Shola Ameobi has seen lots of things happen while he’s been at Newcastle, and he signed a pre-contract with the club in July of 1997 and made his first team debut under Bobby Robson in September of 2000, when he came on as a sub in the home game with Chelsea.
Shola Ameobi – brought down for penalty on Tuesday night
And of course over the many years Ameobi has been part of the club there’s been a lot of stuff going on, with the emphasis on stuff, but not any more, or so it seems, with Newcastle threatening to become a stable club with long term contracts in place for manager Alan Pardew and his coaching staff, and many of Newcastle’s top players.
Shola seems to appreciate the lack of negative drama at the club for the last couple of years or so, as he had this to say to the local press:
“There is not much chaos around these days, which is unusual when you look at what’s happened over the years here.” “But it’s fantastic. The manager and staff have built a good team and it’s now all about the football and that’s great to see.”
“It’s brilliant to be part of that. To be part of a squad that did so well last season is a genuine pleasure, even if we know we still have a long way to go. It’s going to be a tough season this time, even tougher than previous years.”
“We know we will need to fight hard and be even better and that’s just to maintain the position we had last time.” “It’s certainly going to be really difficult to replicate what we did last season. Just look at teams such as Liverpool and Chelsea.”
“I can’t see them doing as badly this time in terms of where they finished in the league last season – so we are going to have to raise the bar again.” “If we did manage to do that, for me, it would mean finishing in a European spot again this season.”
“Certainly, as I look back at my career with Newcastle, to do that this time would be our biggest every achievement.” “I want to be in forefront of the manager’s mind. I have played here my entire career.”
“I love playing for Newcastle and want to play here for as long as I can. I want to prove to whoever is at the top that I’m worthy of a place in the squad and in the team.”
“I have been so lucky. I know that. To play for my hometown club for all these years is a dream and I want it to continue that run for as long as possible.”
Shola was in one of those moods on Tuesday night where he looked almost unplayable at Victoria Park, and he was involved in all three Newcastle goals in the first 12 minutes of the game.
And it will be the first time Shola has played in Europe since the 2006-2007 season, and of course the 30 year-old striker who was born in Nigeria, participated in the two Champions League campaigns when the great Bobby Robson, who was a big believer in Shola, was famously managing the club.
While at first we thought Alan Pardew’s appointment in December of 2010 would end up in complete failure, much like Graeme Souness’ tenure did a short 18 months after he replaced Bobby, Alan Pardew had proved us completely wrong – what again? 😀
And Alan and the rest of the coaching staff are doing a fantastic job on Tyneside, and the manager is one of the main reasons things are so settled at Newcastle.
Long may it continue.