looked dangerous. People are down on him because he was injured all the time but last season he scored a number of goals as well. You seem to forget Carroll only came in to his own and started scoring in the latter part of the season when Shola was injured.

    Get behind him for once, he’s a Newcastle player and has been committed to the club since he was a kid.

    People on here equally knock Nolan all the time despite his influence in the dressing room and performances this season.

    Give it a rest….

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #15

    RichK, Shola has had 3 starts with 3 goals. Andy has had 9 starts with 5 goals and Kev has had 9 starts with 7 goals. I think if Shola gets enough starts and stays fit, he could manage a 20 goal season.

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #16


    I disagree.

    If you count the times when Shola loses the ball to the opponent by fouling the opponent, bad touch or just loosing in the air, he’s terrible. Tactically, he sucks.

    Carrol wins more balls, forces the defenders to foul him and runs 10 times more.

    Football is much more then just looking dangerous at times.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #17

    I can never understand why Shola gets so much abuse. I think he suffered by Shearer going on too long at the end and he should have had more games earlier. As it is Shola played through a serious hip injury and deserves a lot more praise or rather less, in my opinion, undeserved criticism.

  • StevieGee

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #18


    I agree he used to give the ball away and foul too much but he has been much improved this season and before he was injured last season.

    I agree Carroll is a better player but Shola has improved a lot and is a good second striker. The two of them cause a lot of problems for defenders.

    I think he has been proven to be more than just dangerous given that he has 6 goals this season despite not playing as many games as some of the other players.

  • Sav

    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #19

    Seems his fitness and a run of games is key to getting best out of Shola. And alongside Carroll it takes the pressure off to be a target-man, which he’s not.

  • Obafan

    Nov 2, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Can’t believe that Ameobi gets so much abuse. He is playing very well at the moment. He and Carroll upfront are working very hard and are a nightmare for the opposite defenders.

    Come on Shole keep this form for the rest of the season and hopefully you may have a season without any injuries, cause everytime he looked good he got injured.

  • balubas1

    Nov 2, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #21

    -Took the ball down and dribbles 2 guys to set up the play for the 2nd goal
    -Converted a perfect penalty
    -Scored a beauty for his 2nd
    -Header assist for Nolan’s 3rd goal.

    He looks bambi on ice, but he pulles out that magic sometime u know;)

    No Toon should say he’s shite. U may say u never know what u get from him, but not that he’s shite. Reconsider your loyalty to the club if you are that mindless. Shola’s like inventory in the club.

  • pizzicatochan

    Nov 2, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #22

    Can I hope for a “Shearer- Ferdinand” combo (or at least close to it) from Carroll and Ameobi?

  • Rowan Milsted

    Nov 2, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #23

    When we got promoted I feared that we needed an additional striker as Ameobi had never quite cut it in the Prem and Carroll was an unknown quality at that level. I thought perhaps we should sign someone with a little Premier League experience to play alongside the developing Carroll, which would have meant dropping Ameobi to the bench where he would have to compete with Lervenkrands for even a sniff of the action.

    But with – what – 11 goals between the pair (I think!) it seems that I underestimated how well they would perform this season. Ameobi will never be a 20 goal-a-season player, at least I sincerely doubt it, whereas Carroll will, hopefully in time, aspire to that level. He’s been given a hell of a charge with the no.9 shirt and comparisons with Shearer; if he turns out to be only half as good as Big Al then we’ve got one hell of a player.

    But what Ameobi might do is give us 10-15 goals a season, which at this level is not to be sniffed at. He’s having one of the best seasons I can recall in a black and white shirt, and what’s more he’s contributing to Nolan and Carroll’s goal tally, last Sunday being a fine example of this.

    He’s not the most technically gifted player and can at times appear a trifle clumsy, but he’s strong, determined, good in the air and hungry for goals. What’s even better is that he’s a local lad who has thusfar pledged his career to the black and white cause. Top respect for that.

    He reminds me of Dirk Kuyt- perhaps not so good with his feet but an absolute workhorse who’ll give you 90 minutes and then some. Both these players do a good job for their respective teams without scoring a whole clutch of goals.

    Ameobi seems to be playing better than ever with Carroll, which in turn is giving more attacking liscence to Nolan. In the last 2 games it’s worked wonders for us. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s as good a combination as Shearer and Ferdinand… and most likely it never will be. But at this present time it’s working well, certainly better than I imagined it would.

    So I say 3 cheers for Shola, God bless his loyalty and long may his current form continue. He certainly seems and improved player. Nice one Stroller!


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