Doing the Ameobi

By Lee Ryder on Aug 16, 09 06:38 PM

Quite how Shola Ameobi's form can go from absolutely dreadful to first class probably didn't matter too much to the Toon fans who attended the first second tier game at St James's Park since 1993.

In fact the last time we played at this level special measures had to be made for Andy Cole and David Kelly to get a match ball each after the pair hit hat-tricks against Leicester City in a 7-1 win 16 years ago.

However, this time there was only one hero and that was Shola.

Shola's form at Newcastle has often left people wondering just why managers persist with the player who is one of the best trainers in the English game.

But there were three reasons why against Reading and he could quite easily have left the field with four after forcing a great save out of Adam Federici at Gallowgate.

In one week Ameobi went from taking a fair bit of stick at the Hawthorns to the hat-trick hero against Reading.

And what of Reading and the tally of four points from six in the first two games?

Surely it can't be this easy every week?

In reality Newcastle have enjoyed a soft landing in the Championship with a Premier League style encounter at West Brom in plush surroundings and then a televised home game with Reading at home.

Tougher tests will come of course but one thing that was obvious after the clash with the Royals was that every single player seemed to be prepared to sweat blood for the cause.

Some committed challenges from Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll underlined that, even if Smudger was lucky to stay on the field after a few naughty tackles.

And what about Kevin Nolan's reaction to keeping the ball in for the second goal?

The Scouser was punching the air in delight after chasing a lost cause in the corner at the Gallowgate End and he deserved to see Ameobi complete the attack by heading in number two.

In the face of adverse political conditions the players have pulled off a miracle to have made such a positive start.

Upstairs in the board room is a shambles and the fans made their feelings known to the owner who, as we revealed first last Tuesday, took his seat for the first time since relegation and for the first time since putting the club up for sale.

Therefore it makes the achievements of the players look even better.

Credit where it is due, Chris Hughton has also worked wonders with the players and he deserved the plaudits after the game - even if he is not the man many of us want to see in the hotseat.

Sheff Wed next, can the lads keep it up?


Jimbo said:

"Upstairs in the board room is a shambles and the fans made their feelings known to the owner who, AS WE REVEALED FIRST LAST TUESDAY, took his seat for the first time since relegation"

I don't understand Lee. Your reporting is better than your predecessors by all means, but why the need to constantly blow the Chronicle's trumpet? It just looks arrogant and amateurish.

Forbsey said:

Lee what game where you watching, this comment you wrote (However, this time there was only one hero and that was Shola) what a load of crap, how long has this chancer been at the club and it took him this long to put it about just a little bit! if Shearer had of been there do you think he would of started???? the answer to that is NO!!!!!!!!!!( sad that we now have to wait to see ranger because of this ) did you see the chance when he was put through how slow he was he should of been going around the keeper insted of ending up with a curling shot ( i hope shola is one of the top earners we have that we need to decrease the wage bill with!!!!! wishfull thinking )i thought young carrol put more effort than him, there was a lot more heros than him from what i saw, and yes i did see it all be it on TV the live game here in Norway where i work and i am also a season ticket holder with the 3 year deal.

You always seem to get interviews with Shola why can he not come out and say yes i have to admit i have been poor for years either because of form or injurys or whatever and people might respect him more and try to give him the benefit of the doubt and try and stick with him, because it was not long ago he was not wanted and we tryed to get shot of him that says it all for me. Does he honestly think he has done him self justice in all the years he has been here and i watched him in the youth?? lets here from him truthfully instead of some of the rubbish he comes out with.

As for the game i thought reading where poor, but the lads played some nice football and where deserved winners. Hopefully Barry Moat will get the club this week so we can then relax properly and get started with the sort out, i honestly think if Moat takes over with Shearer the rest of season tickets will sell........... Bring on Sheff Wed

Ryder's reply: I think Shola will always be a hot topic of debate with Toon fans.

kieran said:

I'm really pleased with the positive start we've made, despite everything the lads have done really well. The talk of them being brought closer together as a team from all this might actually be true, and well done to Hughton for that.

