It’s time to stop the anti Ameobi hysteria.

Posted on February 4th, 2012 | 69 Comments |

Shola Ameobi.
Shola Ameobi - A scapegoat for the ill informed?
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Northumbria bizzies have been investigating what have been described as “sickening” racist comments about Newcastle United forward, Shola Ameobi, on Facebook.

This comes after recent similar comments about his younger brother and teammate Sammy Ameobi on Twitter. However unlike the case of Ameobi jnr which just seemed to come out of the blue, the Shola case has come on the back of an existing campaign of vilification of the striker from some Newcastle United fans for what they perceive as poor performances. Whilst racism is undoubetedly an awful thing, some of the highly personal attacks which preceded this development have at times tried their hardest to stoop to the same level of nastiness without being overtly racist. Many other stories have already concentrated on the alleged verbal racist attacks though, so I will concentrate instead on the anti Ameobi hysteria which has quite possibly led us to this sad state of affairs. Some of them have been so venomous that sadly it was probably inevitable that it would spill over into racism eventually.

The absence of Newcastle United’s leading goalscorer this season, Demba Ba, has seen Ameobi lead the line in games against Fulham, Brighton (in the FA Cup) and most recently Blackburn Rovers. Whilst none of the performances in those three games could be described as “great” or “brilliant” they were hardly awful either, and certainly haven’t deserved the opprobrium heaped on him by the some of the more ill informed fans.

Poor Shola simply can’t win sometimes. In the Blackburn game he ran tirelessly for much of the game, often running back to do a shift in defence, yet was berated for some fans for being “lazy” because he looked somewhat tired towards the end. His deceptively languorous gait has undoubtedly played a part in similar critism of the player in the past, and of course, it is also a frequent epiphet used by racists towards black men. In the Sky Sports player ratings for that game, he was given a rating of 7 out of ten by the site, along with the comment “Ran himself into ground.” On the other hand fans of his own team gave him slightly over 4 out of ten and it was a fair bit lower than that at one stage. There were also numerous comments by fans on several websites berating his supposedly awful performance in the game.

Of course, first and foremost he he has been blamed for not scoring goals in any of those games while the highly prodigious Demba Ba has been away on international duty in the “Africa Cup of Nations”. However something which has been noticable in the above mentioned games have some strange and confusing tactics, things such as striker Leon Best operating way out on the left with usual left winger, Jonas Gutierrez, seemingly operating in a much freer and more central role, resulting in the side lacking much of a definable “shape”. There has also been no Cheick Tiote as well as one or two slightly lacklustre performances from Hatem Ben Arfa and even Yohan Cabaye in the midfield too. The resulting confusion in the midfield has left Ameobi looking somewhat isolated and lacking service on quite a few occaisions, with the team as a whole on the back foot, defending rather than attacking. Even in the 2-0 victory against Blackburn, the scoreline was highly deceptive, with Blackburn dominating the game in terms of possession, chances and the ball being in our half rather than theirs.

Looking at Ameobi’s long term record, many of his fiercest and nastiest critics seldom offer much in terms of informed criticism, and when they do it is often mistaken and ill informed, like the accusations of laziness I cited above. Instead there is much prating about his goal record (56 goals in 268 Newcastle United appearences) and the usual cliches involving such things as cow’s backsides, banjos etc. However they don’t mention that in all those matches, he has only played for the full 90 minutes only 83 times, spending much of his career in the shadow of more illustrious players such as Alan Shearer, Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen. Perhaps his best period at the club was his rare and shortlived period as a regular starter under Glen Roeder in the latter part of the 2005/6 season and the 2006/7 season. Though he missed many games through injury in those years (one thing which has been something of a bugbear in Ameobi’s career), in the games he did play, he scored 10 goals in 27 appearences, 10 in 25 in the Premiership alone.

Though it’s true that Ameobi certainly isn’t the world’s greatest striker by any means, and not even the greatest at Newcastle United at the moment, many other Newcastle United players who have been no better haven’t had put up with the same kind of treatment he has, and it really is time for some members of Newcastle United’s fanbase to step back from the ill informed hysteria and get behind him for a change.

ps In response to some misleading comments made about Ameobi’s goalscoring record I have checked his stats again and in his Newcastle United career he has scored a goal ever 270 minutes played which is once every three games in real terms. He has also provided three assists this season, and eighteen in his Newcastle United career. (source: transfermarkt)

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NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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69 Responses

  1. Fantastic response to unfounded criticism of an immensely loyal player. My dad used to work with his mum and I’ve always been a big fan of him since he took the time out to visit my team training and show us skills and give his autograph when I was a kid. Keep him at the club, he’s a great mentor (ask Sammy) and a superb example of professionalism.

