There’s little doubt that Alan Pardew likes Shola Ameobi, and thinks he is a top professional at Newcastle.
Shola Ameobi – after scoring equalizer against Sunderland in injury time
And one thing we didn’t know until Alan Pardew arrived was that Shola is an inspiration in the dressing room.
And Alan Pardew has told the Sunday Sun today that the 30 year-old is the only player he has ever seen deliver an inspirational pre-match team talk, without even swearing.
That’s some feat indeed!
And Alan thinks Shola should be starting more games for the side, given the good form he seems to be in, but he will again be on the bench at West Brom this afternoon, in a game that is being televised live around the world.
Alan Pardew thinks that the Nigerian-born Shola is an outstanding player, but over the years he’s also been one of the most frustrating players ever to wear the famous Newcastle shirt.
On one day he can look like a complete world beater, and in the next game he can do nothing right – with the emphasis on nothing.
This is what Alan Pardew said about his striker selection at the moment:
“In this team I’m picking right now he should play. And I’m the manager,”
“But at the moment I’m trying to get Papiss Cisse some game time and I know that if he doesn’t start well or can’t pick up the pace, Shola’s on.”
We think Shola can still do a job for Newcastle, and we need all the goals we can get in these last nine games of the season, and Newcastle could well end up in the highest position in the league since the great Sir Bobby Robson was manager.
But we cannot take anything for granted, and it will be difficult to make 5th place, which is what Bobby achieved in the last of his five seasons on Tyneside.
But he got the sack because 5th place just wasn’t good enough for Freddy Shepherd, after we had finished in 4th and 3rd place in the two previous seasons, and qualified for the Champions League.
It says something that Newcastle have never finished as high as 5th position since Bobby Robson left in 2004.
What was Freddy Shepherd thinking when he sacked Bobby in August of 2004?
That’s a very good question.