Does Shola deserve to be captain?

Posted on December 6th, 2010 | 83 Comments |

Captain Shola? Gerraway!
Captain Shola? Gerraway!
It’s an interesting question, and I probably know the answer that most people will give as I will probably give the same answer myself.

Now this isn’t an exercise as to whether Shola Ameobi should be in the team or not, as that is not really our decision. We all have views on it as, like the saying goes, opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one, well unless you are some form of freaky creature that… never mind.

Anyway, basically does anyone else feel that Shola Ameobi deserves the armband? Does he deserve to be leading the players in the absence of Kevin Nolan and any number of other players who would be ahead of him in the pecking order? Probably not to be fair, but does he deserve to be captain of this rag-tag group of players that have been thrust together due to injury and suspension? Again, probably not.

I suppose it depends on what your own personal view is of a captain. If it is some kind of long service award then fair enough, Shola should have it in the bag. The problem is that I just don’t think it suits him.

You see, to me a captain should lead by example on the pitch, and Shola doesn’t do that often enough for my liking. The problem is where to put the armband in the absence of the likely candidates. Going by the team yesterday I would have given it to Sol Campbell, who ended up wearing the armband in the second half anyway.

I just don’t think that Shola is demanding enough to be a captain. I very much doubt that Kevin Nolan, despite his army of haters, would have allowed the team to surrender in such a fashion. He would have got the players up for it and would have layed into them of it was needed. I saw none of that from Shola.

Then there is the hip injury that Shola is carrying that seems to warrant him useful for only 45 minutes of football a week. Is it a wise move making him captain knowing full well that he is more than likely going to have to come off? I don’t think it is.

I understand that we are plagued with injuries at the moment, and that we are without a good number of players who would be in, or at least around, the first-team at the moment, but I still feel that there are better candidates than Shola for the armband.

Your thoughts please.

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

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83 Responses

  1. Shola is the luckiest professional footballer in the world! How he has managed to get himself into a premier league team. Let alone captian one, only he knows.

    He is a poor mans Carlton Cole, and Carlton Cole ain’t that great.

    As a leader? Well, when I see him on the team sheet, he motivates me to not wanna watch. I’m sure his fellow players know he isn’t up to scratch and thus how could they respect him even if he wasn’t too much of a mouse to instruct or lead them anyway.

  2. Agree with everthing said. Half the time the guy just doesnt look interested. I would of give Sol or Taylor the armband

  3. Howay Toonsey. You Know exactly how this is gonna go.
    None of us want or enjoy slagging off our own players, but you are just opening the flood gates here.

  4. remember when he rang the bobbies claiming his flat had been robbed when in actual fact it hadn’t it was just the same shit tip he left when he went te kip !

    numpty’s & arm band’s should be kept apart.

  5. No, nowt to do with performances or lack of them but A)a captain needs to be a shouter and organiser and lead by example and B) I prefer a captain to be a defender or central midfielder who can see more of whats going on.

  6. Beardsleys Boots – It was a request from a fellow blogger. Raffo gave me the idea nd I ran with it. If people deserve criticism then should get it.

  7. Roy… “numpty’s & arm band’s should be kept apart”

    unless they’re learning to swim ;-)

  8. Must say I agree with Beardsleys Boots @4. It’s not very fair on Shola and despite his weaknesses, he does have strengths and one of them is playing, rather than leading.

    As far as Sol having the arm-band’s concerned, whilst he may have the experience, I wonder whether he’d be able to concentrate and give his best for a full game and combine that with coping with the demands of the captaincey.

    For me, the choice’d be STaylor however, with his mind possibly elsewhere, that’s a non-starter.

    What about Smudge? he did a good stand in job for us last season and for sure, he doesn’t shirk or hide his feelings.

    Barton doesn’t hide and despite his critices,he does give 100%… when he’s on the field!

    But, judging by Sunday’s capitulation come back soon Nolan

  9. But Toonsey, as editor, surely you had the discretion to run with the article or not?

    Raffa, not a very clever idea!

