Thoughts of a Lunatic: Good Father Mourinho, Captain Musa and Other Talking Points

PSG knocking Bayern Munich out of this year’s UEFA Champions League butreses the point that what Zinedine Zidane achieved with Real Madrid in the competition between 2016 and 2018 is unreal. I can’t associate managerial wizardry to a particular type of hairline. However, It is funny that for all of Zidane’s achievement, he is not considered as a tactical genius while the other guy with his type of hairline is regarded as one. After another win in El Clasico, Zidane could be on his way to back-to-back La Liga titles with a ‘Ronaldo-less’ and ‘crocked- Hazard’ team. Talking about managers and hair, maybe grey hair does not necessarily translate to wisdom (especially those tinted ones), as posited in this clime. We saw two managers with grey hairs drag each other at the weekend, taking me to the Mourinho Derby.

Good Father Mourinho

You know, especially as a kid, when you have bottled anger and someone mistakenly touches you, you explode. For Jose Mourinho, there will always be something to talk about when things are not going his way. He starts reminding everyone of how he invented football, won all the trophies at a swoop while controlling the players with a pad from the comfort of his sitting room. He reminds us of what he has won in the past. How does that change the fact that they have increased the price of a bottle of beer at my favorite joint, it’s paining me sha. Hello Mr Mourinho, that does not take away the fact that you are not meeting expectations at your present club, like in your last two jobs.

Grey hair, same old Mourinho

In response to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s jibe at Son Heung Min acting to get a Manchester United goal chalked off, Mourinho insinuated that Solskjaer is a bad father, which we don’t know. Many fathers won’t be good fathers in Mourinho’s books then, especially father’s from this clime. Apart from going to bed hungry for some misdemeanor, you also get some lashes. Many people from my climes will have telling tales but dare not tag their fathers bad.

It has been turpsy-turvy for Mourinho at Spurs

Anyways, the issue is not about fatherhood. That’s what Mourinho does, he takes attention from the matter. The matter is that Tottenham have lost ten league matches this season, the highest in Mourinho’s career. He can’t start saying this players are not good, he once said they had better players than Manchester United. Make Mourinho no turn am to family matter, man should fix his rot.

A man that disrespected his elders does not even have the moral rights of talking about respect.

Good father Mourinho, face the job.

Captain Musa

So Ahmed Musa is returning to play for Kano Pillars ten years after initially leaving for Europe, while Musa and I hope this will only be a temporary arrangement, at least for now. I can’t help but try to analyze the stage of Musa’s career.

Musa is 28. At 28, a player should be at the peak of his career. A decline is expected at the other side of 30, then the twilight. We have seen players return to play for their boyhood clubs at the twilight of their careers or return to their local leagues, it is nothing new. But it is not when they supposed to be at their peak, especially when they have not been blighted by injuries. Is Musa at the twilight of his career? Elder Arjen Robben recently returned to play for Groningen at 36. Even the likes of Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and some others are playing well in their thirties like they are still ‘peaking’. Maybe those ones are exceptions but a player should not be at twilight at 28. I am not insinuating anything. Decipher what you want.

That’s the way to CHAN

It is of more concern because Musa is the captain of the Super Eagles and expected to still be part of the team. Should a 28-year-old at his twilight be captaining the Super Eagles when there are many young players doing well?

So, since Gernot Rohr suggested that home based players should concentrate on doing well at the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) – specifically for home-based players, Musa should also play for the CHAN team.

Will Allardyce laugh last?

I have not forgotten that I said Sam Allardyce’s ‘jazz’ will fail this time at West Brom. After back-to-back wins, 8 goals scored in two matches and moving to within eight points from safety, could the big Sam perform another miracle? I still believe he won’t do it. It is easier for one Dollar to exchange for a hundred Naira than for West Brom to beat the drop this season.

I am tired of writing. There are many other hustles to do. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Champions League Draws: Who Are The Favorites For The Quarterfinals? 1

The Champions League round of 16 draws have been made, the teams now know their next opponents in their quest to win the trophy with the big ears. The likes of Manchester United also await their next opponents, in the quest to win the trophy with no ears. The matches will be played next year February and a lot will still happen between now and then. Forms will change, for good or for bad, teams will get depleted and teams will add more quality. Regardless, with what we know of the teams so far, let’s do a quick preview and predict the quarter-finalists.

Moechengladbach vs Man. City

Manchester City wouldn’t have prayed for a better draw. Not that Gladbach are not a good side, but they are not on the same level as City.

Gladbach ruffled feathers in a group that had Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shaktar Donetsk. Trashing Shakhtar home and away was their highlight.

City has an easy ride to the round 16. They won five and drew just one of their group matches. In time past City have been knocked out by ‘inferior’ opponents, they have also not been convincing in the domestic league this season.

Players to watch: Marcus Thuram (Gladbach), Alassane Plea (Gladbach), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Raheem Sterling (Man City)

Prediction: Manchester City to qualify.

Lazio vs Bayern

The draws Lazio must have prayed against, they come up against the defending champions.

It was quite straight forward for Lazio in a group that had Borussia Dortmund, Zenit and Club Brugge. They won two and drew four to stay unbeaten, though they finished second to Dortmund.

Bayern are defending champions

Bayern had it easy in their group, dropping points just once, away at Atletico Madrid. They did the double against Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. The tournament is just about to start for Lazio and they will do well to avoid a hammering.

Players to watch: Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Luis Alberto (Lazio), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern), Serge Gnabry (Bayern)

Prediction: Bayern to go through.

Atletico vs Chelsea

One of the most balanced ties of the round. Chelsea made light work of a group that had Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes. Winning four and drawing two of their matches, including a resounding 4-0 win away at Sevilla, Atletico’s fellow La Liga team.

Atletico were always going to be second in a group that had Bayern, leaving it late till their last group game away at Salzburg to confirm qualification.
Chelsea and Atletico Madrid had a memorable semi-final clash in 2014, with Atletico winning 3-1 on aggregate.

This term Atletico look good in La Liga, top of the standings. Chelsea also look good in the league, establishing themselves as title contenders. Expect a tactical battle between Frank Lampard and Diego Simeone, it is the type of tie that is likely to be won from the bench, Simeone should have the upper hand in that regard.

Players to watch: Joao Felix (Atletico), Luis Suarez (Atletico), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)

Prediction: Atletico Madrid to scale through narrowly.

Leipzig vs Liverpool

Fresh from knocking out one English side, Leipzig face another in the Round of 16. Leipzig recovered from a 5-0 thumping against Man. United to finish second behind PSG in a tough group. They will hope to build on their semi-final finish last season. However, they did not come up against a team like Liverpool enroute the semi-final the last time out.

Liverpool won in 2019

Liverpool won the UCL two seasons back and boast of a formidable team. Bar a home defeat against Atalanta, Liverpool found their group easy, finishing first with four wins. Manager Jurgen Klopp will hope most of his injured players are back and firing by February.

It will be a tactical battle against two German managers, Klopp against the young Julian Nagelsmann

Players to Watch: Emile Forsberg (Leipzig), Dayot Upamecano (Leipzig), Mo Salah (Liverpool), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Prediction: Liverpool to go through