In defence of Shola

The Mackem Slayer
I like Shola Ameobi. I really do. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that he is my guilty peasure.

Every so often a player comes along that I become so attached to that I end up arguing their case every Saturday no matter how well they played.

I did the same with our Mackem destroying, Turkish delight that went by the name of Emre. Despite the fact that he had no real end-product and never really made an impact for us bar on the odd occasion (freekick v Sunderland), he still excited me and at the time was my favourite player.

Believe it or not this is Shola’s 12th season in the Black & White, and whether you like it or not he has become a household name not only in the North-East but in the whole country. The reason for this is that no other club in England has a player quite like him. No other club has a player that has managed to stay there for so long despite his glaring inconsistencies. Then again no other club has a player that seems to hibernate for 36 games a season before unleashing their anger on the unwashed.

I would make some sort of reference to Marmite at this point, however the general consensus of fans seems to lean towards hate rather than love.

His goals to game stats are: Played 305, Scored 70, which works out at around a goal every 4 and a half games. Now I admit that he hasn’t got a great ratio, however what people forget is that he is not our first choice striker, never has been, and probably never will be. A lot of his appearances are from the bench and to be honest I think his goals to game ratio is more than adequate for a player that isn’t one of our top two strikers. Now if we were pinning all our hopes on him to be our main man then I would feel differently, but as it is I think he is a good squad player.

In early September of 2001 many people were hyping Shola up to be the next big thing after seeing him make some great performances in the reserves and a couple in the first team. However after 12 years he still hasn’t realised that potential, and I think that is why a lot of fans are hoping that Sammy Ameobi will do what Shola failed to.

Another reason I find myself always sticking up for him is the sheer amount of stick he gets off fans, which fuels my anger and passion even further. If you don’t like a player then so be it, slag him off all you want, in fact go and write an article about it, it’s great to hear people’s contrasting opinions. However when a player steps out on to the turf of St James’ Park fans should put aside their opinions on him and get behind him as he is OUR player.

It disgusts me to hear a fan booing and abusing their own player. The problem is that Shola’s reputation precedes him and before he even touches the ball people are moaning and groaning about his performance. I understand that people pay for a ticket and have every right to express their opinions, but I feel that as fans it is our duty to get behind the players and support them.

During the Arsenal game this season I had the displeasure of sitting in front of two men that were shouting profanities and getting on his back from his first touch. It wouldn’t have bothered me as much if it wasn’t for the fact that actually Shola did quite well, in fact he did better than any of our other strikers in my opinion. But these men were having none of it.

Shola received the ball in the opposition half and kept it for around ten seconds however he was eventually tackled as no-one gave him an option. As I started to applaud his efforts I heard a huge sigh from behind me followed be some great words of wisdom from the man: “CERM ON SHOUWLA YOU USELESS FERKING DONKEY

He continued to do this throughout the game, even though the majority of the time it was another players fault, but why criticise someone else when you can scream at Shola? At one point I even heard them blame him for the fact that his Pie had no meat in it, thankfully this was followed by a brief chuckle however for a moment I actually believed he meant it.

Despite all the odds weighed up against him, he has still managed to make a success of himself as a footballer and I respect him for that. So next time you see his number come up on the 4th official’s screen you finally know who that person is that gives him a standing ovation and sings his name no matter how he’s played.

I’ll leave you with a song, as you’ve probably guessed by now it’s one of my favourites:

You put your left foot in, your left foot out.

In, out, in, out you shake it all about.

You do the Ameobi and you turn around, that’s what it’s all about – sing!

Oh, Shola Ameobi, Oh, Shola Ameobi, Oh Shola Ameobi

Knees bent, arms stretched Rawr Rawr Rawr.

About TheDimpleboy

Follow me on twitter – @TheDimpleboy I support the Heed as well as NUFC and you will find me at the International Stadium when Newcastle are playing away. I currently have a season ticket in the Leazes end.

95 thoughts on “In defence of Shola

  1. I personally haven’t seen Ruiz play, and unfortunately I haven’t seen much of Ben Arfa either due to his injuries. I don’t think we can really compare them until we’ve seen them both play regularly in this league.


  2. One of the thinks that really boils my piss is on a blog it all about opinions and everyone is entitiled to their own opinion, but why is it that when people express an opinion of thinking a player is not good enough, they then get people telling them to get behind the player or team.
    I have never needed to be told to get behind the team and it annoys me when someone says it, I had enough of it last season when Tugboat use to tell us every week


  3. Big Dave

    I understand where you coming from mate, but I think what you need to do now, is just get behind the boys on the pitch.


  4. @Big Dave If you think someones not good enough then no-one is saying that it is wrong to state that, slate them all you want. The point I was making though is that when they are on the pitch, IMO fans should support the team.


  5. Big dave (77)
    Meerly pointing out the detrimental effect the barracking has on the player (who is already having a stinker) and the collective effect on the team and it’s performance.


