Chelsea FC chief scout, Michael Emenalo, has suggested that the Super Eagles lost to Egypt because they were too slow and predictable in their build-up.
Emenalo, whose job involves scouting opponents for the Chelsea coaching staff, watched the team he represented as a defender at the 1994 World Cup lose to Egypt and offered his thoughts to Tidesports source on the positives and negatives from the game.
“Tactically, I love the way they started,” the former Nigeria left back began. “They looked organised and good in midfield and they kept possession very well.
“I also liked the idea of Uche on the left side, but coming in to fortify the midfield and I liked the width in transition offered by Obasi.”
However, that is as good as it got, as Emenalo proceeded to pick out the holes that the Egyptians exploited in the latter stages of the half, and for the rest of the game.
“I didn’t like the way Uche didnt track back and didn’t support Yakubu. There was no width in transition like with Obasi.
“As a team, there were no clear ideas on transition. Everything looked pedestrian. The build-up from the back and from midfield looked slow, and the only real transition was Mikel switching Obasi to get in behind the defence.
“Our movement off the ball was not quick enough and it was predictable.
“Egypt moved the ball faster and always looked for the forward pass, with positive haste.”
If the midfield took knocks, Emenalo still had more to spare for the defence.
“I can’t question the tactics as I am not there and I don’t know what the coach’s instructions were. But there was a lack of defensive solidity.
“From a scouting point of view, the back four were constantly on a jagged edge all over the place and that allowed the opposition for through balls, especially through Taiwo.”
Overall, the verdict was damning.
“We didn’t have any kind of balance or organisation. One of the basics in football is that if you are attacking from one flank, you keep a balance centrally and on the opposite flank. They didn’t have that.
“We just lacked purpose with the use of the ball and the maturity. They were keeping possession, but did not seem to have a purpose for the possession.”
And Emenalo had one final, not so flattering thought for the Eagles.
“One other thing that has been our bane in Nigeria, and maybe most of Africa, is a lack of emotional commitment. Players have to understand what the game means. You can’t take your eyes off it.
“In those 90 minutes, you have to be fully concentrated on the game. The Egyptians understood that, but our players did not.
“There is an example of that when Enyeama had the ball and was looking to release it quickly. An Egyptian player ran in front of him to stop him from starting the counter attack until his team mates had regrouped. That shows that Egypt understood what was at stake.
“You don’t stand when the opposition is in possession. Egypt were constantly in motion.”
Sports Development Subject to Economic Performance – Consultant
A golf consultant, Sam Emetelu, has said that golf like any other sport cannot thrive when a nation’s economy is unstable.
Emetelu said this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, the state of a country’s economy plays a vital role in the development of other sectors.
In view of this, he said, there had been little activities for golfers in both the amateur and professional categories.
“Sports in recent time has been struggling, it’s not just peculiar to golf. So, the backlash is that activities have been slow, because it is an election year.
“When the economy thrives, other sectors thrive too; it’s not rocket science.
“The only thing that has been sustaining golf is committed individuals who are lovers of the game who invest their money in because of their love for the sport,” he said.
He, however, predicted that the last quarter of the year would take a more positive turn as companies and individuals would have started regaining momentum.
“With the ember months, most corporate organisations are taking stock and probably thinking of how to structure their Corporate Social Responsibility, maybe then they’d think of sponsoring golf tournaments.
MTN To Co-Sponsor Nigerian Football League
MTN Nigeria has entered into a partnership with the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), GTI Investment Ltd. and Propel Sports Africa to sponsor the Nigerian league.
Media Officer of GTI Investment Ltd., Andrew Ekejiuba, said this in a statement this week in Lagos.
He said following the recent announcement of the joint venture between the NPFL, GTI and Propel Sports Africa to stream NPFL games live, Propel Sports was delighted to announce that it had entered into a deal with MTN Nigeria for the exclusive broadcast of the league.
He said the sponsorship would cover eight live games each weekend, which would translate to over 300 games per season.
Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, Basil Kabbani stated: “The engagement with MTN has been amazing, from the Digital VAS, to the Marketing and Commercial team, their approach has been consistently professional.
“The enthusiasm for the NPFL content has been infectious. From the very start of our negotiations, we knew MTN was the right partner to give our great content, the platform it deserves.”
The deal, concluded by Propel Sports Africa president, Edward Simons, and MTN Chief Operating Officer, Hassan Jabar, would include in-and-post-game highlights delivered in real time to MTN subscribers through the NPFL Live OTT platform.
Osimhen Can Win Ballon d’Or – Peseiro
Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro believes Napoli forward Victor Osimhen can win the Ballon d’Or in the future.
Osimhen is among the 30 players nominated for the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or as well as one of the 12 nominees for the 2023 FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award.
He is the first Nigerian male footballer in 24 years to get nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
Peseiro believes the 24-year-old has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or award in future even if it seems unlikely for him to achieve the feat in 2023 as he is set to compete with a star-studded cast of nominees.
Pesiero is optimistic that Osimhen can claim the award in future as he does not lack any potential to do it.
“He (Osimhen) can surely win the Ballon d’Or in the future. He’s not lacking anything to do it,” Peseiro said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“He has different characteristics than other players that are at the top at this moment, but he scores a lot as well.”
Osimhen had a stellar 2022–23 season with Napoli, leading the club to their first Serie A title in 33 years, and also won the golden boot.
The Napoli striker scored 26 Serie A goals last season to guide the Partenopei to the Scudetto for the first time in more than three decades.
He also becomes the 7th Nigerian male footballer and 8th Nigerian player to earn a Ballon D’Or award nomination after Finidi George (1995), Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (1995), Daniel Amokachi (1995), Nwankwo Kanu (1996, 1999), Victor Ikpeba (1997), Sunday Oliseh (1998), and Asisat Oshoala (2022, 2023).
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