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Shola in demand by Birmingham and Nigeria

Posted on January 25th, 2011 | 77 Comments |

Shola Ameobi gets £1.5m bid from Birmingham
Toon number 2 striker?
Birmingham City make a bid for Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi. Meanwhile, Alan Pardew has to consider letting the striker attend to his international duties.

According to The Daily Mail, Birmingham City have lodged a cheeky £1.5m bid to buy Shola from us which, The Mail speculates, we’ll ‘firmly rebut’.

Shola does – to put it kindly – elicit a ‘mixed response’ from fans and pundits alike and is often on the end of some fairly harsh criticism. Even so, £1.5m for our third highest scorer this season does seem a bit insulting (assuming The Mail’s report is true of course).

The 29 year old has 18 months left to run on his contract and is arguably our number 2 striker after Andy Carroll as he often gets the nod ahead of Best, Lovenkrands, Ranger and Xisco.

I can’t imagine Alan Pardew will be keen to let him go, particularly with Andy Carroll yet to come back from injury.

That’s a point that’s backed up by Pardew’s apparent reluctance to free up Shola for international duty for Nigeria’s friendly against Guatemala on February 9th. The game comes between our fixtures at home to Arsenal and away to Blackburn and it’s doubtful whether Shola would be available to play for us against Blackburn after a midweek international and the associated transatlantic travel.

Referring to the sitaution, Alan Pardew said:

I haven’t talked to Shola about it, but we’ll discuss it.

Shola – who was Pardew’s man of the match against Sunderland a few weeks ago – had this to say about his international duty:

A lot of things have been said in the past, but I’ve always stated my focus has been on Newcastle, and playing for them week in, week out.

But if I keep on playing well, whatever happens, happens.

It’s the first time since 2001 that I finally met anyone from Nigeria concerning the national team.

The coach was absolutely brilliant with his plans and ideas – I didn’t think twice about finally returning home.

Apparently, as it’s an official FIFA international window, Nigeria could insist that Newcastle release Shola anyway.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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77 Responses

  1. I am amazed at the blind loyalty Ameobi gets considering the club have tolerated him for ten years, giving him a living well beyond most of our wildest dreams, for a one in twenty good game ratio.
    He is still making the same basic errors as he was ten years ago and one effort on target ( 71mins) against Spurs says it all, the co commentator on the foreign sattelite for the game said Ranger did more in ten minutes than Ameobi did all game, cant argue with that.
    Just wonder if this transfer talk comesfrom his agent seeing that others are getting improved deals, well the big difference is that their improved performnces deserve it.
    Call his bluff and let him go.

  2. Shola seems to have got better this year and now has a workrate. Give the bloke some credit…..At least he is loyal to, and want to play for the toon and has scored some important goals.
    I would give him a new long term contract. After all better the devil you know and he is a good fringe player.

  3. Bigbadbob – couldn’t agree more.

    Doug – Glad you aren’t in charge.

    Shola can’t head, it bounces off the top, side, even the back of his head, shoulder, face, anywhere but the forehead. His jump timing is way out, always on the way down when the ball comes. He doesn’t chase balls down as often as he should, say one in ten. He’s been here 10 years started a lot of games and yet has about 60 goals. 6 goals a season on average. He’s a lower championship striker. He is lazy, work ethic is shocking, consistently fouls players, is normally offside, can’t pass, plays the wrong ball when he tries to pass. If we get an offer of anything at all, a can of pop and a kit kat chunky, hell, keep the kit kat, just take him off our hands. Keegan didn’t want him, nor Fat Sam. In comes JFK and gives him a 3.5 year deal saying he was going to build a team around him > relegated 5 months later. I would rate our strikers as 1. Carroll. 2. Best. 3. Ranger. 4. Lovenkrands. 5. Shola. 6. Xisco.

    Sorry for the huge rant, but I HATE Shola, I see him as an integral part to the bad management at Nufc over the years.