  6. MORENO, agree. shola not a striker who is going to take on 2 or 3 defenders, that’s not is game, he’s to slow for that. shola game is to hold the ball up and link up play, which a lot of the time, there’s no one there to support him. imo, i think ranger can work well with him, when ranger on he’s always there to give you a option, that something lovenkands doesn’t. best does but he’s very clumsy, and is only good in the box,


  7. [email protected] ill give you that , your certainly in the minority and are very entitled to your opinion no matter what it may be , i think my point was id seen a lot of bloggs that were very pro management and pro board and that everything in the garden is rosey and none from the other direction and that surprised me .


  8. Lads I believe that giving players abuse while playing only knocks them back even more, and shouldn’t be done. Funny I said something simular about the FCB chants at the time it was at its height, that it wasn’t right because apart from the fact that it would make the Fatman think ‘ i’ll teach them [email protected] a lesson’ it wasn’t right for families with young kids at the game having to listen to that.
    We use to get a lot of sectarian chants at games over here and that caused me to stop going even though the kids really enjoyed it I just didn’t want them to have to listen to that


  9. Porcie Street ….. I well remember Jim Iley getting heavy stick from the fans and Tommy Gibb probably more so.
    Both of those players had given heart and soul to the Black and White cause over many years ,but unfortunately both of them had run their legs off. They should have been either rested or moved on to lower divisions after being great servants to the club.

    Shola Ameobi is a different case altogether. His faults which are innumerable lie almost entirely with his attitude and judgement.

    1)He is lazy with regard to chasing down balls and getting / staying onside.

    2) He is a base coward when it comes to tackling and going for headers.

    3) He goes to ground at the drop of a hat and almost invariably gives away freekicks because of his lazy and cowardly challenges.

    4) His body language is a disgrace for a professional footballer.

    5) As a Newcastle supporter for over 45 years I never will boo of criticise a player for making mistakes or not being good enough. If a player isn`t good enough they should not be picked .

    The only players I have ever failed to support in a Black and White shirt are gutless, non-triers and Ameobi has been that player for 10 years. Extending his contract yet again must rank in the top 5 of bad business decisions made by NUFC. ( and that means very, very bad )


  10. Apologies. I have this blog confused with
    Somehow arrived here thinking it was
    Thanks to Lionel Speed for pointing that out in an earlier post.
    I must say I’m a bit embaressed by all this.
    Sincerest apologies to Toonsy and co.

    Re Army 69:
    Quote 1 – “robert wilson = complete prick!!!”
    Quote 2 – “aye dimpleboy ruiz was , hes the ugliest thing ive ever seen”

    Jeez man. Nearly 7.30pm. Off to bed son you’ll have school in the morning. Do mummy and daddy know you’re on here?


  11. Dave,

    Re: “Get behind the team”

    Boils my piss that one mate, hear it all the time. Come on here to discuss the club and get told to ”Get behind the team”

    As if I don’t as soon as they kick off. As if any of us don’t.


  12. Moreno IMHO if someone needs to be told to get behind the Lads, then they’re wasting their time because we dont want supporters like that.
    But yeah that is one of the things that gets to me the most and I take it as a real insult


  13. Mate, couldn`t have put it better myself. I sit in the pub and stick up for him all the time. I know he aint one of the best strikers we have ever had but he is a legend. He`s a legend for what he`s gone through, the stick he gets. Have you ever heard him complain? His attitude is first class and he`s scored more against the mackems than enyone other than Wor Jackie.


  14. Remember that time we played him so much with a hip injury we completely halted his career and removed his pace/ potential of ever playing above his current level?
    Yeah… We owe it to him to have him on our books, the only club he’s ever cared about, so much he sacrificed being a great player.
    The man is the type of player we should look up too, never complains, and when he gives 100% is unplayable. Maybe it’s the fact the fans never get behind him, and in fact boo him, which makes him a little lethargic at times.
    The man has been ill treated by those he loves the most. Give him a break and let him play when called upon.


  15. I wouldn`t say everyone boo`s him. I`ve bent my knee`s and stretched my arms many a time away from home. It`s the home support that groan at him all the time.


  16. Robert Wilson – Don’t be embarrassed. You do touch on a point. Like many people I read many blogs and forums. I also read what people criticise and take it into account for this site.

    One of the criticisms Ed usually gets is about his headlines (often referred to as edlines) which is up to him really. Personally its something I try and avoid although I do sometimes sneak one in now and again.

    As I said, don’t worry about it. You had tge gumption to come back and apologise so there is nothing else needed imo. Case closed 🙂


  17. Can’t believe a supporter would call on of our players a coward, who had his face smashed in and had to play with it held together by a mask… 🙄


  18. I think the point about Shola playing through his hip problems to help the team about hit the nail on the head for me.

    That was an unselfish action the part of Shola that will have had a long-term effect on him.

    Let’s not forget that, in his formative years – the most important – he was playing second fiddle to Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, then Owen and others.

    Interesting that people say that youth need games to improve yet Shola was only used as a bit part player during that important time.

    Personally he is no world-beater. He is not an exceptional footballer and his goalscoring record is shaky. He’s not half of the names that he has been called on here though.


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