Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nigeria vs Argentina: Vincent Enyeama Steals the show

Lionel Messi’s  Argentina no doubt was the better side of the encounter but the man everyone is talking about is Vincent Enyeama. I was still a student at the college of medical sciences, University of Calabar, when I heard the Peoples Elephants, Eyimba of Aba was to play some of their CAF Champions League group stage fixtures at the U.J. Esuene stadium in Calabar, and since the gate fee was pittance, I decided it was a rare opportunity to see the team that was fast consolidating a reputation as the best Club side in the country.

I can’t remember the scores but I remember Eyimba won that game after a beautiful display of football. The type that is rare in the Nigerian Premier League of today. That team for me was a master piece. A conglomeration of excellent young players through the good will of the then Governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu. My attention was particularly drawn to the young man who was Eyimba’s safe hands for the day. One particular safe he made with so much finesse made me conclude, though hurriedly, that this was a great player to be. How right I was!

Enter Vincent Enyeama!

Vincent Enyeama, a graduate of biochemistry from the University of Uyo has since then snowballed into one of the safest hands in the world by every standard.  He made the world cup party first time in 2002 at Japan-Korea straight from the local league and like he did to Messi yesterday, he made David Beckam and Paul Scholes look ordinary. He seems to have something with the big names. The confidence he exudes was primarily the reason he toppled Austin Ejide who was rather jittery in a pre-world cup friendly game against Ireland in Dublin.  Ever since he has become the undisputable Nigeria’s No. 1.

The last time I heard a goalkeeper won best player in any league was Paraguay’s  Chilavert. Vincent Enyeama is  hero at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel where he plays, so much that he was the best player in that league last year. That is a rare achievement for a goalie. Nigerians keep wondering why the big European clubs don’t think he’s good enough. Once he was linked with Bolton, but with due respect to Bolton, we are tired of having our players play for small teams. What happens to the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or even Arsenal. For God’s sake, Arsenal needs a goalie and Vincent Enyeama is far better than Manuel Almunia, Fabiansky and Vito Mannone and more so will cost very little. At 27 he’s got 10 more years to play at the top if he stays injury free most of the time.  If he can reproduce what we all saw against the Albeceleste, the sky could be the super Eagles limit in this world cup.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maradona: "Nigeria is rough". Is he scared already?

In 1994, Maradona's tactics was to fall at every touch and that earned Nigeria so many yellow cards i lost count. With his current antics, it seems to me maradona has instructed messi to adopt that method.
Maradona is quoted to have described african teams as rough. Is this a bid to gain favour from the referees? Lagerback should better watch out! Maradona has already started the match off pitch. Lars Lagerback has also promptly responded by playing down the legends pedigree as a coach. I guess Lars is trying to say, you may have better players, but i am a better coach.

Kanu immediately responded at the post training press conference.

”African teams are tough and not rough. We all play professional football abroad and we know what obtains all over the world.

”On Saturday, we have a job to do and we are going to go all out to get that job done the best way we can. Maradona can say whatever but that cannot change our team pattern or style.”

The Portsmouth player stressed that the match is very crucial for both sides and Nigeria has a good chance of winning.

”Football is football any day. The Argentines should be afraid of us because we have no respect for big names. We have good players who can make things happen for Nigeria

”We have been working well to ensure we do well in the World Cup.” Kanu added.

Lagerback, however, added that he does not know Maradona at all as a coach.

”I only know him as a player and he is entitled to his opinion on whatever issue. All we have done is to prepare well and I can say we are 100 per cent ready for not just the match but the competition

”The players have worked so hard. Argentina has great team but we have to counter all of that I can tell you we are ready for the team no matter what Maradona says. His views will not change the outcome of the match in any way,” Lagaerback noted.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Is 2010 World Cup Truly Cuased?

I am propmted to make this post following the current perception
of some commentators claiming the world cup 2010 is probably caused.  
This statement came up as a result of so many stars getting injured just days to the first ever world cup in Africa Continent. It started with Rio Ferdinand, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack, Mikel Obi and just today, the latest star to join this long list of casualty is Arjen Robben.
Dutch boss Bert Van Marwijk says:
"It doesn't look too good with Robben" 
Robben was helped to the dressing room by Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt.

    Van Marwijk said: "What my thoughts were when I saw Robben? This can't be true! I thought about this a few times the last weeks. Actually it went very good. And then this happened.

    "I think it was an unnatural move of Robben. He felt a kind of a stitch. I think it will be bad."

Not that i believe this or that i am superstitious in anyway but i can't just help but ponder. The tournament brightest seem to be dropping off the train one-by-one.
What's your take?

Related topics you may be Interested in

Blog Widget by LinkWithin