  10. I kna Toonsey, but where does it stop. Gutthrie next then spiderman???

    I always thought shearer was a shit captain. Needs to be a midfield general type for me. (If you have a one!!) I dont think any striker makes a good skip because they have to be solely focused on getting the ball in the net.
    Now in time Tiote will make a good capt. IMHO

  11. Lesh – And my discretion told me that this was topical as I heard a whole host of people saying much the same things in the stands at The Hawthorns yesterday.

    Shola should not be captain at the end of the day. What has he ever done to deserve it?

  12. Shola doesn’t deserve to be playing, let alone be captain.

    Hughton really is making some strange decisions these days.



  14. I do get sick of the slaggings-off Shola gets regardless of his quickly-forgotten good performances.


    I totally agree with Toonsy. While I’ve not met the lad, I just can’t see him issuing the kind of rallying call we needed yesterday. I don’t think strikers make good captains anyway (central defence or central midfielders do) and I’d have given it to Sol for all the reasons Toonsy’s set out.

    Shola was clearly not firing on all cylinders yesterday; he was back to his ‘animated bagpipes’ stuff. Let’s hope this injury doesn’t suggest his hip problem is a career-killer.

  15. So – Stuart, Beardley, Joe, Indian: can any of you actually back up what you’re saying with any real evidence? Can you equate his scoring record and rave reviews since he came back from his hip op with your claims?

    Makes me sick. Yes, he’s inconsistent, but he still scores more often and makes more goals than anyone except (depending on how you do your stats) Carroll. He may still even be ahead of him on goals per minute, which is what counts.

    Sick of the Shola-slagging. He was poor yesterday, but no worse than anyone else. The endless scapegoating is pathetic.

  16. Steven Taylor should be captain in absence of Nolan. Anyways if Hughton wants to keep his job…. he needs to have the balls to drop Ameobi from the starting lineup. I think Xisco needs to be given a shot at the LW position…. Jonas has been a disappointment.

    Lineup for Liverpool
    Barton—Tiote—Nolan— Xisco
    ——-Carroll— Lovenkrands

  17. Whumpie says:
    December 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    What good performances are these? One good game against Sunderland?

    He has done that for ten years – One good game followed by fifteen poor ones. Is that really good enough?

  18. Sunlounger – what planet??

    Xisco has repeatedly shown that he’s a hapless, lazy, ineffective player. And that is when he’s in his preferred position, let alone when he plays wing.

    Do you know something we don’t, because I’ve never yet seen any evidence that he’s worth anything other than a P45.

    (me in ranty mood…)

  19. Well if Hoots were to get the boot, then it would have to be now, b4 the next trans window.
    But I will put a bet on that he wont be.
    Unless there is something going on in the dressing room that we dont know about.
    Like whats going on with Barton,and Nolan????

  20. LESH – I actually think it was a perfect idea for a blog and thanks Toonsy for the mention.

    I think that the team as a whole were rubbish, and that there was no fight. ok. The thing that riles me the most from yesterday is that I look to the captain, the leader on the pitch, as the one person who shouldve been trying that extra 15%. Hustling, harrying, challenging. Think back to Beckham against Greece. That got the England team going and the skipper shouldve done that yesterday.

    If shola has an injury he shouldne be on the pitch full stop. He shouldnt be in the team if he isnt fit enough to play 95 mins, he isnt good enough to warrant the gamble, HBA I would risk for an hour but not Sholla.

    For me, I wouldve given the armband to either Saylor or Tiote, with Tiote just ahead. The potential drawbacks are whether he speaks good enough english to talk/shout to players. I thought about Jose but again I am not sure he would shout at guys. Saylor would and he does try hard but he is stalling on his contract and so thats the only reason I decided for Tiote. I am also of the opinion that a striker shouldnt be captain as I think a CB or CM is better positioned to do the job better.