  2. Agree whole-heartedly. Not the greatest player and often frustrating but not the worst ever and unfair to accuse him of not trying – he bleeds black and white and has played through injuries unlike many we could name.
    Recently on some blogs there’s been a constant stream of vitriol about Shola – regardless of what the topic is supposed to have been about! Pathetic – like 4 year olds whining the same thing repeatedly about wanting sweeties. Let’s give it a rest and get on with the business of backing the team.

  3. I like this article. I have been disappointed by the last few games, but as you said tactics were odd!!!
    Ameobi on his day can pop the ball in the back of the net

  4. Idiots hate him forr his colour his skin but that`s very few. I`ve no time for Ameobi because of his comments about himself in the past – ie I`m the Man to replace Shearer, Michael Owen & I will partner England in the future, I can be the greatest at this club etc.
    He`s a very poor player – woeful finisher, poor at heading, caught offside, gets in tangles and give away needless fouls.
    Ameobi should`ve bee nsold years ago, I find it absolutely astounding he`s still here.
    95% of fans would sell him tomorrow and thats a fact.

  5. Very well written. I thought he put in a great shift at Blackburn. Goal scoring is about confidence which is hard to have when you’re constantly berated by your own fans. Part of Ba’s success was the partnership & support play of Shola. I hope We’ve bought a worthy No.9 to play with Ba & progress us key to any progression though will be getting the best out of Ben Arfa – he needs to transfer some of his efforts on the ball to off the ball and than he’ll earn a regular position & build innate understanding and superior link up play front the middle of the park to the forwards. Until then I can see Pard relying on Shola as plan B when one of the front two is unavailable.

  6. Totally agree, i am a shola fan. The amount of abuse he gets is uncalled for, yet if Leon Best (for example, could insert any striker you like) was to misplace a pass you would hear the cries of “unlucky” and not “ahhh shola man!”

    I for one am sick of it, and have to constantly argue with other “fans” that shola does a fantastic job for NUFC. If you consider the job he does against defenses, with decent service he can be a real handful. Creating space and holding the ball up so others can join the attack, and generally score goals that shola has helped to create. The bloke has played a number of seasons with injury, playing through the pain to play for the club he loves – how many more players can you say do this??

    Get behind him, get behind the club.
    (if nothing else he is the danger man against the mackems..)
    Howay the Lads

  7. I know Shola’s very loyal to the club, is very professional and – last but not least – is a lovely fellah but those of us who have watched him week in week out know that 95% of the time he’s just not goode enough to play at this level. Whatever Sky’s markers think. I took 2 neutral-ish mates to Blackburn and got fed up with having to tell them “I know, he always does that”. The perfect example was in the second half with Besty bursting down the left wing (don’t get me started on why he was doing that instead of Jonas!) and Shola was near the halfway line ambling vaguely goalwards. Where’s the hunger you expect from a top 5 team striker?
    I’ve got fed up with watching us dominate teams and fail to turn it into a win cos we just can’t score – Fulham and Brighton should have been dead and buried at half time.
    To summarise – great bloke and loyal to the club but just not good enough. How many teams sniffed after him in the window?

  8. Shola is a Geordie, who loves playing for the Toon, so why why do people get on his back.
    He isn’t world class but I could name you a handful of other premier league clubs who would have signed him in a heartbeat.

    Do they really think he isn’t trying, really!!!

  9. …… and he has done so in some very imortant games for us. People screamed for Ben arfa to play yet he has a lack of team play in his game. Newcastle do well because they are a team and ameobi has always shown himself a team player.

  10. Interesting slant.

    At work a few years ago we had to make some cuts to allow us to remain competitive for the contract renewal.

    Poor old Oggie was the favourite to go, he’d made a number of monumental cock-ups and we all knew he wasn’t that good at his job.

    During a meeting Oggie’s was the first name put forward. It was amazing how many people objected. Their reasons ranging from “He’s such a funny guy” through “He has a mortgage on a big house” and on to “he has 3 kids at school”.
    The reasons for him going included “He’s unreliable”, “Turns up late for shift” and “has caused major equipment outages due to his negligence”.
    They seemed to forget that he was employed as as a technician working on mission critical equipment, not a comedian.

    Worky, Recommend you put down the thesaurus, take off the blinkers and the rose tinted glasses, and grab a handful of reality mate.

    Shola is a canny Championship striker but just doesn’t cut it in the premiere league.

    If you have recorded any recent matches watch them and note his contribution.

    He doesn’t hold the ball up well, he gives it away too much, his distribution is appalling and he just doesn’t have a second touch.
    OK – now and again a good pass comes off or a shot is on target, but he’s nowhere near as good as Best, and Best is no star.

