Odemwingie Considers Permanent Deal At Bristol City

OdemwingieNigerian international, Osaze Odemwingie, is considering making his loan move to English championship side, Bristol City, a permanent deal this summer.

Stoke City are not willing to extend his stay at the Britannia Stadium and this led Odemwingie to the championship side on loan till the end of the season.

Despite hoping for an English Premier League return, Odemwingie has not ruled out playing in the second tier.

The former Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion forward was impressive in his debut as he came off the bench to inspire Bristol City to a 2-1 win after they trailed 0-1 at the break on Saturday.

Earlier, Bristol City signed Odemwingie on loan from Stoke City for the remainder of the season, after he failed to score in eight appearances for the potters this season.

He moved to Stoke in January 2014, as part of a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones going in the opposite direction to Cardiff City.

Nigerian Striker Osaze Odemwingie Signs For Bristol City

Osaze Odemwingie Bristol City have signed striker, Osaze Odemwingie on loan from Stoke City for the remainder of the season.

The 34-year-old Nigeria international has failed to score in eight appearances for the potters this season.

Odemwingie moved to stoke in January 2014 as part of a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones going in the opposite direction to Cardiff City.

He, however, missed most of the 2014/2015 season because of a knee ligament injury.

Odemwingie, who goes into city’s squad for Saturday’s game against Fulham, enjoyed his most prolific spell in England at West Brom where he netted 31 goals in 90 appearances.

Bristol head coach, Lee Johnson, told club website, “I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring someone of Peter’s quality in, he’ll provide us with experience and hopefully goals in one form or another.”

Bristol City are currently 20th in the English Championship, with 37 points from 36 games.

 

Ike Uche Joins Malaga

UcheSpanish La Liga side, Malaga have announced the signing of Nigerian striker, Ikechukwu Uche, who was recently released by Mexican side Tigres.

His time in Mexico was dogged by injuries as he failed to establish himself in the starting line-up.

Uche is making a return to the Spanish top division just months after quitting Villarreal where he spent three seasons.

The 32-year-old joins Chory Castro, Christian Atsu, Cifu and Ricca as players who have been signed by Malaga during the recent transfer window.

Odemwingie Pleased To Remain A Potter

Meanwhile, Super Eagles forward, Osaze Odemwingie, seems to have gotten over his botched move to France on transfer deadline day.

The 34-year-old’s transfer to Ligue One side, Olympique Marseille, on Monday collapsed after Stoke City rejected a bid from the French team.

Despite the move failing to materialize, he appeared to have moved on after posting on social media that he is pleased to stay and fight for his place with the potters.

Odemwingie, who has six months left on his current deal, has featured for Stoke City just seven times in all competitions this season.

Stoke City Stop Osaze Move To Olympique Marseille

OsazeEnglish Premier League club, Stoke City, have turned down Olympique Marseille’s offer to sign their Nigerian forward, Osaze Odemwingie, on loan till the end of the season.

Reports disclosed that Stoke City manager, Mark Hughes, refused to sanction the deal, meaning that the 34-year-old would remain at the Britannia Stadium until the end of the campaign.

Osaze was due to fly out of England to France to finalise personal terms with the former European champions before the deal fell through.

The Nigerian has six months left in his current contract with the potters and also an option of another year.

He has made just seven appearances for stoke city this season.

Keshi Is A Man Manager Not A Technical Coach – Akatugba

Oma Akatugba RMTwo Nigerian Sport Analysts, Jannie Anthony and Oma Akatugba have referred to the Nigerian Super Eagles as a team that still needs major improvements despite their hard fought win against Bosnia Herzegovina in the ongoing World Cup.

Both were guests of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television on Sunday, less than 24hours after the team’s match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Oma Akatugba admitted that he had criticized the Eagles after their draw against Iran, which he thought was a shambolic performance but after seeing the Argentine game against the same Iranians, he had to apologise for being initially critical as it was obvious that the Iranians were never easy opponents.

He highlighted the mentality of the Iranian team as being one targeted at frustrating their opponents, as seen in the manner their fans celebrated after their game with Argentina, despite losing the game.

Nigeria came back from an opening draw to get a hard fought win against Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a lone goal scored by former Eagles’ outcast, Osaze Odemwingie. While Miss Anthony commended the team for doing well and lauding Keshi for “getting his tactics spot on”, Akatugba stated that although the result could be celebrated, Nigeria did not win because they played fantastic football.

He argued that he did not see any tactical direction from the Super Eagles Coach, as the difference in the team’s performance was down to the changes in personnel, especially with the inclusion of Odemwingie in the starting line-up.

He also admitted that the duo of Michael Babatunde and Juwon Oshaniwa whom he thought were Keshi’s “personal projects” also put in outstanding performances which seemed to have justified their inclusion in the squad.

On the non-inclusion of Victor Moses in the squad that faced Bosnia, Akatugba said that this had no effect on how the team played and the victory secured. He stated, “If Victor Moses had played we would still have won. We didn’t win because Moses didn’t play, we won because the referee disallowed Bosnia’s one goal. That goal was clean, with due respect to my fellow Nigerians.”

Anthony was less critical of the team but agreed with Akatugba that Stephen Keshi was indeed more of a man manager than a technical manager, with the pretty enthusiast emphasizing the need to accept this as a value that has worked positively for the team and has also been the reason they succeeded on the African continent.

Akatugba also identified the coach’s approach in training, commending him especially for coming to the level of the players as it was reported that he communicates with the players in Pidgin English. He also lauded him for being able to build the team into a stronger unit; a virtue which he said had indeed been one of the major secrets behind the team’s recent successes.