  4. Mark you had some fair points there and then you ruined it by rating best as number 2 striker. Get a grip.

  5. ranger..needs a goal..sorry ranger is the only striker we got who walks passed players..and he has done it against the top teams in this league….this kid is the real deal…feel when he gets his goal..then watch him improve 100%

  6. Look, fellas – you can bluster all you like about how frustrating he is to watch… and he is.

    But if you took Shola’s goals this season and substitute them with the number Best, Ranger or Lover would have got with the same appearances, I’m pretty sure we’d be in the relegation fight right now.

    Yes, the ball bounces all over the place, but all that matters is: it goes in quite a lot.

    He needs to be fitter and get his head straight if he’s to keep his place beyond this season, because I think we’ll see another partner for AC coming in over the summer. But losing him now to replace him with one of four strikers who basically look better but miss all the time would be daft.

  7. Asim – I hope you’re right. Ranger ‘doing and Andy’ in the next year would be the perfect answer for us. So much about his game is brilliant; it’s just finding the net in first-team games that’s lacking.

  8. people may say he’s loyal to the club,on the one hand,but in reality,is he just loyal to his bank account?.
    i dont think shola would find another club,who will facilitate his lifestyle,the way newcastle have.
    his attitude whilst on loan at stoke was shocking,okay he may have not wanted to be there but he’s a professional footballer ffs.
    i know he’s scored a few goals this season,but when you weigh that up against the other side of him as a player,the simple header he missed against wigan,could have cost us on another day.the chance he missed against sunderland wasn’t much better,against spurs early on he blasted a chance way over the bar from close range,never even worked the keeper.
    imo that is shola in a nutshell,on the odd occassion he’ll deliver the goods,but five good games in a season is no good to anyone,to be fair.
    he is just not consistant at this level,i can only think he gets away with it because he is a clean living lad that doesn’t drink,smoke take drugs etc,which makes him an easy player to handle.
    i think he has become too comfortable at newcastle,and likes the lifestyle he has,driving his gas guzzlers through jesmond,and phoning the bizzies when his house needs a spring clean.he has never shown one iota of ambition as a footballer,and is qiute happy to pick up his wages for attending training.
    footballers are like roma travellers in one respect,as they will travel anywhere in the world to ply their trade,shola would get a nosebleed when he gets to the end of the street.
    he seems like a decent enough lad,but in a football sense he has been bang out of order over the last ten years.i also agree with mark ,when he said shola was an example of mismanagement at newcastle,like michael owen shola has picked up wages over the years,when he has spent vast swathes of that time on a treatment table,granted he may hasn’t picked up anywhere near the spoils owen did,but it’s still a drain on resources all the same.
    if brum are willing to take him,i’ll personally drive him there myself,but only if we have a decent replacement lined up.

  9. Trojan – what utter tosh. You have absolutely no evidence for any of that; it’s just what you want to be true to give you an excuse for your hatred of the guy.
    I agree that if he was going to be the new Shearer we’d have seen it years ago – but he’s never claimed to be that and the club don’t pay him as if he is, I’m sure.
    As for his abilities: did you not see that control and curled shot to the top-right against Spurs? It was bleedin’ magnificent and took everything Cudicini had to keep it out. Can you honestly say you can see Best, Lover, Ranger or Xisco coming even close to achieving that?
    I’m not claiming he’s the best in the world, but the slaggings-off he gets are totally unjustified.

  10. Shola isn’t shearer and people have to get over that. My personal opinion is that he is a championship level player as was evidenced last season when he played really well. I’ve said before that learning alongside shearer and Pedro is a gift house to a striker. The guy has just run out of talent, but I would still rather have him over best or xisco.
    Ranger has talent until he shoots. He lacks confidence and needs a goal to get going, but he also needs regular appearances to get used to first team football. At the moment its got to be loverman and Carroll.
    Strolla doesn’t deserve the slagging off he gets from some fans.

  11. Ah. Humble pie is on the table.

    Just checked the results this season and most of Shola’s contributions have either been in thrashings so made no theoretical difference, or in non-league games like against Chelski.

    Total drop in points would actually have been, um, 2. We’d have drawn against Wigan. That puts him on a par with Lovenkrands.

