Testimonial time for Shola?

Posted on September 9th, 2010 | 96 Comments |

Shola - Ten years on.....
Shola - Ten years on.....
Love him, hate him, or you may just even be not bothered by him, but Shola Ameobi is no doubt a player that divides opinions on Tyneside.

On this day, ten years ago, Shola Ameobi was given his first-team debut against Chelsea by Sir Bobby Robson.

Ten years? It seems like yesterday! But given the fact that Shola has now been with the club for ten years shouldn’t he be due a testimonial match? I mean ten years is the standard time requirement to be considered for a testimonial match isn’t it?

Whichever way you look at it, through a bit of luck and a failed medical at another club, Shola has been a fantastic servant to us, and I think that now is the time to reward him for that service.

Now I very much doubt we could expect a testimonial along the lines of the Alan Shearer one. He was a one-off, a legend in his own right, but Shola has also had some fantastic moments in an injury plagued Newcastle United career. He is our second highest Europen goalscorer ever, behind Alan Shearer, and he has scored against some of the best teams around, like Barcelona for example.

His main problem has been injuries, in my opinion. They have meant that his opportunities have been limited and because of that he has never really had a run in the team. When he is fit and getting a run in the team, he will score goals, he has done in the past and he will do again. Not prolific, our Emile Heskey if you like, but he will create space for others and is liable to pull of something special that the defender that is marking him can’t see coming, mainly because Shola probably couldn’t see it coming himself.

The stats don’t look that impressive – 276 appearances, 62 goals, although it is worth mentioning that 114 of those appearances have been as a substitute. Whilst it isn’t an excuse as such, I think it is common knowledge that sometimes it is hard to come off the bench and make an impact.

People tend to forget, even me at times, that it was Shola and his goals that took us towards the top of the table at the start of last season. Unfortunately, inevitably even, injury hit which opened the door for Andy Carroll, and the rest is history as they say.

Shola wouldn’t have been our player had it not been for a failed medical at Ipswich a while back. Call it fate or whatever, but for a number of reasons all combined he is still our player and deserves his testimonial for his service to Newcastle.

Congratulations Shola!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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96 Responses

  1. shola needs a spell in the team injury free i think he would surprise a lot of people, it’ll probably never happen unfortunately. 10yrs deserves respect all the same.

  2. “The stats don’t look that impressive – 276 appearances, 62 goals, although it is worth mentioning that 114 of those appearances have been as a substitute. Whilst it isn’t an excuse as such”

    Why isn’t it an excuse as such, Toonsy? Unless you expect him to score the same amount of goals in 20/30 minutes that other players score in 90. What’s his ratio for minutes per goal scored?

  3. Toonsy – my opinion on his “main problem” – is that he grew up in the shadow of Shearer. It works both ways – i reckon Shearer gave him confidence in that he made him “harden up ” and put his weight about a bit – (he seemed a better player for this in Shearers penultimate year) – but when they played together he was very much the second striker in the shadow of the great man. Still – i was surprised to read the stats – he’s actually scored a good few goals.
    Any way – i like him. I always told my 3 lads that they should play the game with a smile on their face – enjoy it for what it is. He’s definitely one of the best exponents we’ve ever had of this (second only to the great Beardo – but he was a one-off – never see his like again)

  4. I hate Shola’s determination, workrate and his wasteful foul. He can score but useless all over the pitch. That’s why he doesn’t deserved to be starting line-up, if we do, it just like we play 10 VS 11.

  5. Shola is a more than decent 2nd option at this level. The mob have their axe to grind, they love a scapegoat. If we got rid, they’d move on to someone else, it’s just the way some supporters have to vent their spleen for some reason.

    Injuries and the odd air-shot aside, he’s well worthy of a testimonial. I have absolutely no problem in his playing 2nd fiddle to AC this season.

  6. On a technical note, AC is the finisher supreme at the moment, Loven has the pace to play off defender’s shoulders, but Shola remains our best forward receiving the ball with his back to goal,, this means he can open up a resolute defence with a quick turn, dart into the box and shot. This is really important to have in open play, against the top sides, who may have the handle on Carroll.

  7. boater – i always liked your opinions on the old icnewcastle site – i suspect that you stopped reading/contributing to that at about the same time i did. i hada different “handle” then though.

  8. Have to say I dont mind Shola at all and despite what many think I really feel he is premiership quality, certainly not top 5 quality but premiership quality all the same. he has a good bit of skill and has the canny knack of being able to get a shot in and on target with his back to goal.