    Ameobi hasn’t been bad for the last two weeks – he’s been bad for the last2 years.

    You seem to be saying its OK for him to be crap.

    It’s not. You don’t win things with crap players.

    And that’s the whole point

  11. The campaign of hate and few racist idiots is completely unacceptable for someone who has been nothing but loyal to the club. I am sorry that some fans feel it is Ok to abuse someone of his integrity.

    That said I do not agree with the comments so far on his worth to the team or his ability, it is not abuse to say that we think he is simply not premier league quality.

    He has been simply abysmal this season with the one exception of a 10 min cameo against Spurs. Perhaps that is the problem, he should never start games for us.

    He has barely placed a pass where he intends it throughout January, no goals, no assists, and little movement.

    His fitness is worse and worse every season, no mobility, no first touch, no pass, no hold up skills and no goals. He is a 1 in 6 throughout his career, an average return for a midfielder let alone striker.

  12. Brilliant comments
    He’s Loyal, signs autographs and came to our school, and best of all, My dad used to work with his mum.

    Don’t care about the colour of his skin or what colour he bleeds.

    With a team full of Sholas we would not be in fifth.

    I’ve been a fan for thirty odd years, but headless is right – he’s just not good enough.

    BillyTheFish – When he was put up for transfer in 2008 the only club that came in for him were Ipswich.

    So I would suggest that rather than naming a handful of premier League clubs, naming one Championship club would be more accurate.

  13. A loyal servant to the club whose unfortunate injury problems have prevented him from getting a proper run of games, especially in recent times. But under Robson he was quality in the Champions League with both Shearer and Bellamy suspended and also when he had a good run of games under Roeder. Without his goals in the championship promotion would be been much more difficult . . . he has scored some very important goals . . .Spurs this season for example

  14. I think you ll aneed to download and watch the last 3 games Shola was terrible and offered nothing as a forward in any of them, constantly losing the ball, too lazy to run when off the ball, and flicking it on to no one when a long ball played. Also take ya specs off and look at his career stats he’s averaged 7 goals a season over 10 years in the premier league not good enough by any standard.

    People should not racially abuse him no, but praising him for doing nothing is just as ridiculous imo.

  15. A well-written article.

    It speaks volumes about what it is to play for Newcastle and be loved back by Newcastle.

    Not everyone may appreciate or agree with what Worky’s tried to do here.

    Sure many fans will sell Ameobi in a heartbeat. Sure, he may be loyal only because no one wants him. But who knows if bids came in for him? Who knows what choices he has made…. except for one choice. to turn up for the black and white, week-in week out and to work the shift while voices in the crowd jeer at him and keyboard warriors pound abuses away…

    I thought Newcastle fans were more than that. Ba is here today, but is he here next season? I for one know that number 23 is not going anywhere untill the boss tells him ‘You dont make the cut’… until then shut up, and shout your hearts out for whoever it is that runs the turf ragged for the Toon

  16. Spot on mate he plays the heskey role for us.The prob is best i think hes never close enough to get on the end of any flick ons, were as ba plays a lot better cause he gambles that shola will get the flick on,like against man utd ba gambled were best would not and got his just reward with a cracking goal.And in my opion the fella who gets the flick on to put ya in that position, is just as important than the fella scoring the goal

  17. I think when shola hangs up his boots he has to look at himself and say ‘did i give it my all’ I think the answer would be no and i think if it was me that would hurt me more rather than people having a go at me on websites. As a great man once said ‘the least you can give is 100 %’

  18. Shola is a model pro and a great example to kids on and off the field. A small section of our fans have made him the go to scapegoat over the years but as a loyal, local lad he deserved better. He has become a strong target with great footwork, he is not a star so i ve never understood the criticism when other similar players have avoided criticism. I ll keep singing his name.

  19. JohnB says:
    February 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

    “He has barely placed a pass where he intends it throughout January, no goals, no assists, and little movement.

    His fitness is worse and worse every season, no mobility, no first touch, no pass, no hold up skills and no goals. He is a 1 in 6 throughout his career, an average return for a midfielder let alone striker.”

    I’m sorry but that’s simply incorrect John B,

    Ameobi has suplied 3 assists this season, two of them in January and his goals minutes per goal scored ratio isn’t that bad.

    ps I’ve just checked, Ameobi scores a goal every 270 minutes so that’s a goal every three games in real terms, not six as you write.

  20. TOONARMYELITE says:
    February 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    “workyticket @23 you get him told mate”

    When you scratch beneath the surface, you find that the stats Shola haters are so fond of quoting are highly deceptive and he isn’t quite as goal shy as some imagine.

