Posted by News Express | 29 December 2012 | 3,843 times
Nigerians are won’t to call on the “God of soccer” in times of difficulties for their national teams or to thank him for miraculous victories. While it remains debatable if such a “God” of the round leather game exists, Nigerians could be forgiven if they attribute this evening’s humiliation of Newcastle United by Arsenal in a week 19 English Premiership match to the “God of soccer.”
This was one game the result of which did not reflect the amount of work put into it by the two teams. The sun shone brightly on the side of the Arsene Wenger’s Gunners as they DEMOLISHED Allan Pardew’s “wee club” (apologies Sir Alex Ferguson) 7-1, with Theo Walcott leading the rout with a hat trick.
Te rout case just as Nigeria’s Super Eagles started the last phrase of their training programme towards the 29th Africa Cup of Nations holding Jan. 19 to Feb. 10 in South Africa. Imposing striker Shola Ameobi is needed by Nigeria but gaffer Pardew has vowed not to release him, claiming that Newcastle need him for the period of the Nations Cup. FIFA rules bind clubs to release players two weeks to the tournament and this evening, Ameobi was literally of no use to Pardew.
Unlike Ameobi, about 10 of the invited foreign-based players are expected to hit the Faro, Portugal, camp of the Super Eagles today, even as the team enjoyed their first training session.
“I will not like to mention names but some of them are already flying down and according to the schedule of flight into Lisbon and Faro they should be in on time for the only training session for today billed for 3:45 p.m. local time,” said Super Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya.
The Eagles rested all morning after taking time to settle in at their training base in Faro yesterday.
The 12 players and some of the officials spent an hour on Friday afternoon, stretching cramped muscles after the flight from Lagos via Accra.
“The boys rested well, took their breakfast early, have gone back to their rooms, but will be out soon, “We don’t want the boys stressed before the camp becomes full, you know they have been training hard,” Alaiya added.
The 12 players who made the trip to Faro are goalkeepers Chigozie Agbim and Dan Akpeyi. Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Solomon Kwambe, Papa Idris, Henry Uche, Sunday Mba, Gabriel Reuben, Ejike Uzoenyi, Benjamin Francis, and Norway-based Fegor Ogude.
•Photo: Shola Ameobi.
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