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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:15 am 
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we really need to do something about this kid's development as an attacking midfielder and also grooming other players in this position... we need upcoming players like this that can create something out of nothing like our legends okocha and abedi pele etc... i am tired of all these so called defensive midfielders in africa that can't even defend well and can't even close the gaps/holes in the midfield, which very good teams love to exploit...

all the west african teams need to do something about this position... i know football has changed a lot since the 80s/90s and we don't have fantastic attacking midfielders like in the past but something needs to be done because our game is not improving at all... it's a shame that we don't have any attacking midfielders in africa that can be compared to the likes of xavi, iniesta, kaka, snieder etc... this is one of the reasons why france has regressed since zidane retired, they don't have any identity...

it's really a shame when the only african players with flair in their game is kader keita, gervinho and maybe uche kalu... it's sad ike uche couldn't make it, he is another exciting player with mad skills...


Last edited by Soccerfan00 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:23 am 
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When you say 'flair', what do you mean by that? Kindly expantiate.....

The likes of Okocha who could do magic with the ball are not necessary components of a magical team. The Olympic team laid a great blueprint of what our future possibly holds. They played extremely well for the most part........ strong, bustling Nigerian footie. Most of that team are in the present SE and the ones who are not in the team are replaced by better players. The only guys missing who i'd have liked to see are Ekpo and Okoronkwo but even they are not as good as the guys in their place. We do not need a 'flair' player to function effectively, we are a flair team by nature, when in full-flow, we will create chances without even meaning to, it seems to be ingrained in us, its our style.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:27 am 
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Thats why its important to develop our own leagues and not depend on Europe to do it for us. im pretty sure skillful AM are abundant in Africa but they are not chosen cos European scouts are obsessed with looking for a "Viera" type player. look at Egypt. they had Abou Treka and he didnt need to go to Europe to prove he was the best AM in the continent. if our NPL was good, kids like Ibrahim would have come back to Naija and developed instead of langushing in Portugal.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:27 am 
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when i say flair, i don't mean showboating... i am talking about grooming players to play that position but also be team players like xavi and iniesta... these two guys can create a chance out of nothing and have no problem taking on multiple players with ease... siasia definitely has the blueprint and is one of the best coaches in africa next to shehata but the nff dummies are too stupid to recognize this... he is one of the best minds in producing great counter-attacking football but they won't give him a chance with the eagles... :boo:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:34 am 
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bret- hart wrote:
Thats why its important to develop our own leagues and not depend on Europe to do it for us. im pretty sure skillful AM are abundant in Africa but they are not chosen cos European scouts are obsessed with looking for a "Viera" type player. look at Egypt. they had Abou Treka and he didnt need to go to Europe to prove he was the best AM in the continent. if our NPL was good, kids like Ibrahim would have come back to Naija and developed instead of langushing in Portugal.


you are 100% correct...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:47 am 
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The olympic team showed it could thrive without those kind of midfielders, they are a plus but Siasia built his side with wingers who could cut inside and wreck havoc. We have those guys in abundance right now. Players who have above average ball skills and can play a variety of positions, on the negative side, the guys we have cant cross for diddly but we have not had that since the exit of Finidi and Emma Amunike.
The guys you are talking about primarily(xavi hernandez and iniesta lujan) were made for the barca style and spain have reaped the benefits of that. Obinna, Osas, Kalu, Utaka are all nifty players who can beat their man one on one, when the two wings are creating havoc and you have a Martins or Yak bustling in the center, its not fun for a defense, we saw the olympic games. We troubled every opponent and lord knows i wish we had finished better in the final.
My point is: when you get lemons instead of apples, make do with lemonade. for whatever reason, we are manufacturing certain types of players right now, and i dont think its necessarily a bad thing. We don't have Xavi's and Iniesta's and Kaka's but we've got something which i think isnt bad which is above average-skilled wingers, and a bunch of central midfielders who can create a wall in front of the defense and a platform for the attacking players to showcase.
On Siasia, the less said the better. The NFF really need to be put in private hands until the public bodies get better.

Soccerfan00 wrote:
when i say flair, i don't mean showboating... i am talking about grooming players to play that position but also be team players like xavi and iniesta... these two guys can create a chance out of nothing and have no problem taking on multiple players with ease... siasia definitely has the blueprint and is one of the best coaches in africa next to shehata but the nff dummies are too stupid to recognize this... he is one of the best minds in producing great counter-attacking football but they won't give him a chance with the eagles... :boo:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:50 am 
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...can you just give yourself a break for now and lets settle with what is ahead of us for now...or you want him to go and join them in SA for this WC...gashh get life...
Soccerfan00 wrote:
we really need to do something about this kid's development as an attacking midfielder and also grooming other players in this position... we need upcoming players like this that can create something out of nothing like our legends okocha and abedi pele etc... i am tired of all these so called defensive midfielders in africa that can't even defend well and can't even close the gaps/holes in the midfield, which very good teams love to exploit...

all the west african teams need to do something about this position... i know football has changed a lot since the 80s/90s and we don't have fantastic attacking midfielders like in the past but something needs to be done because our game is not improving at all... it's a shame that we don't have any attacking midfielders in africa that can be compared to the likes of xavi, iniesta, kaka, snieder etc... this is one of the reasons why france has regressed since zidane retired, they don't have any identity...

it's really a shame when the only african players with flair in their game is kader keita, gervinho and maybe uche kalu... it's sad ike uche couldn't make it, he is another exciting player with mad skills...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:52 am 
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The plan for the recently turned 19 year old Rabiu is to find a club where he plays 90 mins every game. Could be a minor club in Portugal first division, maybe a loan spell at a club like Braga. The next step is to become a two way midfielder. Right now his attacking flair is developed, i want to see him work on the defensive side. London 2012 is a big tournament for Rabiu, his final entrance exams to the Green Eagles.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:56 am 
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platinum wrote:
The olympic team showed it could thrive without those kind of midfielders, they are a plus but Siasia built his side with wingers who could cut inside and wreck havoc. We have those guys in abundance right now. Players who have above average ball skills and can play a variety of positions, on the negative side, the guys we have cant cross for diddly but we have not had that since the exit of Finidi and Emma Amunike.
The guys you are talking about primarily(xavi hernandez and iniesta lujan) were made for the barca style and spain have reaped the benefits of that. Obinna, Osas, Kalu, Utaka are all nifty players who can beat their man one on one, when the two wings are creating havoc and you have a Martins or Yak bustling in the center, its not fun for a defense, we saw the olympic games. We troubled every opponent and lord knows i wish we had finished better in the final.
My point is: when you get lemons instead of apples, make do with lemonade. for whatever reason, we are manufacturing certain types of players right now, and i dont think its necessarily a bad thing. We don't have Xavi's and Iniesta's and Kaka's but we've got something which i think isnt bad which is above average-skilled wingers, and a bunch of central midfielders who can create a wall in front of the defense and a platform for the attacking players to showcase.
On Siasia, the less said the better. The NFF really need to be put in private hands until the public bodies get better.

Soccerfan00 wrote:
when i say flair, i don't mean showboating... i am talking about grooming players to play that position but also be team players like xavi and iniesta... these two guys can create a chance out of nothing and have no problem taking on multiple players with ease... siasia definitely has the blueprint and is one of the best coaches in africa next to shehata but the nff dummies are too stupid to recognize this... he is one of the best minds in producing great counter-attacking football but they won't give him a chance with the eagles... :boo:


i completely agree with your commentary... i am just just venting on why we don't see attacking creative midfield players anymore on west african teams like bret-hart explained...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:02 am 
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metho, i have the freedom to speak on any topics i want to address and i never said the kid should be part of the world cup... the only reason why i'm chatting about this now is because i am not impressed with the defensive approach used by the west african teams that i have watched lately that aren't even playing well defensively and still finding it difficult to create chances for the strikers... this is going to be a big problem which can't be greatly improved on in 10 days...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:53 am 
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Soccerfan00 wrote:
we really need to do something about this kid's development as an attacking midfielder and also grooming other players in this position... we need upcoming players like this that can create something out of nothing like our legends okocha and abedi pele etc... i am tired of all these so called defensive midfielders in africa that can't even defend well and can't even close the gaps/holes in the midfield, which very good teams love to exploit...

all the west african teams need to do something about this position... i know football has changed a lot since the 80s/90s and we don't have fantastic attacking midfielders like in the past but something needs to be done because our game is not improving at all... it's a shame that we don't have any attacking midfielders in africa that can be compared to the likes of xavi, iniesta, kaka, snieder etc... this is one of the reasons why france has regressed since zidane retired, they don't have any identity...

it's really a shame when the only african players with flair in their game is kader keita, gervinho and maybe uche kalu... it's sad ike uche couldn't make it, he is another exciting player with mad skills...


Rabiu will be fine if he can get himself together in terms of regular footy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:14 am 
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Flair ko. Sideways ni. Pray that he gets off the bench at his club first before dreaming about a SE role let alone a staring role. His mate, Lukman, worked his way into a World Cup shirt while folks are still dreaming about Rabiu's flair and legovers. More proof that substance always trumps.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:36 am 
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Talking about an attacking midfielder, where is John Owello sef?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:38 am 
Does Rabiu even have a club? if i remember correctly, his contract with Sporting ended, and he did not renew with them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:10 am 
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green4life wrote:
Flair ko. Sideways ni. Pray that he gets off the bench at his club first before dreaming about a SE role let alone a staring role. His mate, Lukman, worked his way into a World Cup shirt while folks are still dreaming about Rabiu's flair and legovers. More proof that substance always trumps.


