Thoughts of a Lunatic: Super League Brouhaha, Mourinho’s Sack and Other Talking Points

What a dramatic week it has been in football. Lots of gbas gbos left right and center. I have been munching my popcorn and sipping my bottle of cold somethings as I enjoy the drama, which may not be all over yet. Talking about all over, it is definitely all over for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham. Like say I be prophet, I spoke about when Mourinho starts calling out his players being the sign of the end-times. Musa continues to see a lot at Kano gate. Fellow lunatics, let me share my thoughts with you.

Super League Brouhaha

It was like some civil war in football. It looked like a military take over of football. The defenders of democracy cried foul and it seems there’s reprieve albeit temporarily.

The birth of the Super League might be delayed since everyone is pulling out, instead of going in with a condom. The fear of the result seems to have overwhelmed the ‘rebels’, so they are pulling out and keeping their hungry one-eyed men in their pants.

What’s the Lunatic’s take on this matter? You should have guessed right, I don’t give a damn!

Ed Woodward is one of the casualties of the Super League

There’s already lots of money in football and it is already looking very unfair. If countries can pump money into clubsides and make them very heavy chested like Cosy, leaving others with chest looking like overgrown pimples, it stopped being fair. Manchester City and PSG are world powers today and semi-finalists of the UEFA Champions League because they have undue advantage and can spend money endlessly. Money took over a long time ago and it stopped being fair.

As a football fan and analyst or lunatic, I enjoy what I get served. The structures of the local leagues and continental competitions as they are today, were not determined by me but I enjoy the game nonetheless. Maybe a lot of football aficionados are just impervious to change. If the Super League had gone on or when it finally happens, the football world will get used to watching and loving it. Many of the critics will enjoy and lick from the soup that will trickle down.

Whatever happens, heaven will not fall. Everybody go dey alright last las.

The Sacked One

They say coaches are in the business to get sacked. I can’t remember a manager that went through his career without getting sacked, or at least ‘leave by mutual consent’.

Mourinho seems to have gone full circle

For Jose Mourinho, it looks like he has gone full circle. With and without a disrespect to Tottenham – even though they also flirted with the Super League, they represented like a drop down for Mouinho. After Porto, Mourinho was at Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester United, those are in a higher class than Spurs. Mourinho appears to have gone full circle. ‘Same coach, different players’. Very few clubs can afford to give him the class of players he referred to when insinuating the players at Spurs are not good enough. Out of those few clubs, very few will be willing to hire Mourinho and his sometimes tactics of the 90s.

When he ran his mouth and call other managers various names at his early days in Chelsea, those were the things the managers were going through then – inferior players to the ones he had at his disposal. Maybe a lesson in humility but one Mourinho will not learn and I will not want him to learn. What is Mourinho without those jibes? Anyways, he has gone from the Special One, to the Chosen One to the Sacked one. We await his next destination. Maybe it is time Mourinho returns home like Musa.

Musa at Kano’s gate

Maybe we should first applaud Kano Pillars that they chose to unveil Ahmed Musa. A round of applause. I actually find it boring that at this time and age we are still talking about branding and packaging in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Even the Governor looks shocked

Back in school, there were those students that will still fail an exam even when the answers are given to them – Timo Werner must have been such a student, even with the goal gaping, we know what he does. Kano Pillars had a lot of examples to copy from. They should have gone to check how Manchester United nearly brought the internet down with ‘Pogback’, even though the jury is still out about how successful the deal has been on the pitch. Anyways, maybe it was a ploy by Kano Pillars, the unveiling of Musa still got people talking anyway. Different approach, same result.

For Musa, we hope it won’t end in tears. Musa can end up seeing what he does not expect at Kano’s gate, if he thinks he has seen it all. As I said earlier, the move appears like one for the twilight of a career, left for Musa to prove me wrong.

