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Shola - ‘I can still be star at United’

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HE remains confident he can realise his Gallowgate dreams, but Shola Ameobi has admitted he will have to consider his future at St James’s Park should he fail to command a regular place in Sam Allardyce’s side.

 

Newcastle’s unfortunate forward is hoping to recover from a groin complaint in time to compete for a place in the club’s next Premier League fixture – against Tottenham on October 22 – but a player whose peers include Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka knows he is facing a fight for a first-team place.

 

Although he last night revealed that his latest fitness problems had affected his confidence, a player who believes he has got sufficient talent to make the grade on Tyneside will not duck the challenges he is facing. But having conceded that he has reached a crossroads in his career, Ameobi

 

has accepted that, should he prove unable to realise his ambitions, it could have major consequences for his career in the North-East.

 

“Playing football is the most important thing for me and I’ve got to be doing that, whether it’s here or somewhere else,” said the striker, who was a target for Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate prior to the August 31 transfer deadline.

 

“If I’m not playing here, it (changing club) might have to be something I look at because I need football. That hasn’t changed and it’s something I’ll deal with if and when the time comes. I’m focused on being the best I can be, but I can’t do that if I’m not playing.

 

“It’s not the best scenario, but if it ever came to it, I would have to make a big decision. But I still believe that I can help this club achieve what it wants to. You have to believe. If I wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t be here.”

 

Seven years have passed since Ameobi made his senior debut for Newcastle – replacing Kevin Gallacher in a Premier League game against Chelsea – yet the former England Under-21 international is still striving for recognition as a first-choice pick.

 

“I’ve taken stick over the years, but it has never got me down,” explained a player who would have been a regular last season had a career-threatening hip problem not wrecked his campaign. “I’ve kept on going, kept on battling, and it will be no different this time. I see this as a challenge. We all face challenges and this is something I’m going to fight for. We’ve got great strength in depth, it (the club’s striking department) is perhaps the strongest it has been while I’ve been at the club, although I don’t think there can be stiffer competition than challenging Alan Shearer for a place.

 

“I’ve had to endure that and I’ll take anything on because I believe in myself, that has never been a problem. I just hope that when I’m fit I can go out and demonstrate what I can do.”

 

Ameobi made an encouraging start to his career under Allardyce’s guidance but with Newcastle’s manager favouring Owen, Viduka and Martins for the season’s opening fixtures, it wasn’t until September 19 that the frustrated forward started in the Premier League. His appearance at Pride Park remains his sole top-flight start, an injured groin forcing Ameobi to retire from last month’s Carling Cup defeat at Arsenal. Given all he endured last season as he played through the pain barrier with a hip problem that required a pioneering operation in America, recent events have taken their toll on his mental well-being.

 

“It has been a frustrating start to the season,” added Ameobi. “It has really affected my confidence and, as a striker, you live on confidence. The fact that I’m injured – given what happened last season – is hard to take. It’s not the best, it’s not what I wanted.

 

“The timing is bad given that the manager has just come in because I want to impress him, demonstrate what I can do, and I haven’t been able to do that. I just have to make sure that when I’m fit again, I do it. I will give it everything I’ve got and I hope I get a chance to prove a point.

 

“I need to be playing football. I’m almost 26 and I feel I’ve been given a lifeline with the (hip) operation. I have to do myself justice by playing and by playing regularly.”

 

Ameobi was speaking at Durham’s Gilesgate Sports College, where he presented Derrick Gurney, Durham County’s hard-working chairman, with his Umbro Football Hero award.

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Last season was his last chance IMO. He started well under Roeder, but Super Glenn ran him into the ground, when he should have had an op during the summer.

 

Last season his competition for a place alongside the no. 1 striker(Martins) was Sib. Way more of a challenge this year.

 

He's unlucky to have had that hip problem.

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With a Viduka/Owen first choice strike force and with Smith/Martins as back up I am more than happy. After seeing the silly money spent on Championship strikers over the last few years over players like Jones, Chopra, Nugent, Earnshaw etc I would be tempted so let him go on loan to the championship, as I expect he would score goals at that level, and I think we would actully get some decent money for him next summer.

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Guest alex
With a Viduka/Owen first choice strike force and with Smith/Martins as back up I am more than happy. After seeing the silly money spent on Championship strikers over the last few years over players like Jones, Chopra, Nugent, Earnshaw etc I would be tempted so let him go on loan to the championship, as I expect he would score goals at that level, and I think we would actully get some decent money for him next summer.

Aye, I think you're right there.

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Same quotes as always from him. Should just fuck off already and go play in League 2 the dozy idiot.

 

Happy birthday to him by the way, hope he got a sense of reality for his 26th.

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Same quotes as always from him. Should just fuck off already and go play in League 2 the dozy idiot.

 

Happy birthday to him by the way, hope he got a sense of reality for his 26th.

The. Irony.

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Same quotes as always from him. Should just fuck off already and go play in League 2 the dozy idiot.

 

Happy birthday to him by the way, hope he got a sense of reality for his 26th.

The. Irony.

A true testimony to how much the lad has 'improved' over the last 6 years, you could say.

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From the Fiver -

 

THE RUMOUR MILL

 

Remember Shola Ameobi? Us neither, but apparently he's off to

Middlesbrough.

 

Didier Drogba has been feeling lonesome since his chum Jose left, and

thinks the best way to get over it might be to pick up another hefty

signing bonu... sorry, to take up a new challenge at Real Madrid.

 

And Nicklas Bendtner will choose between Arsenal Reserves sides Bongo

FC and Bad Boys Inc this January.

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Shola Ameobi has admitted he might have to leave Newcastle if he cannot earn a regular place in the side.

 

The 25-year-old has found himself fourth choice behind Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka in Sam Allardyce's pecking order, with regards who starts up front this season.

 

Ameobi insists he is ready to fight for his place in Allardyce's side, but concedes he may have to move on if he is unable to establish himself as a regular.

 

"Playing football is the most important thing for me and I've got to be doing that, whether it's here or somewhere else," Ameobi told The Journal.

 

"If I'm not playing here, it (changing club) might have to be something I look at because I need football. That hasn't changed and it's something I'll deal with if and when the time comes. I'm focused on being the best I can be, but I can't do that if I'm not playing.

 

"It's not the best scenario, but if it ever came to it, I would have to make a big decision. But I still believe that I can help this club achieve what it wants to.

 

"You have to believe. If I wasn't good enough, I wouldn't be here."

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