Olatosimi Fadahunsi

Olatosimi Fadahunsi

Man United plot January Ramsey move

Manchester United are said to be interested in signing the Welsh midfielder this upcoming winter transfer window.

Aaron Ramsey will be out of contract at Arsenal at the end of the season.

Talks between Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey over a new contract for the 27-year-old last week hit a deadlock – as Arsenal are unwilling to meet the wage demands of the former Cardiff midfielder.

The Red Devils, who last winter transfer window, snapped Alexis Sanchez up from Arsenal are reported to be interested in signing another Arsenal player in this winter transfer window.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has identified Ante Rebic and Nikola Milenkovic as possible January midfield recruitment, but should the United hierarchy fail to release funds, Ramsey has been identified as a more affordable target.

 

Ramsey is also a target for Italian sides Juventus and AC Milan, as the former will move for the Welsh international should attempt to sign Adrien Rabiot from PSG fails.


The Nigerian Army Football club, known as Green Beret Football Club, on Sunday emerged winner of the 2018 Nationwide League Division One Championship.

The win ensured the side gained promotion to the Nigeria National League (Division 2 of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

In a message on the Nigerian Army official Twitter handle, The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Tukur Buratai congratulated and urged the team to continue striving for more.

But Nigerians as usual, were quick to make jokes out of the promotions of Green Beret FC, as most suggested who would dare to be punished for beating the side.

One Twitter user, @Ohiiiiiiiiiii wrote: “If you score us, you go frog jump till tomorrow.”

@tafapisces: “Who go play against soldiers? Fear will set in play.. Just kidding, ride on guys and God bless you all.

Another Twitter @SaifullahiA wrote: “Imagine scoring against the team in their home ground, which is a barrack. After celebrating, they close gate and ask all of your team to kneel down and frog jump…”

 

 


The Real Madrid Captain put rivalry asides as he said he considered the Barcelona left-back as one of the World’s best defenders.

Although Jordi Alba and Luis Enrique worked together at Barcelona, the 29-year-old has been overlooked by the new Spanish manager.

Alba’s continuous omission from the team remains a shock to Ramos, as he said the former Valencia player was a top-notch defender.

The Spanish national team captain said, as quoted by AS, “Myself and Jordi Alba have played many years together, he is one of the best in the world, as shown by his performances and statistics.

“But then the coach is the one doing the line-up.

“For our {the players} part, he will always be received.”

 

 


The former Golden Eaglets captain has set his sight on being Nigeria's greatest

In 2015, Kelechi Nwakali led the Nigerian Golden Eaglets to win a record fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

The 20-year-old midfielder was rewarded with the overall best player at the tournament for his sterling performance at the tournament.

Nwakali who was snapped up immediately by Arsenal after the tournament in Chile has only represented the senior national team on one occasion but has set his sight on being the greatest player to ever represent the Super Eagles.

On loan at Porto from Arsenal, the midfielder told The Nation Sports and Style in an interview that with “with hard work and humility” he had all it takes to be Nigeria’s greatest ever footballer.

“… I’m just starting my career and it’s like I have not started at all,” he said.

“One of my dreams is to be Nigeria’s greatest ever footballer and it’s not just saying it but to work for it.

 

“I believe with hard work and humility, I will achieve my dreams.”


 

Not many have the opportunity of donning their country’s national team jersey, and no we don’t mean putting on the kit and dazzling on the streets, playing environmental football on the morning of the last Saturday of the month. But it is always a gloss when you not only play, let alone find the net not once nor twice, but on three occasions.

It’s nearly impossible for any man to know the number of players that have found the back of the net for the Super Eagles in her 68 years of existence, but possible to know the number of players that have achieved the feats Odion Ighalo attained today.

So, who was the first? Who was the last? Spotkick brings to you the Nigerian players before Ighalo who have found the back of the net three times in a single game on national duty.

Buraimoh Abudu                

The first Nigerian player to score hat-trick on national duty. His goals were amongst those that swept Dahomey, now Benin Republic, 10-1 in 1959.

Paul Hamilton

Hamilton became the second player to score a hat-trick while representing the Super Eagles – a feat he achieved in 1963, in a 5-0 win over Ghana.

Bobo Mordi

He joined the list in 1965, just two years after Hamilton became the second player to do so. He scored a hat-trick, in a game in which Hamilton also registered one, to complete a 4-1 riot over Gabon.

Thompson Usiyen

It took 12 years after Mordi scored a hat-trick for Nigeria to witness another Nigerian to attain such feat - this time it was the turn of Usiyen in the 7-0 thumping of Benin in 1977.

Segun Odegbami

Another 7-0 thumping for Benin at the hands of Super Eagles came in 1978. It was the turn of The Mathematical One, arguably the greatest winger to have donned the Super Eagles jersey to grab his own hat-trick. 

Rashidi Yekini

Nigeria's all-time scorer became the sixth player to score hat-trick for Nigeria, as he led a 6-0 drubbing of Ethiopia, in Nigeria's last game of the 1994 Cup of Nations qualifier.

Victor Ikpeba

September 2000, The Prince of Monaco entered the history book as he bagged 3 in a Cup of Nations qualifier game against Namibia.

Ikechukwu Uche

Ikechukwu Uche played a closed door test against Portuguese side Farense, who were then in the second division. Grantied, it wasn't as important in comparison - but 13 years after waiting - IK Uche entered history books. 

Nnamdi Oduamadi

It was on a Monday night, in Belo Horizonte, and Oduamadi scored three in the Super Eagles’ 2013 Confederations Cup opening game against Tahiti. The game ended 6-1 in favour of Nigeria.

Five years after, Ighalo becomes the tenth player. How soon are we going to get a player to score a hat-trick for Nigeria?

 
 

No Mikel no problem, but do we have a Jay-Jay in Iwobi? five lessons learned from the game against The Knights

Libya were looking to maintain their unbeaten record in the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualification, but three goals and a goal from Odion Ighalo and Samuel Kalu respectively condemned the Mediterranean Knights to an ignominious if their first-half display should be put into consideration.

So many big news ahead of the game, but arguably the biggest from the Nigerian side was the skipper of the side ruling himself or being excused as it were by the coach from the doubleheader tie – an act that has turned to a perpetual habit.

A Mikel-less Super Eagles’ especially, with their display in the second half showed to the world that the team is capable of doing wonders, even in the absence of their skipper.

Also Read

Odd Odion's hat-trick seals victory for Eagles over Mediterranean Knights

Player Ratings: Nigeria 4-0 Libya

But away from that, what are the five biggest take-homes from the game

1. Iwobi, the Jay-Jay we have been looking for: He was so good that he was named twice – we never believed that Austin Jay Jay Okocha’s boots were this big to lace. 12 years after the former Bolton midfielder retired from the national team, many have come, gone, or stay as it were, all in the name of replacing the midfield maestro - Rabiu Ibrahim, Nosa Igiebor, Michael Babatunde to mention a few, but all failed successfully. But with Iwobi’s display against Libya, there is something to rejoice about. Iwobi can never be Jay-Jay – but with the defence-splitting passes, in-human dribbles – he keeps that up, he can be the closest we will ever have.

2. No Mikel no Problem: Series of reasons and excuses were given as why 31-year-old midfielder will miss out the doubleheader against Libya – while all the reasons being given might be genuine but are not excuse – and calling a spade, a spade, it is a case of the Tianjin Teda player selecting games to play, as it had been insinuated from the pre-press conference ahead of the Seychelles game that Mikel would miss the games against Libya, and only be available for the game against South Africa. Mikel or no Mikel, no problem. No iota of disrespect to what he brings to the table, but let’s think of today’s game without Oghenekaro Etebo. Wilfred Ndidi, for now is indispensable in the team, Etebo comes to fore when thinking of sacrificial lamb for Mikel, but we won’t as Nigerians try to imagine the game without Etebo.

3. Nigerians should not be carried away by Ighalo’s hat-trick: Ighalo’s three goals helped see off highly spirited Libyan side, but should we be carried away? No. After putting Nigeria ahead in the second minute, seven minutes later, he chose to throw himself to the floor for no reason when he was set on a one-on-one with the Libyan goalkeeper. Unlike in the game against Argentina, where he never got another chance to redeem himself, he got himself redeemed today – it’s so unusual in the game of football.

While it is important for Nigerians not to be carried away by Ighalo’s hat-trick, it is more importanter for Ighalo not to carry himself away.

4. Jamiu Collins, an answer to the left back conundrum: A game might be too quick to say we have got an answer to the left back conundrum, but a performance as convincing as the one Jamiu Collins had from the left-back position against Libya? The last time we saw something close to that, arguably, was in the days of Taye Taiwo. The Paderborn of Germany had little to do defensively, but going forward, he was a joy to watch. He was unlucky not to have had his name on the scoresheet – as his effort hits the woodwork on the stroke of half-time. His step-overs were a beauty to see – only Marcelo, as a left-back does that in modern day football.