    You made a good point about his flick ons too TOONARMYELITE.

  21. If there is one player I have wanted to be a success at the Toon it’s Shola and there have been many times when I’ve thought he’s going to get there, but in all honesty it hasn’t happened and I doubt if it is going too now. His age is going to be a factor increasingly coming into play.

    I’m not one of the ones who think he is lazy, I do think he tries in games, I just don’t think he is as good as many would like to think skill-wise. He could have been a hero in the last few games as he had some very good efforts saved, but top players need a bit of luck as well and some just don’t get any.

    Sorry to be one of the negatives but if we want to be top four I don’t think he quite measures up to want we need. I don’t think the racial aspect is why many fans are anti Shola, they just don’t think he is good enough.

    He is the archetype marmite person, you either love him or don’t (I’m not using the hate word I don’t think there are many with feelings that strong)

    I don’t think APs tactics of playing him and Best together have done much to help his cause recently either. He might have performed better as a lone striker with support from HBA or/and Lovencrands. AP seems to still like him though so I reckon he will have a few more chances to prove us doubters wrong but I feel they are fast (Chances that is)diminishing.

  22. BillytheFish says:
    I could name you a handful of other premier league clubs who would have signed him in a heartbeat
    then please do so

  23. He’s definately no Messi but he has popped up and scored some crucial important goals over the years.

    For even getting out of bed in the morning he deserves a medal; considering the amount of unfair sh*t that gets slung at him on a weekly basis throughout the whole of his career. Other ‘great’ strikers careers have been ruined by open critisism, their heads drop and they end up getting shipped off to weaker european leagues.

    After supporting the Toon from a distance for many years, he scored the first goal i witnessed in the flesh: about two minutes in to the game at villa with a shearer assist, about 6 years ago (right under my nose whilst sitting quietly with my girlfriend in the holt end!). I’ll never forget that moment.

    Thank you Shola, you may just be a squad player but i love you

  24. Not ashamed to say i just welled up a little bit reliving that goal against villa in my head. Not very geordie but true.

  25. The racist comments are bang out of order.

    Shola has indeed played alongside many great strikers, as you say, such as Shearer, Bellamy, Owen, Kluivert, Martins etc. The most frustrating thing however is that he hasn’t learned a fcking thing from any of them.

    Sorry to say, he is awful. BUT it is not his fault for everything bad that we produce during certain matches.

    Our shite performance on Wednesday wasn’t his fault for example, and there were players on the pitch who performed worse.

    The lad is simply shot to bits through injury, and isn’t fit enough for Premier League football. Worky, you say he’s only completed 83 matches in his career?

    He always comes across as a lovely lad, and he is one player you would like to see do well.

    Nobody expects him to be a Shearer, but being honest, he’s not a Premier League standard player, and Never has been.

  26. Arsenal currently helping themselves to some goal difference! Need a win tommorow to stay on top now.

  27. The way i see it i like Shola, any racist comments towards him or anyone anywhere in fact should not be tolerated. I love writing him off, in fact i purposefully joke about it before every game because in the past he’s proved me wrong time and again. I respect the fact that hes been with us so many years, sure hes never been our top striker, but who cares he sticks the ball in mackems goal, and i’ve celebrated most of the 56 goals he has scored for us. Right now i think its fair to say he doesnt cut the mustard for a realistic top 5 starting striker, but that doesnt mean we need to berate him, he was there in the same manner when it was Shearer Bellamy, and as a alternative im happy to have Shola and his 56 goals then an unproven back up striker.

  28. Zero tolerance for racism which is the ignorant expression of, to quote Rio Ferdinand, “small minded people”. That is what they are and they should be called out on it and shamed by their limitations. I hope John Terry is feeling both embarrased and humbled by his own racist comments and the ugly example he has set.

    Shola may not be the world’s greatest footballer but you can tell he’s one hell of a nice guy and that is the only way to judge someone – “by the content of their character.” MLK.

  29. Paul in Hollywood says:
    February 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    “I hope John Terry is feeling both embarrased and humbled by his own racist comments and the ugly example he has set.”

    So we’re just skipping the trial and slamming him guilty then? Although there is a very distinct possibility that he did make racist comments nothing is proven yet.

  30. Hi Maze202, you are correct. I will presume Terry innocent and should not pre-judge him, while at the same time I find it strange to think that Anton Ferdinand would make this up and stick so vigoursly to his story.

  31. I’m not even a little bit deaf so never had much practice at lip reading, but i think anyone who has seen the clip knows what terry shouted at ferdinand.