  21. At least he can spot a pass when he sees one… i.e the assist for Carroll in the Villa game… and he looks like the type of player who would fancy taking on a defender…. unlike Jonas…

  22. Sorry, Stu, but that ‘one in fifteen’ simply isn’t true. In fact, it’s absolute garbage. Everyone was singing his praises over most of his recent performances, including both against Chelski. He has a couple of bad games, and suddenly he’s never played well in some minds. Odd.
    I can only assume that it’s because he is (to me, anyway) so damned frustrating to watch when he’s not playing well. But I still try to keep a balanced view, which many obviously don’t.

  23. Whumpie, I’m not slagging him off, just dont understand him whatsoever. Even giving him the armband doesn’t seem to motivate him. Something happened yesterday, and all the team were on a downer, right from the start.
    I’m not buying this injury thing thats going on.

  24. Whumpie says:
    December 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Just because it’s a different opinion to yours doesn’t mean nobody else has a balanced view. I just don’t happen to rate the guy, is that ok?

  25. Whumpie – I watched the Chelski game and to be honest I am really not sure what he did to get the rave reviews. Having said that, I am not saying he shouldnt be in the team, well maybe if he isnt fit, but I just dont think he instills the right attitude to be the skipper.

    I also dont think two big men up front is as effective as a tall and a small pacey together. Shola and Carrol make very similar runs, and shola rarely gets onto the end of flick ons and when he does he loses it with a poor first touch

  26. Going off on a stretcher ha to be more than just embarrassment .
    The way he went down I think he is out for a long time.
    Ankle/Knee ligament damage probs?
    But nothing been daid anywhere. Not even on .cock

  27. sunlounger that would be a team to do a job m8 , its time Xisco and Best got their chances now after yesterdays performance , Ameobi needs to be dropped . Or we could move Jonas over to the right and play Baton , Tiote , Nolan cm and Xisco on the left with Carroll up top in a 451 . Jonas needs to be let known that his performances have not been that great of late and using him on the right might get the best out of him .

  28. Was I the only one having kittens at some of saylors play? Now he is a calamity. A ticking time bomb waiting to pull someone down in the box or score a magnificent looping header in his own goal, like he nearly did yesterday.

  29. Re: The bookies suspending the manager market.

    It happened a few weeks ago remember, yet Hughton is still here….

    Some food for thought maybe.

    I see Ed has an article about it though 8O

  30. TOONSY with you being a radio star now i see you have done a vid in case shola goes to italy done a good job m8.

  31. For Gods sake, when will you people learn. Xisco is not here to play football. He is not interested. Does not want to play for NUFC and quite happy to collect his wages until 2013 thankyou very much.
    He has NUFC by the short and curlies and there is nowt we can do about it. And no we cant “get rid of him,sell him or sack him”. The guy’s a joke.

  32. Raffo, the topic of the captaincy is certainly worthy of debate had it been based on who should be captain rather than whether an individual would or did fit that role, it might have been less focused on Shola.

    There’s two things for sure though, and they are that we need Nolan back pdq and start to identify and groom a deputy.

  33. Ah then it’s back to square one…. a pro tem skipper for the day and on the West brom performance, we might as well have had no applicants for the vacancy!

    Is Barton injured?

  34. i havent seen any reserve games to be able to give an opinion on Xisco though id like to think if he is good enough to get in the first team he’d be in it.

    Shola should never be captain, ive met him several times and he comes across as very timid to say the least although i dont think you have to have a screamers voice just to be a captain. id have given it to Carroll as a reward and just to see what he does with it…


  35. How about Carroll as captain ? he has the shirt and he is scoring goals he is now an England international and he covers the whole pitch and fights for everything . I am sure we used to have a captain that did all those things as well , Cant remember his name though ;)

  36. it’s wrong to single out shola amoebi , as a convenient scapegoat for yesterday’s debacle.
    we should start to look at players like gutierrez , he is into his third ird season with us , in that time you can count on one hand the amount of good games he’s had.
    he has not improved one iota , and spends his time running down blind alleys and continually giving the ball away.
    he also has no end product what so ever , at least shola scores the odd goal and also a decent football brain for picking out passes.
    i dont even think jonas himself knows what he’s doing whilst in possession of a football , everything is done on instinct without any thought.
    routledge is another headless ckicken , who runs down blind alleys.these two knobheads are supposed to deliver the ammunition for messers carroll and amoebi,no wonder jonas,collicini,smith etc hung around after relegation
    collicni 80 grand a week.
    smith 60 grand a week.
    jonas 35 grand a week.
    none of them worth that kind of expenditure to be fair,ashley said players like jonas,collicini etc were the future of the club , not in my opinion.

