Ex-Nigeria World Cup star, Tijjani Babangida, has blasted Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, for opting out of Super Eagles Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) squad.
After waiting till midnight on Saturday, Eagles coaching crew finally shut out Ameobi from the South Africa 2013 party and put behind them the club versus country row.
Ameobi made an encouraging Eagles debut last November against Venezuela after he completed his international change from England.
But Alan Pardew appealed to the player to stick with the club and knock back his dream chance of international glory, as Demba Ba was certain to ditch the club in the January transfer window.
How many would have knocked back a major international competition the way Shola has?
Not many ... I can promise you.
However ... former Ajax Amsterdam winger, Babangida said that Ameobi should have considered himself lucky to play for Nigeria and should therefore not have put his club before his country.
Tijjani Babangida: "Nigeria is too big for Ameobi or any player for that matter. He should know that he is lucky to represent this country. I am sure he will later regret this.
“One other thing is clear - his absence won't affect Eagles at the Nations Cup."
CARROW ROAD - NORWICH CITY
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are housed on one side of the new South Stand, on one side of the ground. As you would expect from a new stand the facilities and view of the playing action are good. The normal allocation in this area is 2,500 fans although this can be increased further for cup games. If you are located at the very back of this stand then you can enjoy some fine views across the city, including Norwich Cathedral. The Club I found to be particularly friendly and relaxed. I certainly would rate it as one of the better away days, even though it seems an eternity to get there. As Delia Smith is on the board of Norwich City, the food available within the ground has been spruced up a fair bit and is very good. The Club even bake their own pies which not only include the usual array such as steak & kidney, chicken & mushroom, but also a number of 'matchday specials' (which change from game to game) such as beef in red wine gravy & cheese, mushroom and garlic.
Tom Jameson a visiting Sheffield United fan informs me; 'I recently visited Carrow Road and found it to be a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere which made for a very enjoyable day out. The stand is very modern, and offers a decent view of the action with plenty of leg room. One problem I did encounter was the tendency of the stewards to order away supporters to keep seated throughout the game. This led to our fans singing 'Sit down, if you hate Wednesday' instead of the usual 'Stand up, if you hate Wednesday' and 'Sit down, stand up, which did not go down too well with the stewards who in my mind very harshly ejected one supporter from the stadium. So it is advisable to comply with the steward requests, although I did find it all rather annoying'.
Where To Drink?
The main pub for away fans is the 'Compleat Angler', which is located opposite the railway station. It is situated on a river bank and has a nice outside terrace outside overlooking the river. The pub itself is a bit basic but offers food and is away fan friendly. It is a about a ten minute walk away from Carrow Road. Otherwise Norwich has a number of pubs located in its centre, in fact on one visit I found a number of good pubs situated in-between the train station and the ground, that were friendly. In fact I almost ended up being a pub crawl before the match had begun!
Rob Emery informs me; 'Not far away from the ground and towards the City Centre a new leisure complex called the Riverside has opened. This has a number of drinking and eating establishments, including a Wetherspoons Lloyds No.1 outlet. Whilst Nicholas Mead suggests; 'the Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road brews its own beer and is around a 10 minute walk away from the ground'.
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
The ground is well signposted from the A11 and A47. From the southern bypass (A47) take the A146 into the city. At the traffic lights turn right towards the city centre on the A1054. At the next roundabout stay in the left hand lane and continue towards the city centre along the A147. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right into King Street. This street as it bends around to the right and crosses the river becomes Carrow Road, the ground is further down on the right.
David Clarke informs me that 'The best car park for away fans is Norfolk County Hall, which is well sign posted on the left of the A146, as you follow signs towards the ground from the Southern Bypass. It is currently £6 and can hold about 2000 cars, and does usually fill up by 2pm for games where the away team bring loads of fans'. Martyn Swan adds; 'It's advisable to get to the car park before 1pm if you want a decent spot, otherwise you may get stuck in spaces at the back, and it can then take ages at the end of the game to exit'.
After the game has ended some roads are closed to allow the crowd to disperse quickly and safely. For details of precisely which roads are closed, visit the Norwich City Council website.
The ground is walkable from Norwich train station. If you ignore all those wonderful pubs it should take you no more than 10 minutes to walk to the ground. From the station turn left and head for the Morrisons supermarket and you should see the ground behind that.
