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 Post subject: Goalkeeping situation
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:11 pm 
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http://orientalnewsng.com/2018/03/getti ... 18-part-1/

Cup coming up in Russia later on in the year, perhaps now is the time to take a look at the areas where the team is in dire need of beefing up.

Although the team performed very well during the qualifiers, by winning comfortably the group that was labelled the group of death at the time, since it featured four African soccer power houses comprising of the current African Cup of Nations champion, the Cameroon in addition to past winners Zambia, Algeria and Nigeria. Nevertheless, for the team to be able to compete at the Mundial in Russia, there is still a lot of room for improvements. It is one thing to breeze through the African qualifiers, it is a different ball game entirely when it comes to facing the best teams in the world in Russia. We have managed to find ourselves in another group of death , this time made up of of Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, we have our work well cut out come June in Russia.

A number of areas have been identified where the team needs improvement in personnel and perhaps the most glaring one, is in the goalkeeping department. With the retirement of Vincent Enyeama, and followed by the unavailability of Carl Ikeme, who is currently recovering from a major illness that has sidelined him from action, a big void was created in that department as a result. At the time when Vincent retired from the national team, we had the luxury of Carl who slotted in effortlessly, but his illness has dealt a blow to the team and created a headache for the handlers of the team as a result. Losing two quality keepers in such quick succession would hurt the aspirations of any team.

Pressed to the wall, the team tried to make do with Daniel Akpeyi one of the budding keepers who plies his trade with the Chippa United football club in South Africa, but his performance against South Africa in the qualifiers of the African nations cup left him badly exposed and would cost both himself and the nation dearly. The handlers turned to another keeper in the person of Ezenwa who plays on the local scene for Ifeanyi Uba FC. And in what looked like a gamble at that time paid off, he proved his mettle against the dreaded Cameroonians over the two delicate World Cup qualifiers matches played in Uyo and Yaounde. He then went on to man the post for the rest of the world cup qualifiers, featuring in the matches against Zambia and Algeria while acquitting himself very well. He also manned the post during the CHAN competition. With these he managed to bring himself into national reckoning.

In these matches he demonstrated his ability as a good shot stopper, his athleticism served him very well in the matches as he handled everything thrown at him very well. Perhaps what stood out against him as a weakness was his lack of good timing when it comes to coming out for clearances. On one of such moments he conceded a needless penalty in Yaounde against Cameroon, when he made a rash judgment which ended with him upending a Cameroon player in the box. While the potentials are there, however there were noticeable rough edges around his game. While this can be dealt with over time with exposure to more international matches and good training programme, the problem the team and indeed the nation is faced with right now is lack of time.

It is in the light of this that there were still concerns about his quality and this has led to calls for Enyeama to change his mind by calling off his retirement, a position which the handlers of the team seem to be open to. The team Manager Rohr it was reported made overtures to Enyeama on this issue, but so far Enyeama has stuck to his retirement plans. In fairness to him, a couple of issues surrounding his match fitness has not made it easy for him to make up his mind. It is being reported however that the door remains open should he decide to change his mind.

While the Enyeama route appears to be shut, howbeit for now, the Super Eagles handlers however have since gone after a young 19 year old keeper by name Francis Uzoho who plies his trade for the Deportivo La Coruna B team. He made his debut for the Super Eagles in the friendly against Argentina by coming in for Daniel Akpeyi who once again managed to make a harsh job of the opportunity given to him to redeem himself. Uzoho did just enough to catch the attention of the team handlers and the fans with the calmness he brought to the defence as the team went on to beat Argentina. What Uzoho had going in his favour is his height and calmness in goal. At 6’ 5’’ he is able to command his aerial territory easily, also he comes with decent ball handling and good distribution of the ball.

But he is lacking in experience, especially at this level of the game and this became more glaring after the two friendlies against Poland and Serbia. Although his performance was decent over the two matches, nevertheless there were moments when his lack of experience reared its head. In both games, it took him some time to settle down and there were shaky moments which could prove costly in a more competitive condition. When you go to the World Cup, this is a party for the best in the game from around the world, it is hardly a place for rookies, it is a place where mistakes are punished. It stands to be seen therefore how the handlers of the team would help the lad to overcome this within the timeframe before the big event in Russia. This too has not gone unnoticed to the fans and once again has led to the clamour for Enyeama.

