Not the Sho we were expecting

By Lee Ryder on Jul 25, 08 02:22 PM

It wasn't the way he probably planned it and it certainly wasn't the way Newcastle United planned it either.

But nevertheless Shola Ameobi will head to Doncaster Rovers as United's main striker at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Not only does Shola's emergence as the main man highlight that there have been no takers for one of the Toon's longest serving players, but it also underlines the frailties of Kevin Keegan's squad.

And although losing pre-season friendlies means very little at this stage of the year, defeat at Donny could deliver an almighty reality check with the new season now less than a month away.

With Alan Smith and Shola the only strikers available with senior experience, the pair look set to lead the line unless KK opts to experiment by pushing up one of his midfielders.

I guess, that's what pre-season is all about with Jonas Gutierrez still not clear to make his debut due to red tape and the Owen (mumps), Carroll (foot), Viduka (heel) and Martins (family tragedy) all off the radar, for many the lack of transfers will and already have set the alarms bells off.

Panicking of course doesn't really solve anything and by the time August 31 arrives it can leave you with egg on your face.

And no matter what your opinion is, it seems clear that United are unlikely to splash out mega money until the finances have been trimmed down at the club.

Up and coming stars who aren't asking the earth seem certain to be as good as it will get this summer, unless United really do pull a corker out the bag.



One_SuperMac said:

Although I think Mike should flash the cash a bit, this is where I have a little sympathy! How many first team performances has Shola had? He is obviously on way too much money, and I feel that that is where the trimming needs to be!

Pedi said:

How can we progress from last season when we have less players? The new players we do have, one has no prem lge experience, the other only a kid.

The keegan has said he will look to the fringe players next season probably meaning he also does not expect any decent transfers to be concluded.
I cant see anymore players coming in before the end of the window now, thoughts are turning to the league.

So much for our crack team of head hunters, what has wise and jimmy come up with for us? Nowt, oh maybe the fella that thinks hes spiderman and thats it. I thought that guy had good contacts in spain??? Where are they then?
I dont believe the Keegan doesnt know who he would like playing for us so something is getting in the way of proceedings to get the player, money/man in middle or both.

The fact we have gone for players and not managed to sign them is worrying, moreso the lack of transfers is starting to ruffle feathers of the remaining squad, both harper and given voicing concerns about the severe lack of depth and quality we have.

sam said:

dont care who is playin tomorrow up front tommorow because what oba is goin through right now is more important

Tardonicus said:

On the bright side, there's no better way to build up other club's interest in Shola than by playing him. If he plays anything like Duff did, well then the question would be do we really want rid of him? If his hip is truly healed I'd like to see Shola stick around. I know many feel he had his chance and is yesterday's news but given the way this season is shaping up, I'm rooting for Shola.


Appreciably NUFC needs to be run in a cost effective manner. However, there is a major difference between saving money and false economy. Ashley needs to spend some money in the transfer market to proect the value of his investment. If NUFC become engaged in a relegation battle - its potential sales value will plummet dramatically. Wise & Co are not delivering the goods. Yes - you need to sign young players for the future but some seasoned and experienced professionals are needed now to keep the Toon in the Premiership.

KARIM said:

i hope we give milner or duff a chance through the middle. maybe another option next season. My deepest felt condolences go out to Oba and his family.

r.greaves said:

look, keegan will get it right and there are a lot of good players at our club and i believe that some of the young guns will suprise a few this season and rightly so too. the young are ready i belive and good luck to them, lets not forget thet a certain wayne rooney was un heard off untill he made his debuet !!! our club needs to get it right from the bottom up and that will take time so please have patience and give mike ashley the support and time that is required to turn our club around so it can head in the right direction for once.

Mal said:

'I cant see anymore players coming in before the end of the window now, thoughts are turning to the league'.

Paul -, I think you are being unduly pessimistic, along with many others on this and similar boards. There is still 5 weeks to the end of the window and though we might not get the top notch players, I think there are still a lot of very good players out there who would love to come to newcastle and, at the end of the day, would improve the overall quality of the squad. Let's judge the efficiency of the head hunters at the end of august - I agree our squad is far too small but they know that and, lets face it, they have a lot of competition for the players that are available. As transfers happen at the top end of the market (chelsea, arsenal, liverpool etc), this will create good opportunities lower down and then things will start to move. We know what's happened in the past when we've panicked so let's not repeat those mistakes. How many clubs have signed more than 2 players at this stage anyway?
By the way, if we are thinking to the future I think we should sell one of our top keepers, otherwise how is Krul going to get the experience he needs (and craves for) at the top level?
Also agree with you sam, kind of puts things into perspective.

Ken said:

The squad seems OK to me. Ramage, Emre and Carr (and Ameobi) hardly played a part last season, so they will be no real loss.

Also some of the kids, especially the foreigners costing a lot of money and playing international football, should be capable of stepping up to the first team and doing a good job at the age of 18 and 19.

On top of that, the players are quite versatile - Duff could play left back for example - and Keegan has the imagination to get more out of them. Look at the way he used Owen last season. Genius.

Sam Allardyce said:

I told you lot that Ashley is tightfisted! I begged for players last year and was given naught. It was always about money and never about quality. Fat Fred doesn't look so bad now does he?

Anonymous said:

Another great performance by Alan Smith against Darlo today...

Anonymous said:

NUFC, is run like a pub side.People ask me, what has happened the Geordie Pride.??? JUST LOOKING AT THE E.C HEADLINES, 2 Newcastle yobs attacking the police.!!, who would want to come to Newcastle ??? 24/1 to be relegated, you would,nt bet against it.yet the bookies have them about 12th. for a Prem. finish. Just goes to prove how poor the Prem is; when you take out the TOP FOUR,the next 4 are no better than average but the remaining 12 are absolute joke,s. Sadly, we are in that allocation.


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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