    In terms of performances, my memory ain’t the best, but I do distinctly remember him being on fire against Chelski, mackems and AP put him as MOTM against Spuds at the weekend. I’d say his ration of good games to bad has improved quite a bit.
    Needs to get fitter, though.

  12. Someone above put it well: there’s AC, then a big drop to a lot of others who are all less than they need to be. All of them have had problems with finishing recently, except Shola – and he’s not exactly been clinical!
    The other problem Shola has is that he’s too similar to AC in his (usually excellent) choice of positioning. They don’t play well together.
    We really need Lover to rediscover his shooting ability…

  13. This thread seems to be splitting opinion in two…good crack.

    If we brought in another top striker this window and Shola went, I don’t think we’d struggle without him. But conversely if no-one comes in, he’s our better bet, in the absence of AC.

    I think he’s upped his anti a bit also…I rate him and Ranger as close, Ranger obviously has less exp. but has youth and potential development on his side. ( Hopefully we won’t be saying the same things about Ranger in 10 years! ;0)

    I’d start at Fulham with Shola and Ranger, and give the latter a chance over a couple of games to try and find a goal. Think this would do the lad’s confidence a massive boost, hopefully without over inflating his ego too much. He (Ranger) could kick on yet this season, with a goal or two under his belt, and the fans on his side.

  14. I wonder if Benny or Nolan will be shoved up behind AC in a 4-4-1-1 to get them all on the field? That’d make the argument a bit moot.

  15. antmanbee – yep, I’d like to see that. Shola does cause problems for defences which a quick striker can capitalise on. I think that’s why he gets the nod.

    After all, defending against him must be a bit like wrestling a set of insane bagpipes.

  16. Besides, in the context of this thread, what good is 1.5 million? That’s not going to get anyone in as replacement outside of League 1 quality, if we did sell him.

    We might as well just take the pop and kit kat and be done with it.

  17. Whumpie- :0D insane bagpipes !

    Also, like you said, I can see a forward making way directly/indirectly when HBA gets back.

    Hughton seemed to struggle to integrate HBA before his injury. when he dropped Jonas, we lost our shape/strengths down the left, and he didn’t get enough time before injury on the right. Hughton then put JB w/right, and things seemd to click.

  18. Yep, I’d like to see this tried:

    Barton – Tiote – Nolan/Guthrie – Jonas
    ———-Benny
    ————–Rocky

    It almost becomes a 4-3-3, I suppose. Hairs, splitting, etc..

  19. antmanbee@15…… i’d posted something on the previous blog re Kaleidoscope 3 cd set of all their Epic recordings.

    Interesting stuff and very much of the times…….. get yer bean-bag, joss-sticks and cheesecloth out ant!

  20. I find it difficult to dislike Shola, despite his obvious shortcomings when it comes to consistency.

    He does have ‘flashes of talent’ from time-to-time but they’re all too rare.

    Then again, it might be argued that he has never really been given the backing he needs to shine. He has usually been the substitute or 2nd/3rd/4th choice striker.

    My biggest criticism of Shola is that he seems to ‘go to sleep’ too often and gets dispossessed or puts in sloppy passes that give the ball back to the opposition. That bothers me more than his disappointing strike rate.

  21. Whumpie @ 25: I’d like to see that tried an’ all…for all he’s due back in training next month, we problies won’t see the best of that possibility this season. Times not on his side, like…unfortunatley.

    Thanks to de Jong.

    Lesh @ 26: Thanks mate, I’ll go and link that from the other thread…:0D RE: the beanbag/joss sticks…I’ll be lighting a Nag Champa for that sesh !

    ;0)

  22. The question is ‘what would Sir Alex do?’. Sir Alex, Arsene Wenger and all the great Liverpoll managers of the past nearly always sold when a player reached his peak. Ameobi is 29 and is not going to get any better. Moreover, he will block the emergence of younger and possibly better players eg Ranger. Rarely does a top class striker remain effective into his 30s, and Shola is not a top class striker. There is no argument and no sentimentality, he should be sold. Take the money and give others the opportunity.

