Shola wants to go to the World Cup!

Posted on November 18th, 2009 | 16 Comments |

World Cup dreams alive?
World Cup dreams alive?
And I’m not just talking about spending some hard-earned cash to go and cheer on The Three Lions. Shola’s talking about actually playing in the World Cup 2010. I know, I know, this is a kid who could barely get in the Newcastle first eleven until this season and has repeatedly underacheived year on year.

However, after coming into good form at the start of this season, he’s been giving some thought to representing Nigeria, his country of birth and where he lived until he was six when he moved to Newcastle. Having played for England at Under-21 level, originally that’s where his international dream lay, but in giving himself a more realistic chance of making the finals, he’s turned his attention to his home nation for whom he is still elligible to play.

Although I was blissfully ignorant to the fact, or at least had forgotten it happened, the Nigerian FA chiefs have tried to call him up to represent Nigeria before but it is only now that Ameobi has expressed an interest in doing so. Ameobi said:

“It was a great honour for me to represent England at Under-21 level and my mum and dad were so proud of me.

“But they would love to see me play for Nigeria. I see myself as Nigerian, I was born and bred there.

“It’s not about changing allegiances. I’ve got Nigerian roots and I’m proud of my country, the country where I was born and spent the first five or six years of my life.

“Playing at the World Cup is the pinnacle of any player’s career. It’s what you dream of and if I can do that with Nigeria then that would be fantastic for me.

“They have been in touch before to see whether I was interested. In the past, I chose not to so I could concentrate on helping Newcastle.

“But I have reached a stage in my career where I would love to play international football and realistically it’s not going to happen with England.

“As I say, Nigeria is the country of my birth and if the coach is open to it then it’s something I would love to do, at the African Nations Cup and the World Cup.”

After talking about it to former Toon player and fellow Nigerian, Obafemi Martins, Ameobi added:

“We have talked about it and I would like to think that maybe I could add something to the team and help my country,”

“2010 is a big year for Nigeria. The African Nation Cup is the same for us as the European Championships is in Europe. It’s a tournament I would love to play in.”

Talking about Newcastle, the recent events and how the squad has pulled together to make a good start to the season, he had this to say:

“It has been frustrating to have missed the last few games but I’m coming back and should be fully fit in the next two or three weeks.

“I think we all as a group of players had to try and regain our sense of pride after relegation. We went down and the only way to get our pride back was to get promoted again.

“Newcastle is so close to my heart. I’m a fan of the club, too, and it’s not easy to accept such disappointments. It’s important we get back to where we belong.

“The spirit is strong and I think that was evident from the first day of pre-season and that’s shown through in our performances.”

Shola also talked with what is undoubtedly genuine respect and affection for Sir Bobby Robson:

“He had such a big influence on my career and we had such a special relationship. I dedicated my hat-trick against Reading to him because he was so important to me.

“Even after he left Newcastle, we would talk a lot and he would help and advise me. He’s been my mentor, helped me through so many things and I’d love to do something special for him.”

Pilloried by many of us and yet still he still plodded on, weighing in with some inconsistent but telling contributions, perhaps either he’s found a rich vein of form, found his level or a mixture of the two? Either way, you’d still have betted against him making the World Cup finals next year? Of course, he’s got to be asked yet and the report which is in The Daily Mirror is speculating that he could be required again based on Ameobi’s desires and a previous request. Hopefully, he can get involved because it’ll be an honour for the lad but let’s hope his real focus at the moment is Newcastle and our immediate fortunes first and foremost.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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16 Responses

  1. Is that Gullit or Rijkaard?

    Either way, he doesn’t look impressed with Beardo’s ball control.

  2. The thought of Shola and Oba running around together in next years world cup brings a smile to my face… Imagine for a moment that you were the manager for Nigeria. How hard would it be to get those two to actually play together as a partnership? Neither has a clue about what they are going to do from one moment to the next, let alone trying to work out what each other may be thinking…

  3. Off y’go then Shola.
    I thought you were a Geordie, thought he was english when he played for england, turns out he’s a nigerian.

  4. Fair article BBM
    I for one wish the lad good luck and enjoy your moment on the big stage.
    As for the mean spirited , let them eat sour grapes !

  5. Chuck @7
    How can what I posted be considered racist? I take offense at your accusation.. I was mearly suggesting that neither player has a good footbal brain.. it had nothing to do with their skin colour… have a think about it PAL….

  6. Why is it racist ?
    Because it indicates they are both idiots who dont have a clue about the what they are going to do next, you further indicate that neither has a  footballing brain.
    C`mon we can all read between the lines.
    I take it you made these accusations based on personal knowledge of both players, i mean to accuse someone you have never met of being an idiot is in itself idiotic and the fact they are both Africans is merely by chance, eh ! sure pal.

  7. What drugs are you on mate…… That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.. Saying someone doesn’t have a good footbal brain, doesn’t imply that they are idiots.. They could be rocket scientists in their spare time for all I know. The only idiot that has proven themselves to be one is you Chuck..

  8. Yeah right pal.
    The most ridiculous posting is your very knowledgeable assertion that neither one has a footballing brain, can you explain how you came to that conclusion, watching you tube no doubt and can you then explain how two pretty good football players who play at the top level can do so without a footballing brain, sounds like an oxymoron to me.
    dont dig yourself a deeper hole.

  9. chuck – not sure if this is a wind-up but it’s not making much sense, considering your normally lucid and rational viewpoint.

    I agree whole-heartedly that they both lack what you’d traditionally call a ‘football brain’, i.e. making the right kind of runs, awareness of other players, and making the right decisions at the right time.

    Not sure that makes me racist though chuck?

  10. bowburnmag says:
    November 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

    “I agree whole-heartedly that they both lack what you’d traditionally call a ’football brain’, i.e. making the right kind of runs, awareness of other players, and making the right decisions at the right time.”

    Well, they have an ‘independent’ football brain, which is sometimes governed more by the forces of the moon, or somesuch, rather than any kind of tactical masterplan dreamt up by the gaffer. Martins could either be inspired or completely deranged, and you never knew which until he’d had his pop at the goal sometimes.

  11. Yep, I’d go with that theory worky.

    For example, that Spurs away game, he’s sauntering around 30 odd yards out fannying on with it and in the blink of an eye looks like he’s shaping to shoot, and the words are barely formed on our lips “why the fck are you shooting from there?…” and the ball is in the stanchion.

    Next few games he’s lucky to hit Row P with any of his shots when there are better options around him throughout the game. An enigma, in a similar vein to LuaLua, Ameobi and Asprilla.

  12. Well guess all three of you concur, that guys with black skins just dont  appear to have  footballing brains,  at least the following  dont,  Lua Lua,  Shola, Martins and Asparilla,  you forgot Titus , how come you did`nt add him to the group , what about  our scoreless striker “yellow card Smith” does he have a footballing brain ?
    Expected more from you two guys,  you dissapoint me !