Good Morning People of the world…
The Big news today is the Super Eagles friendly game against Uganda this evening in Uyo.
Our lads, Mfon Udoh and the most played footballer in the world this season, Sokari Kingsley will most likely be featuring. It is a beautiful thing to have two of your players get a Super Eagles invitation (after all, those small boys in Umuahia don’t have any). The players will be over the moon but I am particularly concerned by the incessant use of Sokari Kingsley.
Such a key player for us who at the moment we have no replacement for, is playing for both the Super Eagles and for the under-23. Now our hopes of qualifying for the next round of the Champions League also rests on him. Is it possible that there is no other player who can represent Nigeria in these two teams? Can he please limit his appearances to just the Super Eagles? If he gets injured, we know as good as Anaezemba is, he is not the perfect replacement for him. Well, we can’t do much but pray that he comes through unscathed and uninjured and that we find quality deputies within the team.
Talking of deputies, I watched Uche Okeke play in Sokari’s role for us in the State Fed Cup Preliminary round yesterday. That game was against an Amateur side, Golden Sunrise. We won 2-1 and despite the scare we had when they got their equalizer, I knew we would get through. It was a starting eleven of players who had barely featured for us all season; Emeka Nwanna, Uche John, Bala Zakka, Razak Aliyu, Uwadiegwu, Amanfor, Ifeanyi George and the rest. He caught my eye with his play but honestly he is not there. Yet.
No doubt, It was always going to be a tough game because our lads who are match rusty were faced with a compact, disciplined opposition fired up with the thought of beating Enyimba, and again they have played together and looked better in the second half. We started well, almost got three goals in the first half, but at the break, it was Ayaya’s well taken volley that separated us.
We began the second half feeling like we had won the match already. Casual, lackadaisical and just ordinary. Misplaced passes, second best in every challenge and second to every ball and my dear friend Mr. Razak Aliyu threw away possession as though he was playing a novelty football match. Uche John needed to make a couple of inch perfect last ditch tackles to deny them before they ultimately scored. Their goal came shortly after a period of dominance, some guy fired a screamer from outside the box, top corner and there was nothing Femi Thomas could do. You ask however, how the midfielders did not close him down before he fired from where he was?
We had Ojobo to thank for coming in and shoring up the midfield and getting the second goal with few minutes to go. We won 2-1 at the end but honestly, very few players impressed to the point of giving Kadiri Ikhana the impression that they are ready for some first team action any time soon.
No matter how long you are out of the team and how loud and high you wail, what counts is what you do with the opportunity that comes to you because an opportunity to impress will surely come. The easiest thing to do in the world is to complain, and to wail and to say all you can to anyone who listens, but it is your responsibility to keep fit, to keep yourself at the level that will force the coach to think twice about dropping you to the bench. So for alot of the guys who featured yesterday, you have a lot more to do before you get the chance to feature regularly.
Finally, a big congratulations to our former goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama who could get his 100th Cap for Nigeria today. He was the first Nigerian Goalkeeper to have won the CAF Champions League with a Nigerian side and his efforts has seen him being named in Europe as one of the best goalkeepers currently playing in that continent. Severally he had bailed Nigeria out with his superb performances and one can only look at his professionalism and commitment and learn from him. Well don Vincent. Many more caps to follow.
Ok guys, I think I’m done, that’s your lot for today.
Have a great day and enjoy the game this evening.