  23. Maybe the problem in this case is down to the fact we’ve had umpteen regime/manager changes at this club over the last 5 years or more, which has led to a very disjointed longer term plan.

    As Kamar says, as at Mnure/Arsenal, these things run almost like clockwork, whereas our circumstances have led us to little continuity/long termism. At least, now we are tying young uns down to long contracts, and developing them ourselves, instead of the checkbook alternative.

    Ashley going on about Arsenal or even Spurs model, but isn’t that what SBR was doing already waaay back…

  24. Hugh @ 27: Some good points for and against Shola…he does seem to polarise opinion, doesn’t he!? For me, as I say I think the writings on the wall for him, with the return of a couple of players, or new signing(s). But unless we replace him now, we can’t afford to sell him now.

    But there are still reasons I would let L/krands and even Xisco ( if he’s good enough, play him…if not, is he just a tax fiddle or something? What’s going on there…sell him then ) go before Shola.

  25. whumpie,i have no hatred towards shola,as i’ve said he’s a decent lad.
    i just dont think he’s up to it on a more consistent level,that you need to be a decent premiership standard striker.

  26. I’ve only watched Shola for a few years. What I see is a very coachable player. If he is told to take his passes in the middle or to one side, that is where he is. He has the experience to know when to chase down a “lost cause” and when to save his breath. So he must be a pleasure for the coaching staff as they can concentrate on herding those who cannot stay focused, and wander around the pitch until brought back to Earth.

    So, for this season, I’d keep him as he brings cohesion, and size, and shape, and some goals as well.

  27. Trojan, I forgot about when he called the police in for his messy house, imagine walking in your house the feeling of being burgled, the fear someone might still be there, I can see him creeping around saying hello? Hello? Then ringing the police who tell him its his own mess. What a crease up

  28. Mark – Jeez louise,. It makes me laugh in a slightly depressed and tired way when I read things like your pompous list that you’re so very, very proud of.

    “Keegan didn’t want him, nor Fat Sam. In comes JFK and gives him a 3.5 year deal saying he was going to build a team around him > relegated 5 months later. I would rate our strikers as 1. Carroll. 2. Best. 3. Ranger. 4. Lovenkrands. 5. Shola. 6. Xisco.”

    Is Best ‘in at no. 2’ on the Mark gallop chart – that errrrm have anything to do with the hat trick against the hammers? So you’re not wading in with overnight, sensationalist, knee-jerk foooooking opinions – the likes of which undermine us – and every other mis-managed club in the country?? Then oh sage of wisdom and even-handedness.

    Keegan re-installed Shola to the starting line-up in his first game in charge. SBR groomed him, Roeder put him in his first team and was rewarded with 6 goals in the final 11 games. Hughton stuck by him and Pardew’s a fan. You could say any manager worth a mention can see the value he adds to the squad – ok as back up.

  29. It shouldn’t be about Ameobi as an individual, it should be about how the club maximises their resources, when to sell and when to introduce new blood. Newcastle appear to be putting a great deal of emphasis in a strategy of bringing young players through the academy to the first team and as such should have a likewise strategy of selling ‘established’ players near or at their peak in order to give opportunities for these young players to reach and demonstrate their potential.

  30. Mark it seems to me you have some kind of personal vendetta against shola rather than anything football related.
    He’s been managed by some top men and he’s still at the club. Ever thought the likes of bobby reason, keegan etc… just know slightly more about what makes a good Footballer than any of us do?

  31. Apart from the personal sniping (stoppit!) I think we’re mostly saying the same thing on here: Yes, in an ideal world you could sell Shola and let one of the up-and-comings come through.

    Problem: none of them is ready. We know that.

    All very well saying “what would Fergie do?” but what Fergie does is sit back on his quarter-billion of revenues and his 40+ squad. We are not them and won’t be any time soon.

    We’re aiming for survival. Shola has proven that he is enough AC backup to achieve that. The other reserve strikers haven’t yet shown that they can do better than him. Lastly: you can’t get better than him for what you’d bring in (let alone the £1.5m offer).

    So why the hell would you sell him?

    (Trojan @33: yep, agree entirely on that statement!)

