Shola Ameobi came on as a late substitute in the 84th minute in the 2-0 win over Malawi on Saturday night in World Cup qualifying , for his 3rd cap, and he should pick up another cap tomorrow night in the friendly game against Burkina Faso. The win meant Nigeria won their group, and they now have a two game play-off to qualify for the World Cup finals next summer.
Shola Ameobi – Nigeria World Cup chance has energized him
The Newcastle striker turns 32 next month, and had been half expected to leave the club in the summer, but when Newcaysle couldn’t get a second striker through the door, there was no chance of the Nigerian-born player leaving Newcastle.
Ameobi is one of the Newcastle players away on International duty at the moment, but in Shola’s case manager Alan Pardew thinks that’s a good thing:
“We moan about players going out on international duty, but in this particular occasion, it’s done us a favor.” “Shola’s in good shape. I think he fancies a little bit of the World Cup, and we’re the beneficiaries of that.
“Sometimes players need a boost. We talk about moving on to different clubs. But he’s still our player.” “The biggest thing we’ve had is a new lease of life in him from that international.”
“He’s got a little sparkle in his eye from the Nigeria situation.”
Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations in January, but Shola couldn’t play because of a clause in his Newcastle contract which prevented him playing, but he has since had that removed.
Newcastle are essentially one striker short this season, so it would be great if Shola can chip in with some goals, and of course he has started the last two league games and been in decent form too.
With Loic Remy now fit, we would expect Remy and Papiss Cisse to be the first choice strikers for Newcastle, but Shola is adept at coming off the bench and scoring some vital goals for the team.
We hope he can keep doing that this season.
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