Wrong yabbis homie. We all know who the king of sideways is. This is about the only thing I fault Amodu for, not taking risks on players like Haruna and Rabiu. You do know that Obi's days as an AM are numbered right?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:18 am 
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No need for flair in Windows 7. In all fairness, how important is such an attribute to our progress? Yes, the circus tricks please the crowd, but do they serve any other purpose? Okocha has been and gone, never to return in any shape or form, thats a reality we must all come to terms with. We may lack the 'unbelievable tekkers' of old, but have retained one of our key attributes, Pace. An industrious midfield, that is able to compete for the ball and release an accurate pass to speed demons on the wing, will suffice. There comes a time when man must accept his limitations. We are a very average side and needn't overcomplicate our game. Park the bus and counter with our only noteworthy advantage, blistering pace!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:42 am 
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kolinzo wrote:
green4life wrote:
Flair ko. Sideways ni. Pray that he gets off the bench at his club first before dreaming about a SE role let alone a staring role. His mate, Lukman, worked his way into a World Cup shirt while folks are still dreaming about Rabiu's flair and legovers. More proof that substance always trumps.


Wrong yabbis homie. We all know who the king of sideways is. This is about the only thing I fault Amodu for, not taking risks on players like Haruna and Rabiu. You do know that Obi's days as an AM are numbered right?


you are missing the point green4life... none of our current so called defensive midfielders or central midfielders on the west african teams create enough chances for the forwards or even defend well... they are trying to do both at the same and this is a big problem when you meet the top teams in the world... we need to change our tactics to siasia's style of playing great counter attacking football since we dont have am's anymore or else we are doomed...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:47 am 
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We have loads of these so called "flair" players in Europe :idea:

They have not yet been discovered by Europes elites.

The likes of Chukwuma Akabueze,Nosa Igiebor,King Osanga etc.

Not to forget the likes of Stanley Okoro(Almeria),Joel ObI(Inter Milan).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:57 am 
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Perhaps Rabiu could start by bringing "flair" to some Portuguese team first - then we can talk about the SE

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:47 am 
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kolinzo wrote:
green4life wrote:
Flair ko. Sideways ni. Pray that he gets off the bench at his club first before dreaming about a SE role let alone a staring role. His mate, Lukman, worked his way into a World Cup shirt while folks are still dreaming about Rabiu's flair and legovers. More proof that substance always trumps.


Wrong yabbis homie. We all know who the king of sideways is. This is about the only thing I fault Amodu for, not taking risks on players like Haruna and Rabiu. You do know that Obi's days as an AM are numbered right?


This is not a Mikel thread. Mikel is set on and off the field for club & country so no need to hate aimelessly. So abeg stay on point. This is how u folks loose focus. What does flair mean in football? Why did Ancelotti bench England AM, Joe Cole, in favor of Salomon Kalou who himself is not a regular starter? It's about effectiveness. How effective is Rabiu at 19 that he can't get off the bench in Portugal of all places? Not France, Spain, Germany, Italy or England. U guys love to day dream aimlessly and w/o basis. Abeg what is the basis? What is flair sef? Kalu uche, utaka & nsofor no get flair? Must we start 11 JJ clones before you conceed that enough flair is enough?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:40 pm 
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There are many ways to skin a cat; we don't necessarily need an attacking midfielder in the mold you speak of. (Arguably) Our greatest triumph at the Olympics in '96 was prosecuted with JJ giving the most disciplined performance in a Naija shirt before or since.

He hardly passed the halfway line and it was all short passes and emphasis on ball retention. That team excelled because there was pace and trickery upfront complementing Kanu's ability to hold the ball up and we played at breakneck speed.

Soccerfan00 wrote:
we really need to do something about this kid's development as an attacking midfielder and also grooming other players in this position... we need upcoming players like this that can create something out of nothing like our legends okocha and abedi pele etc... am tired of all these so called defensive midfielders in africa that can't even defend well and can't even close the gaps/holes in the midfield, which very good teams love to exploit...

all the west african teams need to do something about this position... i know football has changed a lot since the 80s/90s and we don't have fantastic attacking midfielders like in the past but something needs to be done because our game is not improving at all... it's a shame that we don't have any attacking midfielders in africa that can be compared to the likes of xavi, iniesta, kaka, snieder etc... this is one of the reasons why france has regressed since zidane retired, they don't have any identity...

it's really a shame when the only african players with flair in their game is kader keita, gervinho and maybe uche kalu... it's sad ike uche couldn't make it, he is another exciting player with mad skills...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:27 am 
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West African nations continue to struggle to find skillful playmakers

Two decades ago, the general characterization of African football was that it was too undisciplined. Africa could produce great, powerful forwards and skillful midfielders, but it was let down by defensive inadequacies. The stereotype has proved hard to shift, but if it was ever true, African football left it far behind a long time ago.

