Taxi For Shola

Is this the beginning of the end for Shola?
Before I get stuck in, let me just say, on character alone I have no end of time for the lad. He is one of our own, as loyal as they come and a genuine top lad to boot.

But when it comes to Newcastle and the progression of the team, there’s no room for sentiment and players have to be judged on performances alone, and in this regard my patience with Shola Ameobi has all but gone unfortunately.

Shola has always had his critics and fact is his career goalscoring record leaves a lot to be desired, but for me it is only this season I think he is looking like he should be made surplus to requirements.

The main difference this season is plain to see. Whether someone bought him a lifetime supply of body mass powder or he has taken to bacon butties like Demba Ba loves his syrup, he has bulked up to put it kindly.

In one aspect of his game it has probably helped, that being he now has the physical presence of a wrecking ball, but the price to pay with other aspects of his game is just too much of a negative.

One knock on negative, probably the main one, is his distinct lack of mobility and pace. For a lad that was always credited for putting a shift in, regardless of goalscoring exploits, those days look gone.

His overall play looks slower. On the ball he still has a clever touch or two but it is all too slow for us to make anything of counter attacks, especially if Leon ‘Inzaghi’ Best is his partner.

More often than not, by the time Shola gets the ball away Besty has wandered offside, and for players like Ben Arfa and Cabaye, their quick interchange style just doesn’t work with someone who needs an extra touch.

Maybe I’m wrong and being harsh on the lad. Maybe he is playing through injury or pain. Maybe I’ve fallen into the trap of not seeing the good he does.

Whatever the reason, for me, and for the future of Newcastle I think come the summer it is time that King Shola passed the crown and maybe moved on.

He will always be remembered as the Mackem slayer and for that we will be eternally grateful, but in my humble opinion, the injuries have finally caught up with him and his legs have all but gone.

Anyone agree?

159 thoughts on “Taxi For Shola

  1. It’s so very easy to sit at a computer and tear Shola to pieces. He definitely deserves a little more respect, though.

    For me, he’s not great. Yet he’s very capable of doing the job should we lose BOTH of our strikers.

    His lack of mobility doesn’t worry me in the slightest as he is now clearly used in the role of target man. However, what I will say is that during our recent game at Blackburn he was constantly playing right alongside our CB’s, so it’s probably not a stamina issue but more a motivational flaw.

    Also, the reason he wouldn’t get on the bench of most, if any, top six clubs is more to do with the fact that not many of them field a 4-4-2 formation anymore. Resulting in them always having their second choice striker available as backup.

    If we were to follow suit and play 4-5-1, he probably wouldn’t get on ours either. For example;

    GK: Krul
    RB: Simpson
    CB: Colo
    CB: S.Taylor
    LB: Santon
    DMC: Tiote
    MC: Guthrie
    MC: Cabaye
    AMR: Obertan
    AML: Jonas
    ST: Ba

    Subs: Elliot, R.Taylor, Williamson, Perch, Gosling, HBA, Cisse


  2. I didn’t see anyone complaining when he equalised against Spurs to spare our blushes….

    but at the same time things like that, er, goals have been FAR too rare of late. He doesn’t even look like decent cover/back up to play 3 or 4 games whilst first choice are away anymore. That makes him lower than 3rd choice now and more of an impact sub.


  3. At the end of the day strikers live and die on goals and if Shola wasn’t a home grown lad how many seasons would he have lasted at a club like this? He never has scored enough goals and now he looks even less likely.


  4. Must agree with bulk of your views on shola.
    Nice bloke,good servant,but sadly now more than ever he is simply not playing at a level good enough for the premiership or the championship for that matter.
    He must be like pele in training because he aint cutting it on the pitch!!!!!!!


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