  9. Worky – Because I said so ;)

    Nah, I get what you are saying and it would be interesting to see what his goals/minutes ratio is. The only way I can find that out is by using that site that you talked about, the one I can’t read as it looks like Klingon :lol:

  10. tattyheed – thanks mate. What was your former name like?

    Yeah the other blog has too many threads which just stymies the overall flow; also the writer uses cloying american english which winds me right me up. “he’s a real hit that guy! for sure!” n’all that.

    No disrespect to our cousins over the pond of course.

    Got my match/train tickets sorted for saturday – cannot wait. HTL!!

  11. Slightly off topic, but what’s all this about?

    “The Kremlin is extremely sensitive to western criticism, especially from Britain, with Mutko claiming that corruption and racism among fans exist in numerous countries, including the UK. “Sometimes in the non-Russian press we read that there is also corruption in England. People sometimes cross the road in the wrong place.”

    His remarks come after Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrated Peter Odemwingie’s recent sale to West Bromwich with a banner showing a banana and the message: “Thanks West Brom”. Mutko, though, claimed that he had come across unpleasant sentiments when he attended a Newcastle United match three years ago.”


  12. You would have thought that in 10 years he would have learned by now to stop needless fouls on defenders, in particular pulling them back by the shoulder, that would be an interesting statistic and also how many times he has broken the play up by losing possession.
    He has only been at the club for 10 years because no one else would have him in their first eleven, Championship level at his best.

  13. He’s a good lad and I appreciate all he’s done, but many of the back patters will probably have winced the way I did when he came on against Man U a few weeks ago.

    Like many, I think his potential has remained unfulfilled because of injury and lack of opportunity. To say he found his level last year is, perhaps, unfair. He’s better than a championship player, but I don’t want to find us relying on him if Carroll or Lovenkrands get injured.

    I think he should go to a newly promoted side, or help a promising Championship side get promoted, but I’m always plagued by a sense at the thought of selling him.

    Whatever you think of him, I think you’d have to agree that he’s worth a testimonial.

  14. BBB,i agree m8 but a lot of bloggers say we should not pick on him going by the stats.one game last year at sjp he was off-side 9 times so all those moves broke down,that is only one of his many faults,as you say ccc class at the v.best imo

  15. Worky someone(cant remember who) suggested he may possibly have been at the Boro game when Mido got abuse……other than that nae idea.

  16. icedog – “championship level at the very best” – mate you’re bonkers or blinkered – probably both. He scored a goal a game last season – what exactly does someone have to do to suggest they are too good for the CCC? My giddy aunt.

  17. by the way – i love testimonials me like

    the best one i ever went to was Jackie Milburn (i’m not that owld it was in 1967) – there was a big fate bloke in wor goal for a bit (Jackie Fairbrother) and another little greasy haired fat bloke who did a cracking line in keepie uppie – he played centre forward for them – his name was Ferenc Puskas! – and there was aboot 50,000 there. plus you could buy a packet of peanuts for a tanner and some gadgie in a broon overall would lob them to the punters at the top of the leazes end.

    NURSE – fetch me medicine!!!!

  18. BOATER thats why when he went out on loan,they didnt what him at a knock down price, if you think he is good enough for the toon go for it,i dont,you have your view i have mine if you dont like it tuff

  19. sad sod that i am – i watched the reserves on the telly the other day (if Liverpool can have a channel why cant we?)- had a chuckle when Shola’s brother came on – one of the first things he did was to kill a ball superbly and lay it off – something his big bruv has been trying to perfect for years!!

    seriously though – i thought that he looked like he could make the grade – got to say that some of them wont make footballers as long as my a*se points downwards

  20. tattyheed says:
    September 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    “and another little greasy haired fat bloke who did a cracking line in keepie uppie – he played centre forward for them – his name was Ferenc Puskas!”

    The “Galloping Major”. Wish I’d seen him as he was one of the greatest forwards who ever kicked a football.

  21. good old shola never did turn out to be the player people thought he would but hes still a decent player and im sure he can be a useful player for us for at least this season until we have money to bring in better players.

  22. WORKY as wellye m8 one of the greats a term used to loosey now a days,with a proper ball as well lol

  23. “Ginkoh Ginkoh says:
    September 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I hate Shola’s determination, workrate and his wasteful foul. He can score but useless all over the pitch. That’s why he doesn’t deserved to be starting line-up, if we do, it just like we play 10 VS 11.”

    Completely echo these sentiments on Shola…

    Michael Owen has terrific scoring record yet as a team player… the rest of the team plays better without him.

