It was all about the Ameobi brothers on Wednesday night as both Shola and Sammy scored in a two-nil win for Newcastle United over Morecambe in the Capital One Cup, with praise sent the latter’s way. However, with both of them getting clumped together, it got me thinking as to whether having Shola as an older brother is a help or a hindrance as Sammy tries to progress as a professional footballer?
21 years of age, Sammy Ameobi is now coming to that time where he really needs to step it up if he’s going to make it as a Premier League footballer. An England U21 international, Ameobi has made a handful of starts for Newcastle, with most appearances coming from the substitute’s bench, but this season it looks as though he may get to see a bit more first team action.
It was interesting to hear in Alan Pardew’s post-match interview on Wednesday that while he was pleased for Sammy, he emphasised how much hard work the Newcastle staff have put in on the training ground to improve his game. He inferred that maybe it has taken Sammy a fair bit of time to pick up on some of the points the coaches are making, but he is still learning and time is on his side.
That brings me to his brother Shola and how much influence he’s had on his career. I’m sure growing up Shola would have been a great help to Sammy and even now will have plenty of good advice that he can share with his younger brother. I’m sure he might even have put in a good word for Sammy a few years ago to help him get a chance with the Newcastle youth team.
However, at the moment people always refer to the Ameobi’s as pair, which could be a hindrance for Sammy as Shola isn’t exactly seen in the greatest light by Newcastle supporters, let alone football fans up and down the country. Shola’s goalscoring record is hardly outstanding and there is a tendency for Sammy to be tarred with the same brush by some.
So, how can Sammy Ameobi get past this? There’s only one thing he can do – put in some impressive performances for Newcastle and show that there’s only one Ameobi! Just don’t let Shola hear that… What do you think? Is having older brother Shola at the club a help or a hindrance for Sammy?