Alan Pardew had undoubtedly done a great job this season in times of managing a small squad that is also made up of a wide spectrum of various abilities.
Unlike managers such as Souness and Allardyce who in the past would publicly blame players to help cover up their own inadequacies, Pardew never goes down that route and instead never tires of finding praise for his players.
At times he has stretched the praise to the very limits, where his words didn’t quite match what we’d all seen with our own eyes.
The latest positive outburst saw the manager to refer to Shola as a, “Legend”, following his latest goal against sunderland.
To be fair to Shola he’s taken it the right way and nit got too carried away:
“To be honest, the first thought that came to my mind when I heard that was, ‘Are you mad?’, but I guess that was his way of appreciating getting the goal against our rivals. For me, it’s fantastic. To have that sort of praise from the head of the club means a lot, and hopefully I can carry on helping us win games.
For me, it’s certainly trying to keep that level head, that level state of mind. It’s something I have always tried to do over the years, not get too low and not get too high.
Yes, enjoy it when it’s great, but don’t beat yourself up about it when things aren’t going so well. That’s the way you have to be, certainly in a city and at a club that is so passionate about the game. It’s certainly something I have had to master, and it’s worked out for me thus far”.
I think ‘Legend’ is stretching it a ‘little’; Milburn, Shearer and Beardsley – yes, Shola – no.
I think Shola Ameobi could maybe go down in the history books as a bit of a ‘Cult Hero’, he has his own terrace songs, by accident or design he’s scored more goals against the mackems than any other club, plus arguably saved his best performances against them as well.
Shola has certainly got something and and back when he was playing for the England Under 21s I thought he often looked the best player on the pitch. Maybe there was something in his make-up that stopped him becoming the player he could have been and at times he was misused by the club as he kept on playing instead of having the surgery he needed in the middle of his Newcastle career.
A player that will always be remembered for regularly sticking the ball in the mackems’ net, if he doesn’t achieve anything else I know a few hundred thousand people who would happily swap places with the local lad and boyhood Newcastle United fan.