5. Super Eagles can’t afford to be complacent: The most important of all the lessons today is ahead of the return leg on Monday, Super Eagles’ players can’t afford to be carried away. The Knights’ goalkeeper gifted Nigeria the first goal, a wonderful close-range from Francis Uzuoho denied the Knights an equalizer. When you put these together with the fact that Libyan should have been given at least two penalties in the first half, maybe we should put in mind that the return leg in Tunisia will not be a stroll in the park for Nigeria in Tunisia.


Wenger's 22-year reign with Arsenal ended at the end of last season – and the French manager has been without a job since then.

With the future of Man United boss Jose Mourinho being cast into doubt in recent days – with reports emerging on Saturday morning that the Portuguese manager would be sacked irrespective of the outcome of the game against Newcastle, Paul Merson believed Wenger could give United a fresh start.

The former Arsenal player believes with Wenger, United don’t need to spend much in the transfer window – as the Frenchman’s gem could be the deciding factor.

Ahead of the Saturday game, where United came from a 2-0 goal down to defeat Newcastle 3-2, Merson said on Skysports: Seriously, that’s not the worst idea in the world.

“You’ve got to look at what Wenger did. You don’t have to go out and buy £70m to £80m players with some of the gems he’s got over time.

“It’s not bad shout. Sometimes you just need a fresh start.”


UEFA has announced that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in the Champions League starting from the 2019-2020 season.

The decision was said to have been taken at a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee at the European Football in Nyon on Thursday morning.

UEFA, who confirmed that the VAR would only be used of the Champions League from the play-off stage also said UEFA plans to subsequently introduce the technology from the group stage of the 2020-2021 Europa League.

“We are confident that introducing Video Assistant Referee in August 2019 will give us enough time to put in place a robust system and to train match officials to ensure an efficient and successful implementation of VAR in the UEFA Champions League, the world’s flagship competition,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

Asides introducing VAR to the Champions and Europa League, VAR will also be used 2019 Super Cup and UEFA EURO 2020.

 

 

 


Carragher believes only the greats of the game could score the goal Hazard scored last night and that the Belgian is the best player in EPL

Eden Hazard has been in sterling form this season, and last night was decisive – as he came off the bench to score the winning goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool.

The strength shown by the Belgian en-route to scoring the winning goal earned him praise and a comparison with two of the greatest of the game from Jamie Carragher.

The 40-year-old who believes Hazard is the best player in the Premier League told Skysports that all the greats of the game have the power shown by Hazard yesterday.

The former Liverpool defender said, “Think of the Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola and you can even go back to Diego Maradona and Pele.

“They can’t be bullied in football. Even though they are great players you think how do you stop them? You can’t knock them off the ball and he has got strength in the legs and the backside.

“I said on commentary that he is the best player in the Premier League. It’s not because he scored that goal, I believe it.

 

“I think he should have been named the best player at the World Cup.


Pogba is not as good as he thinks he is

The former Liverpool defender said he has grown tired of people making excuses for the highly rated France midfielder.

Jamie Carragher has said Jose Mourinho had his backings over the Portuguese manager row with Paul Pogba, who Mourinho announced on Tuesday that he would no longer wear United’s captaincy armband anymore.

The duo of Mourinho and Pogba endured strain relationship for the latter part of last season, but fury was re-ignited of late when Mourinho criticised his team after last Saturday 1-1 draw at home against Wolves.

Pogba, on Monday, speaking to reporters launched attacks on his coach tactics – saying United needs to attack more when playing

Carragher said on Sky Sports Football that Pogba “is not as good as he thinks he is.”

“He’s got talent, but his big problem is his understanding of the game. It has been a problem since he came, and it hasn’t changed now.

“You can sum Paul Paul Pogbas Man Utd career up in the last two games. He scored a great goal against Young Boys, showing his quality, but then gets robbed of the ball on the halfway line, falls over doesn’t break his neck to get back against Wolves and there’s an equalizing goal.

“That sums it up.”

The 38 capped English international went further to discuss the Mourinho-Pogba feud.

“People are saying Mourinho is causing problems, taking the captaincy off him, but he’s not really a captain, is he, in terms of how he plays? He’s letting his agent speak negatively about the club, how can that happen if he’s that man for Man Utd, fighting for the club, fighting for the manager.

“Jose Mourinho has got his problems in terms of the end of the season… But in terms of this confrontation, I’d be with Mourinho before I’d be with Pogba.

“… People talk about Matic coming in, Fred coming in to help Pogba. Help yourself! I’m sick of excuses for big players and managers not getting the best out of you.”

 

 


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