    Throw the book at him, he’s an orsehole

  32. Nobody should have to endure extreme personal abuse from cretins – whether it’s racist or whether it’s non-racist abuse. Look at the abusive crap that the airheads who call themselves Manure supporters hand out to a legend like Sir Alan Shearer for example – just because he had the audacity to turn their club down and play for United.
    We can all express opinions on Shola’s footballing ability and value to the United team without the need to resort to abuse.

  33. Excellent article. I’m glad to see sensible critique of Shola’s suberb service to the club. He’s a great lad, an excellent striker and servant of NUFC, and what’s more he could’ve been a world class footballer if allowed to develop his own gifts instead of trying to mould him into a Mary Poppins copy, earlier in his career. God bless Shola!

  34. where to start on shola.
    shola amiobi: nick name: Strola for his lack of pace and lack of care.
    often compared to grannies and granddads all over the country.
    often misses opportunities grandparents would indeed score.

    in my opinion a waste of time. a waste of a squad number and a waste of wage packet, for a footballer that is.

    as a footballer he has nothing that would look good in league 2, he has very little skill and very little aggression. he never wins balls in the air, even when up against players 5’6″. you can pin point demba bas goal all you like against Man u but find me another, few and far between.

    he often scores goals when we need him, really? where? in the championship, pure and simple. he did nothing before then. one good season in the championship doesn’t make you a player, it just proves your level.

    you can rant a rave about stats all you like but 1 goal in 3 games isn’t good enough.
    worky mentioned 2 assists this month, best had 3 in one game when demba scored a hat trick so dont get me started on 4th choice.

    shola in my opinion is 5th choice, behind Ba, Cisse, Best, Lovenkrands.

    i was at the blackburn game this week, shola was appalling. i steward on a dry bus, clientelle is families and professionals so its not the aggressive type or travel. i have heard people try to defend shola for three years and now give up because they cant defend the undefendable.

    shola has been here to long for us to stand up for the guy, he is a grown man, an adult. he isnt a child. so in my opinion its time to stop molly coddling him and get real.

    he has wasted his time here strolling around St. James pointing the finger of blame at who ever cant get a cross in right to his head.

    i remember a game last season, his younger brother put in a terrific cross, there was acres of space in front of goal, the two defends back were in no mans land the goal keeper on his line, didn’t even move, the ball was played right on the penalty spot just for any half decent center forward to pounce on and put in the back of the net, where was shola? stood right next to the defender marking him.

    he has no vision for the ball, no anticipation, unless you play the ball to him he doesn’t understand, unless he is unmarked he wont get there, touch him and you are mike tyson, he go down like a fairy.

    well sorry truth hurts, stoke didn’t want him and i for one am sick of having to defend people who attempt to find anything consistently good.

    and notice the key word CONSISTENT, we have a player called Allan you all know his name, same qualification as shola i.e. born and bread. but just because someone is born and bread and plays for his local club doesn’t mean anything. doesn’t mean he deserve to. doesn’t mean he should get the respect he feels he deserves.

    in my opinion shola is a waste of time. one good performance in ten if you are lucky. and that is 3 per season for the stat lovers.

    but……..and i say but…….

    as a person his family are good, his mother a nurse his father a preacher, he has strong Christian beliefs so fundamentally he is a good person. and good to have around the young kids, i notice one man who wasn’t at tenerife and that was shola. i haven’t seen any pictures of his cavorting the opposite sex. which at the end of the day makes him a role model as a human but unfortunately doesn’t mean his footballing skills can be forgiven.

    in my opinion shola is a thoroughly nice guy and deserves a break and doesn’t deserve the abuse, but one thing i’ve learnt in life if you get abuse and don’t like it there is only one thing you can do. leave.

    but….. and i say butt… .again…..

    where would we be without him?????

    his loyalty is second to shearer, his football skills a second to Marlon harewood.(a guy i liked) and in my opinion if shola had not have stayed so long our championship performances might not have went so well.

    the first part of our championship season saw him score goals, he got injured and in steps carroll, but he served his purpose and did a job.

    premier league player he is not but a human being he is because he is a footballer doesn’t make him immune to the majority of aggressive and abuse people we have in the world. and he doesn’t do him self any favors.

  35. i always do…. sitting on the fence is good for only a few things.

    splinters in the arse.

    and

    fence strength testing.

    both of which shola might be more suited to.

  36. @ Workyticket

    Always happy to be corrected, not a 1 in 6 man then. Hadnt looked it up was off top of the ead.

    But 1 in 3? No chance. Just had a look myself and 49 in 257. would need to have had about 160 sub appearances @ 20mins each for that to be the case minute’s wise? that is not the case surely?

    Anyway, 1 in 3, 4, or 5 – his footballing ability, and most importantly for a striker, his finishing is just not up to it, not even close.

    When Leon Best keeps looking at you in fury at you attempted link ups you know there is a problem ;) (Sorry Leon..)

    Even at his better than 1 in 2 most prolific (under Mr Roeder) he was poor. Went to every home game that season and his finishing was just awful as usual.

    He must be doing something to have so consistantly split us fans but I am sorry I just cant see it, even after 10 years of watching the guy.

    1 thing in his favour, Mackem Slayer!

    Loyal yes, nice lad yes, bit of a cult hero to some, yes. None of that makes him a premier league quality striker.

  37. How sad it is that when the Toon gets a few good players together & starts looking like a good team again, all some people can do is ‘notice’ that a handful at most, of our team aren’t as good as the rest & start hacking away at them, pointing out their flaws. I suppose some will always find fault, somewhere, it’s like they can’t actually get by without picking on someone/something.

    A bitter indictment of the human animal!

    :(

    Well done worky!

  38. John B says:
    February 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    “But 1 in 3? No chance. Just had a look myself and 49 in 257.”

    It was 56 goals in 268 Newcastle United appearences John, but as so many of his appearences were as sub, his goals per minute ratio was a goal every 270 minutes which is three games without stoppage time. He’s been subbed on 111 times and subbed off 79 times so far. I have enclosed one of my sources at the top, but I checked several.

    As for your stats with 49 goals, I’m surprised you can’t you remember when he scored his 50th goal for Newcastle, it was a penalty against the Mackems on 1 February 2009. ;-)

  39. UTD111 says:
    February 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    “Look at the abusive crap that the airheads who call themselves Manure supporters hand out to a legend like Sir Alan Shearer for example – just because he had the audacity to turn their club down and play for United.
    We can all express opinions on Shola’s footballing ability and value to the United team without the need to resort to abuse.”

    UTD111 Blackburn feel the same way about Man U as most Newcastle fans feel about the Mackems. If Jack Walker sold Shearer to them it would have been like John Hall or Fat Freddy selling him to Sunderland and despite Walker being their dearly loved Moses / Messiah figure or whatever, it wouldn’t have gone down too well at all. Even the chairman of Manchester United at the time he was sold, Martin Edwards said himself:

    “There was no way that Rovers would let him come here.”

    In the parallel universe of Geordie folklore though there is an alternative hypothesis where Sir Alan personally went to Manchester to spit in Sir Alex’s eye, then rode off in the direction of Tyneside on a white charger to join Newcastle United and give alms to the poor. ;-)

    For those in the prediction comp, I am checking out the scores now BTW.

  40. worky as for the prediction comp. i have an idea.

    how about a 4th prize?

    highest weekly score, if a tie, highest weekly score draw.

    names in a hat and the winner is drawn at the end of the season.

    makes it fair on the muppets who forget to file their scores for a couple of weeks, give them something to look forward to.

  41. Stephen C says:
    February 5, 2012 at 12:57 am

    “makes it fair on the muppets who forget to file their scores for a couple of weeks, give them something to look forward to.”

    What would that make me then? I forgot week 3 in the last comp and this comp. Behind already! :(

  42. Stephen C says:
    February 5, 2012 at 12:57 am

    “worky as for the prediction comp. i have an idea.”

    Aye that’s certainly food for thought Stephen but I’m just the caretaker manager keeping things ticking over. Hugh’s the real gaffer of that prediction competition and he’s in India ATM.

  43. spare a thought for the plucky losers the neet.

    – hard lines scotland hahaaaaahaa

    am off te me scratcher – peace be wi’ya.

  44. maze202 says:
    February 5, 2012 at 1:47 am

    What would that make me then? I forgot week 3 in the last comp and this comp. Behind already!

    You’re in joint third so far maze.

    On the subject of “Muppets” this is still my favourite Muppet movie, Sad Kermit the junkie sings Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”. Still makes me laugh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ta7mkgrOU

    Roy Cropper, where do you stand on the Ameobi question?

  45. I don’t buy the loyalty argument. It’s not loyalty when no one else wants you – he’d likely be hard pressed to pass the medical, and teams aren’t clamouring for his services. His loan at Stoke is a perfect example. 6 games, no goals.

    I’ll agree he does get a lot of stick, and other players who perform poorly don’t get the same treatment, but I strongly disagree with the statement he’s not lazy. The Blackburn game he ran well, and defended well. But every other game I’ve seen him in he’s failed to chase down balls, close down opponents with the ball etc.

    But first and foremost, a striker needs to score. Berbatov is often called lazy – but he puts the ball in the net.