This is where I end it for today. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Football’s Tom and Jerry and other talking points

The English Premier League has made sure we still have lots of football to watch during the Yuletide. The Nigeria Professional Football League also joined, and La Liga too. Most of the talking points have been from the Premier League, just as COVID-19 is threatening to disturb the season once again, and turn us to Telemundo viewers.

The Lunatic believes you have had a nice Christmas celebration. Even Mohammed Salah and other Muslim footballers were not left out in enjoying the season. The beauty of football, the game that unites all. I am making too much sense today, to my own surprise, I am probably still in holiday mood. Anyways, I saw plenty recently in the world of football, I will share some.

Second season syndrome getting wild

The record for the worst Premier League return stands at 11 points, set by Derby county in a year I can’t remember. Yes, a team played 38 matches and had just 11 points, they didn’t pull out (that didn’t come out right) halfway as is possible in a certain league. Sheffield United are threatening to break that record, they have just two points from 16 matches and have not won a match. At this rate, they will finish with around five points.

For a team that was wilding last season after just gaining promotion, no one would have thought the second season syndrome will hit them this bad. They were on the verge of qualifying for Europe last season and were one of the most organized teams in the league.

Luckily for them, they play in the Premier League. If they were a team in one Plateau in the Nigerian league, they will have no salaries by now. They would have gone from being placed on half salaries, to quarter salaries to no salaries.

As we start our farewell to Sheffield United, we enjoyed their wilding while it lasted.

Football’s Tom and Jerry

An idea for a football comic will be Tom and Jerry, Ronaldo and Messi edition. I can’t say who will be Tom and who will be Jerry. One of football’s greatest rivalry has created lots of funny plots.

Messi and Ronaldo rivalry remains legendary

While they were the main contenders for the major awards, they didn’t use to vote for each other. Messi will rather vote for Ahmed Musa to win the Balon D’Or than vote for Ronaldo. Ronaldo will rather vote for Paul Onuachu than vote for Messi.

Their cat and mouse game has been interesting recently. Messi voted for Ronaldo as second best to win the Balon D’Or in 2019 while Ronaldo didn’t vote for Messi, he voted for the likes of De Jong and De Ligt but Messi won.

In the votes for the 2020 FIFA The Best, Ronaldo decided to reciprocate Messi’s gesture by voting for him in the awards, this time, Messi didn’t vote for Ronaldo. Even though none of them won.

Just recently, Messi hailed Ronaldo as one of the top athletes in the world, just after not voting for him in an awards. The Tom and Jerry game is looking interesting and we are watching.

Diego Costa

Atletico Madrid have released Diego Costa via an official statement. Diego Simeone did not send a text message to Costa that he is no longer needed. That must have made Costa felt better.

The next destination of the fiery Brazilian-Spaniard will be interesting to see. He has had a very interesting career. His first spell at Atletico Madrid was highly successful and he went on to also do exploits at Chelsea till he ‘broke bottle’ at Stamford Bridge and returned Madrid. Now he has been released by Atletico Madrid, his next destination will be interesting to see.

Diego Costa bids farewell to Atletico Madrid

Thanks for staying with Thoughts of a Lunatic in 2020, this is the last edition of the year. Let’s do it bigger and better in 2021, tell someone to tell someone about Goaldball.

Follow us on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Ole’s Confusion, Chelsea Scammed and Other Talking Points

Merry Christmas to all fellow lunatics – regular readers of Thoughts of a Lunatic, friends of the lunatic, well wishers and witchers.

To football matters, sincerely, I am tired of talking about Arsenal. It seems we are at the point we just wait till the end of the season to see how well they fare in their relegation dogfight. It seems they have appointed a Professor of mathematics as manager. He knows all the stats that proves his team is playing well and should be winning but no one else is seeing those performances and the results. I said I won’t talk Arsenal, to other serious football issues.