  32. kamar,exactly so selling shola now for a profit,when the lad cost nowt,and replacing him with someone younger and with potential should be the way to go.
    shola’s now 29,maybe the only time we’ll make any money on him.

  33. The Ameobi argument will always split fans, i wanted him to come good but dont think he will ever change.
    The difference between him and Carroll and even Ranger is that they excite the fans and threaten defences, there is a buzz around them when they get the ball but in Sholas case its a hope that he wont foul or miskick.
    An earlier comment said that Shola was coachable, well i would argue that he has had plenty of that and you cant make a silk purse out of a pigs ear.

  34. As fustrating as Shola can be, his start to last season was one of the key reasons behind us getting promoted. Before he got injured his early goals gave us the momentum to continue, without them (and especially judging by the Leyton Orient friendly), morale might have sunk further.

    Surely we can all thank Shola for that. Adn someone said earlier ‘better the devil you know’. Couldnt agree more, he’s performing better than alot of first team strikers in teams below us (Jerome, Cole, A Johnson, Saha, Yakubu, Fletcher Doyle ETC).#
    Worth keeping as a squad player than risk replacing with a squad player that may be even worse. Still need someone to partner Carroll next season though.

  35. As a side issue, just read an article on us and Villa…talks at an ” advanced ” stage on Ireland…this does suggest something’s going on beyond speculation.

    For better or worse depending on where you stand on Ireland. Unfortunately, I’ve had trouble yesterday/today posting anything with links attached, so can only reference it. It came from EatSleepSport 13:56 pm.

  36. “Birmingham City make a bit for Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi.”

    What sort of bit?

    A left thigh?

    Just asking.

  37. Whumpie, I completely disagree with you.

    If Best, Lovenkrans, Ranger, or even Xisco had been given the same amount of time Ameobi has got to prove himself with starts, I’m 100% certain they have not only scored more but been more influencial in games too…

    I’m with Mark here… the guy is useless 90% of the time. The other 10% he makes a good squad player.

    For me he’s the luckiest player in the clubs history to have got so much playing time, being so bad.

  38. To add to that, I don’t mind Shola being a replacement for Carroll as a target man. But the two CANNOT play together.

    Their games are too similar and Carroll is 50x better.

    All Shola does when they play together is get in Carrolls way…

    If we got offered around 3mil, I’d snap your hand off.

  39. lesh says:
    January 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

    “Antmanbee/ Worky.

    Following on from David Lindley, here’s a link to his site and a bit about Kaleidoscope and for Worky, have a look at his discography……”

    Ta, Lesh. I always like to learn about good musicians.

  40. When Shola first stared playing for us I was very impressed and thought he had a good future ahead of him. Unfortunately he did not develop the potential most of us saw in him.Shola scores some fine goals and on occasions demonstrates great skill. However he is too lethargic most of the time for my liking and seems unable to anticipate where the ball might go. In short he waits for the ball to come to him by which time the defence gets it. If Shola goes to Birmingham do we have to pay them the £1.5 million?

  41. Agree with jj@ 49
    But not only that but he is blocking the playing time for the others who would benefit with more playing time
    I still think Best and Ranger will improve with time.Lovenkrands has got to be near his sell by date

  42. Anyone who has read my comments on Shola will know I don’t rate him as a top class striker although throughout his career he has always looked as though he would suddenly become one. As a mitigation for him in previous EPL seasons he did play with injuries which didn’t help his cause. As for being coachable, Dohh!, he is playing for club that has had for most of his time had good quality (mostly) coaching staff. There is an onus on players to put in the time and energy off their own back, as Andy Cole used to do, to improve first touch and ball control, does Shola?

    He isn’t the worst striker we have ever had by any means and yes he does get important goals but I can’t help feeling the team as a whole would operate much better if he was better technically.

    Ranger I see as a much better asset but only if he is getting full games, he is probably trying too hard in the brief time he is getting on the pitch in much the same way as Carroll was.

    Getting away from ST James Park to Brum might actually benefit Shola in the same way it has helped Carr, he might even be able to transform from ugly duckling to swan at long last.