  37. TROJAN,there were two players on the pitch jose,tiote,the rest were crap and a few have been for a while,bet there sick too m8

  38. Toonsy

    Did you not do this about Nolan a month or two back until he shut yas all up, Have a word with yoursels what are the alternatives Xisco, Best, Lovenkrands not good enough for this level, Ranger who isnt ready, loads of pace and nowt else.

    Im assuming your writing one on Gutierrez who continues to get off scot free after constant shite for the best part of three years but of course hes an Argentine international, Routledge and Guthrie arent so their lack of end product is highlighted despite being exactly the same if not better.

    Sol Campbells an England stalwart so hes above criticism, Despite putting in the sort of effort that Steven Taylor would be slaughtered for.

  39. Nice one CC :roll:

    I assume you miss the point of the article, so I assume you back Shola for captain then?

    I don’t…

    And no, I didn;t do one for Nolan. Feel free to have a look but you’ll be wasting your time…

  40. Whumpie,

    Shola had a good game against Sunderland.

    But the fact is. He is consistant… He is consistantly the one of the worst players I have seen get regular football in the premiership.

    And I’m shocked that you cannot see it yourself.

    He is at the peak of his abilities and he is not much better than the likes of Vuckic or Ranger who have no experience at all.

    67 goals in nearly 300 appearances, 180 starting, which is still poor.
    46 goals in 260 appearances as a Premier League player. Thats basically one goal every six games.

    This added to the fact, that his work rate is generally very poor, he first touch, is poor and he offers very little in the way of creativity.

    Surely we are better off giving the youngters a chance to develop their ability just like Shola had the chance himself.

  41. Anyone but Shola (apart from Perch), why he’s still here I don’t know. He never puts in enough effort in unless were playing Sunderland. My choice on Sunday would have been Steven Taylor.

  42. my thoughts are simple.

    1st) Shola is just a temp captain.

    2nd) Shola can’t lead the team simply because he was taken off anyway in yesterday match at the start of 2nd half.

    3rd) Didn’t shola captain the carling cup chelsea match?

    4th)Is a team fault,and can’t really put the blame of Shola.

  43. JJ – Just to pull you up, you need to look at your stats.

    The 46 goals in 260 appearances does equate to one in six roughly, but you said earlier that he has only had 180 starts.

    A better way to do it would be goals per minute as even coming off the bench for stoppage time counts as one appearance.

  44. JJ he should not even have a shirt never mind the arm band and i agree 100% with your post,we will get all the stats thrown at us now,dont give a sh@@

  45. AOD – That is half my point. Shola should not be captain. He has never ever been a leader. He is unfit so arguably shouldn’t have played. There were better candidates for the armband yesterday in my opinion, and for the Chelsea game.

  46. Lads,u need to rmb one thing.

    for yesterday match.

    we were only trailing 1-0 at half time.

    didn’t sol campbell captain second half,yet we concede further 2 more goals?

    So dooes toonsy meant sol can’t lead the team?

  47. Toonsy

    What does it matter, i couldnt care less who is captain, People put far too much importance on it, Shouldnt Campbell act like a captain as a 36 year old international and boss three youngish lads or does he need Shola to tell him?

    and if im wrong about the Nolan article then i apologise but you were having regular digs at him until we went to 442 with Shola with Andy and him in his natural poition at the point of a diamond and refinding his form to stop it.

    People werent questioning Shola when we were winning 3 in a row which was down to him being brought into the team, Get Barton and Nolan fit and we will be fine.

