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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Is This Player Becoming Too Much Like Michael Owen?

10:23 am, Sunday, October 13th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 41 Comments

Shola Ameobi came back to Newcastle after playing for Nigeria in the last International break, but picked up an injury and wasn’t available for Newcastle in any of their games, but he’s back in the Nigerian squad for their next game, which is today in the first leg of their two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff against Ethiopia.

shola ameobi nigeria

Shola Ameobi – in Nigeria’s colors
What’s wrong with that picture?

Shola has become an International player late in his career, and he is very keen to make the World Cup squad for Brazil next summer, given that Nigeria can qualify, and it would be a good end to Shola’s career.

While the Nigerian born striker was born in Nigeria and played 20 times for England U21 side he was never good enough to be called up and play for the full England side, and he so far has 4 caps for the country of his birth.

Nigeria play their first leg play-off game at Addis Abeba against Ethiopia today, and we would expect Shola to be on the bench, and we expect that Nigeria can qualify, because they have a decent side and are the current African Cup of Nations Champions.

But the fact that Shola was not available to play for Newcastle between the two International breaks will bring comparisons with Michael Owen.

Michael did not have a good time of it in his four years at Newcastle, and he was always injured and he played only 79 times with 30 goals for Newcastle, and in most of those seasons we were playing in Europe too, with all the extra games, so he missed maybe over 65% of the games through injury.

And Michael used to infuriate Geordie fans with some of his interviews in the English press, because he would be out injured, but then say he was hoping to be fit for the next England game.


Michael Owen – while at Newcastle

In the World Cup in Germany in 2006, after being out for the second half of the previous season for Newcastle, he suffered an ACL knee injury in the finals in the game against Sweden, and he was then essentially out for the next season – but hoped to be ready for the England games at the end of that season.

And many pundits thought he suffered his ACL against Sweden because he simply wasn’t fully fit for Germany.

We hope Shola doesn’t come back injured from this International break, but we also think that when Shola’s three-year contract runs out next summer,  that could be the end of the road for the 31 year-old – at least at Newcastle.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

You can also reach Ed at

Tags: African Cup Of Nations · International News · Michael Owen · Shola Ameobi · World Cup 2014

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    un replaced could be the end of the road for more than the makem slayer

  • 2 Black and White with an army lol // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    i can’t believe Shola signed an contract extension better still giving a new contract to sign, he should of been sold years ago

  • 3 Black and White with an army lol // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    also i hope Shola does come back injured because he simply can’t contribute anything towards the team and shouldn’t even be in the NUFC shirt

  • 4 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    i hope he gets a bag full and gives cisse a run for his money

  • 5 Black and White with an army lol // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    John Tudor

    Shola has had many years at our club to prove his worth and he’s hasn’t been successful at all, it’s time for him to move on

  • 6 Toon1978 // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    What channel is goals on Sunday on lads? Pardew is on today.

  • 7 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    err windows closed if theres injuries he is needed

  • 8 archaeomag // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Is This Player Becoming Too Much Like Michael Owen?
    . . . is Shola buying racehorses on the sly?

  • 9 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    more like puffing reefers

  • 10 mot7 // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    lazy fat lump

  • 11 Ancientcoptic // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    We do not need Shola anymore, one of the big errors of last season was Shola’s inclusion, coming on normally after 60 minutes, anyways, regardless; I have never known a player that could be comparable to the way Michael Owen treated our club. Kieron Dyer had his injuries, but he would not dream of running his contract down and leaving the club for free as a way to repayment the club. This is quite an untasteful comparison to make. Ameobi is a club veteran and this is an isolated incident, surely it is not being suggested that Ameobi would feign injury to keep himself fit for Nigeria, that would be absurd – he will want to play for Newcastle to further his chances of playing for Nigeria, not the other way around. The only good thing that ever came out of Michael Owen was his injury on international duty, I recall the club received compensation and we bought Obafemi Martins as a result. Ameobi may not be Batistuta, but he is ours and has been with us a very long time… it really is unwise to castigate him for such a trivial reason, he is practically a son of NUFC.

  • 12 Ciaran // Oct 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    The very fact that 2nd rate players – Shola, Williamson, Jonas et al are even being touted as ‘needed’ is indicative of how poor the depth of quality in our squad is.

    With an owner who would invest in the long term future and growth of our team, these players would come nowhere close to our first team. As it stands, we will be relying on them if injuries hit.

  • 13 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    as i said ciaran im a realist yes we may have to rely on them but far from being second rate and of course retained by clueless nameless wannabe’s

  • 14 John Tudor // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    regime out

  • 15 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Isn’t Shola more often than not on the receiving end of a lot of criticism simply because he’s a big number 9 and many people just don’t fancy that type of player.

    I’ve seen the guy have absolute fuggen stormers for Newcastle, particularly in more recent years, although it’s undeniably true he is injury prone and inconsistent, then again he has so often had to play second fiddle to really top players and cool his heels on the bench for long periods anyway, so it’s been tough for him to develop that consistency.

    I think he’s become a very good player, as does the Nigeria coach and Pardew apparently.

    If Pardew could get the core of the first team playing consistently to their potential, I don’t see why he, along with Jonas and Willo couldn’t slot in from time to time against at least 3/4 of premiership sides and do a more than competent job, easy. That said, his time is of course coming to an end though.

