Olatosimi Fadahunsi

Olatosimi Fadahunsi

Vincent Enyeama has been mooted for a return to the Super Eagles for the World Cup, but Gernot Rohr has said the veteran shot-stopper would not make the squad to Russia due to his lack of game time

Enyeama retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 but discourse on him returning to the team has been on the table for months, but Rohr has adduced that the Lille goalkeeper lack of game time at his club meant he was out of the team for Russia.

The 101 capped Nigerian international last featured for the first team of Lille in the game against Rennes last April.

And speaking to reporters at Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards, Rohr as quoted by Vanguard said Enyeama would not be part of his team for the World Cup.

“He {Enyeama} is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the best luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

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With Rohr ruling Enyeama out of the World Cup, The Franco-German would be left to pick three amongst Francis Uzuoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Ajiboye, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye that would represent the country at the World Cup.

All the available options for Rohr are deemed inexperienced at the highest level.

Arsenal have been drawn against AC Milan in the standout tie of the last 16 draw of the UEFA Europa League.

The North London side, who saw off Swedes Ostersunds in the previous round, face the Rossoneri, who knocked out Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

Arsenal and Milan have history in European competition, the Gunners knocking out the Italians in 2008 of the UEFA Champions League last 16, while Milan were victorious when they met at the same stage in 2012.

In other results of the draw, Leipzig are drawn against Zenit, while Dortmund are pitted with Red Bull Salzburg.

Draw in full

Lazio vs Dynamo Kyiv

RB Leipzig vs Zenit

Atletico Madrid vs Lokomotiv Moscow

CSKA Moscow vs Lyon

Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao

Sporting CP vs Viktoria Plzen

Dortmund vs Salzburg

Arsenal vs AC Milan

More details to follow

Gattuso believes that parick Cutrone needs more sex and rest
Patrick Cutrone

AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso believes finding a "beautiful girlfriend so he can rest and make love" could be the key to Patrick Cutrone maintaining his hot streak in front of goal.

With Nikola Kalinic out injured and Andre Silva struggling for form, the 20-year-old forward has stepped up to lead the line in recent weeks.

Cutrone has scored four goals in his last four outings in a Milan shirt, with his opener in the 3-0 win at Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday taking his tally for the season to 13 in all competitions.

Gattuso, however, wants to ease the level of expectation surrounding a player who has already drawn comparisons to Rossoneri great Filippo Inzaghi.

"We are taking it easy on Cutrone. He must not get distracted by the fact that he is the youngest player in Milan's history to score that many goals," he told the media.

"He has to work and to rest. I hope he finds a beautiful girlfriend so he can rest and make love."

The 20-year-old started for Milan in the league game against Sampdoria but it was a goal from Giacomo Bonaventura that separated the two sides and made it 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions for the Rossoneri.

With the win against Sampdoria the Rossoneri are now seven points off Champions League qualification – a competition they last featured in in the 2013-14 season


Additional information by Olatosimi Fadahunsi


Football expert and pundit Guillem Balague has revealed that Hazard is Madrid ’s main target for the summer and that the Meregues were not interested in the services of Pogba.

Pogba’s dwindle form has been a subject of debate – as many that include some former United legends believing that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho his playing the Frenchman out of position.

The former Juventus sat out the Red Devils’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Huddersfield last Saturday due to reported illness, and has also been substituted in United’s defeat at Spurs and Newcastle.

And with pressure mounting over Pogba’s future ahead of the summer, Balagues has revealed that Madrid “do not the money to finance such a deal when they buy their main targets this summer.”

Balague said Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and either of Hazard’s country man and club mate Thibaut Cortouis or David De Gea remain Madrid’s primary summer targets.

On the rumours surrounding Pogba, Balague told Sky Sports : "It is normal that when things are not perfect with the superstar of a big club, stories emerge in the media.

"Regarding Pogba, a leak to French publication L'Equipe suggested he wants a different position on the pitch to improve his performances.

"When reports like that emerge, don't be surprised that reports claiming Real Madrid want him soon follow.

"But they don't, they do not have the money to finance such a deal after they buy their main targets this summer. Perhaps more importantly, Real president Florentino Perez does not view him as a target."

"Hazard, Courtois or De Gea are the big names Real want at this moment in time," he added.

"Other targets may appear depending on their performances over the rest of the season or at the World Cup. That is how Real operate.”

The Spaniard concluded that Madrid had the opportunity of bringing Pogba to Spain for cheaper price in the past which they rejected and doubted if the Los Meregues would be ready to get a deal for the Frenchman now that he would cost more.

"I will tell you an interesting story about Pogba and Real Madrid. When he decided to leave Manchester United he was offered to Real Madrid B for €100,000.

"The coach of the team at the time told Florentino: 'Bring him to me when he cost €100m'.

"Well, Pogba does cost more than that now, but he is not the player they want for next season," he concluded.




The Arsenal boss has revealed the Manchester City boss once visited him because he wanted to represent Arsenal.

Wenger did not take up Guardiola’s offer and the Spaniard went on to represent Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli, and Mexican side Dorados before he hung his boots in 2006.

Pep Guardiola represented the Barcelona senior team for 11 years – appearing in 263 games for the Blaugrana, and Wenger who praised the former Spanish international for his understanding of the game said Guardiola once visited him in order to play for the North London side.

Praising Guardiola’s philosophy in an interview with Beinsports, Wenger said: “I have spoken with him on various occasions, one time he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal.

“He has had some exceptional teams and trained them very well.

“I respect what he does because he has a clear vision of the game and positive attitude and philosophy.”

The Frenchman concluded: “Even if he doesn’t win because of it, I respect him for the influence that he has on the game”

In his first season as a manager, Guardiola guided Barcelona to a treble, winning the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League – in winning the latter, he became the youngest coach to win the competition.

Having departed Barcelona in the summer of 2012, he signed for Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich in 2013 – where he won the Bundesliga in all of the three seasons he spent at the club.

And having putting pen to a three-year deal with Man City in 2016, the Spaniard witnessed his first season without a trophy same season.

Guardiola’s Man City stand a chance to win a quadruple this season - as they are 16 points ahead second-place Man u in the league.

The Citizens will also lock horns with Arsenal in the final of the Capital One Cup next week at the Wembley Stadium and are also in contention to win the Emirates FA Cup the UEFA Champions League.

Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi has predicted that African countries would fare well at this year World Cup and added that the Super Eagles would emerge as the winner of the Mundial.

Getting to the quarter finals was the highest feat African countries as attained at the World Cup – feats achieved by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 but Amokachi, who represented Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup predicted that the feat would be usurped in Russia

According to him, three African countries would reach the quarters of the World Cup, two in the semis and Nigeria would emerge winner of the Mundial.

The former Everton striker made the statement at the partnership signing between the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) and Nigerian Breweries and he was quoted by vanguard to have said: “ I was asked in the studio where I work about the chances of African representatives at the World Cup this year, I was emphatic.

“I said four teams from Africa would be in the second round, three teams from Africa would be in the quarter final, two in the semi-final and one will be in the final.

“And Nigeria will win the World Cup. That is what I believe. You may have your own belief.”

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Nigeria will kick-start their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria has given “football fans unforgettable memories” at the World Cup, says Federation of International Football Association ( FIFA ).

The three-time African Champions will be making their sixth appearance at the World Cup later this year in Russia and FIFA has paid tribute to Nigeria and some of her ex players who had lit up the World Cup in the past.

In a text to back some of the video clips of the Super Eagles at the World Cup shared on the FIFA website, the World governing body of football wrote: “The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will mark Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the global finals. The African side made their debut at USA 1994, winning over supporters across the world with their exciting brand of football as they bowed out at the Round of 16 against eventual finalists Italy.

“…From Daniel Amokachi to Emmanuel Amunike, Sunday Oliseh to Jay-Jay Okocha, the high-flying Super Eagles have given football fans some unforgettable memories. We pay tribute to some of the Nigeria icons who have made their mark on the World Cup.”

The Super Eagles were the first side to qualify from the African continent and have been drawn in Group D against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa has revealed that the team was prepared to make it pass the group stage as they’ve set a quarter final or semi-final agenda.