  48. Shola was the Cpt and didnt get the team going, Hughton is the manager and is ultimately responsible for the team therefore both deserve to be panned, it was going badly from the first ten minutes and what did they do to change it?
    I dont agree with singling Shola out but as the article points out, he is hardly a motivating force on the pitch and has a habit of going missing in matches.

  49. CC – Actually I wasn’t having regular digs at him. I spent most of the time defending as reguars will point out. I call him Captain Tugboat becuase he is slow, but I never questioned his effectiveness on the team, much like I’m not questioning Shola. Just the decicison to have him as captain. Think Michael Owen….

  50. Toonsy,

    Not really. For me, players have a much greater opportunity to score coming on as a substitute in the final half hour with fresh legs to take on tiring defenses that they do playig from the start.

    He also played alongside the best striker ever in the Premier League most games with Shearer who not only scored but created loads of chances.

    Take for example Ole Gunnar Solskaer who scored 158 goals in 410 games. And average of two every five games.

    His goals/minutes played as a sub was far far greater than his goals/minutes played as a starter.

    In conclution, I still think Shola is absolute garbage. ;)

  51. you can’t have a striker as captain if we’re playing with two deep banks of four – a captain is meant to either cajole players into a performance or lead by example – if the players are so far behind and giving no service then the striker can do fvck all
    Given who was playing on Sat I’m not sure who else we could give it to tho :(

  52. AOD – If you want to play that game then fair enough. We lost 6-0 once upon a time when Shearer was captain…. We lost 5-1 when Nolan was captain, should they not be captain if they are then soley resposible for things?

    No, that is utter bollocks.

    However, one thing that those have that Shola hasn’t is a gob, and they will use it. Shola doesn’t, which is m opinion and I’m sticking to it…

  53. Also, let me make it clear that I am not blaming Shola for our current dip in form.
    For me that is down to the loss of Barton and Coloccini and Nolan from the starting lineup.

    I am merely pointing out that I feel he is a terrible player for premiership standards. Alsways has been, always will be. Thus, why not give the younger players a chance to develop like he got the chance/ and failed.

  54. Let’s see.

    talking about potential “Leaders” in NUFC team in the absense of Harper,Colo,Nolan,Barton.

    we left with Who?

    Shola and Sol???

    Or Tim Krul?

    Or Alan Smith? which arguably doesn’t contribute much nowadays~

  55. JJ – You misunderstand. You can’t turn around and mention that Shola has only started 180 games, then base all of his stats on it as it’s wrong and misleading as you are then adding on the other appearances where he didn;t start to get your avereage.

    1 = full game.
    0.5 = half game.

    1 0.5 0.5 1 0.5

    Now in your eyes that is five games, but he has only actually played 2.5. See what I am getting at?

    As for the “it’s easier to score when you are sub” you appear to forget that our own team will also be tired which will lead to a reduction in chances.

  56. Maybe Hughton was trying to inspire a good performance from him by making him captain. It didn’t work, but we do have to realise that we have a number of players who are probably no better than Championship level. We knew at the start of the season there was no money so there’s not much we can do except get behind the team every time they are on the pitch, and hopefully there will a signing or two in January, but i won’t hold my breath.

  57. @JJ: exactly what i am saying too.

    1st half:Shola captain,we are behind 1goal.

    2nd half: Sol captain,we are further behind with another 2goals..

    coincidence? i don’t think so. ;)

    We have limited amount of potential leaders,judging from yesterday match.

    You see,if our players put in decent crosses at least 3or 4times,with some SHola scoring.

    I am sure no one would critise Shola being temp captain in that match.

    WE NEED TO KNOW, SHOLA is Just temp captain.

  58. When both teams tire, the game stretches out Toonsy. it creates far more scoring opportunities for both teams. Hence most goals in fixtures come in the second half.

    As for only playing half games. Well thats probably due to the fact that he wasn’t good enough to play a full game on most occasions. nor was he good enough to start.

    And if we took took an average of minutes played, Shola would still only be averaging a goal every four games.