  43. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    January 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    “He isn’t the worst striker we have ever had by any means”

    Who’s the worst you’ve seen in black and white, Grumpy?

    And you, Ice? You’ve seen a few! :-)

  44. JJ – agree with your last post, but not the one before. It’s just factually incorrect. Go through the matches Shola’s played in this season and his ratings for each. You will see he’s been one of our best players in plenty of matches to justify his place. Then look at Best, who’s played well twice so far… but is improving. Look at Xisco, who’s been consistently useless. Lover’s not finding the target and is out of position – I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but we need it fixed! And Ranger… is very exciting, but just needs to start scoring.

    So no, Shola hasn’t been useless – he’s had perhaps two bad games and plenty of good ones, including the one just gone. Your perception is out of date and.. for whatever reason.. just not objective.

    For those saying “make a profit while you can”, how, exactly? If you take, say, £2m for him, who are you going to bring in to replace him? If you’re expecting one of the others to fill in, then who has shown they can?

  45. Worky, dunno I’d have to think about that one I can offer my thoughts on our worst ever winger, Bill Punton.

    Striker, hang on how about Guivarch, how did he ever get a world cup medal. :)

  46. Whumpie,

    Lovenkrans, Ranger, and Best would (like any player) need a run of around six full games to show their true potential.
    That is a luxury they just don’t get, and Shola has had for the last 10 years.
    Lovenkrans is making some terrific runs off the ball (as is Best and Ranger, but they are just wasting energy because Shola takes forever the do anything with the ball.
    By the time he’s controlled it properly, they’re making their way back from an offside position.
    When he plays with Carroll, they go jumping for the same ball, flicking on to… well… nobody… Its a disaster when they’re together.

    Personally, I’d like to see Best given his chance with Carroll and Ranger coming on as an impact sub, but getting more game time (so around the 60-70 minute mark).

    A lot of people give Guthrie stick, and gave Routeledge stick… however, again, they never get consistant opportunities to start and settle into a pattern of team play.

    It even took Joey Barton and Nolan a dozen or so games to settle… as experience PL campaigners.
    It took Colo a year to settle. And this only comes with getting game time and building confidence.

    Shola has had his chance… time to give it to someone else.

    I don’t mind keeping Shola as a good player (hes good enough) but not when we have youngsters of far greater potential coming through.

  47. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    January 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “Worky, dunno I’d have to think about that one”

    Grumpy, most people over a certain age seem to bring up Frank Pingel. He did hum, but I’ve often wondered why him so often? He didn’t play that many games and there are a few to choose from for those of us who can go back a few years. Why does he stand out so much?

    I can’t gan back as far as Punton mind, Grumpy.

  48. antmanbee@47:

    “I think they mean bib!”

    Gawd, now I am confused.

    Someone is making a bib? Some old lady knitting one, or what?

    I’ve never noticed Amoeba dribble.

  49. Worst strikers I’ve seen in a Toon shirt…

    (1) Paul Dalglish – not only did that w@nker Kenny bring in half his mates, once he got rid of our world class squad, but he put his useless son on the pay roll too…
    I know Gullet played him but Dalglish signed him no?
    (2)Silvio Marić – never made anything, never scored anything, useless workrate, terrible player.
    (3) IMO Shola Ameobi – no pace, no first touch, no vision, dawdles on ball, dribbles himself, no workrate (most times).

  50. Don’t know the other names mentioned, I’ve only supported them 14 years. I’m 28 now, so they must be long past players.

  51. Worky I know people do cite Frank Pingel as a hopeless CF but I really can’t recall him. A bit like “Attack of The Killer Tomatoes” or “Plan 9 From Outer Space” what is so bad it is good, so he can’t have been too bad or he would stick in the mind. Still my brain is getting old! :)

  52. JJ says:
    January 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    “but Dalglish signed him no?”

    Aye, he did indeed, JJ, and he was shite beyond words. Ameobi may not be perfect, but he really doesn’t belong in that sort of company in a million years!

  53. In my time, a lot of people will bring up names like Guivarch and Tomasson, but they had very good careers at other top clubs.
    So again, perhaps they just weren’t given enough opportunity.

