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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Just reading through The Yemster's thread on Ighalo and how he was found not fit for purpose.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=289712
Then the fact began hitting home real hard that we really haven't had a true world class striker since the days of Rashidi Yekini. We seriously paid the price in Russia.

It makes me wonder what it was about Yekini that really made him what he was.
Its hard to find anything peculiar about him yet he turned out to be a very special player.
1. Yekini was a local 20-year-old player that went from IICC/Abiola Babes to Africa Sports in Ivory Coast.
2. From there, age 27 he moved on to Portugal, new environment, language and culture. Probably very few Nigerians out there.
3. At Vitoria Setubal where he scored 90 goals in 114 appearances. They were a lowly club, probably not even mid table
4. Didn't play for any youth teams or benefit from anything particularly formal in his football education in his early years
5. He wasn't a particularly educated man and came from an extremely humble background.

So what was sit about him that we have failed to find ever since. His physique? His brain? His attitude? The era? His coaches?

Most footballing countries seem to produce top quality strikers on a fairly regular basis but ours has been missing for far too long. I think Aiyegbeni was our closest striker to him by way of potency but even he was a shadow of himself in the GWG.

Isaac Success isn't living up to expectations and Osimhien we are still waiting for with baited breath.
Even England who we love to disparage for sentimental reasons have produced generational greats like Gary Linker, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and now Harry Kane is doing his own bit.

So what are we missing and what's the secret to Yekini?
Or was it just a freak aberration? Luck maybe?

We badly needed a half decent striker in Russia and that was the difference between first round and second round.

The 'Zero Shots On Target' thread was about our dearth of strikers and not necessarily about just one man or one team.

I think now we know that it WAS (and still is) actually a problem which too many people were quick to dismiss. :idea:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Yekini was NOT world class!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:05 pm 
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cic old boy wrote:
Yekini was NOT world class!
How can you say Yekini was not world class but insist that Odegbami was?
Basically, Yekini delivered on the international stage and if you are saying that African opposition doesn't count then you cannot legitimately claim Odegbami was world class as you have insisted over the decades. :taunt:

But if you insist on disputing the definition of 'world class' i am willing to downgrade the term to 'international class'.
Lets not get caught up in definitions.
This is about our dearth of top, international-class strikers. :taunt:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:22 pm 
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I don't think it is fair to compare Ighalo's (or any other striker's) performance in the WORLD CUP with Yekini's performance at lower levels. At the World Cup, Yekini was not great too, in fact I remember vividly the sitter he missed against Italy after Emenalo had put it on a plate for him. Yekini took us to the 1994 WC with his goals in the qualifiers and brought us back with his misses in the big dance. This may be controversial but I believe Nigeria has never had a true world class player, you know a Real Madrid / Barca / Bayern level player, a top 10 WPOY nominee. Not Yekini, not Jayjay, not Kanu.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Damunk wrote:
How can you say Yekini was not world class but insist that Odegbami was?
Basically, Yekini delivered on the international stage and if you are saying that African opposition doesn't count then you cannot legitimately claim Odegbami was world class as you have insisted over the decades. :taunt:

But if you insist on disputing the definition of 'world class' i am willing to downgrade the term to 'international class'.
Lets not get caught up in definitions.
This is about our dearth of top, international-class strikers. :taunt:

Yekini didn't have the talent that Odegbami had in one nostril hair. Odegbami delivered at the international stage - best player at the ANC in 1980.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:42 pm 
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cic old boy wrote:
Yekini was NOT world class!


Yet, he constantly put in World Class performances, for club and country, against the best players in the world!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:46 pm 
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ukwala wrote:
I don't think it is fair to compare Ighalo's (or any other striker's) performance in the WORLD CUP with Yekini's performance at lower levels. At the World Cup, Yekini was not great too, in fact I remember vividly the sitter he missed against Italy after Emenalo had put it on a plate for him. Yekini took us to the 1994 WC with his goals in the qualifiers and brought us back with his misses in the big dance. This may be controversial but I believe Nigeria has never had a true world class player, you know a Real Madrid / Barca / Bayern level player, a top 10 WPOY nominee. Not Yekini, not Jayjay, not Kanu.
Ukwala, forget the 'world class' tag for a moment.
He scored 38 goals in 57 appearances for Nigeria.
That's a goal ratio of 0.67.
In short, he scored two goals in every three games he played for the country.

By comparison with other African greats, George Weah scored 22 goals in 60 appearances for Liberia (goal ratio 0.37) and Samuel Etoo scored 58 goals in 118 appearances for Cameroun (goal ratio 0.47). Our own Odegbami scored 22 goals in 47 SE appearance, a goal ratio of 0.47

So do you really want to diminish these facts - African arena or not?
By the time he played in France '98 Yekini was way past his peak which was really between 1990-1994.
But he was still the best we had at the time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:50 pm 
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World Cup came too late for Keshi, Yekini and Rufai.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Anyway, this thread isn't about who was the greatest this or that, but what it was about Yekini that made him so successful for NIGERIA, and why we have failed to produce his quality of striker ever since.
Its almost 25 years now and counting...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:56 pm 
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The problem is that street football in Nigeria deemphasizes scoring real life big pitch goals for "monkey post " type goals. I use to watch the Arsenal U-9 in the Bucks area from my window and these kids are playing with proper posts and facing real goalkeepers. I remember playing "set" and "choosing" with no proper post and sometimes no goalkeepers (a fi Olorun So le) football. It means we never really honed our shooting, avoiding goalkeepers, scoring awareness skills. Overall, Nigeria needs a deep dive on football development starting from primary schools, PE teachers, youth games/leagues etc with proper emphasis on technical skills.

