Stoke are doing the Ameobi

By Lee Ryder on Mar 27, 08 06:15 PM

Shola AmeobiEver since lanky Toon striker Shola Ameobi burst on to the scene at Newcastle United, Geordie fans have been divided over exactly what the Nigerian has to offer the black and whites.

The man who has his own personal song is certainly larger than life itself at times but has also been guilty of failing to make the cut during his Tyneside career.

Some fans absolutely love him, of which I am in that group, and some will be pleased to see him on the bus to Stoke on loan.

With Michael Owen, Oba Martins, Alan Smith, Mark Viduka and rookie striker Andy Carroll all ahead of him, plus the promise of new faces in the summer, it's difficult to see where Shola fits in to United these days.

However, KK always maintained that Shola would get his chance even though he did suggest he may have to push himself to the limit to get it.

Haunted by hip, back and even a smashed jaw in recent times it's fair to say that perhaps the home grown forward could benefit from a change of scenery and perhaps take advantage of the extra gaps available in Championship defences.

For many Shola will bring the unexpected and catch teams out.

And there are plenty of strikers who have been and gone at St James's Park who'd love 49 Toon goals in their locker.

Many see a striker that misses easy chances and lacks confidence in front of goal.

But as I say the unexpected is what Shola is all about with his often audacious skills ripping open defences.

Whether he's done that enough in a black and white shirt is probably the sensible debate.

Yet what price Shola roaring Stoke to promotion in a red and white shirt to give United boss KK food for thought next term?



dan said:

A couple of seasons too late to be honest, don't get me wrong, i like the lad, loyal, hard working and his goals have gotten out of a few sticky situations but with the striker shortage leaving floating around the subs bench for the last few seasons and the injuries he missed the perfect chance to hone his skills in the championship and become much more confident, however all the best of luck to him and i hope he comes back a much improved player.

Pedi said:

The best thing ive seen amoeba do is footballers cribs on MTV. Hes like a Bramble, showed signs of quality as a youngster then turned out pants. I forgot he was still here. Hes had enough chances to prove what he can do but all he seems to do is wrestle opponents and try and take on too many players before losing the ball. It'll move Andy carroll up the strikers list who i think will be alot better.
It would be good if he did do the unexpected.....Score!

Paul Patterson said:

I’m in both groups Lee- I’d have loved him to succeed, but sadly, you can’t make a good player out of a poor one (Silk purse and sows ear anyone??)

It’s quite sad that he’s not far off a testimonial, yet has achieved so little since bursting onto the scene in 2000 when he stepped on someone’s feet on the St James Park turf * Answers at the bottom of the page.

He has no first touch, no pace, no heading ability (Despite his height) and he can’t seem to shoot straight- so really does he fit in at Premier League level?

No is the answer- but he does happen to have a good record in the Champions League which suggests that he might benefit a move to a European side to actually realise his potential (It’s been a while since a british player moved to the continent and made a success- Shola would seem the least likely, yet I would bet it would work.

He certainly has no future at Newcastle, but I honestly feel for the lad as he seems to have learnt nothing from the strikers he’s played with- if you’d played me with Alan Shearer for the same length of time Shola did I’d have learnt more.

Good luck to the lad, it’s not his fault that so many managers have valued him enough to keep him, but he’s now 26 ( I think) so therefore needs to move as he’s too old to learn anything new at Newcastle United.

* Dennis Wise


Big Phil said:

Good luck to him. Hope the move works out and he leaves permanently. For me he's a striker without a shot, a big man who's not good in the air, a player with good technique but a poor touch. So many contradictions, so much early promise, so little actual achievement.
Hopefully he'll have a good career away from SJP. I'll be pleasantly surprised if his transfer fee exceeds his annual salary at SJP...

Ben said:

I am in the group that he will never be good enought to cut it at the top level,He averages about 6 a season which is not good enough, he will be a decent championship player, he lacks pace, has a woeful first touch and for his size he is poor in the air and doesnt give a physical presence, Good luck to the lad I hope he does well, but if he had not been from up here he would never have been given as long.


dexter said:

I'm not sure which games your referring to, but I have to admit I've never gone to the reserves. Shola cares about the club and it is a shame we are losing the deadliest shoulder in the premier league at a difficult time. Most of his 48 goals were a complete accident or 'unexpected' as you wrote Lee.

He's had his chances and if KK thinks he isn't good enough I'm happy with that. I think the boss has shown by his selections in the last two games that he picks winners and not players on reputation or sentiment. Why don't we say thanks to shola, raise a glass and get on with rebuilding this club with players that command the price of our season ticket.

richardM said:

Moving on loan would be a good thing for Shola. He needs the work and more importantly he needs the energy of the crowds. But can anyone dispute or challange Shola's loyalty to NUFC? He has willingly played injured and sacrificed himself on many occassions. Lanky, slow and unimaginative, he still found ways to score. Michael Chopra gambled that being a legend in the championship would find him a home in the premeriership. Shola assumed he was safe at Newcastle. Unfortunately, time and people change and Shola's importance to the club waned. Good Luck to the lad and I hope he either comes back a better player or moved to a new side where he can secure regular first team play. During the past year Big Sam and KK played Alan Smith on a regular basis. Ask yourself, in all of those games would Shola have been a better option and would Shola have scored at least one or two timely goals. Just based on history in the Premeirship, Shola blows Alan Smith out of the water every time. Heck if he played with Michael Owen or Oba Martins, we might not be on the short end of the relegation battle. Thanks Big Sam. Good Luck Shola.

Malcolm said:

I stuck by shola for years in arguements with my mates in the pub as he always seemed to have it in him to be a good player. Eventually however I ran out of arguements, particularly after his performance in an away match at portsmouth which was one of the worst I've ever seen from anyone in a black and white shirt - and believe you me I've seen some shockers over the years. In the end I had to accept that he's just not premier league standard - whether that's lack of ability or mental strength I'm still not certain. Like everyone else I wish the lad good luck - I certainly expect to see him score a few in the Championship.

Cliff Anderson said:

What on earth is a matter with you Lee? Is sentiment or simply failing memory getting the better of you? Shola Ameobi (or Shameobi as I prefer him by) is a big lad that at 18 was thought to be a prospect but he has never developed beyond the level he had reached in 2000. He is lazy, has no pace, couldnt trap a bag of cement and his timing is utterly non existent. He is however, apparently, a nice bloke but sadly that alone wont help to win games. I know he has scored 46 times for the first team but to be honest some of his goals were laughable and the number alone has never convinced me that he is worth keeping. I find him so frustrating and in most games I feel he needs a good shake to wake him up. KK can spot a footballer and I feel he has already made up his mind that Shameobi is not good enough. I wish him well and I do hope he does play against us next season as that will be one less opponent to worry about!

Ryder's reply: I haven't got a problem with that Cliff, it's all about opinions but the fact remains some people like Shola and some don't.

John Best said:

Unfortunately he wont make it in the Championship either, TOO SLOW !! Half a Million tops when he finally departs.His career has gone backwards, its just that he is short of class.Fortunately Owen has improved but is incapable of breaking into a top 4 side, so he will probably stay; if we remain in the Prem.Viduka will be gone at the end of the season and Martins remains an enigma.Carroll needs a new head, because he aint as good as he thinks he is !!he has all of the physical attributes; then so did Shola ???. A point on Sunday would be a result for us but we still need the other stragglers to falter.

revo said:

Sholas weakness is concentration.
He is very slow to react and ends up wrestling with defenders and fouling.
I would have though a good coach would have learnt him to come off his marker with better timing and a simple message to keep playing in his head asking himself... is it me next... no matter where the ball is on the park.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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