After seeing off 22 forwards, Ameobi not fazed by Cissé's arrival


There was much deliberation in the North-east yesterday morning – ironically at Sunderland's Academy of Light before Martin O'Neill's press briefing – about how many forwards Shola Ameobi had seen off in his 11 years at Newcastle.

The official figure, presented by the club itself, came out at 22. That however, included three players – Wayne Routledge, Fabrice Pancrate and Nacho Gonzalez – who were most definitely wingers, first and foremost.

Similarly, the list started after his debut, not when Ameobi had actually signed, in which case a certain Alan Shearer should have been added. The blurring of the amount could not hide the enormity of challenges the unassuming Ameobi has seen off.

From Patrick Kluivert to Craig Bellamy, from Michael Owen to Mark Viduka, the Nigerian-born Geordie has taken the arrival of a major player in his lengthy stride.

The latest news then, that he had another bit of in-house competition in the shape of Papiss Cissé, signed on Tuesday for £8m, brought laughter and candid realism.

"I'll have a good guess (at how many it's been)," said Ameobi. "Twenty-eight, nearly as many as managers I've had, ha ha, ha. I know it's a lot. Am I worried? Do you know what? You would think that in a way it would disappoint me but really, it doesn't.

"We've had numerous strikers come in since I have been here and it doesn't change for me. You've got to fight for places at every club and it's no different here. The thing for me, it makes you work harder.

"When a top player comes in, you know you have to fight harder and do better to get a place in the team and that can only bode well for the club. I have always seen it that way. Obviously it is another player that you have to fight against but every player in every position has that and it is no different for myself, so I always try and look at it from the bigger picture. Hopefully, it can only bode well for the club.

"To be honest, I don't look past a two-week margin. I just tend to focus on the next two games. That's how I look at it. If you've got the shirt, I know that the manager is faithful to his team if they are doing well for him. He has shown that all season."

Ameobi added: "Some managers say stuff and don't really stick to it but we feel this manager gives everyone a chance, and the squad is great because you know if you get your chance and do well, it is more than likely you will keep your place."

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments