The various top European Leagues are gradually reaching the business end. Some titles already won and some relegation cards already signed, ready to be delivered. Some European places dreams are also becoming mirages. In England, Harry and Meghan can not take the shine from VAR.
There is also the matter of national teams gathering at the end of the month for various qualifiers. In Nigeria, Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles list has come with its usual controversies and talking points.
How Liverpool’s home ground – Anfield went from being a fortress to a forest has to be studied in the university. After going for three years without a defeat at home, a record 64 matches. They have started another record with six straight defeats and still counting at home afterwards. In that time, they have scored just one goal at Anfield, albeit from the penalty spot. Anfield has gone from a Lion’s den to becoming a poultry where teams just go to slaughter chickens for dinner. Rather than opponents failing to come out alive, they come out alive with goodies. Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah have gone from destroyers to destroyed. Thiago Alcantara was supposed to improve the team in midfield but the only positive stats he has are his number of thumbs up. In his short time in England, he has given more thumbs up than any player in the Premier League history, something in the region of hundred thousand or thereabout. Liverpool are blessed with the presence of ‘thumbs-up Xavi’. More bookings than goals and assists.
Jurgen Klopp should find a solution as Liverpool have gone from title contenders to European places contenders, before they slip into relegation contenders.
After all said, Klopp and his Liverpool team have delivered the once elusive Premier League title, the first in 30 years. Maybe Liverpudians will have to wait another thirty years for another triumph.
Musa still at gate
Wetin Musa no dey see for gate? Ahmed Musa has been in the Super Eagles for so long that he has seen it all. But even Musa has hardly seen a clubless player invited to the Super Eagles. The last time Musa kicked a ball in anger was in October 2020 but he still gets an invitation to the Super Eagles, ahead of active players.
Rohr could as well invite the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Kanu Nwankwo and the others since it is for experience, as some have posited. What if Musa is injured? He will still be in the team on crutches, since Musa must be at the gate to see it all.
Musa must be at the gate to also make sure COVID-19 protocols will be observed when the Super Eagles play in Lagos. There is a lot Musa does in the team than can be explained.
In a team, just as you have playing footballers, you also have non-playing footballers. People should understand these things.
Ole Stealing The Show and The Points
Manchester United dilemma continues. They don’t look like they will really challenge for the title anytime soon but there is a new knack for stealing the show.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, the Red Devils have produced some very impressive results that ends up leading nowhere. Solskjaer has a good record against Pep Guardiola and he continued that at the weekend. Manchester City were on a winning run of 20 matches but Ole struck again. Dem no reach 21. That is an achievement.
Well, it is part of keeping the tradition of the Red Devils as ‘kill-joys’. Arsenal were on a 49-match unbeaten run back in 2005, Manchester United stopped them from reaching 50 by returning them to factory settings. Even if Ole has not delivered titles, he is bringing back the tradition.
It seems Manchester United fans must get used to celebrating these wins as they seems like the one thing Ole will always deliver.
Ronaldo in Black and White
Cristiano Ronaldo’s time in Juventus so far has been black and white. Of what use is Ronaldo at Juventus if they won’t win the Champions League?
Ronaldo is still delivering the goals and has an impressive goals record in Turin but Juventus have failed to make it beyond the Quarter-finals of the Champions League since he joined. Of what use are the goals? They are on the verge of losing the league title, which was like their birth right.
It is looking like, when he is done in Juventus, he will have an impressive goals record to show but little in terms of silverware, meaning Juventus will have nothing to show for signing Ronaldo. While you can not blame Ronaldo, the recent defeat against Porto was the type he used to ‘single-handedly’ decide. Anyways, he is in good company with the likes of Gianluggi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini in a group of pensioners enjoying their benefits.