BRIGHTON 2 NEWCASTLE 0
21. Rob Elliot
34. James Tavernier
14. James Perch 46'
6. Mike Williamson
3. Davide Santon
8. Vurnon Anita
39. Mehdi Abeid 46'
20. Gael Bigirimana
25. Gabriel Obertan 71'
23. Shola Ameobi
28. Sammy Ameobi
1. Tim Krul
17. Romain Amalfitano
22. Sylvain Marveaux 71'
30. Nile Ranger 46'
31. Shane Ferguson
36. Paul Dummett 46'
49. Adam Campbell
Newcastle United crashed out of the FA Cup to lowly Brighton ... and sadly the Toon boss couldn't inspire one bit of fight from a side that looked shocking.
The first match of the FA Cup third round saw an upset as Newcastle went out 2-0 to npower Championship Brighton at Amex Stadium with one of the WORST performances any of us could remember..
The Seagulls repeated last season's cup heroics by dumping an under-strength Magpies out of the competition with Andrea Orlandi supplying an outstanding opener.
The first-half strike was born out of Wayne Bridge's willingness to chase a seemingly lost cause ... when Gabriel Obertan (pictured right) couldn't be bothered.
However, it was Orlandi's touch, turn and fine shot that stole the show, leaving Mike Williamson stood rooted to the spot.
The second was delivered by substitute Will Hoskins, who tucked home David Lopez's defence-splitting pass, as the play-off hopefuls completed a win ... a lot more comfortable than any of us imagined.
Newcastle were further frustrated by captain Shola Ameobi's second-half sending off.
Ameobi was deeply unlucky to receive the second yellow from referee Lee Probert and will miss Saturday's match against Norwich, but he did nothing playing in Demba Ba's position, and never threatened Brighton's goal once.
If anything, his brother (Sammy) was even worse out of his depth and showing once again, he is not good enough at this stage of his career.
Alan Pardew said later: "I didn't think the kids were up to it, now I know they aren't."
But it was the experienced players we expected more from, and they couldn't raise a gallop.
Anita, Obertan, Santon, Perch and Shola Ameobi - I'd give them 1/10 - for turning up!
Only Gael Brigirimana can hold his head up and say "I tried my best".
2,000 toon fans made a round trip of over 700 miles (and I was one of them) to watch this junk.
They should be given the attendance money back, at the very least!
NEWCASTLE UNITED FC 2012/13
Newcastle United Fixtures
Saturday January 12 2013 15:00 v Norwich City (A)
January 19 2013 15:00 Reading (H)
Tuesday January 29 2013 19:45 v Aston Villa (A)
Saturday February 2 2013 15:00 v Chelsea (H)
Saturday February 9 2013 12:45 v Tottenham (A)
Thursday February 14 2013 v Metalist (H)
Thursday February 21 2013 v Metalist (A)
Saturday February 23 2013 15:00 v Southampton (H)
NEWCASTLE 1 EVERTON 2 (Cisse)
Krul, Perch (87' Ranger), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan (65' Bigirimana), Anita, Tiote (79' Sammy Ameobi), Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, Tavernier, Abeid
ARSENAL 7 NEWCASTLE 3 (Ba 2, Marveaux)
Krul, Simpson (82' Ferguson), Coloccini, Perch, Santon, Obertan, Bigirimana (82' Shola Ameobi), Tiote, Marveaux (88' Tavernier), Ba, Cisse.
Subs: Harper, Sammy Ameobi, Mehdi Abeid, Streete.
MAN UTD 4 NEWCASTLE 3 (Perch, Evans og, Ba)
Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Anita, Perch, Bigirimana (65' Obertan), Cisse (79' Sammy Ameobi), Ba (71' Shola Ameobi), Marveaux
Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, Tavernier,Campbell
NEWCASTLE 1 QPR 0 (Shola Ameobi)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita, Tiote (77' Marveaux), Perch, Gutierrez (60' Obertan), Ba, Cisse (61' Shola Ameobi).
Subs: Harper, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.
NEWCASTLE 1 MAN CITY 3 (Ba)
Krul, Simpson (82' Ferguson), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (74' Marveaux), Anita, Gutierrez, Cisse (79' Shola Ameobi), Ba.
Subs: Elliot, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier
FULHAM 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Gutierrez, Tiote (86' Bigirimana), Anita (86' Marveaux), Ben Arfa (70' Shola Ameobi), Cisse, Ba.
