Shola Ameobi turned 31 last month, but that didn’t stop Nigeria form naming him in the squad for a friendly against Venezuela tomorrow night, and if Shola shows up well in that International and in training, then he could be part of Nigeria’s squad for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to take place in South Africa in January and February.
Shola Ameobi – could be missing in January and February
Bear in mind Newcastle only have three experienced strikers this season in Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba and Shola, and if news reports are to be believed, Ba could even leave via that release clause in his contract in January, and Newcastle would be in big trouble in the striker department.
Alan Pardew knows the situation with Shola, and cannot be too happy, but Shola wants to play, as he had this to say in the Daily Mirror today:
“I want to do the best that I can, I don’t just want to be a local hero, I want to be an international one. That’s what has driven the decision.” “This is the first opportunity that has arisen to do something that I’ve always felt passionately about and I’ve always wanted to do.”
“It’s a great honor and I don’t take it lightly.” “I think with my age and the travelling, that’s what he’s worried about. You don’t get back until later, you don’t get much time to recover but it’s something that we will look at and make sure I’m not doing a disservice to the club.”
“Newcastle United will always be number one for me, that is the bread and butter so that is something we’ll look at. But he’s delighted for me, as you’d expect because he wants a squad full of internationals here.”
So that doesn’t sound that Shola would turn the opportunity down if the country of his birth selects him for the tournament.
It’s unfortunate the the African Football Federation has their Championships every two years rather than four years as in Europe, and since they have changed recently to play their tournament on odd years rather than even years, we’ve had three tournaments in the last four years, and of course they take place right in the middle of the European football season, and top clubs lose their top players for up to seven weeks.
We’ll already be losing Cheick Tiote, as he will be in the squad for the Ivory Coast, so this is another potential problem in the striker department for Alan Pardew to be concerned about at Newcastle.
What do you think?
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