Ole’s Confusion

For many Manchester United fans, they don’t know what to make of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Sometimes, the results and performances are extremely bad, as in very bad like traffic gridlocks in Lagos. Some other times, it is very good, like we saw last weekend against Leeds United.

Ole was well at the wheels against Leeds United

You would have thought it was Ole that FIFA nominated for The Best Manager of the Year with the way Manchester United dispersed Leeds United. Manchester United tore through Leeds defence like aboki knife through suya.

Manchester United find themselves in the dizzying heights of third with a game in hand and have put themselves in the position of title challengers. This is after an embarrassing ouster from the Champions League to the Europa League. For now, it is all good but don’t be surprised if the shouts of ‘Ole out’ rent the air again in few weeks, the countdown begins 10, 9, 8…..

Chelsea scammed?

There is nothing like a club going all out to splash the cash on a player they expect will come good, only to end up disappointed. Nicholas Pepe is Arsenal’s record signing, from all evidences, na maga money dem pay, he should be the cheapest or better still free. It seems Chelsea have also paid their’s for Kai Havertz. Havertz is looking like Chelsea’s version of Pepe. Their costliest signing of the summer came for a reported £71m. Safe to say he has been the poorest of Chelsea’s summer signings.

Even though Timo Werner is building a reputation of stopping Chelsea’s goals than scoring them, he has still been in action than Havertz.

It is still his first season and he might be one of those players that don’t settle in fast. The earlier he settles in the better or he settles out.

Allardyce’s rescue mission

Mr Jack Bauer started his rescue mission at West Brom on a losing note and with ten men.

Mr. Relegation fighter

Slaven Bilic got a creditable point away at Manchester City in his last match before he was replaced by Big Sam. Maybe Bilic’s sacking was cruel but the end will justify the means.

Allardyce aka ’67 days England manager’ has the enviable record of never losing a relegation fight but na one day juju dey spoil. It is still early days yet, especially if he is able to get some players in the January transfer window, a defensive striker like Kevin Davis will come in handy. Else the season go long like ASUU strike.

Anyways, that’s all on Thoughts of a Lunatic for today. Keep enjoying the beautiful game and the best of this Yuletide.

Follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: The Best Joke, Arsenal Relegation Materials and Other Talking Points

Christmas on my mind. Not just Christmas, money for some detty December. Lunatic sef need money, no be only you. As everywhere dey red, Christmas red and the other red, Arsenal players are also making it red. Red everywhere, as bet tickets dey red, na so eye dey red.

In the world of football, so many talking points, especially the ones inspired by lunacy.

Arsenal Relegation Materials

When I spoke about new London derbies involving Arsenal, QPR, Brentford and the likes, some people thought I was taking it too far. But it is becoming clearer that Arsenal’s relegation materials are almost complete.

After losing a relegation six-pointer against Burnley at the weekend, they got even closer to the relegation zone. They have a young manager learning the ropes – relegation material. Their football is cross, cross and cross – relegation materials. Lots of substandard players – relegation materials.

Arsenal players are up for the relegation fight

One has to wonder if the players are mistaking the call to attack more for a call to attack their opponents. First, Nicholas Pepe, who can’t nod a ball, nods an opponent. Granit Xhaka, sees that they were playing well, boom, he grabs a neck. Minutes later Mohammed Elneny carries out his own attack. Wahala for Arsenal.

The Best Joke

Cristiano Ronaldo plus Lionel Messi plus anyone else is The Best Joke. No matter what any player does, FIFA must have Messi and Ronaldo on their podium. There is already a default list that includes Ronaldo and Messi, it is only edited to include a third person. At this rate, FIFA will still mistakenly include Messi and Ronaldo after they have retired.

As we have seen, there is a penchant of one of the duo (Ronaldo and Messi) that won’t win the award not turning up for the gala. If it goes as expected this year, none of them should show up. Though it will be held virtually this year, they can also stay away virtually. If Lewandowski don’t win this year, we should forget about FIFA The Best and turn to Davido The Best.