The Technical Adviser of the side, Gernot Rohr has also backed Musa stance – saying quarter final was the minimum the Super Eagles wanted to reach at the World Cup.

Manchester United signing of Alexis Sanchez during the winter transfer window is a big blow on Rashford ’s future, saysJamie Redknapp.

The 21-year-old, who busted into limelight in the 2015-16 season last made a top-flight start for the Man U on Boxing Day.

With competition for the wide attacking positions from the likes of Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Jese Lingard, the arrival of Sanchez from Arsenal in the winter transfer has further pushed Rashford down the pecking order.

Writing for skysports, Redknapp, who believes the Red Devils made a good deal in bringing Sanchez to the Theatre of Dreams believes the Chilean arrival at the club could cause a major blow to Rashford development.

The former Liverpool and Tottenhamm Hotspur player believes Sanchez will always get the nod of Rashford irrespective of the Chilean performance

Redknapp wrote: “I don’t blame Manchester United for bringing in Alexis Sanchez. His wages are expensive, but you would normally have to pay around £70m for a player like that in the current market.

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“They have dodged the transfer fee and signed a winner who will give them fantastic energy and quality.

“On the other side of it, though, I can’t help but feel disappointed about what it does to a player like Marcus Rashford. Some would say great players like come and go and you’ve got to get on with it, but the bottom line is that Rashford has now dropped down the pecking order.”

He explained further: “… Due to his {Sanchez} reputation and the fact he has been bought by the manager, Sanchez will always go ahead of Rashford whether he is playing better or not.

“It’s the hardest thing for a young English player.

“You feel like you are just getting to the top of the pecking order and then suddenly, bang, it’s like a sledgehammer hits you.

“Your club have signed a world star.”

Since making his debut for United in 2016, Rashford has registered 29 goals in 108 appearances for the 20-time league champions – scoring seven of those goals this season.

The 15-time capped English international missed United’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle United at St. James Park earlier today.


By Segun Odegbami

This conversation took place some 24 years ago. It was never published in print. RASHIDI returned forcefully into my life last week in a most bizarre circumstance. I believe he wanted his memory to be kept alive. Hence this, transcribed and edited from a video recording lying idly in my archival library. Excerpts:

I started my football career in Kaduna.
That is the place I was born. When I started, my mother did not want me to play football. She was so afraid, but my father was not.
When I was young I started playing with older people. I had somebody called Ade, who, at the time, was also playing for UNTL. He advised me to come and to start training with UNTL FC at that time.

I was 16 or 17 around 1981. So, I joined him. Luckily I had nice coaches, Coach Jubril and Coach Sule.
Sule, who now coaches Kano Pillars, as well as the coach of UNTL, liked me. They wanted me to play the game.
I was a good player. Sometimes I played, sometimes I did not.
After that, I was contacted by a man, who came all the way from IICC, called Mr. Adegoke. People used to tell me about IICC having interest in us.

So, at that time they came for us.

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We were very happy when he told us about IICC. I, with Kayode Aina, Shola Akinsola and Olu Kalejaiye were playing for UNTL. Another one of us was playing for Lead insurance. Daniel Abdullahi was already in IICC.

So, they told all four of us to come at that time. IICC wanted us to come and do some trials.

We were very happy to see you, Segun Odegbami.  

We were not thinking of money at that time. Even if they told us about money, we were not interested. Seeing you and the opportunity to play with you made us happy.

So, we said we would stay for the trial, and IICC took us.
After that we went back to Kaduna to play for the qualifying series to the second division with UNTL.

After that we finally left and came to IICC.
Well, my experience in IICC, I was very, very happy. It was a great thing in my life because it was my first division One club at that time. This was one of the greatest clubs in Africa.
I was very happy to be there. And at that time, I had people like you on my side. I had a very great experience and I will not forget it in my life. So, what happened really was the way I left IICC. I was not happy.

The way a person like you also left IICC at that time, did not make me happy because, when I came to IICC I did not come to make millions. I came because of you and the love I had for IICC at that time. You, as a person, Segun Odegbami, is why I came at that time. The way you left the team did not make me happy.
That was when I went to Abiola Babes.  When I wanted to go to Abiola Babes I met you, you gave me some advice because of the situation in the club at the time.
So, I left the club. I thought I should try Abiola Babes. You told me to go ahead, no problem.  And I went to Abiola Babes.
So, my experience in Abiola Babes. I was very happy. I was very happy to work with MKO Abiola because he added something to my life.