    Were as someone like Martins, who many complained about would average (1 goal /2 games). Even Peter Lovenkrans would average around (1 goal /2.5 games). While being far more difficult to mark.

    Half the time I watch Shola, he is just getting in other players way. And to play two target men up front, when we have no midfielder pushing forward is a joke.

  59. “@JJ: exactly what i am saying too.
    1st half:Shola captain,we are behind 1goal.
    2nd half: Sol captain,we are further behind with another 2goals..
    coincidence? i don’t think so”

    Um, no AOD, not coincidence. We played better in the second half.
    We concdeded goals because we were chasing the game, but the players seemed a bit more up for it in the second half.

    The fact we conceded more goals in one half or another has absolutely nothing to do with captaincy. Its just common sense. We also scored in the second half. So the differential is (-1) in both cases…

    What is your point?

  60. It was shocking performacne on Sunday, in the main, incipid. When we look back at other performances less recent I wonder whether the uncertainty over Hughton’s future’s contributing to the players not performing as well as we know they can?

    I, and I’m sure many others have been in a situation where one has liked the boss and been more than happy with the direction the business’s moving.

    However, when the gaffer’s future came into doubt, uncertainty and insecurety kicked in (what’s gonna happen when he’s gone? Will we be able to work with his successor? Will we be in jobs ? ect…… morale and performance went down.

    Look at the coincidence between the uncertainty over Hughton, then Calderwood’s departure and Ashley’s reluctance to recruit a replacement from outside – ie Hughton’s own man.

    That’s bound to lead to the players, who seemed to work their socks of for Hughton until recently, lose confidence and thus team poor perfomances such as we witnessed on Sunday.

    Might the root of the malaise be a little higher than captain level?

    Just a thought

  61. Macas, unfortunately you are right. At the moment, Shola is our 3rd/4th best option up front. He becomes important as a target man if Carroll is injured.

    And that clearly illustrated to lack of depth and talent in our squad as far as strikers are concerned right now.

    Same goes for our wide positions.

  62. Macas, unfortunately you are right. At the moment, Shola is our 3rd/4th best option up front. He becomes important as a target man if Carroll is injured.

    And that clearly illustrated to lack of depth and talent in our squad as far as strikers are concerned right now.

    Same goes for our wide positions.


    “Look at the coincidence between the uncertainty over Hughton, then Calderwood’s departure and Ashley’s reluctance to recruit a replacement from outside – ie Hughton’s own man.”

    I think it may have a lot to do with Calderwoods departure. I don’t think the dip in form is coincidence when you look at the timing of it.

    Hughton desperately needs help, at the moment we seem desperately understaffed!

  63. What difference would a more vocal player have made yesterday, would Guthrie, Smith, Routledge, Lovenkrands all become world beaters would Campbell stopped playing like a pissed bloke chasing a balloon would we pass the ball better.

    I doubt it, Whoever was captain yesterday would have fared no better, We havent got the strength in depth to play at the max every week, We are missing 4 starters and a couple of probables and that would hurt any promoted side.

  64. Corection to para 4 @76…..

    ‘Look at the coincidence between the uncertainty…’ shou;d ahve read:

    Look at the coincidence between the poor performances of late and the uncertainty over Hughton, Calderwood’s departure and Ashley’s reluctance to recruit a replacement from outside – ie Hughton’s own man

  65. @JJ: my point is that,first we lack of potential leaders in that starting match.

    and only can choose beteween sol and Shola.

    so with Shola performing badly in 1st half as some say,he was taken off.and sol was captain for 2nd half.

    Now,we are starting to chase better in 2nd half than 1st half and i don’t really contribute this effect simply because of the change of captain. CH hairdryer treatment must be the main reason.

    And should’nt the team while chasing the game and trying to look for a equaliser knows the fact that once the team concede another is more or less done deal.

    And whoa,we concede further 2more goals.

    Like you say,goals have nothing to do with captaincy.

    toonsy says,a leader/captain needs to roar on the team. But Sol as a defender himself didn’t manage to prevent the 2 goals going in.