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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:34 pm 
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I’ve no godfather in Eagles - Lawal


*Tony Ubani, Portugal
Wednesday, January 21, 2004


GARBA Lawal, no doubt, has paid his dues in the Super Eagles.
Yet, he is yet to receive rave reviews either from the press or from

the fans who instead pour scorn on his selection in the team each time

his names appear among the selected.
He has remained like the Roman Soldier, undeterred and moving foward.

During the era of former Dutch Technical Adviser Bonfrere Jo, many

wondered how he managed to make the team.
Some Nigerians went to the extreme in claiming that he made team

because of powerful influential Northern lobby group to ensure he

fills North’s quota in the Super Eagles.
And like a bolt out from the blues, Lawal came to Faro, Portugal and

characteristically picked a jersey for the Nations Cup cracker. What

is the secret?
“It is dedication and hard work. I have always believed that when you

are dedicated to the game and put in your best, you’ll always be

rewarded.
“For me, I call it tactical discipline. Obey the coach and try to find

out what he wants you to do on the pitch.
“There are so many good players who do not obey the coach and lose

their places in the team. No matter how good you are, you must obey

the coach because he is still in charge.
“This is one important lesson many Nigerian players don’t learn,”

Lawal admonished.
Continuing, he said: “I obey the coaches. I do the job as required of

me. I believe in hard work and I’m rewarded for it.”
He also proclaims; “I’m nobody’s boy! I have no godfather in the team

that protects me!”
“For instance, you have seen the type of training programme we undergo

here. Any player who is not in good shape would not make the final

selection, no matter how influential your so-called godfather maybe.
“Even if you came with a note from the President, after watching the

training sessions, such players would opt out on their own rather than

be a mess among his colleagues.
“I’m one player who has been blessed when it comes to avoiding

injuries. The thing is that I’m truthful to myself and my God.
“I still remember the match in Sudan. Coaches Amodu Shaibu and Steven

Keshi, had drawn me in the list for the match but I opted out. They

insisted I must make the trip, but I had an injury and told them I

couldn’t play.
“I know that one is not getting any younger, but my game is still

good. The day my body fails me, I’ll resign and give way to the young

ones. But they must be prepared to fight and wrestle the jersey from

me.”

Impressions

On his impressions on the Tunisia bound side, Lawal believes the level

of discipline would see them victorious.
“As for this team, I’m so elated that I made it. My joy is hinged on

the discipline. We have very young players who are good combined with

the crop of experienced players. The very best in the continent, you’d

say.
“I don’t see any team that would rattle us. Cameroun or Senegal? Yes.

They are going to be eleven against eleven. They are good but we are

equally good
“There is nothing to be afraid of. All of us play in Europe and there

is nothing different from their game.
“They are the ones who should be afraid of Nigeria. No team in Africa

can play us without being afraid.
“It’s not that I don’t respect them. But they are humans just like us.

Future

“Once I quit active football, I will still remain in the team to bring

up younger players.
“You might call it coaching. I want to contribute to the game and see

that the younger players come up and play good football.
“The future of the game is with the youths. I’m not a millionaire, but

I’m not hungry either.
“I thank Allah for his benevolence,” Lawal said.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:35 pm 
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I for one always beleived the man merited his call ups, however, I do think all the players have Godfathers in and around the NFA who advocate for their inclusion. Him being one of the few northernres called up helps his chances of making the team too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:44 pm 
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lawal is a star and i don't believe there is any such thing as godfather in nigerian football


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:45 pm 
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Garba really has my respect for wanting to remain in the game and give back when he quits active soccer.

Well done son!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:32 pm 
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You must have a Godfather or be doing something if you can get called up when clubless.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:00 pm 
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so__so_scandalous wrote:
lawal is a star and i don't believe there is any such thing as godfather in nigerian football


So-so Scandalous,

Now that is a scandalous statement. You obviously dont understand the politics of our football.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:02 pm 
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Guv007 wrote:
You must have a Godfather or be doing something if you can get called up when clubless.


