Osaze Odemwingie says Nigeria became too predictable under former coach Shuaibu Amodu and Lars Lagerback has already created a buzz around the squad.
Osaze, 29, was one of the more outspoken critics of Amodu’s regime but he said that he did so without malice.
“For the past two years, with Amodu, we’ve been easy to predict. We have to have more variety in our tactics and our attack.
“There’s not much negative or bad about his coaching. It’s just that it’s not enough if we are aspiring to go up there. It’s the difference between good, and better.”
After four training sessions with Lagerback, Odemwingie said things were already looking up, with the Swede instilling a fear no foe confidence in his new team.
“He doesn’t look like someone who doubts his own quality and I think he can bring a result that Nigerians expect. I see him relaxed, as someone with a plan, who took this job after watching our games and knowing that he can do better than where we were.
“From the first training, he is looking at attacking football. He is looking at a passing game. He is looking at the penetrating pass, a pass that creates danger, less square passes and more forward passes. He keeps reminding us that we have to play beautiful football and that results are also very important.
“At the same time, you can see that he doesn’t want to play a game where Nigeria is scared of the opponent, any opponent.”
Odemwingie says already the atmosphere in camp is different.
“You could feel it. You cannot deny it. Like our people say, oyibo na oyibo. There is a touch they add to Africans when they bring their ideas, their calculations, their tactics, their organisation, their way of being more effective on the field. That is going to be added for sure.
“The training so far has been good, the build-up and the movement. I think Lagerback is the best choice Nigeria made.”
More importantly, the forward says Nigeria have to return to their attacking traditions.
“We need to be more ourselves. I think that is what we were denied these past few years. We were not playing like Nigeria. We were more defensive minded. That is why we didnt score so many goals lately, and that is also why we have been struggling even with the average African teams.
“But we could also understand that choice of tactics because it looks like there was a little bit of lack of confidence in our defence line.
“A few times we conceded silly goals, but at the same time, we needed the result and changes had to be done.
“We hope now that things will be better.”
On his first day at work with his squad, Lagerback showed the players individual videos and Osaze said it came as a bit of a surprise.
“I was surprised because we never had that before in our coaching.
“That’s another little thing. Those little things make a difference. Europe has gone far. I am not here to criticise our situation. Its just that right now we have to admit that we are still a little bit behind. In our clubs we see that those things are important. Here, he showed us a few highlights, pointed out some things and everybody is commending it.”
He is under no illusions though, as to how much work remains to be done, but says there is a positive feeling about.
“We have a lot of work to do. The whole team have been commending the training sessions, and we hope to continue for the remaining days.
“We are getting a positive feeling now about ourselves, because it is in the hands of the coach how he motivates his team.”
Ultimately though, he says it will be up to the players to do the business on the pitch.
“We have to believe in ourselves, and in what we can do and go out there on the pitch and show it for the love of our country. There are a lot of people who just want a chance to play and that means that if you are lucky enough to be selected, you have to give your best at all times.”
Ilechukwu Set To Make History With Plateau United
Plateau United coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, says his side is all set for the start of 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League season and he hopes to make history with the club.
The season’s resumption date which has been fixed for December 17, is set to be ratified by the league management company on December 7 at its general assembly in Abuja.
According to the fixtures released and made available to Tidesports source, Plateau United is billed to face newcomers Niger Tornadoes away from home.
Tidesports source reports that Ilechukwu, who joined the team during the transfer window from Heartland FC would be hoping to start the season in an impressive fashion.
“We are prepared, the players are doing fine and we can’t wait for the season,” Ilechukwu said.
“The players are well motivated and all they want to do is go out there and give their all.”
Other matchday one fixtures to be played across the federation will see champions, Akwa United, tackle Kano Pillars, Enyimba slugs it out with Abia Warriors in a derby, Lobi Stars will entertain Rivers United while there will be a battle of newcomers between Gombe United and Shooting Stars.
Enugu Rangers will travel to face Katsina United in their season’s opener. Sunshine Stars play Wikki Tourists, Kwara United vs Dakkada, Heartland vs Nasarawa United, while there’ll be an early Southwest derby between MFM FC and Remo Stars in Lagos.
ph City Marathon: Athletes, Collect Participation Number Morrow
The Chief Organiser of Port Harcourt City Marathon, Goodluck Azunwena, has expressed satisfaction over the reactions of people and number of athletes that registered for the competition.
He revealed that collection of athlete’s participation number would take place tomorrow, at Las Mall, Rumukalagbor, in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
Azunwena said this in a telephone interview with Tidesports, yesterday, saying that the basic aim is to engage the youth meaningfully and change the negative perception of the State.
According to him, “Port Harcourt to the World,” the organization that is organising competition had organised other events that have positive impact on the people, particularly in 2018, they organized what was called Music Ran Port Harcourt.
“This organization was established in 2016 with the sole aim to promote the city positively and encourage people to change the negative perception of the city in and outside the state.
So far I am impressed with people’s reactions towards the competition and number of athletes that registered for the event,” Azunwena said.
Meanwhile, the 16 kilo meter race is scheduled to take place next Saturday in Port Harcourt, the winner of the competition will go home with N1 million, as second and third positionswill cart away N500,000 and N250, 000, respectively.
While fourth to ten position will have consolation prize of N50,000 each.
By: Tonye Orabere
Nnadozie’s Rating As World’s Seventh Best Thrills Izilien
Former Coach of Super Falcons, Godwin Izilien, has described Chiamaka Nnadozie’s ranking as the world’s seventh best woman goalkeeper as a clear indication that Nigeria has abundant talented female footballers at the grassroots waiting to be discovered.
Izilien, who commended the Paris of France FC goaltender for putting Nigeria on the world map in women football, urged stakeholders in the ladies’ game to pay more attention to talent discovery, stressing that discovering and nurturing women players when they are still young will raise the country’s standard in the game.
“I am delighted on the news that Nnadozie has been rated the seventh best goalkeeper in the world. This is a remarkable achievement for the young lady, who started her football career in Nigeria.
“She played for the cadet teams and Nigerian clubs before moving abroad. I have said it before that Nigeria has talents in women football… all they need is to be discovered and exposed.
“Nnadozie’s achievement is a clear testimony that a player can be discovered in Nigeria and be among the best in the world when given the right exposure. Football stakeholders should leverage her achievements to look more to grassroots football development.
“Getting young talents from the grassroots remains the direction to develop women’s football in Nigeria,” he said.
Tidesports source reports that Nnadozie was selected among the best in the goalkeeping position by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The rankings of the women goalkeepers were for an aggregate of 2021 taking into consideration performances for their club and country.
The ex Rivers Angels goalkeeper, who made her debut for Nigeria at the Jordan U-17 Women’s World Cup also in 2019, became the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the Women’s World Cup.
Nnadozie also helped Nigeria to win gold medal at the African Games in Morocco, saving three penalties in the shootout against Cameroun.
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