After the match with Metalist on Thursday night, Alan Pardew had said he had told Shola Ameobi that he hadn’t been at his best lately, and that’s why he hadn’t been playing too much, and Shola has opened up in the local press today, and said he went to talk to the Newcastle manager because he just wasn’t getting enough playing time in the first team.
Shola Ameobi – not playing enough
It was apparently a very frank exchange of views between player and manager – and that’s always the best way to be – say what you think and believe as long as you do it in a respectful way.
Here’s what Shola said today:
“I was frustrated I haven’t played much this year in my position and I let him know that.” “I haven’t been in the team as much as I have been in the past to contribute.” “You get ten minutes and try to do things that sometimes might not come off.”
“I took on board what the boss said as I always do and made sure he knows I am still here.” “The manager is within his rights to say what he feels is right to his players, as I said my bit to him. I took it on board and made sure I gave a pleasing performance.”
“I haven’t felt match-fit this season because I haven’t had the games and it takes games to get in my stride.” “That is probably what the boss means when he says I have not been my sharpest, so it is important when I do get my chances I show I am an asset to the team.”
“I have never been happy being a bit-part player and he has known that all along.” “It is tough because you feel like you are auditioning to be in the team.” “I am happy to play where the manager wants, like on the right which is probably not my best position, but I have done the job.”
“It is an art form playing in Europe midweek and then winning your games in the league at the weekend.” “It is important we don’t let Thursday’s result take away the focus off the weekend.” “I know the manager has his eyes on Sunday and we have to as well as players.
“It is important with our league position we win our home games now.”
Managers always have trouble with players wanting to play – and that’s good – and it will be even more prevalent now with Newcastle’s squad looking so strong, and it’s not clear to us right now what Newcastle’s best starting eleven is.
So it wouldn’t surprise us if Alan has this same conversation with other players in his squad.
And don’t be surprised if Shola gets on tomorrow afternoon against Southampton, as he looked sharp and put home a great penalty against Metalist – and that saw us to victory and through to the round of the last 16 – it was a great win for Newcastle.
And now we need another one tomorrow afternoon against Southampton.
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