Jackie W said:

Shola deserves a break , he led the line for several weeks a few seasons ago when Shearer was injured and did a sterling job ..Stevie Taylor stayed on the pitch to long for my liking and I think he is off ! To me he is a good player but gets a little to much praise on the account he is a local lad and if he goes then so be it , Guiterezz , Enrique and Collocinni would be gone if It was up to me . I think Campbell will sign and will be a monster player for us this season, and chuck in two or three loan players and a couple of frees and we shouldnt have no trouble going back up..Jackie W

Geordie-Lee said:

I have never been a great admirer of Ameobi. For years I've seen his inconsistancies, and often I've hoped he would leave.

But he deserves the applauds for saturdays performance, for scoring 3 quality goals.
Yes Shola has underachieved for many years, but how much of that was due to a lack of confidence? However he seemed brimming with it on saturday.

If a striker does well, normally the club does well, so I hope his form continues...but with Shola you never know.

mark said:

I think the team needs a thanks for their display and that is everyone of them. If ashley stays houghton would be better than that idiot kennear.

londontoon said:

Lee the simple fact is SA is prob not good enough for the PL, maybe its a bit of stage fright to, in front of 52K.? maybe he really has no sense of positional play. he has good feet i'll give him that. yes i think he loves the toon... why did he get 3 goals, well 2 of them were because for the first time in a long time we managed to cross a ball above waist height, whay acn't we do that every week?. we most have 2 of the tallest CF in england and we have not been playing to our strengths!!!! the third was a bloody good penalty.. if he does it for the rest of the season i'll take every negative thing i have said about him back. also great to see JB and KN play well and play as they should...

Lee said:

Ameobi will score goals in the Championship because that's his level. He doesn't lack confidence (he's always thought he was Tyneside's answer to Asprilla!), he lacks Premier League ability! That said, Ameobi and Carroll will be a handful in this division, but only if we get a steady supply of crosses in. And on that topic, Spiderman should be sent packing - runs around alot, delivers nothing.
Reading should actually be a warning to us. Last season they almost bounced straight back up; this season they've had to offload their remaining assets and are now fielding a team with an average age of 22. We should heed that warning - we have one season, and one season only, to get it right, on and off the pitch, otherwise it's going to be many years before we're back in the top flight.

RAF Mark said:

Jackie W , you mentioned a couple of free and loan players..what good is that going to do us. Houghton has done well getting this small squad to play together i.e. a half decent start to the season..down side all that pre-season work and good start to the season will be smashed beyond repair if we loose anymore of our current players..who is going to play withj Sol Campbell if we let anymore players go. We aint going to get anymore players in so we cant let anymore go. If we built around loan players this season then next season should we get promoted will come straight back down as the manger will not have 100 million to spend on players as that is what it will take to get the squad back to a premier standard.

bob said:

The trouble with Ameobi is his lack of consistency. Going long periods without scoring, then scoring 3 in one game isn't what we need. Much rather he scored one goal every other game.
This talk of players not performing well because they lack confidence is one hell of an excuse. I think I'll use it on my boss next time I see him. I imagine the conversation might go like this :-
Me: "Boss, I don't think I'll be able to do my job properly for the next 6 months as I've lost my confidence."
Boss:"No problem, just keep on picking up your wages every week and I'll wait until you're feeling better".
Yes, I'm pretty sure that's how the conversation would go.

bob said:

I've just been sacked !

Lee said:

If Barclays loan Barry Moat the remainder of the money he needs to buy the club, I'm glad I don't bank with them!! Also, if he's having to go cap in hand to the bank just to see if he raise funds to buy us, how much money is there going to be for transfers and the running of the club? I'm not one of those who only wants a Geordie in charge - just someone who is competent and talks to the fans will do me!

tomfitz said:


sing it!

bob harvey said:

Why didn't they retain Lovenkrands in June?


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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