Ameobi Frustrated at Newscastle


SHOLA Ameobi admits his lack of playing time at Newcastle is cause for much frustration, but insists he will continue plugging away and ensure he is ready when called upon. The Nigeria international has managed just 10 appearances for the Magpies this season, although he has failed to find the back of the net in any of those.

That form is in stark contrast to that of fellow frontmen Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran, who have scored 19 between them.

And while Super Eagles forward Ameobi admits it is difficult to sit out all the time, he is convinced that if he maintains his work ethic in training he will eventually force his way back into the reckoning.

“It is frustrating for me, but I just have to bide my time,” the 32-year-old told the Shields Gazette. I have loved my time in Newcastle, now more so then when I’m playing. I just want to help the team. When that doesn’t happen it is frustrating. I know the manager picks a team he thinks can win. We have to respect that as a player, but it doesn’t stop it being frustrating. Hopefully, I can help us in these last nine games and get us as high as we can,” he said.

Djokovic Beats Nadal


NOVAK Djokovic took his winning run against world number one Rafael Nadal to three matches with a superb victory in the Sony Open final. The Serb, 26, won 6-3 6-3 to claim his fourth Miami title, moving him ahead of Pete Sampras and two behind Andre Agassi in the event’s all-time list.

Djokovic, the world number two, broke serve once in the first set and twice in the second as he dominated Nadal. The pair now hold all nine elite Masters 1000 titles between them.

Nadal, 27, will hope to regain the initiative as the tour heads to Europe for the clay-court season, with Djokovic having won back-to-back hard-court Masters titles in Indian Wells and Miami.

Djokovic may have been without head coach Boris Becker, who is recovering from hip surgery, but he could not have played much better as the world’s top two players met for a record 40th time on Sunday.

The Serb saved a break point in the opening game and began to put the pressure on Nadal, moving 4-2 clear when a huge forehand clipped the back of the baseline. He closed out the set after 40 minutes and tightened his grip further with another break at the start of the second, moving Nadal from side to side before firing a backhand winner into the space created.

Nadal was hanging on as best he could, and he fired a brilliant forehand winner down the line to stave off another break point at 3-1 down, but his hopes of finally landing a first Miami title slipped away.

Djokovic attacked the Spaniard’s serve once again at 5-3 to earn two more break points and converted his first match point in a stunning 30-shot rally that ended with a half-volley into the open court. “This tournament has been perfect from the beginning to the end. The matches that I have played I played really well, and I elevated my game as the tournament progressed. The best performance of the tournament came in the right moment on Sunday, against the biggest rival,” Djokovic said.

Nadal said: “No frustration. That’s tennis. I played a few games and a few points with right way, with right intensity. But for the rest, easy to analyse. The opponent was better than me. That’s it.”

Valdes to Miss World Cup


SPAIN and Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will be out for seven months after undergoing successful knee surgery, meaning he will miss this summer’s World Cup finals. The 32-year-old suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in last week’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo.

He had surgery in Germany on Monday, (March 31) with Barcelona confirming he would be out until at least October. Valdes is leaving the Catalan club when his contract ends this summer. “Victor Valdes has been operated on this Monday morning by doctors Ulrich Boenisch and Ricard Pruna in Augsburg on his torn anterior cruciate ligament,” read a Barcelona statement. The knee’s internal cartilage has been sewn up and the operation was concluded successfully.”

Valdes, who announced his intention to leave Barcelona last summer, has made 535 appearances since making his debut over a decade ago. He has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns and two Copa del Reys in his time at the club.

Valdes was also part of the Spain squad that won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships. His absence means Iker Casillas of Real Madrid and Napoli’s Pepe Reina will likely compete for the number one spot at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Manchester United’s David De Gea is also likely to be in contention for a place in the squad.

— Apr. 14, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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