Shola Ameobi: We care more than the relegated Newcastle side of 2009


The spectre of relegation casts a daunting shadow over St James' Park, largely because of how recent the last internal implosion that carried the club into the Championship took place. Three-and-a-half years ago, Newcastle were thought of as too good to go down, and on the last day of the season, at Aston Villa, that concept was once more proved incredibly naïve.

Shola Ameobi lived through that demotion. His role is even more important this time, given the club's lack of centre-forwards and when he was asked if this season, in which Newcastle have sank to fifth bottom of the Premier League, bore comparison to the relegation campaign of 2008-09, he said: "No, definitely not the same at all. Back then, there was a lot of discord. Last time, I remember thinking there were a lot of players who didn't really want to be here and that does not bode well for any team.

"Certainly, the players we have here now have a better character and better temperament and hopefully that can really help us. In the last year or so, there have been a lot of games when we've been struggling but we've managed to pull [a result] out of the hat which is really good from our point of view.

"When we lose games, I can see that everyone in this squad is hurting. It's tough because when you have had some decent performances [and still lost], we have been in the changing room for about half an hour after the game discussing it because we care. It means so much to the players.

"Four years ago, it wasn't like that. Many of them knew they would be leaving at the end of the season and I think that is the difference. That is certainly the feeling I got back then. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as if they did not want to win and it's important to state that but afterwards, they'd be smiling again within a few minutes.

"This season, you can see that every single player in the dressing room is prepared to knuckle down," Ameobi added. "They all want to really help this club although obviously it is going to be very difficult to do what we did last season but we are all still together and right behind the manager.

"At times, it can seem frantic but it is important that we all keep cool heads. That is something the manager is really stressing because it's very easy to let the whole situation and the games we have lost get to you. Your confidence can be rattled but the manager has been really upbeat, trying to keep us positive. He keeps reminding us that we have had some decent performances without the right results. Is important that we try to keep a level head."

Fabricio Coloccini, meanwhile, and his representatives will hold postponed talks with Newcastle officials about the player's future on Monday. San Lorenzo, the Argentinian side who would like to sign the 30-year-old, are believed to be trying to raise the money to make an offer. Coloccini told Newcastle officials nine days ago that he wanted to return to Argentina.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk