WHO’LL CRACK CODE OF ENIGMA SAMMY?
SAMMY AMEOBI looked fantastic on his brief Bolton debut last weekend. Strength, pace, tricks and shots – Southend could barely contain the lanky Newcastle loanee.
Question is, will he do it again next week? History suggests no. Like Shola, his older brother who spent a decade infuriating Toon fans, Ameobi is a fine technician. Yet, like Shola, he’s as consistent as an English summer.
“He’s an enigma,” said Russell Slade, who spent last season trying – and ultimately failing – to wring a sustained show of class during a loan spell at Cardiff.
“We watched him in training every day and he had fantastic ability. Unfortunately, not always has he transferred that to the pitch.
“Occasionally he has, and you think, ‘Wow, why’s he not in the side?’ Then, within a week, everyone says, ‘Ah, that’s why.”
Slade became so frustrated by Ameobi’s regular vanishing acts that he dropped him entirely.
In the winger’s defence, his career has been blighted by asthma. Prior to a change of medication last year, he could barely last a training session.
Now, fitter and stronger, he has less of an excuse. His health problems will probably preclude a career at the highest level but his cameo against Southend proved he could be a destructive force in League One.
The problem is very few clubs at that level can afford a luxury player.
Ameobi must show he can be more than a fleeting menace. Fail and it’s difficult to see many clubs picking up the pieces.