  24. icedog says:
    September 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    “WORKY as wellye m8 one of the greats a term used to loosey now a days,with a proper ball as well lol”

    Aye Icedog, when they were soaking wet they felt like they were lined with concrete.

  25. aye ice – i was at the final – the only home game in the fairs cup run that i missed was Vitoria Setubal – it was pissing down with snow and the bus got stuck in the street. by the way – i queued for me final ticket all one sunday 8 hours on me own cos me mates caught an earlier bus -most lonely i’ve ever been! – still the ticket for the final cost me 10/- (thats ten shillings – 50p in new money) – christ i wouldnt fart for 50p these days :)

  26. TATTYHEED lol,i could walk to the ground (10min)them days,that snow storm during the game was a laugh there players were dumb struck,great game for us like m8

  27. I might sound daft,but ain’t testimonial sounds more like giving a farewell to a player who is gonna retire??

  28. ice – i lived in newbiggin hall – it was too far to walk and too late. we were up for it but me fatha wouldnt let wu gan. best game for me was Feyenoord – 4-0 the first we’d played in europe. it strikes me that its a great thing that i can say that i was there!! – was always known after that as “Geoff Allans game”. i think he got injured and never played again! Happy days like :)
    the final was great – but i still divvent really believe it…. i mean … Bobby Moncur!! GIT IN !!!!

  29. AOD – I think of testimonial as long service awards. Jamie Carragher had one the other day.

    Footballers earn too much nowadays to have any need for the cash so they also mainly benefit some form of charity or another. Perhaps Bowbur could tap Ameobi up for a percentage of his testimonial money for his bike ride?

  30. toons did harper get offered a testimonial with him being here the longest and that i think he deserves it the most

  31. Sorry but I just don’t think he deserves it. I think over the years he’s just stayed here due to no one willing to match his salary.

    I’d have sold him years ago – NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

  32. By tradition, clubs typically grant testimonials to players upon reaching ten years of service with a club, although they sometimes are given to players with less service as they approach retirement. These matches are always non-competitive. Typically, former greats for the club are invited to participate, either in the match itself or the surrounding festivities. For especially prominent players, some all-time greats of the game may be invited, or the opposition can be a national team. Alternatively, if a player is strongly identified with more than one club team, the testimonial may involve the player’s current and past clubs. All proceeds from the match go to the player; depending on the country, the income may be tax-free to the player.

    The testimonial was a charitable gesture by the club; as testimonials were typically very well-attended matches, the practice of giving the players the proceeds from the match often enabled the honorees either to retire or establish themselves in another line of work once they finished playing. This is still the main object of testimonials in Australia and some other countries.

    Basically,In my own Opinion,yes Shola have served 10yrs,but he ish only 28yrs old. And to me testimonial matches are indeed for those who are about to retire soon.

    And Testimonial main purpose was to give the money to the player as “supposed” retirement fund. And i don’t think Shola earn less though.

    As said,Steve Harper would be a better player.

  33. TATTYHEED nee offence we used to call that the ponderosa them days,my dad/mam lived at spital tongues them days,aye moncur in both legs too,plus the mighty wyn put the shites up them, pop finnished them off,great days m8

  34. angelofdeath thanks for explaining the testimonial details and i also agree sholas not quite testimonial material

  35. ice – nee offence taken mate – though it was (and still is- a s**thole) – i am proud of my draggings up – never been back there since me mam and dad moved away in 1976.
    by the way – me fatha used to drive the yellow bus in Spital Tongues (number 41 i think) – and just before he died he lived in the grounds of the Mary Magdalene. (in a bungalow – not exactly IN the grounds so to speak!!):)

  36. TATTYHEED bloody small world when you think,aye i knew the the mary magdalene and the bus,me fatha drank in the club across the from the l/park up from the magpie pub.
    sorry to hear about your da like m8

  37. woah,toonsy,you really pulled that one out of the blue!
    i can’t believe it’s been 10 yrs!beggars belief in this modern day and age to see a player stick with his club,especially for that long.nowadays,it’s kiss the new clubs badge one summer and cry over another club’s badge the next.

  38. Nice article, Toonsy – sums up my feelings on Shola. Usual carp from Stu, Icedog and others who slag off anyone who wouldn’t make the Barca starting 11 :)

    I’ve said it a lot recently: I think Shola get stick from some because he just LOOKS like he’s putting no effort in. As a gangly git meself, I know what it takes to move huge legs in a way that doesn’t make you look like bagpipes having a seizure.