Subs: Harper, Perch, Ferguson, Tavernier
NEWCASTLE 3 WIGAN 0 (Ba 2 - 1 pen, Bigirimana)
Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon (49' Ferguson), Marveaux, Tiote (46' Bigirimana) Anita, Gutierrez (75' Sammy Ameobi), Ba, Cisse
Subs: Harper, Shola Ameobi, Ranger, Tavernier
STOKE 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cisse)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita (87' Sammy Ameobi), Perch, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse (87' Ranger).
Subs: Elliot, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Ferguson, Tavernier
SOUTHAMPTON 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Simpson, S Taylor (90+1' Perch), Williamson, Santon, Anita (66' Marveaux), Tiote, Gutierrez, Ferguson (46' Sammy Ameobi), Ba, Cisse.
Subs: Harper, Bigirimana, Ranger, Tavernier
NEWCASTLE 1 SWANSEA 2 (Ba)
Krul, Simpson (74' Bigirimana), S Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson (46' Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi (79' Marveaux), Ba.
Subs: Elliot, Amalfitano, Tavernier,Abeid
NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 1
Krul, Simpson (79' Obertan), Steven Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Gutierrez (24' Anita), Ferguson, Cisse (45+5' Shola Ameobi), Ba
Subs:Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux.
LIVERPOOL 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cabaye)
Krul, Anita, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Perch (26' Simpson), Cabaye (68' Ferguson), Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba (49' Sammy Ameobi).
Subs: Harper, Williamson, Shola Ameobi, Obertan.
NEWCASTLE 2 WEST BROM 1 (Ba, Cisse)
Krul, Simpson (61 Cisse), Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba (72 Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi (61 Obertan).
Subs: Harper, Anita, Steven Taylor, Ferguson.
SUNDERLAND 1 NEWCASTLE UTD 1 (Cabaye)
Krul,Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini (79' S Taylor) Santon, Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa (83' Obertan), Ba, Shola Ameobi (38' Perch).
Subs: Harper, Anita, Cisse, Ferguson
NEWCASTLE UTD 0 MAN UTD 3
Harper, Santon, Perch, Williamson, Ferguson (63' Anita), Ben Arfa, Tiote (80' Bigirimana), Cabaye, Gutierrez, Cisse (63' Shola Ameobi), Ba
Subs: Alnwick, Simpson, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi
READING 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba 2)
Harper, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor (Tavernier 56), Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Bigirimana (Ferguson 70), Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 69), Ba.
Subs not used: Elliot, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi.
NEWCASTLE 1 NORWICH 0 (Ba)
Harper, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor, Santon, Ben Arfa (Shola 85mins), Anita (Tiote 76 mins), Cabaye, Jonas, Cisse (Obertan 70 mins), Ba
Subs unused: Elliot, Tavernier, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi
EVERTON 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba 2)
Harper; Perch, Williamson, Taylor, Santon; Anita, Cabaye (Bigirimana 93), Gutierrez; Marveaux (Ba 46), Ben Arfa; Cissé (Shola Ameobi 80).
Substitutes not used Elliot (g), Gosling, Obertan, Tavernier.
NEWCASTLE 1 ASTON VILLA 1 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Simpson (Bigirimana 38), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez (Marveaux 86), Ba (Obertan 86), Cisse
Subs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano
CHELSEA 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Simpson (Ryan Taylor 64), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon (Marveaux 74), Ben Arfa, Anita, Cabaye (Perch 77), Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse
Subs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Obertan
NEWCASTLE 2 SPURS 1 (Ba, Ben Arfa pen)
Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Perch, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye (Anita, 71), Tiote, Gutierrez; Cisse, Ba (Obertan, 85). Subs not used: Harper; R Taylor, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano
BRIGHTON 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Elliot, Tavernier, Perch (46' Dummett), Williamson, Santon, Anita, Abeid (46' Ranger), Bigirimana, Obertan (71' Marveaux), Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi
Subs: Krul, Amalfitano, Ferguson, Campbell
BORDEAUX 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Elliot, Tavernier, Williamson (74' Coloccini), Perch, Ferguson, Abeid, Bigirimana, Ranger, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi (46' Anita) Shola Ameobi (80' Cisse)
Subs: Krul, Simpson, Romain Amalfitano, Campbell
NEWCASTLE 1 MARITIMO 1
Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Marveaux, Bigirimana, Anita, Sammy Ameobi (76' Abeid), Ben Arfa (40' Ba), Cisse (50' Amalfitano)
Subs: Elliot, Williamson, Ferguson, Tavernier'.