    Someone Ranger does remind me of is Tresor Lua Lua. But lets hope he turns out better.

  54. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    January 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    “Worky I know people do cite Frank Pingel as a hopeless CF but I really can’t recall him.”

    As I wrote Grumpy, he only played a few games, less than twenty I’m sure. That’s why I’m curious why his name still crops up so often. I saw him a little bit and he was bad. Paul Dalglish couldn’t even score for Bury though! One of the worst cases of nepotism I’ve ever seen in football.

  55. I love posting an entirely football related post about Shola, and being called Pompous – how is it pompous exactly? Explain. – also I don’t have anything against him as a person, as a footballer however he is shite. Fact. End of. He isn’t good enough for the club or the league. He’s had 1 or 2 purple patches in my recollection. Also, I rate Best 2nd, not only for his hat-trick, but he seems a bit livlier, a bit more willing to work than 1. Ameobi, 2. Ranger the playboy, out at fyeo all the time. 3 lovenkrands – no final product. 4. Xisco, doesn’t care just likes wages. – my post was entirely football related, as all have been past few weeks, anyone who doesn’t like it please respond in a football related manner, I.e I disagree, shola has done a lot for the club yada yada, not “errr ohhh you’ve got something against him erhhhh your pompous. F**k off and get real. Get a football brain also and take your head out your arses as Shola is not good enough. Fact.

  56. MickyToon – you’d love Kevin Doyle would you? Check his goals for this season if you will. Think you will find Best has more, the same Best that you clearly don’t rate.

  57. JJ – agree with you about Shola and CH; not good. But you don’t just give a player a run of games and hope – that’s a good way to relegation. The boss has to pick his starters based on performances in training, and clearly the others just aren’t showing as much as Shola.

    We get this a lot with Xisco about him ‘not getting a fair chance’ but they all get the same chance: put the effort in during training, demonstrate your capabilities, and get picked above the other guys. Shola’s clearly earning his place; it’s not as if AP is biased towards him in some way.

    Let’s face it, we’ve got one excellent striker (AC), one whose level is suffient but unlikely to improve now (Shola), one who’s off-form (Lover), two who are yet to show they can consistently cut it at this level (Best, Ranger) and one who’s consistently shown he can’t… or can’t be bothered (Xisco).

    T’aint great. Shola’s our best backup right now. Lover could take over if he can find his sharpness again. Best could find out how to repeat his WHA form, and Ranger could get his head around scoring in the PL. Until then, it’s Shola, and for £1.5m you are NOT going to find better.

  58. Mark: You can’t judge a player based on a single match and ignore all others. Best has scored in one match out of all his appearances for us over a year. T’aint great.

    Improving, though… :)

  59. Whumpie – Id bite their hand off for £1.5m, Id rather play Nolan as a second striker, he gets on alot of Carroll’s headers.

    Nolan seems to go missing in midfield, for the Sunderland game he scored, didnt do much else, for Spurs I heard his name maybe 3 or 4 times.

  60. Mark,

    I think Nolan’s off the ball play is underestimated.

    The best defenders in the world are those who hardly get a mention in the game, because they always have their man so tightly marked he never gets the ball.

    Not saying Nolan is that, but he creates space for others, getting forward onto flick ons, drawing defenders back. Being a nausense at set pieces.

    I do think however, he tires at the end of games, and shouldn’t be playing the full 90 minutes.

  61. I Agree JJ, I would just prefer to push Nolan up as I think that he could offer more, gets alot of goals its been a pleasant surprise as I didnt think that would be the case.

    He does tend to tire, seems knackered after 70 or so, Gosling would be a good swap for him.

  62. Shola must do something right 3rd highest scorer behind AC & KN, 3rd highest assists behing JB & AC better than Bent & Gyan in both derbies & scored more goals

  63. Off topic but funny nevertheless. Just finished watching Blackpool game and SAF says “The first half we were battered and we couldn’t handle Charlie Adam, his corner kicks are worth £10m”

    Always trying to stick it to the Scousers even when he’s not playing them :)