Shola Ameobi has played the last couple of games without his protective face mask.
Shola Ameobi – not wearing this mask any longer
It seems that the broken cheek-bone Shola picked up at Craven Cottage on February 3rd, has now healed fully, which is good news.
Shola has talked today about playing without the mask, and is hoping Newcastle can get a result at Anfield on Sunday, and that’s whether local lad Andy Carroll plays for Liverpool or not.
Andy is currently doubtful for the game, this time with a jarred knee, and it will be interesting to see if he can make the game, and what kind of reception he will receive from the traveling Geordie fans.
This is what the Nigerian-born striker Ameobi said today about that mask he no longer wears:
“Psychologically you want it to feel right and I felt it was the right time to take the mask off,” “I’ve had a few knocks on there and it’s held up. It’s good for me to have taken those knocks so I know everything is all right now.”
“It takes the bone eight weeks to heal and I’d given it plenty of time. They just advised with the remaining games to keep it on but it was uncomfortable playing with it. I’m thankful it’s off now, it’s done the job we wanted it to do. Hopefully now I can stay injury-free until the end of the season.”
“It’s fundamental we’re able to beat teams around us and take points off them,” “With Carroll or without Carroll I’m looking forward to facing Liverpool (on Sunday). It’s a game that historically hasn’t been great for us but we’re trying to turn tides here.”
“Hopefully we can get another massive result. We beat them at our place earlier in the season so it’s not impossible. We just have to be focused and hopefully we can come through that one.”
There’s no doubt Newcastle are missing two of their top strikers, in Best and Carroll.
Carroll’s gone of course, but even if he had stayed on Tyneside, he wouldn’t have been able to play more than two or three games at the most for Newcastle this year, because of his injuries.
And it looks like the Liverpool game will be Shola’s 300th game for Newcastle in all competitions, and at the moment he has 69 goals for Newcastle in his 299 appearances.
Bobby Robson was an admirer of Ameobi, and he first played Shola in September of 2000, in a game against Chelsea at St. James” Park, when Shola was 18, and the youngster played another 21 times for the Magpies in that season, with Alan Shearer being out injured.
But he’s been a frustrating player for Newcastle fans to watch, and has never really fulfilled his potential, because when he’s on form he’s an excellent player, and of course he played 20 times for the England U21 side with 7 goals.
Shola hasn’t quite come through yet this year for Newcastle, but with four games to go, the 29 year-old can still do a job for Newcastle, or at least we hope he can.
But there’s no doubt that Alan Pardew needs to bring in some good strikers in the summer.