CLUB BRUGGE 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Anita, Shola Ameobi)
Krul, Anita, Williamson (58' Steven Taylor), Coloccini, Tavernier, Tiote, Sammy Ameobi (83' Amalfitano), Marveaux, Bigirimana (72' Cabaye), Obertan, Shola Ameobi
Sub: Elliot, Santon, Cisse, Shane Ferguson
NEWCASTLE 1 CLUB BRUGGE 0 (Obertan)
Harper, Perch, Santon, Steven Taylor, Ferguson 80 (Cabaye), Obertan, Tiote, Bigirimana, Anita 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi 73' (Coloccini), Cisse
Subs: Krul, Ben Arfa, Ba, Campbell
NEWCASTLE 3 BORDEAUX 0 (Shola Ameobi, Henrique og), Cisse)
Elliot (Harper, 46 ); Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Ferguson; Anita, Tiote (Gosling, 71), Cabaye (Bigirimana, 61); Cisse, Ameobi, Obertan.
MARITIMO 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Elliot, Santon, Williamson, Perch, S Taylor, Gosling, Amalfitano (Ferguson 76), Bigirimana, Obertan (Marveaux 80), Vuckic (Sami Ameobi 53), Shola Ameobi.
Subs (not used): Harper (gk), Tavernier, Abeid, Campbell
NEWCASTLE 1 ATROMITOS 0 (Vuckic)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor (11 Vuckic), Obertan, Bigirimana, Perch (59 Tavernier), Marveaux (91 Amalfitano), Gosling, Ba.
Subs: Harper, Cabaye, Cisse, Campbell.
ATROMITOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (R Taylor)
Harper; Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, R Taylor; Bigirimana, Anita; Obertan, Gosling (Amalfitano, 64), Marveaux (Gutierrez, 71); Cisse (Campbell, 77). Subs not used: Krul, Santon, Cabaye, S Taylor.
MAN UTD 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cisse)
Elliot, Coloccini (Ferguson 61), Williamson, Perch, Tavernier, Gosling, Marveaux, Tioté (Bigirimana 71), Obertan, Vuckic (Cisse 81), Shola Ameobi.
Subs not used: Harper, Anita, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi.
CARDIFF CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi pen)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini (Williamson 46), Steven Taylor (Gosling 63), Santon, Obertan (Campbell 83), Tiote (Amalfitano 71) , Gutiérrez, Marveaux (Vuckic 46), R Taylor (Perch 28), Shola Ameobi.
HARTLEPOOL 1 NEWCASTLE 5 (Shola Ameobi, Marveaux 2, Obertan, Vuckic)
Harper (Alnwick 82), Simpson (Good 72), Tavernier, Williamson, S.Taylor (Vuckic 46), Perch (R.Taylor 72), Gosling, Amalfitano (Santon 80), Marveaux (Obertan 78), Sh.Ameobi (Ben Arfa 46), Bigirimana (Abeid 59).
DEN HAAG 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul; S Taylor (Gosling 65), R Taylor (Perch 71), Coloccini, Santon (Simpson 80); Obertan (Bigirimana 71), Tiote (Ameobi 71), Vuckic (Williamson 65), Gutierrez; Ba (Amalfitano 82), Cisse
BRAGA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba, R Taylor)
Harper; Simpson, Tavernier, Coloccini, R.Taylor; Sammy Ameobi (Obertan 88), Tiote (Cabaye 70), Gutierrez, Marveaux; Cisse, Ba (Vuckic 85).
OLYMPIACOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (S Taylor)
Krul, Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor (Dummett 46), Santon, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 72), Bigirimana, Gosling (Abeid 36), Amalfitano, Vuckic, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 72).
FENERBAHCE 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Abeid)
Elliot, Simpson (Santon 68), Tavernier, Coloccini, R Taylor, Tiote (Bigirimana 59), Gosling (Abeid 73), Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Marveuax (Gutierrez 59), Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Ba (Cisse 68).
MONACO 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ba)
Harper, Santon (Ryan Taylor 57), Simpson, Williamson (Perch 46), Gutierrez, Amalfitano (Obertan 62), Abeid (Tavernier 46), Bigirimana (Tiote 62), Sammy Ameobi (Vuckic 46), Shola Ameobi (Gosling 62), Ba (Marveaux 78)
CHEMNITZER 1 NEWCASTLE 0
Elliot; Tavernier (Simpson, 70), Williamson, Perch, R Taylor (Santon, 70); Obertan (Gutierrez, 77), Abeid (Bigirimana, 70), Gosling, Amalfitano; Vuckic (Shola Ameobi, 70), Sammy Ameobi (Ba, 77). Sub not used: Harper.