Shola Ameobi has played a lot of roles during his time at Newcastle; The long-tenured Magpie forward has been a European hero, gone off on loan and been a surprise late cap for Nigeria.
His latest role, after scoring in Newcastle’s 2-1 loss to Swansea, is vocal critic of the club’s transfer practices.
He’s scored 78 goals in 394 appearances for Newcastle, and he could be gone this summer as the 32-year-old goal totals continue to drop and the Magpies struggle for any sense of offense. The Swansea loss gives Newcastle its first ever five-match Premier League losing skid.
But he won’t leave without sharing his thoughts on how things could be different, if the Magpies would just replace their stars. In the past three seasons, Newcastle has waved goodbye to Andy Carroll, Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba for solid chunks of change, opting to replace them on the cheap (for the most part).
Chronicle chief sports writer Lee Ryder used Twitter to share Shola Ameobi’s thoughts on a Newcastle radio show, defending manager Alan Pardew at the expense of owner Mike Ashley:
In a no holds barred interview, Ameobi told BBC Newcastle: “We have limited resources at the moment and when we lose one or two key players it hurts the team badly.
“That is what the manager has had to put up with, unfortunately.
“We need quality players and we need a quality squad as well.”
Ameobi has concerns bigger than his own, as his younger brother Sammy Ameobi is a rising player at the club. Shola Ameobi also admitted that the struggles of the club aren’t just frustrating the fans, but the morale of the team as well:
Shola also admitted dressing room unrest: “There have been a few frictions in there, which you get in every dressing room.” #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) April 23, 2014
It’s been an ugly 2014 for the club after finishing 2013 in a Europe-challenging position. With Pardew blaming everyone but the team and star players baffled by all the losing, Ashley has to know the Joe Kinnear fiasco and transfer struggles cannot be repeated if they want any hope of returning to glory.