Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pottering off

It's farewell for now, at least, to Shola Ameobi, who today joined Stoke on loan for the rest of the season. Despite being chased by his former gaffer Glenn Roeder's Norwich as well as Ipswich and Plymouth, Big Lad (copyright the bloke who used to sit next to Paul at St James's Park) has instead lumbered off at no great pace to the Championship leaders.

Having been brought in from the Antarctic for Kevin Keegan's first game in charge, at home to Bolton, Ameobi subsequently made one substitute appearance against Arsenal in late January and succumbed to injury. He's been fully recovered for a while now, but even with Keegan opting to stock the side with strikers, he's found himself back out in the cold, Andy Carroll ahead of him in the queue for the bench. The writing on the wall certainly doesn't seem to spell out good news for Ameobi's continued career on Tyneside, and indeed there have been suggestions that discussions about the possibility of making the move permanent if the Potters are promoted have already taken place.

While one player's youthful promise dwindles, another's continues to catch our eye. Bournemouth's 18-year-old striker Sam Vokes has said: "I know that Newcastle have shown interest, but I do not expect anything now until the summer". So, patient, sober and level-headed - the same player who it's been claimed "is busting a gut to play for Newcastle, and the delay on his move up there is killing him"? The fact that the quote comes from a mysterious unnamed source and that it appeared in an article by the Evening Chronicle's Alan Oliver naturally casts a lot of doubt on its veracity...


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