Shola Ameobi says that Newcastle United have had a ‘storied history of great number nines’ down the years.
However, he says that since Alan Shearer retired nobody has come along to take on that ‘mantle’, wearing the number nine shirt.
Shola adding that ‘the longer it goes on, that pressure will continue to build’ for whoever then wears the shirt.
He thinks somebody has to ‘really take it by the scruff of the neck’ if they are to get close to what Alan Shearer showed for Newcastle.
The latest to give it a go is of course loan striker Salomon Rondon.
With Premier League goal records of nine, eight and seven goals in his three seasons at West Brom, it doesn’t suggest any great expectations.
However, his two goals against Bournemouth (he had only scored two or more goals once for West Brom in any PL match) ave given Newcastle fans hope of goals this season, even if not quite on the Shearer level.
What could be deemed as Shearer-like was that second one against Bournemouth, Shola Ameobi saying it was a ‘top quality finish’ as Rondon’s bullet header won the game.
Like almost all strikers, the loan number nine needs decent service and has challenged the rest of the team to ‘feed’ Salomon Rondon properly, like they did in that Bournemouth game.
Shola Ameobi talking to the Premier League official site:
“For Newcastle to get the best out of Salomon Rondon, they need to do what they did very well in the last game (against Bournemouth).
“Get the ball in the box, give him something to attack.
“I think when you have his prowess in the box, in the air, you really need to feed him, give him something to go after.
“He will win his fair share of aerial duels, so if you do that enough times he will score goals.
“Clearly his strength is his aerial prowess. If you look at the (second) goal he scored in the last home game, just a top quality finish with his head.
“His hold up play – he is a strong guy.
“Newcastle have had a storied history of great number nines.
“Obviously since Alan Shearer retired there hasn’t really been one that has taken on that mantle.
“So I guess that the longer it goes on, that pressure will continue to build, until somebody really takes it by the scruff of the neck and does the kind of things that he did.
“The Newcastle United number nine shirt is really special, not only to players but the fans, and the storied history of the club.”