INTERLULL OVER!

So the interlull is over! And if you don’t know what an interlull is let me school you a bit!

An interlull represents a break in the hustle and bustle of the league calendar of all countries as an excuse to get in some meaningless friendlies and provide an opportunity for more club payers to have their legs broken in two places. Or you could just call it an international break.

So while other countries were engaging their contemporaries or as we like to call them ‘mates’ in these meaningless matches, Nigeria decided to play one against a country ranked about 120 places below her in the FIFA ranking. Whether this says something about the ineptitude or lack of planning of the Glass House occupants or is a measure of the battered self confidence of the Super Eagles that they have to play a country so low that they surely couldn’t lose to, I guess we will never know.

Which is because the Super Eagles won courtesy of a Taye Taiwo penalty and an Ehiosun (I think that’s his name!) goal late in the first half.

So it was a very different Super Eagles side that played against the Sierra Leoneans. But while it was a new Eagles team, it was the same Taye Taiwo that we have always known. You know, the same Taye Taiwo that we come to love and loathe since 2005. The same player who forgets how to clear the ball properly when he is under the smallest amount of pressure. And always knows how to lose concentration when he is just about to control the ball with an attacker in attendance.

And it was the same old Super Eagles captain Joe (to use the name he is called by in England) Yobo. Letting the ball bounce in front of him and making last ditch tackles when a tackle few seconds before would have saved him the trouble.

But enough with the negatives. The match was marked by impressive displays by Inter’s Joel Obi and former Kano Pillars boy Ahmed Musa. These two players may represent the future of Nigerian football not just because they might be staples in the team but also because hopefully, it might signal a return to the wing play that Nigerian teams used to be known for.

With Ahmed Musa zipping down the right and the very left footed Joel Obi dribbling past on the left, who knows, we might even see a return of the 4-4-2 formation.

Not that I think formation might be the missing ingredient in our football but something struck me while I was watching the match. Coach Siasia started the team out in a 4-3-3 formation with Osaze playing behind the lone striker in central midfield.

My grouse with that is Osaze plays as a lone striker for his team in England and we all know that a player will play far more matches for his club than his country. So shouldn’t he be played in a role he has gotten used to and is flourishing as attested to by his nine league goals so far?

It might be strange to see him in that role in the green and white but definitely not more stranger than seeing Jack Wilshere play the midfield holding role which he somehow plays for Arsenal in his subdued full debut for the English in their 2-1 win over Denmark in Copenhagen.

In other friendlies, Lionel Messi was seen sporting what looked like a ginger beard as he scored a penalty in his country’s 2-1 win over Portugal. A match Carlos Tevez wasn’t even invited for because of his attitude after refusing to play a previous friendly against Brazil in Qatar and then playing for his club a few days later.

And the French revolution under Laurent Blanc continued with a 1-0 win over Brazil in Paris while the Spanish team appears to still be suffering from post World Cup winning blues after labouring to a 1-0 over lowly Colombia at the Bernabeu. While European giants Germany and Italy played out aan entertaining 1-1 draw at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.

So that will be all. Now I’m gonna take a meaningless nap.

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