The powerful forwards still exist, and they have been joined by great driving holding midfielders and defenders. In North Africa, there are skillful creators -- Egypt has Mohamed Aboutrika and Mohamed Barakat; Algeria has Karim Ziani; Morocco's Adel Taraabt shows great promise -- but in West Africa there is nothing. Even Ivory Coast, with its so-called "golden generation" of players, has lacked real flair.

A key figure in the French club Marseille of the early '90s was the Ghanaian Abedi Pele, a creator who won the man of the match award in the 1993 Champions League final. At the Cup of Nations in 1996, the Ghana side featured him and Ni'i Lamptey, a young and clever deep-lying forward whom Brazil's Pele hailed as the closest thing he had seen to himself. Lamptey's career was ruined by injury and personal tragedy, Abedi Pele retired aged 36 in 2000, and the wait goes on for a player of their type to emerge again.

Abedi Pele blames the pace of the modern game. "If you look at Kaka, he is technically very good, maybe the same talent as [Nigeria's Jay-Jay] Okocha," he said. "But if you look at Okocha, he didn't counterattack. He didn't run very fast. Kaka is somebody who takes the ball on the run. It's a different style of football.

"I would say the more efficient way today is like the Brazilians are playing. They slow the game from the defense, and when they get to the midfield they start passing it very fast. And when the ball gets to Kaka or Robinho, the speed comes from there. Today is a different kind of football."

Which is true, but that doesn't explain why terrific creative players continue to be produced in South America and Europe while the African flow has dried up.

The Nigeria side that won gold at the 1996 Olympics and impressed at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups was a gloriously attacking, inventive team that, with Kanu and Okocha, featured not one but two players who in another age might have been out-and-out playmakers. Okocha retired two years ago at 35, while Kanu struggles on as a 33-year-old who looks a lot older (whatever the truth of the speculation over his "real" age, the fact is that over the past year he has played a full game just three times, two of them in the final month of the season when Portsmouth's financial situation meant it couldn't even fill its bench). There is nobody beyond Kanu, and such is the dearth of creativity in Nigerian football that there was even semi-serious talk of Okocha's coming out of retirement for one last shot at the World Cup this summer.

Okocha suggests the issue is one of evolution, that African football, by trying to introduce the rigor of the European game, has come to overlook some of the things that elevated it in the first place.

"I see that African football is heading away from flair and more toward the team," he said. "Football has changed over the years and there aren't really any playmakers anymore. It's more about tactical work. I see African countries playing more like European ones. That's the only way to become competitive. It's a pity it's at the expense of flair, because fans want to enjoy their money and see good football. If you could combine the flair with goals it would be great."

Again, the obvious rejoinder is that other areas of the world seem to manage the balance.

Perhaps the issue is simply evolutionary, but Tom Vernon, Manchester United's scout in Africa, who runs an academy in the hills above the Ghanaian capital Accra, suggests the problem is partly economic. Given the lack of money available in domestic West African football, a natural stage in any player's career is to move -- as soon as possible -- to a European club. That dynamic of player development is different in Africa than elsewhere. Although most top South American players end up in Europe at some stage, it is possible to have a perfectly good career without leaving, and the players who do move tend to do so later, when they are fully formed, than West African players.

European clubs, Vernon says, have become fixated on a particular type of player -- what he calls "the Papa Bouba Diop template." They have seen the success of the likes of Diop, Michael Essien and Mahamadou Diarra and instinctively look for similarly forceful holding players. That sort of talent moves to Europe early and gets the best coaching, making him most likely to develop into a top player.

Exacerbating the problem is the lack of width in the West African game -- has there ever been a great West African winger? -- something Vernon attributes to the conditions in which most children there learn the game.

"They have a pitch maybe 20 or 30 yards long, and set up two stones a couple of feet apart at either end, often with gutters or ditches marking the boundaries at the sides," he said. "So it's a tiny area. The game becomes all about receiving the ball, turning and driving through the middle."

And so the Papa Bouba Diop template is perpetuated, and Nigeria ends up fielding a central midfield of Yusuf Ayila, d#$% Etuhu and Mikel John Obi, not because it particularly wants to play defensively, but because it has nobody else.

What is needed to break the pattern is an outstanding creative player who will persuade European clubs that it is worth investing beyond the preconception. It is a terrible burden to place on a 21-year-old, but there are signs that Udinese forward Kwadwo Asamoah, who impressed for Ghana as it won the U-20 World Cup last year and then again in the Cup of Nations in January, could be Abedi Pele's heir. Ghana and West Africa need him to be; they need at least part of the old stereotype to become true again.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/s ... z0peys0XFv


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