  46. Shola is one of those infuriating/tantilizing players. That goal he scored against spurs early in the season was epic. He played a significant role in our manhandling of ManU. But he’s injury prone and can have some real shockers. I feel bad for him because it’s got to be really frustating to be in his shoes. Sure he gets a brilliant wage, we’d all love to be in his place, but if he has even average ambition, he’s got to be feeling canny annoyed at his lack of consistency.

  47. CanadaToon says:
    February 5, 2012 at 3:30 am

    “But first and foremost, a striker needs to score. Berbatov is often called lazy – but he puts the ball in the net.”

    CanadaToon, as I’ve proved above, he has scored a goal every 270 minutes (or every 3 games) and that isn’t too bad at all even for a striker. Actually it’s very slightly less than that because I didn’t take out his Stoke games and one England U21 international, which would actually reduce the figure slightly.

    In the League Cup, h has scored the equivalent of more than a goal every game and in the Champion’s League, it’s the equivalent of a goal every 1.5 games. In the Premiership alone, he’s scored a goal every 316 minutes, which is every 3.5 games. In the Championship it was the a goal every 127 minutes, which is the equivalent of a goal every 1.4 games.

    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/shola-ameobi/leistungsdaten/spieler_3276.html

    I just don’t get it, are all Newcastle United supporters apart from myself completely innumerate? :-)

  48. Fair enough – but there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Lets look at the last 2 seasons though – 28 league appearances, 7 as a sub, 6 goals. This season, 15 appearances, again 7 as sub, 1 goal. That makes 7 goals in his last 43 league appearances – a goal rate of 1 every 6.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, some of the goals he has scored for the club have been important ones, such as against Spuds this year. But he is clearly a striker on the decline (IMHO), and I think the pace of the league is too much for him now. I would however, love to see him as an ambassador for the club, as I think he has a lot to offer in that capacity.

  49. CanadaTOON says:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:38 am

    “Fair enough – but there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    No CanadaTOON, there are staistics, and there are people who don’t tke the time to look at them properly and hence jump to mistaken conclusions ;-)

    In the 2010/11 season, Shola made a total of 30 appearences, yet he only managed to play a complete 90odd minutes 10 times. In that season he scored a goal every 215 minutes, or the equivalent of a goal every 2.38 recurring games. (9 goals in 1931 minutes = a goal every 214.55 minutes or 2.38 games not counting injury time)

    This season has been poor in terms of goals with only one goal in 997 minutes, however he has been quite supportive to other strikers, including supplying 3 assists, or an assist every 3.7 games. For that he gets stuff like:

    “It comes to something when we are using statistics to defend Shola’s contribution.

    He has by far the most pathetic excuse for a footballer’s heart I have ever seen.

    I would quite happily batter him with any form of pastry you care to mention.

    I no longer care that he has the hips of a 25 year old Afghan donkey. He just doesn’t have the heart of one.

    He’s nothing short of an embarrassment, and I would far rather someone with less talent who bothers his arse, than put up with his excuse laden performances.

    He’s a striker and he scores at a ratio that’s less than 1 in 5. What the f88k?”

    and worse…

    As I wrote above, it’s crap like that which boils my piss and makes me ashamed to be a Geordie sometimes nowadays.

  50. V1nc1nity says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:08 am

    “What about the Fulham or Brighton game, where he couldn’t hold the ball? He was really poor!!!”

    I seem to recall that he held the ball up fairly well in the Brighton game V1nc1nity and he didn’t have an awful game against Fulham either, it wasn’t his fault that we lost those games.

  51. all i can say on your stats worky.

    take away goals scored by penalties and tell me what you get.

    fair enough goals scored by penalties count on the day but it doesn’t give a true reflection to goal scoring ability. you have a higher success rate scoring a penalty, surely, than in any 90 minutes.

    penalties in my opinion are what give a false reading. yes it is technically a goal but if all a player has to do is stand around and wait to take one then you cant call him a striker. you call those people penalty takers.

    so by all means read statistics, but when you are there do your own, try to find out how many of those goals he has scored have been by penalty and ask yourselves when you see the result, does it give a true reflection on the stats.

    after all penalties are often won by another player attacking the box and being fouled, it doesn’t actually mean the guy scoring the penalty was on his way to score, or anywhere near at the time. it just means he stepped up to the spot. doesn’t ive a true reflection on how a person plays in open play if you count penalties.

    and after all it is open play ameobi is being judged on isn’t it?

    and maze

    think yourself lucky i missed week 2 and 3. and last season i only did one game and forget about the rest. so it was more my own consolation prize i was thinking about.

    any one beat 9 points in one game? or do i just need a new wooden spoon that badly.