    I really, really want to find stats on goals per minute. I know that last season, Shola was our best by some margin on that measure, but I’d like to see it going back a couple more years.

    Most notable is his ability (unlike Mr Owen) to come back from injury off the bench and immediately score. The good news is that he did that (I think) 3 times last season. The bad news is that he was injured last season…

    Shola’s never claimed to be another Shearer, but then shola didn’t cost £16M, did he?? He’s damn good value and a dedicated servant of the club as far as I’m concerned. I want him at matches, on the bench or otherwise.

  39. Whumpie says:
    September 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Slightly unfair! In fact a outrageously, ridiculously stupid comment to make regarding my comments on NUFC players.

    I don’t rate Shola, never have and never will! Is that because he wouldn’t get in Barca’s starting 11?

  40. To Stu and Icedog: while I respect your right to an opinion on this as much as anything else, I do worry that you’re turning up to matches and making your feelings known to Shola and any other player that you deem to be of insufficient ability. Please reassure me that your ‘booing’ is confined to this site..?

  41. I think the thing is with Shola he started out with a bit of promise but never really improved since then. I don’t think he is aggressive enough as a big centre forward. I also think he gives away stupid fouls unnecessarily and has a very low work rate. You would also have thought he would have learned the offside rule by now! That being said he should get a testimonial its only fair. By the way does anyone no if Steve Harper has had a testimonial yet I can’t remember him having one?

  42. Stuart79 says:
    September 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    Whumpie says:
    September 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Slightly unfair! In fact a outrageously, ridiculously stupid comment to make regarding my comments on NUFC players.

    I don’t rate Shola, never have and never will! Is that because he wouldn’t get in Barca’s starting 1<<<<< stu none of our team would get in the barca starting 11 not many players in the prem would get in the barca startin 11 ,dus that make them all shite.

  43. There was a bit of tongue-in-cheek there, Stu, but you get my meaning ;)
    I just don’t see much justification in such a severe judgement on the lad. When he does play, he scores a lot and provides loads of assists. Granted, he doesn’t track back as well as AC, but few do. He certainly doesn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities and is often a key man in defending corners.

    Bear in mind that bosses have always told him to stay up-front; that’s the job of a target man like him. Don’t mistake obeying orders as laziness!

    (That said, he definitely has some matches where his pilot light has definitely gone out, I’ll give you that!)

  44. “Shola’s never claimed to be another Shearer, but then shola didn’t cost £16M, did he?? He’s damn good value and a dedicated servant of the club as far as I’m concerned. I want him at matches, on the bench or otherwise.”

    Whumpie disagree with you there mate distinctly remember Shola in an interview stating he was going to fill Shearer’s boots and take the number 9. Plus Shearer never cost £16m it was £15m. Still though everyone has there own opinion of him I don’t know why so many people have a problem when either someone is expressing negative or positive feelings about a player, people just have differing OPINIONS.

  45. we never gave Given one and he served much longer and was far more important than Shola. IMO shuv it and score more goals rather than warm the bench, get injured and compleing you never get playng time… facts are facts your really not that good. 10 years or not your only here because we cant replace shearer.

  46. give him his due,he does come up with the odd important goal sunderland eg.
    i’m not a fan of the lad,as i think he is an awful player to watch.he’s all arms and legs and fouls continually,sometimes he can be good on the deck,passing etc.one of the most frustrating things about him,is his inability to run the line.he is caught offside more than any striker i’ve ever seen.
    he doesn’t seem to posess a strikers ability to arrive in the right places,look at andy carroll he’s only been on the scene for a while,but he does have the finishers instinct where shola is lacking,he is also very poor in the air for such a big lad.
    the wearing of a gumshield for chipping a tooth was the icing on the cake for me,and a loan spell at stoke,where his attitude was terrible.
    shola amoebi for a testimonial?would a kangeroo court not be more fitting lol.

  47. Got to admit; Shola does give away daft fouls, and dives – which I hate! But he’s loyal, effective and ours – so yep, I think he should get his testimonial.

  48. The team will be


    Hoots is really predictable, with Ben Afra coming on in 60-70th min for I would say Jonas. Then possibly Ameobi coming on for Carroll. Don’t think we’ll see Tiote or Campbell at all.

  49. DJG
    agree with that 100%
    Papers trying to make something of Campbell being fit saying he may get in, will he shite, he’ll have to wait his turn.

    Plus, why fix something that isn’t broke eh? Played really well last couple of games with these players, lets keep up the momentum, cant wait for sat!!!