Bielsa is up for The Best manger of the year

When Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa made the list of the Manager of the Year, eyebrows were raised but to make matters worse he is in the final three. Bielsa is a celebrated manager for his knowledge and approach to the game, that is where it ends. When did winning the Championship become a big deal? Ladan Bosso should be making the list too, since we want to joke.

Neymar’s Prophecy

On the matter of the Champions League and Europa league draws, there is a lot to look forward to in February. Some interesting ties, one of which is Barcelona taking on PSG. Neymar spoke about playing together with Messi, little did we know he was prophesying the tie. We know Neymar’s other talent apart from playing football, acting. Little did we know he also has the gift of prophecy.

Nagelsmann suit will be an highlight

After sending Manchester United packing, RB Leipzig and their young manager come up against another English side – Liverpool. One thing to look forward to will be Julian Nagelsmann’s suit.

Things We Expect To See In The Super Eagles Friendly Against Tunisia

The Super Eagles double-header friendlies did not particularly get to a good start, with defeat against Algeria on Friday. It was not just about the defeat, but the performance of the Eagles was not encouraging. The brilliant displays we saw in friendlies against Ukraine and Brazil and in the AFCON qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho was not replicated against the Algerians. Cutting Rohr some slack, it was the team’s first match of the year and some key players were missing. However, the same excuses might not suffice if the team performs woefully again against Tunisia. Here are some of the things we hope to see.

Nigeria vs Tunisia: What we hope to see.

Rotation

This is one thing Rohr has never been good at, making use of his squad as much as possible. There were players Rohr invited in the past and barely played, he should not do that here. Especially the likes of Cyril Dessers, Chidera Ejuke, Kevin Akpoguma and Matthew Yakubu, they should be allowed enough playing time for assessment. There might be little or no chance to experiment going forward, considering what is going to be a choked calendar for club and international football.

The same goes for some of the guys that did not play against Algeria, especially the returning ones like Dele Alampasu.

Better Attacking Play

Better attacking play might mean one thing – leaving Paul Onuachu out. As stated in our review of the last match, Onuachu is a target man, he does not suit how the team plays. The team needs a center forward that can interchange quick passes with the wing-forwards and attacking midfield, not one expecting to be fed.

Dessers (r) should be allowed to play.

With the options at his disposal, Rohr should consider starting Kelechi Iheanacho or Ahmed Musa, if he does not trust Dessers enough for a start. It is however important that we see Dessers play, apart from hearing about his goals scoring exploits in the Eredivisie, little is known of him and how he plays, he should be given a chance to show it.

Different midfield mix

Semi Ajayi and Frank Onyeka at the base of the midfield did not work, neither did it fair better when Mikel Agu replaced Onyeka. Ajayi grew into the game in the second half but did not really convince he is suited for a midfield role. Whoever Rohr decides to play, maybe he should consider playing the young Samson Tijani. A cameo appearance in the last match was not enough to assess him. As we saw at U-17 level, he is a midfielder that can dictate the pace of the game, which the Eagles lacked in the first match. He is still young but it is a friendly and he is in the team, if he can’t be tried in a friendly then he should not be in the team.

We have seen Okoye, another goalkeeper please

We have seen Maduka Okoye and based on what we saw in the last match, he is good enough to be in the team. Now let us assess the other two goalkeepers available. Alampasu has had just one substitute appearance for the Super Eagles as far back as 2017. The 2013 U-17 World Cup Golden Glove winner should be given a chance to start. He has barely gotten the chance to show what he can do in the Super Eagles, this is the time.

Okoye has proved himself already

If possible, Matthew Yakubu should also be given a run out. With maybe one or two of Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa expected to return, it won’t be bad to have a large pool of tested and trusted goalkeepers.

After all said, a good result and performance is expected against Tunisia. it will help the team build some confidence ahead of their next competitive match in November.