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Ameobi hopes added bite can make him Newcastle's next No9


Michael Walker

Saturday February 18, 2006

The Guardian


As well as two victories, six vital Premiership points and a discernible lifting of Tyneside's mood, one of the other features of Glenn Roeder's interim reign at Newcastle United post-Graeme Souness has been the revitalising of Shola Ameobi. The 24-year-old one-time England contender has been restored to his proper position, up front alongside Alan Shearer, and Ameobi has responded with two performances that have pleasantly surprised Newcastle fans who suspected he was destined for a career of underachievement.


Two much-improved displays hardly make Ameobi the leading candidate to inherit Alan Shearer's No9 shirt next season, but they do offer a glimpse of what might be. The first goal in last Saturday's 2-1 win at Aston Villa is something Ameobi cherishes - it was his first since October - but it is Ameobi's appetite for physical battle that has struck others.


Despite being 6ft 3in that is not a quality one associates with the laid-back striker brought up a few hundred yards from St James' Park. But some prolonged introspection allied to chats with Roeder and Shearer has re-established belligerence as a priority in Ameobi when he takes to the pitch.


"Alan's talked about aggression to me, about how, as a striker, you have to dominate centre-halves," Ameobi said yesterday. "He's done that for so long now, and he's told me it would be a big plus if I can do that. When you do that it scares defences and that's what Alan has done.


"It's not a case of going around kicking people as having that physical presence up there, being dominant against your opponent and physically wearing them down. That can win you games.


"It's something I feel every player should have anyway. I'm not saying I don't give 100% every time but there are different ways of showing that and this physical attribute that I'm talking about is another way I can improve. As a big guy that is something I can bring to the team. I can learn from Alan - I've been too nice on the pitch in the past because of my nature, that's been a down point of my game. I need to be more aggressive and it will benefit me and the club if I can be."


The club could certainly do with an alternative to spending upwards of £10m on a new No9 if they have one on the books who is at last showing embryonic signs of being able to fill it. This issue may not be as immediate as who will be the next Newcastle manager but who plays in attack for Newcastle next season is of concern.


There will be no Shearer and there remains a question mark over the long-term future of Michael Owen, who is set to return in mid-April after fracturing his metatarsal. If Ameobi does not continue to impress, then the new Newcastle manager might have to recruit three forwards in the summer.


Ironically it is Owen's absence that is giving Ameobi his opportunity to show his worth. "I want to be Michael's partner next season," he said. "I've been given a great chance to make a case for myself and that's what I'm trying to do. It'd be a great honour to wear the No9 shirt but following in Alan's footsteps after what he's achieved would be so hard.


"I'm not Alan Shearer and I'm not Jackie Milburn. I'm Shola Ameobi."


Well my view on Shola is quite clear. He shouldnt be playing unless Owen, Shearer, Luque, Chopra, Dyer, Nzogbia are all injured.


And the fact that there is a good chance he will be playing week in week out next season is flipping me out.


The man cant dribble effectively, fouls players all the time and breaks down our attacks, is almost always offside, and when he isnt offside he stops because he thinks he might be... cant hold the ball up properly, and just doesnt have a footballing brain. Add to that he can give away a needless penalty away from home when we're on the verge of a vital 3 points.


You can tell players around, Emre, Dyer, Solano, Parker, Zoggy manage to link up well, but always seem to have to wait around for Shola to understand whats going on.


If we could get Kuyt in during the summer that would be great... we need another striker.

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Didn't think he did too badly today, had some good chances and was unlucky not to score but for the love of God why can't he stay on his feet???? :D


And it also seems that every time Zoggy flashes a cross across the goal, Shola never times his run to get on the end of it, so Solano has to take the shot once the keeper has had time to compose himself.


Hmmm not no. 9 material yet Shola.

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Hit the post and caused a great save, from his weaker foot tbh.



well thats not a goal is it. The shot that came off the post, he needed about 3 or 4 touches before he could get himself in a decent shooting position ... and in the end it was on his weaker foot, and he ended up not hitting the target.

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He's a 10 goals a season striker at the very most in my opinion.



we should cash in on this reputation he seems to have before it's too late and he's 30 and still playing the same.

We might be able to get a couple of million for him!

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Like Jermaine "next Lampard" Jenas and Kieron "better than Scholes tbh" Dyer before him, I'm sure he'd have a lot more respect if he shut his mouth and showed people how good he is instead of just telling us then not bothering.

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Thought he did himself no favours at all tonight.



I'm glad to see it's not me then. Im not going mad.

Even though I do admit I am developping an irrational hatred for him, it just makes me cringe so much to watch him play, but I try to keep an objective view.

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I was just mentioning he had shots on goal at least... I wasn't impressed, but he certainly needs somebody (such as Alan Shearer obviously), to be alongside, as he did not link up well with Dyer. Frustrating player really - Roeder did say though if Crouch can force himself into the England squad, Shola has the potential too.


We'll leave off that subject for now.

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I'm sorry but is this what we have come down to? :D ...even daring to consider Ameobi is a suitable replacement to step into BigAls shoes is incredible :rolleyes:


Ameobi is an average striker...nothing more really, he's ok, occassionally he's very good but he lacks consistency, he appears to have no conviction or passion....basically he looks half arsed about everything he does!!


We dont need that....we want someone who gives 100% who chases every ball, who trys to get on the end of everything with real determination, he just isnt like that and he wont ever be!! :angry:


We are Newcastle united....we want to be up with the top 4 or 5 teams, ...but think about it, not one of them would want Ameobi as their No 9 and we know why!!!

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