The team is now faced with a major dilemma, to stick with Ezenwa or Uzoho who appear to be in the pole position for the number one shirt, or perhaps continue to hold out in the hope that Enyeama would not only get fit in time for the World Cup, but would also come out of retirement to serve his Motherland in her hour of need. Whichever way the dice is thrown, the team is faced with a major problem in this department of the team. To go with either of Ezenwa or Uzoho leaves the team at the mercy of the shortcomings highlighted earlier on, these cannot be simply wished away nor dealt with overnight. Now while it is possible to manage these shortcomings through the training programmes the handlers might put in place, however in this game and at this level, teams look out for these weaknesses in the opposing teams that they might exploit them, are we willing to take this gamble?

On the other hand, to go with Enyeama, if at all he decides to come out of retirement gives to the team, the benefit of his vast experience having attended and acquitted himself well at the 2002, 2010 and the 2014 editions of the tournament. But there is also a huge risk involved with his option, his fitness! He has been out of action for close to a season or more having lost his position in his team and injury. He has been working very hard to get back to full fitness and has played a couple of matches for his team, nevertheless the road to full fitness for ........

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:57 pm 
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You have summarized our situation with the goalies. This is not a good position for our SE to be in going into the world cup. It is now about picking the lowest risk keeper and living with the consequences of our choice and the outcome.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Robotnik wrote:
You have summarized our situation with the goalies. This is not a good position for our SE to be in going into the world cup. It is now about picking the lowest risk keeper and living with the consequences of our choice and the outcome.


Nots it’s not about picking the lowest risk goalie, that kind of thinking doesn’t fit the into any plan. We find ourselves in this situation because of the unfortunate illness of Ikeme and not because of a lack of planning. Losing an undisputed first choice goalie is a tough hit to any team that hopes to reach its full potential. As a result we find ourselves in a situation where there’re only 2 options.

1, Are we picking a goalie that can take us as far as the team talent suggests?
If the plan is to get the bro the quarters and beyond, the only real option is Enyeama. He has the talent and experience but is match rusty. The Nff and Rohr will have to convince him to come back and Put him on a fast rack to fitness and readiness. The article suggests the Nff has left the door open.

2, Are we looking to the future?

In this case Uzoho is the only option. He has the talent but lacks the experience. Frankly, I can’t remember a teenager in goal past the first rd of the wc.

That’s it and that’s all.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:21 pm 
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oloye wrote:
http://orientalnewsng.com/2018/03/getting-the-team-right-for-russia-2018-part-1/

Cup coming up in Russia later on in the year, perhaps now is the time to take a look at the areas where the team is in dire need of beefing up.

Although the team performed very well during the qualifiers, by winning comfortably the group that was labelled the group of death at the time, since it featured four African soccer power houses comprising of the current African Cup of Nations champion, the Cameroon in addition to past winners Zambia, Algeria and Nigeria. Nevertheless, for the team to be able to compete at the Mundial in Russia, there is still a lot of room for improvements. It is one thing to breeze through the African qualifiers, it is a different ball game entirely when it comes to facing the best teams in the world in Russia. We have managed to find ourselves in another group of death , this time made up of of Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, we have our work well cut out come June in Russia.

A number of areas have been identified where the team needs improvement in personnel and perhaps the most glaring one, is in the goalkeeping department. With the retirement of Vincent Enyeama, and followed by the unavailability of Carl Ikeme, who is currently recovering from a major illness that has sidelined him from action, a big void was created in that department as a result. At the time when Vincent retired from the national team, we had the luxury of Carl who slotted in effortlessly, but his illness has dealt a blow to the team and created a headache for the handlers of the team as a result. Losing two quality keepers in such quick succession would hurt the aspirations of any team.

Pressed to the wall, the team tried to make do with Daniel Akpeyi one of the budding keepers who plies his trade with the Chippa United football club in South Africa, but his performance against South Africa in the qualifiers of the African nations cup left him badly exposed and would cost both himself and the nation dearly. The handlers turned to another keeper in the person of Ezenwa who plays on the local scene for Ifeanyi Uba FC. And in what looked like a gamble at that time paid off, he proved his mettle against the dreaded Cameroonians over the two delicate World Cup qualifiers matches played in Uyo and Yaounde. He then went on to man the post for the rest of the world cup qualifiers, featuring in the matches against Zambia and Algeria while acquitting himself very well. He also manned the post during the CHAN competition. With these he managed to bring himself into national reckoning.