  50. Trojan

    Good points about him being continually offside and poor in the air for a big lad. What he does well though is suprise everybody (including himself I think) on the deck with a killer deft touch to play someone in, or a flukey finish into the bottom corner off the keepers backside. Of course sometimes he goes missing and other games he gets 2 or 3 of these magical moments. I do think for all his hangups he is our only ‘magic’ player since Viduka left.

  51. Batty
    about Given playing for the unwashed.
    He gave us most of his career, in which time he kept us in games, gained us so many points, and was probably our player of the season on numerous occasions.

    so what if he left, who wouldn’t have given the opportunity at that time? It would be interesting to see how many approaches we’ve turned down for him over the years, and then see if he is still a ‘judas’

  52. A very interesting point that someone made the other day about Ameobi, (appologies can’t remember who), is that midfielders look at him and dink the ball up to him coz he looks like a target striker, when really he wants it to feet. He looks uncomfortable recieving the ball this way and sometimes handles it. he should make more of a point to the midfielders that he wants it to feet, really he is far more effective this way and has skills to burn with his feet.

  53. batty says:
    September 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm
    “ilm aye and he jumped ship wen we needed him most the traitor wanted a move at the begining of the season”

    When we needed him the most? Would he have kept us up like? No! Did we not win the league without him last season? Yes! Can’t ever remember saying that we miss Shay Given, a fantastic keep he is, we’ve never missed, or even needed, him.

    On the issue of him leaving, well, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree – but your wrong :D

    The bloke had done his time and had had enough of the state the club was in, it was only going in one direction. Because of the service he gave, I wouldn’t begrudge him seeing out the last few years of his career with a stable club pushing for honours.

    In case you didn’t understand my point, you’re wrong :D

  54. Off topic.

    I know we havn’t seen benny play for the toon yet, but… This international Left Winger Man City have paid a fortune for, Silva, from the world champions Spain. From what you have seen of him so far, would you guys rate him higher than Jonas or Benny? Coz I wouldn’t.

  55. DJG
    Just needs time mate, he is a classy player, watched him over the year on sky, nowt spectacular mind in respect to tricks n that, but has quick feet and aye, classy all the same, will be a permanent fixture once he settles in I reckon.

  56. As a squad player Shola ain’t all THAT bad. He can be damn frustrating (esp OFFSIDES) and I’ve been as guilty as any moaning when I see him selected to come off the bench, just as I did last season against Forest at home, but then he comes on to score a cracking left-footed drive, then sets up Jose for his goal with a sharp backheel – not that this means by any stretch that he should get a testimonial, but some people on here seem to think he is Cort/Guivarch etc…

    Regarding team for Sat I agree surely Hoots will keep the same team, though might be tempted to drop Smith as not as essential playing B’Pool at home. Would leave room for Tiote or Ben Arfa and I’d like to see one start, probably Benny.

  57. Batty @ 85.

    Ben Arfa could quite possibly be one of the best players we’ve signed, atleast during my lifetime, if the lad produces and develops in the English game.

    Seriously, he is a massive talent.

    I really hope he puts one away on Saturday, the thought of having a player who can change a game in an instant, on his own.. We’ve not really had that for a while.

    £7m is an absolute steal. Probably the best bit of business we’ve done in a long while also. Excluding Williamson.

  58. Daverism says:
    September 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm
    £7m is an absolute steal. Probably the best bit of business we’ve done in a long while also. Excluding Williamson.”

    Routledge 1.5? Gosling free? You could go on actually when you think about it with the fantastic pieces of business we have done in the past year, and long may it continue.

    Hey, anyone noticed, we’re starting to resemble a club again :D

    ps I think the new NUFC site looks great, and Mick Lowes is looking a picture of health isn’t he!!! Bloody hell man…

  59. I agree mate, 100%.

    I’m enjoying being a toon fan recently and to be honest, I’m feeling really good about this season the air of optimism is definitely back.

    Credit to Hoots, Calderwood, The lads, Mike Ashley and it really pains me to say, OwlFace.

  60. Whumpie says:
    September 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve never boo’d a player in my life – That’s what this site is for.

    batty says:
    September 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    What you on about? It was Whumpie who gave the Barca example.

  61. As someone once told me:

    Shola – he can do the hard but he cant do the easy

    Personally I like Shola and hope that he does get it. Leave all the haters hate but at the end of the day he’s one of our own and I believe he has served us well……its like he’s been around forever I must say