At that time, we went there with a car loan, and he cleared it for us.

So, I was very happy to work with him. And then I also played with Best Ogedengbe and a lot of great players of that time. So, I was very happy there.
After that, anywhere I went to I was very happy. I used to get advice and ask from you before I did something.
When Abiola disbanded, ACB of Lagos and some other clubs said they wanted me to come, but I said no, and that I had not decided anything yet.

I did not have the idea of going to Abidjan at that time. I just joined the national team.
Luckily, I had the offer from Abidjan, African Sport FC. The president, President Zenzoe, called me to come and to join them.
I went there for a trial and I loved it. That was how I joined them there.
So, on getting there, I had a contract of one year, but the man said I should rip the contract apart, and that he was like my father, and that I should forget everything.
The man was a straight forward man. He was a great man, the way I met him. I was very happy. He was a very, very nice man. That is why I stayed there and played for him.
I had some problem because there was another club that wanted to buy me.

They wanted to give me more money. But all these didn’t affect me at the club because I respected the man a lot. He was a man of God, so I had to work with him.
After that I had an offer from St. Etienne in France. They wanted to take me as a feeder boy. But the president told them it was not possible, that if they wanted this player, they had better come and discuss it.
But the team were afraid of the money, or of the experience of the president. I was patient. I was not in a hurry. So, after that, the people from Setubal FC came.

They said they wanted me to sign a contract. I said okay, no problem.
They sat down with my president. We talked the thing out. Then I signed the contract.

Before I went there, my president told them they should respect everything in the paper we signed. So, they had to give me some money – the money I would use to arrange for my family, and everything else before I left for Portugal.
But when I got there, they didn’t give me the money quickly, and yet they didn’t say anything. So, I could not cope. I had to leave.

The Coach of the team did not want me to leave. So, I had to lie to the Coach that I wanted to bring my wife. I just told him that. I didn’t go back. The Coach was worried.
I told the management and I told my president that if they didn’t give me the money I asked for I would not go back because I needed the money to arrange my family, to give something to my mother, at least. So, my president told them, and they said they would do it.
So, that was why I didn’t go back and I returned to Nigeria. I stayed till around October that time but I had to go back to Europe in November.

So, when I got back the team was in very bad shape in the league table, so I had to struggle every day.
At that time, I played about 20 matches. I had 13 goals. It was not easy because in the team they had a lot of old players.
That apart, we had the problem of our captain and another player. They would always have a quarrel. The captain came from Porto, the other player played for Benfica. This one wanted to be captain, this one wanted to be captain.

Over there in Portugal, anytime Benfica and Porto played it was like in the days of IICC and Rangers. It was a problem for the team. Anytime we went to play, we had this problem of captaincy.
So, the team were relegated to division 2. I wanted to leave but the team said no.

So, I had to stay for two more years. It was a lesson I learnt.

The president gave me the advice that If there was any team that wanted me again, maybe even Barcelona, they had to come and discuss directly with me.

(Guardian ng)

The Premier League is considering introducing a winter break when the next television rights deal is agreed.

The top leagues in Germany, France, Italy and Spain all take time out in mid-season.

The Football Association has previously said a winter break is not feasible until the end of the current deal in 2019

Talks have been ongoing for several months, and are understood to have been constructive.

A January break has been under discussion which, if agreed, would not impact on the traditional festive football schedule.

An announcement on the next Premier League TV rights is expected next week. The league is seeking an increase on the current £5.14bn deal which includes 168 live matches a season, with Sky holding five packages of games and BT two.

The prospect of a winter break is referenced in the tender documents that have been sent to broadcasters. The next TV deal will cover 2019-2022.

"The Premier League has been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months regarding the challenges of the increasingly congested English football calendar and ways in which we can work together to ease fixture congestion while also giving players a mid-season break," the Premier League said in a statement.

"Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stakeholders to seek a workable solution."




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