In these matches he demonstrated his ability as a good shot stopper, his athleticism served him very well in the matches as he handled everything thrown at him very well. Perhaps what stood out against him as a weakness was his lack of good timing when it comes to coming out for clearances. On one of such moments he conceded a needless penalty in Yaounde against Cameroon, when he made a rash judgment which ended with him upending a Cameroon player in the box. While the potentials are there, however there were noticeable rough edges around his game. While this can be dealt with over time with exposure to more international matches and good training programme, the problem the team and indeed the nation is faced with right now is lack of time.

It is in the light of this that there were still concerns about his quality and this has led to calls for Enyeama to change his mind by calling off his retirement, a position which the handlers of the team seem to be open to. The team Manager Rohr it was reported made overtures to Enyeama on this issue, but so far Enyeama has stuck to his retirement plans. In fairness to him, a couple of issues surrounding his match fitness has not made it easy for him to make up his mind. It is being reported however that the door remains open should he decide to change his mind.

While the Enyeama route appears to be shut, howbeit for now, the Super Eagles handlers however have since gone after a young 19 year old keeper by name Francis Uzoho who plies his trade for the Deportivo La Coruna B team. He made his debut for the Super Eagles in the friendly against Argentina by coming in for Daniel Akpeyi who once again managed to make a harsh job of the opportunity given to him to redeem himself. Uzoho did just enough to catch the attention of the team handlers and the fans with the calmness he brought to the defence as the team went on to beat Argentina. What Uzoho had going in his favour is his height and calmness in goal. At 6’ 5’’ he is able to command his aerial territory easily, also he comes with decent ball handling and good distribution of the ball.

But he is lacking in experience, especially at this level of the game and this became more glaring after the two friendlies against Poland and Serbia. Although his performance was decent over the two matches, nevertheless there were moments when his lack of experience reared its head. In both games, it took him some time to settle down and there were shaky moments which could prove costly in a more competitive condition. When you go to the World Cup, this is a party for the best in the game from around the world, it is hardly a place for rookies, it is a place where mistakes are punished. It stands to be seen therefore how the handlers of the team would help the lad to overcome this within the timeframe before the big event in Russia. This too has not gone unnoticed to the fans and once again has led to the clamour for Enyeama.

The team is now faced with a major dilemma, to stick with Ezenwa or Uzoho who appear to be in the pole position for the number one shirt, or perhaps continue to hold out in the hope that Enyeama would not only get fit in time for the World Cup, but would also come out of retirement to serve his Motherland in her hour of need. Whichever way the dice is thrown, the team is faced with a major problem in this department of the team. To go with either of Ezenwa or Uzoho leaves the team at the mercy of the shortcomings highlighted earlier on, these cannot be simply wished away nor dealt with overnight. Now while it is possible to manage these shortcomings through the training programmes the handlers might put in place, however in this game and at this level, teams look out for these weaknesses in the opposing teams that they might exploit them, are we willing to take this gamble?

On the other hand, to go with Enyeama, if at all he decides to come out of retirement gives to the team, the benefit of his vast experience having attended and acquitted himself well at the 2002, 2010 and the 2014 editions of the tournament. But there is also a huge risk involved with his option, his fitness! He has been out of action for close to a season or more having lost his position in his team and injury. He has been working very hard to get back to full fitness and has played a couple of matches for his team, nevertheless the road to full fitness for ........
Ok. Everybody in this forum is already aware of what you are saying. What solution are you proffering? Or you just want to see yourself write long essay. Well done and brilliantly written.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:28 pm 
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This was Enyeama training earlier today. Hope he gets the call and is on the next list in May. If he makes it, definitely a plus for the team.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:47 pm 
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Obong wrote:
This was Enyeama training earlier today. Hope he gets the call and is on the next list in May. If he makes it, definitely a plus for the team.


Is he interested to play for SE?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:54 am 
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^^He is getting tired to easily. I dey fia lol


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:28 am 
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Obong wrote:
This was Enyeama training earlier today. Hope he gets the call and is on the next list in May. If he makes it, definitely a plus for the team.




Vince is teasing us mein. :laugh:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:42 am 
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Hmmm, dis wahala wey we get hard-oo!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:13 am 
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EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Robotnik wrote:
You have summarized our situation with the goalies. This is not a good position for our SE to be in going into the world cup. It is now about picking the lowest risk keeper and living with the consequences of our choice and the outcome.


Nots it’s not about picking the lowest risk goalie, that kind of thinking doesn’t fit the into any plan. We find ourselves in this situation because of the unfortunate illness of Ikeme and not because of a lack of planning. Losing an undisputed first choice goalie is a tough hit to any team that hopes to reach its full potential. As a result we find ourselves in a situation where there’re only 2 options.

1, Are we picking a goalie that can take us as far as the team talent suggests?
If the plan is to get the bro the quarters and beyond, the only real option is Enyeama. He has the talent and experience but is match rusty. The Nff and Rohr will have to convince him to come back and Put him on a fast rack to fitness and readiness. The article suggests the Nff has left the door open.

2, Are we looking to the future?

In this case Uzoho is the only option. He has the talent but lacks the experience. Frankly, I can’t remember a teenager in goal past the first rd of the wc.

That’s it and that’s all.



What future are you talking about?.....So WC is where you experiment abi?....uzoho who couldn't coordinate himself during friendlies would be consume by the big stage....with that dude in goal....you are sure of conceding at least 3 goals in the first 15 minutes.
I will rather go with Ezenwa who is already established and far more experienced....yes he has some weaknesses but comparing him to a dude whose height is the only plus will be extra stupid.
@Oloye pls tell Kongi what it means to play in a big stage like WC.
We dey play with fire walahi

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:30 am 
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Mr Obong, has Enyeama indicated he is ready to play for SE? Is he unretired?

Please give us a clear answer here and you seem to be his biggest advocate..

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:16 am 
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EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Obong wrote:
This was Enyeama training earlier today. Hope he gets the call and is on the next list in May. If he makes it, definitely a plus for the team.




Vince is teasing us mein. :laugh:



Why is he training with his church deacons?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:41 am 
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dhoney wrote:
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Robotnik wrote:
You have summarized our situation with the goalies. This is not a good position for our SE to be in going into the world cup. It is now about picking the lowest risk keeper and living with the consequences of our choice and the outcome.


Nots it’s not about picking the lowest risk goalie, that kind of thinking doesn’t fit the into any plan. We find ourselves in this situation because of the unfortunate illness of Ikeme and not because of a lack of planning. Losing an undisputed first choice goalie is a tough hit to any team that hopes to reach its full potential. As a result we find ourselves in a situation where there’re only 2 options.

1, Are we picking a goalie that can take us as far as the team talent suggests?
If the plan is to get the bro the quarters and beyond, the only real option is Enyeama. He has the talent and experience but is match rusty. The Nff and Rohr will have to convince him to come back and Put him on a fast rack to fitness and readiness. The article suggests the Nff has left the door open.

2, Are we looking to the future?

In this case Uzoho is the only option. He has the talent but lacks the experience. Frankly, I can’t remember a teenager in goal past the first rd of the wc.

That’s it and that’s all.



What future are you talking about?.....So WC is where you experiment abi?....uzoho who couldn't coordinate himself during friendlies would be consume by the big stage....with that dude in goal....you are sure of conceding at least 3 goals in the first 15 minutes.
I will rather go with Ezenwa who is already established and far more experienced....yes he has some weaknesses but comparing him to a dude whose height is the only plus will be extra stupid.
@Oloye pls tell Kongi what it means to play in a big stage like WC.
We dey play with fire walahi


if option 2 is no good then option 1 is the only answer. replacing a goalie that will leak 3 goals in 15min with one that'll leak 2 in 15 min is not a safe plan.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:56 am 
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Vinny is not short o. He is way above average, not sure why thought him of average height.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:36 am 
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Enyeama too should help and call off his retirement.
True Nigerian style we will argue from now till June and be happy about it when he makes his first save.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:51 am 
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Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:58 am 
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Shownoja wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.

That game vs England, my friend was a dead rubber or what ever they call it these days


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:22 am 
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Shownoja wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.
As long as you don't cry - or worse, become abusive - if and when (God forbid) the young man really fumbles on the big stage due to no fault of his own.
I know my people.
All this 'understanding' and magnanimity will be thrown right out the window should things not go to plan. We already saw the first signs of typical Naija behaviour towards Rohr after the Serbia defeat - and that was just a meaningless friendly. :idea:

By the way, motivation and psychology are no substitute for good old experience.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Shownoja wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.


He manned the post after we were already out of the competition.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:40 pm 
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eyan wrote:
Shownoja wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.


He manned the post after we were already out of the competition.

Yes he did, but still no one saw the jitters and the inexperience on display by Uzoho in what was a friendly. I believe Enyeama was an Eyimba tested goalie before the WC. I don't think we can really compare the two....Enyeama had the privilege of spending more time around the SE camp than Uzoho and age wise... I think he still has more experience at senior level football.
Finally I think the mentality of players also count, I have seen players who take longer to bed in, while others even at such a tender age fit in and rise easily to the occasion. Case in question was Michael Owen...., even our own Femi Opabunmi who incidentally was on the 2002 team.

I suppose my point is, no matter how tempted we are trying to make comparisons, there still remains individual attributes which eaxh player have that cannot be compared.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:42 pm 
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oloye wrote:
eyan wrote:
Shownoja wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what experience Enyeama had in 2002 when he manned the post in a World Cup game. I will pin my mast with Uzoho. Get him a shrink or motivator for his early jitters and let him express himself. There is no point crying now. He has the talent to excel.


He manned the post after we were already out of the competition.

Yes he did, but still no one saw the jitters and the inexperience on display by Uzoho in what was a friendly. I believe Enyeama was an Eyimba tested goalie before the WC. I don't think we can really compare the two....Enyeama had the privilege of spending more time around the SE camp than Uzoho and age wise... I think he still has more experience at senior level football.
Finally I think the mentality of players also count, I have seen players who take longer to bed in, while others even at such a tender age fit in and rise easily to the occasion. Case in question was Michael Owen...., even our own Femi Opabunmi who incidentally was on the 2002 team.

I suppose my point is, no matter how tempted we are trying to make comparisons, there still remains individual attributes which eaxh player have that cannot be compared.

True. If you remember Ejide played in most of our friendlies prior to the WC 02. You cld see the fear and jitters in him (Ejide). Unlike Enyeama who was composed when given a chance. No wonder he was chosen ahead of Ejide against England. Like u said, Uzoho doesnt exhibit that Eyeama type of confidence. In my own opinion, I will choose Ezenwa ahead of Uzoho. Uzoho is not ready for this wc.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:57 pm 
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All the years Enyema was manning our goal post what did we really accomplish apart from serendipitous victory in AFCON 2013 which would be mostly attributed to Mikel's bravura performance during the the tournament. When SE missed 2006 World Cup it was definitely the fault of Enyema who let a soft ball passed by. Yes he was good keeper but not an excellent one and invariable is not the panacea to SE problem right now. I suggest we should swin and drown with the goalkeepers we have available right now . Lets swallow the hot bullet take our chances . It is time we take up the gauntlet and let Enyema moves on. Heartily I have never seen Enyema as a highly dependable and realiable goalkeeper that can save us from our current predicament.
Lack of scoring opportunities is more calamitious to this team than goalkeeping debacles. That invariably needs far more attention than this imaginary goalkeeping problem . I have uttermost confidence that Uzoho will rise up to the occasion and excell beyond the expectations of many people. Believe it or not I don't envisage our goal keeping department as our soft spot in spite of deep concern expressed by many so called pundits in this forum. Take it this bank if we invite Enyema back to this team to mann our post we will live to regret it. We should not regurgitate our vomit. A word is enough for the wise.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:02 pm 
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I suspect that I am in the minority (possibly a minority of one!) but I will punt for Ezenwa. From what I saw at the friendlies Uzoho's timing is flawed. He is so uncertain even to the point of making him freeze instead of going towards the ball and I fear that teams will target that weakness, knowing that this information is already in the public domain . Uzoho has shown he is a decent shot stopper and he handled the few crosses that came his way very well. But on account of his age, inexperience and hesitance, I will put Ezenwa in instead. Uzoho is our likely man for the future post-WC, subject to Ikeme's return.


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