Here in England, the country developed this our way thing and changed from booting the ball upfield to passing out from the back. They also decided they need to take youth tournaments seriously and developed a curriculum across the country to teach kids football and encouraged Futsal. The result - they are World U-17 and U-20 champions. Nigeria needs a similar approach.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:09 pm 
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ukwala wrote:
I don't think it is fair to compare Ighalo's (or any other striker's) performance in the WORLD CUP with Yekini's performance at lower levels. At the World Cup, Yekini was not great too, in fact I remember vividly the sitter he missed against Italy after Emenalo had put it on a plate for him. Yekini took us to the 1994 WC with his goals in the qualifiers and brought us back with his misses in the big dance. This may be controversial but I believe Nigeria has never had a true world class player, you know a Real Madrid / Barca / Bayern level player, a top 10 WPOY nominee. Not Yekini, not Jayjay, not Kanu.


He shd have hammered the ball one time instead trying to control it. Unlike Ighalo who played the ball from an open net to the corner flag. I don't know how you compare the two?


Last edited by eyan on Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Again, the point of a thread is missed by people who should know better :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Damunk wrote:
ukwala wrote:
I don't think it is fair to compare Ighalo's (or any other striker's) performance in the WORLD CUP with Yekini's performance at lower levels. At the World Cup, Yekini was not great too, in fact I remember vividly the sitter he missed against Italy after Emenalo had put it on a plate for him. Yekini took us to the 1994 WC with his goals in the qualifiers and brought us back with his misses in the big dance. This may be controversial but I believe Nigeria has never had a true world class player, you know a Real Madrid / Barca / Bayern level player, a top 10 WPOY nominee. Not Yekini, not Jayjay, not Kanu.
Ukwala, forget the 'world class' tag for a moment.
He scored 38 goals in 57 appearances for Nigeria.
That's a goal ratio of 0.67.
In short, he scored two goals in every three games he played for the country.

By comparison with other African greats, George Weah scored 22 goals in 60 appearances for Liberia (goal ratio 0.37) and Samuel Etoo scored 58 goals in 118 appearances for Cameroun (goal ratio 0.47). Our own Odegbami scored 22 goals in 47 SE appearance, a goal ratio of 0.47

So do you really want to diminish these facts - African arena or not?
By the time he played in France '98 Yekini was way past his peak which was really between 1990-1994.
But he was still the best we had at the time.

:lol: :lol: We are who we are.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:13 pm 
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GG of G wrote:
The problem is that street football in Nigeria deemphasizes scoring real life big pitch goals for "monkey post " type goals. I use to watch the Arsenal U-9 in the Bucks area from my window and these kids are playing with proper posts and facing real goalkeepers. I remember playing "set" and "choosing" with no proper post and sometimes no goalkeepers (a fi Olorun So le) football. It means we never really honed our shooting, avoiding goalkeepers, scoring awareness skills. Overall, Nigeria needs a deep dive on football development starting from primary schools, PE teachers, youth games/leagues etc with proper emphasis on technical skills.

Here in England, the country developed this our way thing and changed from booting the ball upfield to passing out from the back. They also decided they need to take youth tournaments seriously and developed a curriculum across the country to teach kids football and encouraged Futsal. The result - they are World U-17 and U-20 champions. Nigeria needs a similar approach.
Interesting point there.
The 'monkey post factor' might be worth looking into.
In primary school out here in the UK, I remember our school team's players had special 'shooting' games in which scoring meant being able to hit a ball into a small elevated round net mounted on the wall. The game was not a stop and shoot system but continuous play. So not only did you have to hit the net but you'd try and angle the rebound to make it difficult for the opposing team's kicker to hit the net esp if the angle was too steep or too far away.
The shooting accuracy was honed and I was one of the best at it. By the time I got into sec school in Naija, I was known for passing and shooting accuracy but was short on physical strength and individual dribbling skills (which were coached out of me at an early age by the typical English coaches :roll: ).

That monkey post thing might be worth analyzing and addressing on a national football policy level. :thumb:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:14 pm 
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Damunk wrote:
The 'Zero Shots On Target' thread was about our dearth of strikers and not necessarily about just one man or one team.

I think now we know that it WAS (and still is) actually a problem which too many people were quick to dismiss. :idea:

That thread was not dismissed - you were only asked if it was a 'pattern' with the team when you opened it based on a specific match.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:20 pm 
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I watched him in Dallas (Cotton bowl)... he had an eye for scoring, nothing else. Wasn't the greatest dribbler or passer.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:25 pm 
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To the topic, I love how Yekini's profile was described. He didn't pass through any special football academy or any of the organized environments of his early years. Yet, those who saw him for the first time when the then IICC Shooting Stars were preparing for 1984 African Cup of Champions during a friendly against Ashanti Kotoko of Ghana knew right away that the young, thin, tall, ebony black striker just acquired from UNTL FC of Kaduna was a very special talent. He was described as raw but with a strange hunger and eye for goal. He was his own No.1 critic. Banging his head, kicking himself after every single wrong pass, missed goal attempt, mistimed runs into offside position - IICC got a true battler leading the line.

The icing on the cake was his determination to get better, to sharpen the rough edges, to be the very best. His own training starts after the official club training - a practice he continued even after retirement from football. His methods of perfecting his bulala shots were unorthodox but the results showed with his outstanding statistics. He is not world class until you have to play against him then you know better after 90 minutes of hell marking him out of the game. There is no point going through the details of his exploits from IICC, to Abiola Babes and the more familiar stories at Ivory Coast and then Europe.

Another fascinating thing about him was when he retired back to the Nigerian league and scored a hat-trick for Gateway FC of Abeokuta at around the age of 40. That was like good 20 years after he showed up unheralded in Ibadan. Hat-trick? Nigerian league?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Ogolo Makambo wrote:
I watched him in Dallas (Cotton bowl)... he had an eye for scoring, nothing else. Wasn't the greatest dribbler or passer.

Yes, football ain't that complicated. There is a reason why he scored 90 goals in 114 appearances for a lowly mid-table club - he was a striker.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:36 pm 
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OBAGOAL was as good as YEKINI I just don’t know what happened to that guy. Maybe, we should stop encouraging players dancing around in camp


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:38 pm 
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In secondary school, there was a guy we used to call Hat trick.
The bobo was a physical beast, at least 6ft tall, all muscle. He could run 100m in 10 seconds and it didnt matter how many people you put around him, he would score with his head or feet, even his yansh when it was needed. Hat-trick was not known for his passing or football IQ. He just had a knack for scoring goals.

Unfortunately Hat trick also liked to smoke too much, which ruined his natural athletic abilities and stopped him from true greatness.

Yekini reminds me of Hat-trick in so many ways, especially his physicality on the ball and his natural goal scoring instincts. We have had other natural goal scorers in the Super eagles, but never one that has combined the speed, strength and talent of the great one.

He is solely missed.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:45 pm 
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Damunk wrote:
GG of G wrote:
The problem is that street football in Nigeria deemphasizes scoring real life big pitch goals for "monkey post " type goals. I use to watch the Arsenal U-9 in the Bucks area from my window and these kids are playing with proper posts and facing real goalkeepers. I remember playing "set" and "choosing" with no proper post and sometimes no goalkeepers (a fi Olorun So le) football. It means we never really honed our shooting, avoiding goalkeepers, scoring awareness skills. Overall, Nigeria needs a deep dive on football development starting from primary schools, PE teachers, youth games/leagues etc with proper emphasis on technical skills.

Here in England, the country developed this our way thing and changed from booting the ball upfield to passing out from the back. They also decided they need to take youth tournaments seriously and developed a curriculum across the country to teach kids football and encouraged Futsal. The result - they are World U-17 and U-20 champions. Nigeria needs a similar approach.
Interesting point there.
The 'monkey post factor' might be worth looking into.
In primary school out here in the UK, I remember our school team's players had special 'shooting' games in which scoring meant being able to hit a ball into a small elevated round net mounted on the wall. The game was not a stop and shoot system but continuous play. So not only did you have to hit the net but you'd try and angle the rebound to make it difficult for the opposing team's kicker to hit the net esp if the angle was too steep or too far away.
The shooting accuracy was honed and I was one of the best at it. By the time I got into sec school in Naija, I was known for passing and shooting accuracy but was short on physical strength and individual dribbling skills (which were coached out of me at an early age by the typical English coaches :roll: ).

That monkey post thing might be worth analyzing and addressing on a national football policy level. :thumb:


:agree: :agree: :agree:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:55 pm 
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YemiBrazil wrote:
Damunk wrote:
The 'Zero Shots On Target' thread was about our dearth of strikers and not necessarily about just one man or one team.

I think now we know that it WAS (and still is) actually a problem which too many people were quick to dismiss. :idea:

That thread was not dismissed - you were only asked if it was a 'pattern' with the team when you opened it based on a specific match.
YB, I was asking whether the problems that manifested in that game were an indication of problems for the team in the immediate future.
You saw the responses. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:29 pm 
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Maybe we need to develop football in all parts of Nigeria and get everybody involved. The best striker or footballer period I've ever seen play live was in my high school in Ibadan. He's an Hausa boy, big strong and imposing. He's the fastest in the school also. He's got an eye for goal, I can ever forget Joga. His parents didn't want him to play football professionally after high school he went to University.

Strikers are no-nonsense people with a killer-mentality and crazy work ethic. Footballer that we are producing today are just like Mikel, water carriers.

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