Connect with us
Advertise With Us


From Russia 2018 With Love



The above title is derived from a 1964 James Bond Movie and second in the series made popular by Ian Flemming and produced by Albert Broccoli. A movie based on the Cold war era and described by a publication ROTTEN TOMATOES (no pun intended) as a razor sharp briskly paced cold war thriller that features electrifying action scenes. This aptly describes the spectacle we have seen so far at the world cup in the Russian Federation better known as Russia and a country with eleven time zones and a pot pourri of cultures.

For those who read my column, let me put it on record that I started and cut my writing teeth in the early 90s with sporting articles especially football for the most part as I was and still is a football aficionado an appellation made popular by my good friend Barrister Dudu Orumeh, presenter and producer of now rested’ Best Of Football fame’. The word Aficonado is borrowed from Spanish and has been featuring in the English lexicon since the early 1800s and simply means ’inspire affection’ but has now grown to latter day to signify someone who is very interested and enthusiastic about a particular subject matter.

Russia 2018 as I write is providing a kaleidoscope of sorts from history making feats, to scandalous scorelines, and upsets never fathomed. We often forget that a world cup is an agglomeration of the best that the world has to offer and as such everyone here has earned the right to be at the assemblage of the United Nations of football as I choose to call it

Nigeria’s performance at this mundial has been pretty satisfactory but we can always do better..Second round for us should not be the beginning and the end for us, we should strive to better our performance and possibly reach the quarter finals which I think this team can do. The tactical nous by the coach, team formation and personnel deployed needs to be improved.. Our first  game against Croatia was a comedy of errors as we played like kindergartens in a play pen.. We deployed a formation that consigned us to a loss even if we had played three hours. Having Ighalo alone upfront and Mikel Obi playing 10 with tired and ageing legs was a recipe for disaster. Thank God we picked up the pieces in the second game against the Vikings of Iceland a nation of 300, 000 thousand people and part time footballers. As a pundit for over 20 years and currently a member of the Nigerian Football  Federation Marketing, sponsorship and TV rights committee, methinks I can comment on a few things that are not being done properly. The NFF ably led by Amaju Pinnick and his two Vice presidents Shehu Dikko and Seyi Akinwunmi have done a good job of steering the ship this far by providing for the team all it requires in terms of motivation. The Franco-German Coach Rorh has equally been supported… he chooses his team with no interference whatsoever but what he needs to get right is tactical discipline and awareness as Nigerians will not accept any excuse bordering on lack of support and the usual enabling environment cliché.That we often bandy for our inadequacies.

To whom much is given, much is expected and we should play to win against the Argentines with the same formation and if we draw so be it at least we would have qualified. The argentines are having probably the worst run in 60 years and are beatable as exemplified by their defeat on November 14.

The Super Eagles need to put on their fancy boots and jerseys and demonstrate the can do spirit of Nigeria and show the world that we are world beaters and can hold our own in the football comity of Nations. Hopefully, they will come back from Russia with Love. Till then I hold my breath.        



%d bloggers like this: