Worrying time for Newcastle as Ameobi and Best receive international call ups.

Posted on January 25th, 2011 | 12 Comments |

Best: Carling Nations call up
Best: Carling Nations call up
As an injury depleted Newcastle United hobbles it’s way through the middle part of the season, news came through that Leon Best has received his eighth international call up for the Republic of Ireland team.

The 24 year old hitman has been called for the squad for the Republic’s upcoming game against Wales on February 8th. This will be the first game in the inaugural ‘Carling Nations Cup’ to be held in Ireland. This comes fairly soon after the news that fellow striker, Shola Ameobi, has been selected for the Nigeria squad for a friendly match against Guatemala on February 9.

With Andy Carroll’s delayed return from a thigh injury, and Newcastle facing matches against and in form Blackburn team on the 12th, and a resceduled clash with Birmingham on the 15th (or possibly the 19th or 20th), this could be a worry for the already injury ravaged squad should the players pick up any knocks. If the worst were to happen, and both players were injured in some way, Peter Lovenkrands and Xisco would be the only remaining first team strikers. Current injuries include Steven Taylor (hamstring), Dan Gosling (knee), Alan Smith and Ryan Taylor (ankle and foot), Hatem Ben Arfa (broken leg), as well as the aforementioned Carroll.

While it is thought that Best will definitely be reporting for for duty with Republic of Ireland manager, Giovanni Trappatoni, the situation with Ameobi is slightly less clear, especially so as the Nigerian match is only a friendly.

Speaking on the call up, Newcastle United’s manager, Alan Pardew said:

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

Meanwhile, Ameobi himself seemed to place the emphasis on his club, rather than his International career, saying:

“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.”

The situation could be taken out of Newcastle’s hands, however. As my colleague, Hugh, reported in a previous ‘blog, the Nigeria v Guatemala game takes place during an official FIFA international window. This means that under FIFA rules, the Nigeria team could insist that Shola was released to play by Newcastle United.

Here’s hoping that everything goes well for Shola and Leon, and that they both remain unscathed through this difficult period in the season.

Meanwhile, on one of those injuries mentioned above, the double leg break of midfield star, Hatem Ben Arfa, the French international has been told by doctors that he must not rush his return to first team action. Speaking in an interview, the French-Tunisian wizard said:

“I have a mad desire to play football again,”

“But the doctors told me I should not rush it. We must be rigorous in this regard.”

Ben Arfa has been recovering in Paris, attending the French National team’s National Technical Centre in Clairefontaine. On this he added:

“The closeness of my family in the Paris region has made me decide to recover at Clairefontaine. Things are going well so far.”

Despite the impatience to get such a talented player back into the team, let’s hope that he doesn’t rush back too soon, especially after what happened to Dan Gosling when he looked dead set for a return to action after a similar long spell out.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1086 articles on this blog.

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12 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t have been a problem pre and (just) post war as it was just a question of ganning to the top of a pithead and shouting for a centre forward to come up.

    Ahh, those were the days.

  2. If AC misses the Fulham match, I’d love to see Ranger and Best get a start. I can’t stand watching Shola waddle towards the ball when even Best will pressurise the defence.

    I don’t think Best is the long-term answer, but for me he’s shown enough to usurp Shola in the pecking order.

  3. I feel ranger needs a start, he looks so dangerous when he comes on as sub. He may of missed that chance against the yids, however he unlike the other ameobie best ect has the ability to create chances like that from himself.

  4. Hopefully a couple of bodies will be coming in over the next week…there were reports earlier of us being in advanced talks with Villa for Ireland.

    We all see that we’re too thin a squad, especially with the injuries/suspensions…the manager, the players and the fans are all saying the same thing…it’s as plain as day, even if it’s just a couple of reliable types on loan to see the short term through, we need a couple more faces in.

    We’re hearing all the right noises about bringing a couple in, but I know in the past, MA seems to have grasped the plot and makes a few sensible decisions in the right direction, then all of a sudden, something mental happens to knack it all…

    Suppose we all know we’ll get what we’re given in the end.

  5. who says we dont need a striker?? we desperatly need a striker now , pardue get ireland and keane both on loan m8 stop fartin around! is everybody sicka lookn 4 us to sign sum1 on skysports news?? i bluddy am!!

  6. o/t,nice to see one of the original knobheads who colluded with sky to wreck football has finally been given the push.he is a total dick,but i cannot help but think there is a bit of skulldugggery going on.
    andy is the wrong side of 50 and getting fatter and balder by the day,i think he has been being slowly fazed out over a period of time,with the son of el twitcho waiting in the wings as heir apparent.
    mr gray is a victim of his own making,with his cowtowing,toadying and general clarty hoop licking of sky sports and the top four clubs in the prem.
    gray played football during a time,when it was a mans game,yet he has been quite happy to prostitute himself,
    at skys behest.
    i have witnessed him saying things like,thats a stonewall penalty,when it clearly wasn’t,and generally trying to namby pampy football to keep his pay masters happy.
    well done andy,but no one is bullet proof as you seemed to think you were,it’s a classic case of “built up and knocked down”,you were extremely scathing towards newcastle united over the years,when they were no longer the entertainers.
    mr gray take your screen and your dobbers,and f**k right off,as you will not be missed you fat cnut.
    sorry for invading this thread,but i had to get that one off my chest.

  7. Not sure about this like. I’m not a huge fan of either Best or Strolla but I don’t think we can afford anymore injuries.

  8. Get off Shola’s back! If you think that Best is better than him you need some football education. He was nackered after an hour on Sat and should’ve been brought off – before that he did ok and was unlucky not to score. Ranger is trouble and although I like him he doesn’t deserve a shot – he waltzed into training 25mibs late the day after he scored that hatrick last week man! Tosser!