  52. Stephen C says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

    “all i can say on your stats worky.

    take away goals scored by penalties and tell me what you get.”

    Exactly Stephen, Shearer scored more penalties than anyone else during Shola’s time at NUFC. He’s the one who had his goal average bumped up by penalties more than any other Newcastle United player in recent times and he started and finished most games too. What if Shola had been the penalty taker instead? :-)

  53. to be honest worky if ameobi had have taken the penalties instead they would have had to bring him off the bench to do so.

    i doubt he would have been on the the pitch at the time should sir al have needed to take a penalty.

    to be honest i think stats only show one thing, results and not what really matters.

    typical example.

    chelsea v sunderland

    tores over head kick hits the cross bar, bounces off hit lampard on the leg, goes in over the line.

    stats would say goal for lampard.

    although it was against sunderland id normaly give an element of sympathy, but when goals like that are scored it makes a mockery of stats.

    you can see my point that stats show bugger all. ive watch amiobi play over the last three years both home and away, and there isn’t another player in the premier league i could compare him too.

    i could go down the leagues and i still couldn’t find a player like him. when marlon harewood was here he made amiobi look good.

    other than his christian presance in the training ground i cant see anything else he brings.

    yes having him there will no doubt make players think twice about orgies, sex, drugs and alchohol fueled macdonalds leading to cocaine alleged orgies.

    if that all he does then it is a big part but please dont rate him as a player because he never has been worth of the lion on his arm.

    when he went to stoke, they didn’t want him. does that not tell you something?

    to be fair his personal qualities are by far greater than his football qualities.

    but im not going to sit and pretend his is a good footballer when quite simply he is not.

    im not going to take stats into the equation becasue the are, like ive mentioned, flawed.

    in the championship he did well for us, but that was his level, premier league he is not.

    in any other job in any other field there are laws protecting giving jobs to families and friends without opening the job to everyone. you cant tell me if shola had have been from Manchester he would still be here now.

    as we all know that the only reason why he is still here is simply because he was born in Nigeria and raised in Newcastle and to a lot, that makes him a geordie. and that means he can get away with crimes of passion.

    well excuse me if i feel a little persecuted myself, but with players like jon dahl tommason, silvio maric even obafemi martins and even tomas kadar, do you think they would be regulars if they had been born any closer to the tyne than pj and duncan?

    tomas kadar has worked his socks off every time i see him play, and what does he get? a squad number for brighton in the FA cup. 5 months after the season starts.

    it seems like there is one rule for one and another rule for those making the rules. or in this case making the stats.

    so in all honesty do i think people are being harsh? no. name one club and set of fans who would settle for a player from outside their area giving performances like this. none.
    we all know where we would be if he wasnt from a place called Newcastle.

    earlier someone mentioned Lovenkrands not being up to standard, every time ive seen him play i like him. so how can people put Amiobi above Krands in the pecking order?

    oh forgot Krands is from somewhere outside Newcastle Upon Tyne.

  54. and to be honest lovenkrands has shown more loyalty than any player playing in a black and white shirt since shearer.

    his father dies, he flies home at the weekend and he returns on the monday and scores a hat trick only to fly back to his family.

    in all fairness lovenkrands deserves the key to the city for that alone.

    and to be honest, players like ameobi aren’t loyal, they are here for the regular pay and his performances would suggest this.

    he might as well be long term unemployed and not looking for a job and not wanting to either.

    IMO same type of person. just different type of benefit system.

  55. Had the same feeling on the subject for a while. While he may not be the greatest player, he does his best for us and has been a loyal servant.

    I noticed a few weeks ago that an article on the skysports website about Shola being injured was recieving loads of “likes”…. obviously from Newcastle fans happy that he wouldn’t be available to play. Stuff like this is out of order imo.

    Shola was also heaviily criticised after the Brighton game (more than most of the team) but I actually thought he was 1 of our best 2-3 players.

  56. Oh btw. I also feel like people should get behind Obertan. He has skills and if people actually get behind him then he will become a valuable player for us.

    Obertan loses the ball and the whole stadium groans. Ben Arfa does the same and there’s no problem…. Double standards.

  57. i agree paulos.

    ive been a big fan of obermans since he came.

    being hurled abuse on the pitch by fans near by isnt going to do his confidence any good. i think people should give him a break.

    his confidence is growing. one goal and one shot on target as well as an assist will do wanders for his mental strength.

    so yes let us all get behind him and let us all help ben arfa stay at the toon by carrying on supporting him.

    he is a top player who we need to stick around so let us not stop anything we are doing but also give a little love to the oberman aswell as ben arfa

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