Guv007,

They all have Godfathers, clubless or not ! Its just the way our national team football works.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:06 pm 
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Garba's Godfather had a deal with Koln's goalie and ya know what happened next,Lawal scores 2 thats a perfect excuse for this story :mrgreen: :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:08 pm 
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Solowe wrote:
so__so_scandalous wrote:
lawal is a star and i don't believe there is any such thing as godfather in nigerian football


So-so Scandalous,

Now that is a scandalous statement. You obviously dont understand the politics of our football.



proof? These unsubstantiated statements do more damage to our game than anything else even more damage than maladministration


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:08 pm 
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One has to give the guy props. He is one strong guy.

I see him outlasting all his original Ogas in the national team!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:14 pm 
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"You must have a Godfather or be doing something if you can get called up when clubless."

Guv007:

While I cannot read the coaches mind, I would guess that
Lawal was called up because of:

1. His track record on the National Team;

2. The belief that we need natural left-footers
for the left-side of mid-field

3. The fact that there is no shining star who has
claimed the position in left mid-field.
Opabunmi and Ekwueme may lay some claim
to that position but evidently not enough
to displace Lawal - as yet.

In any case, the call-up of Lawal or TJ is nothing new.
Ikpeba and Adepoju are 2 clear examples of players who
were past their prime and yet included in the final 22
of the Nations Cup 2002 and World Cup 2002. Most
coaches have some inherent belief in the need for
veterans with track record for competitions.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:35 am 
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The only track record that Garba Lawal has, is one of mediocrity and of being a short-one anytime he is on the field for Nigeria

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:55 am 
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"The only track record that Garba Lawal has, is one of mediocrity and of being a short-one anytime he is on the field for Nigeria"

Anikulapo:

And who would you suggest should have replaced Lawal
on the left side of the SE team during the period 1997-2002?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:33 am 
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I could pour out five or six players, but what's the use.....If you think that Garba is the best we have to offer then I guess you are entitled to your opinion but will unfortunately be among a very, very small minority

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"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....

"“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

MLK.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:17 am 
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I like this player-No flashy skills but very hardworking-plays to instructions like he said-what more do we want from a player

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:06 pm 
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...despite all the criticism he gets...you have to admit that the guy does not have any "Big Man-nism" about him. He just quietly gets on with the job without any drama.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:59 pm 
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so__so_scandalous wrote:
Solowe wrote:
so__so_scandalous wrote:
lawal is a star and i don't believe there is any such thing as godfather in nigerian football


So-so Scandalous,

Now that is a scandalous statement. You obviously dont understand the politics of our football.



proof? These unsubstantiated statements do more damage to our game than anything else even more damage than maladministration


scandalous,

I can tell you authoritatively that players actually PAY to get invitations to the national team. And not just the coaches. The NFA boss gets most of the booty.

You cant prove this, but it is true

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:45 pm 
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Anikulapo:

" could pour out five or six players, but what's the use.....If you think that Garba is the best we have to offer then I guess you are entitled to your opinion but will unfortunately be among a very, very small minority"

Bro. I'm talking about the period from 1997-2001.
Am I among the minority who thinks he was a standout
during this period?

In any case, please list the 5 or 6 players that you have
in mind. It's always good to see what others are
thinking about.

BTW, I do agree that on current form and due to the
fact that he was clubless, Lawal may not have
meritted an invite to Faro. However, like I said previously,
track record sometimes compensates for current
shortcomings and then you get to prove yourself
in camp.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:06 pm 
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Garba Lawal deserves to be in the team because we need his work ethics to rub off on some of the newcomers. Veterans like Okocha and Kanu are very poor examples for the youngies. They can't even report to camp on time.

Lawal has said it all. Listen to and obey the coaches. Its that simple.

God bless garba Lawal. We need his dedication and hardwork to achieve anything meaningful.

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