The boys left Aba yesterday for Lagos as they continue final preparations for our Champions League second leg next weekend. Coach Ikhana said the distractions beleaguering the players are excess and he needed them to move to their camp in Lagos.
Brilliant move in my books because we all have been jumping up and down dreaming of the next round forgetting that a poor showing in their place at the weekend could be the end of our Champions League campaign. No doubt they face the an uphill task of trying to upturn a 3-0 deficit but guys, this is football and nothing is impossible. Few seasons ago, a poor Arsenal side almost did that against Bayern Munich in Germany, talk more of a team playing in front of their home fans. There is nothing worse than losing your focus at the time you need it the most. So, good move there.
The 27 man squad that travelled had the likes of Rasheed Olabiyi, Fidelis Saviour and Mfon Udoh, notable absentees from that first leg. Whether or not they will feature, we shall see. Emeka Nwanna and Uche John are two notable names that failed to make the cut for this trip but the two, I doubt they were even registered for the competition.
I’m worried for Uche John because despite how good he is, he has fallen behind the pecking order in that central defence position. The likes of Emma Anyanwu, Chinedu Udoji, new signing Ifeanyi Anaemena and even Chibuzor Madu are preferred to him. Worse, In the match day squad for last weekend’s game, a certain Solomon Babatunde was the only center back named for the game. Makes you wonder if Uche John has a future at the club. He’s a nice, friendly lad (reminds me of Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski) always laughing and playful around the camp but time and time again the manager doesn’t name him as part of his squad.
Similar to him is Paul Godwin who has not featured for us in a long long time. He was named at the bench for one of the games during the Super-4 Invitational tournament but he did not play any game all through. Even Moses Ocheje kept for two games but Paul did not. Nor has he trained for a while, it would be surprising if he remains at the club for longer. He’s a good goalkeeper no doubt but there are quite a number of good goalkeepers ahead of him in the team right now. What happens with him remains to be seen though.
Finally, Kinglsey Sokari and Peter Onyekachi who played in that first leg are with Samson Siasia’s under -23 team and today they face Gabon in a qualifier. With the number of good players in that team(including Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi) you think they should have it nice and easy over the Gabonese. Let’s hope they do the country proud and get the ticket. Sokari and Peter should join up with the boys in Lagos after their National assignment.
Ok guys, that’s your lot for today.
Stay away from trouble and focus on making our country, our league a better one.