  • 16 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Shola is a nice lad and have been a model professional, but he should have been sold back in 2008 when he went on loan to Stoke…but they didn’t want him either!

    …there is no room for sentiment in football. It’s a workplace, not a charity event!

  • 17 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    jimmysmith…stormers you say – they have really been too far in between!

    …he was a prospect who never developed into what we had hoped. Far from. Injury, inconsistency, lazyness and an very uneven goalscoring record!

    The only reason why he is still here is because we haven’t been very good at replacing our under performing forwards or even replacing those we loose!

    Apparently still a problem!

  • 18 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    If he had of been sold in 2008 we wouldn’t have had him in our Championship season where he formed that punishing partnership with Carroll that played such an important role in getting us promoted at the first attempt, not to mention his European goal scoring record for the club, so charity case seems a bit harsh.

  • 19 Laurent Robert 32 // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Pardew’s silver tongue spinning nonsense again live on TV on Goals on Sunday.

  • 20 Laurent Robert 32 // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I’m sure he could make his turds sound like chocolate caramel fudge quite naturally. Worse still, he’ll believe it himself.

  • 21 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    jimmysmith….then we would probably have had someone else!

    …maybe we wouldn’t have been relegated if he had been more consistent in the PL over the years! Who knows?

    Speculation doesn’t do us any good and doesn’t make up for his shortcomings!

    He is a nice las and a model professional, but there is no room for sentiment here :)

  • 22 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I think I’ve made it quite clear that I don’t think sentiment is the reason he’s still here and has been here so long. But yeah, I get it Jesper, you don’t rate him.

  • 23 Ciaran // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:51 AM


    In the entire season in the Championship he played less than 50% of the games, and scored 11 goals.

    Lovenkrands and Nolan scored more goals than him that year so he wasn’t exactly pivotal.

  • 24 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    jimmysmith…I don’t mind you rating Shola! That is not my department, but I was just very intrigued as to why you rate him?

    …I would think if he wasn’t a Geordie you probably didn’t? (hence the sentiment remark)

  • 25 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    But still far too good alongside Carroll for Championship defences and certainly very much in the mix when fit, as I remember.

    Anyway, he’s always been on the fringes of the first team and sides need players in that role and I think he’s done that job well in recent years, when fit, if not so well earlier in his career, granted.

  • 26 wolfshead@toon // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    this site has been taken over by bloggers with id’s beginning with the letter j haha

  • 27 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    J rules 😉

  • 28 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    I rate him because I think he’s got good touch and has developed a real physical presence when on song, and because I’ve seen him score some beautiful and vital goals, and as you say by all accounts he’s a model pro and also, yes, because he is a son of Newcastle.

  • 29 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM


    – Jiaran aka. Juddy

    – jolfshead@toon and

    – Jaurent Robert 32

  • 30 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    jimmysmith…then there was sentiment involved 😉

    …he is a model pro, but that is where it stops for me; there has been some good performances surely (far in between for my liking)

    I am not a Geordie, so that part doesn’t play that big a part for me! If we get a replacement for Ba in January, Ameobi would probably not get a game! That is football for you.

  • 31 jimmysmith // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    yeah, well, I don’t rate him so highly that I want to see him consistently picked in the starting 11, that’s for sure anyway.

  • 32 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Hehe 😉

    Well jimmysmith we agree on that part!

  • 33 Laurent Robert 32 // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Cisse is having a hard time, Alan. Playing on the wing for a half a season and defending most of the time will have helped that no end…

  • 34 wolfshead@toon // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM


    that sounds like helsingborgs midfield lol

  • 35 welshgeordie9 // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I wonder what the score is going to be next weekend against Liverpool.

  • 36 hdavid23 // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Becoming like Owen? That’s a bit harsh on Shola, isn’t it?
    Also, Owen could never have made that pass:

  • 37 Thump // Oct 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    The difference between Owen and Shola is Owen had already been there, done that and set his mind to the England squad. As a result, his club (us) suffered massively given how injury prone he was. Shola may be doing the same with Nigeria but, in all fairness, he’s getting on and wants to make the most of his career (something I can fully respect) and it just so happens that Nigeria aren’t an automatic contender for the finals in any competition, so he has to make the most of what he has. If he gets injured on international duty then fair enough. We have enough bodies up front now so it’s not exactly like we’re relying on him.

    Oh, also, Shola isn’t a grade A kernt.

  • 38 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Shola cares about Newcastle Owen never did big difference

    He also put off playing for Nigeria because we were in the sh*t as per usual

  • 39 tynesidetommo // Oct 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    So cruel Ed to compare Shola with Owen. Even when fit SA is not first choice at the Toon so let’s wish him all the best in his international aspirations. The lad has always remained loyal to Newcastke

  • 40 Brutooon // Oct 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    It is good he is injured

    SO we wont be nowhere near the team because he is SH*T

  • 41 Sav // Oct 13, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    That’s a bit harsh, Ed.
    Shola’s nowhere near as good as Michael Owen!
    Seriously, after a loyal career at the toon, Shola even turned down his first chance to play for Nigeria to turn out for us in a scabby cup match. Give the lad a break. We all know what Shols is not, but at least lets give him credit for what he is, loyal.

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