In analysing the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the analysts had tough words for midfielder, Mikel Obi, whom they both agreed had become lackadaisical in his approach to national team games. They wondered why other players who were not accepted by Nigerians would play out their hearts and Mikel who supposedly had been the biggest star takes his stardom as an excuse to be complacent

Akatugba said, “The biggest problem of the Nigerian midfield is the biggest player in the team”, adding that it was time for Keshi to do bring on his man management skills to make Obi understand the reason for him to play for the team, with more passion rather than with arrogance.

He noted that just as Nigerians want the Eagles to improve against Argentina in their final group game, so would the Argentine be determined to improve on their performances which have been seen as below par by many football followers.

He warned the Super Eagles not to be too adventurous and advised them to go against the Argentinians with a cautious defensive approach, knowing that a draw would be enough for the team to qualify. He said that an adventurous attacking approach might backfire into a massive loss and in that situation; a win for Iran against Bosnia would eliminate Nigeria.

He noted that if the Iranians could hold the Argentinians, Nigeria could do same. “Any team Messi plays for, if you frustrate them they find it difficult to score.”

On his expectation, however, he still believed that Argentina would beat Nigeria. Miss Anthony also said, “I think Argentina would edge it.”

They both, however, had generous commendation for the team’s captain, Joseph Yobo, whom they said put in a stellar performance. Akatugba said that Keshi must thank the NFF and the media who clamoured for the recall of Yobo into the team. “You cannot buy experience”, he said, adding that Yobo’s 98 caps for the country should never have been waved aside as his performance against Bosnia was a show of how much maturity could add to the Eagles’ defence.

 

Del Bosque Must Take The Blame For Spain’s Exit – Obanya

Del bosqueSports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, admits that the exit of world champions, Spain in the first round of the World Cup had become a trend but not an excuse for a talented team.

Speaking on Channels Television, Obanya said that the older generation of the Spanish team had been pushed to remain in the squad for too long when their bodies could no longer cope at the highest level.

He explained that Chile’s first goal sums up the sad story of Spain, with 3 defenders escorting 2 Chilean attackers all the way to their own goal territory and eventually allowing the goal.

On the view that the “tiki-taka” style of play having been found out by other teams could be the reason for Spain’s failure, Obanya said that the style had always been what the team was built around.

He noted that as much as the likes of Ramos and Torres – who aren’t Barcelona players – may want to ditch the tiki-taka style of play, the engine room of the team has been tiki-taka and they do not have a choice.

He blamed the Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque for failing to inject younger players into his team for the tournament, as this has been the major reason they have failed.

He noted, however, that nothing should be taken away from the Chilean players as they had a lot of quality in their team. They, according to him, out-muscled Spain on every part of the pitch and ended up putting Iniesta under the pressure of trying to do too much.

Obanya also expressed satisfaction at the way Australia played against Holland. He noted that their attacking style against a good Dutch team was good for the tournament. He also had good words for the goal scored by Tim Cahill, refereeing to it as one of the best. “They should hold their heads high”, he said.

Obanya, however, had tough words for the Nigerian Super Eagles.

“Unlike Iran, Bosnia is more ruthless”, he said, wondering if Nigeria could handle the fire power of the Bosnians.

He, however, said that Nigeria has the habit of playing to the strength of their opponents, a statement which meant they could up their game against Bosnia.

He suggested that the best way for Nigeria to stop Bosnia was to get a physical midfielder to break up the Bosnian attack and also one who could play behind the striker, Emmanuel Emenike, to knock down services for him.

Obanya also wants to see Osaze Odemwingie starting the next match with Ramon Azeez benched as he lacked the physicality needed against the tall and bullish Bosnians.

On allegations that Osaze did not play to instructions given by Coach Stephen Keshi in the first game, Obanya asked “What instruction?”

 

World Cup 2014: Q.Final Is The Realistic Target For Nigeria – Ochonogor

A Sport Analyst, Ochonogor Chimbiani, has cautioned that the pressure put on the Nigerian national football team; Super Eagles for the 2014 World Cup, however justifiable should be positively exploited.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Rubbin’ Minds on Sunday, Chimbiani gave an insight into her expectations for Nigerian football in the New Year, starting with the country’s debut appearance at the African Nations’ Championship, CHAN 2014 in January.

She stated that she expects that even as debutants, Nigeria should do well at the tournament, but she would not expect too much from the team. According to her although some key players like Nations Cup hero, Sunday Mba, can no longer feature for the team, Nigeria has enough talents, and coping without the likes of Mba would not be a problem.

She also expressed hope that 2014 would be the year when Nigeria gets its league management right, hoping that “good things will happen in 2014.”

Looking ahead to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Ochonogor believes that the pressure being put on Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi is right and expected. According to her, the pressure was there when Keshi went to African Nation’s Cup and it inspired them to do better.

With Show Host, Ebuka arguing that the World Cup pressure is of a larger magnitude due to the expectations of Nigerians themselves, who want more of the AFCON success, Ochonogor admitted that the Semi-final target set for the team may be too much, but it is analytically realistic, as football is not mathematics and at the tournament anything can happen.

She advised that Keshi should pick the best of the players available to him and also get his preparations right. She encouraged that Africa can do something this time despite the presence of countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Spain who boast of fantastic players.

She also noted that the Nigerian team having no particular star player like Didier Drogba for Ivory Coast is not a problem but rather could be strength. According to her “team work is what is going for us in the Super Eagles”.

She added that a situation whereby the home based and foreign based players were willing to work together with a much disciplined Coach Keshi has been the key to the successes so far recorded; a system she expects to continue into the World Cup.

On the situation whereby many of the stand-out players of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON victory are not key players in their clubs, with the likes of Mikel Obi and Victor Moses not playing regularly and Sunday Mba just moving to a new club, Chimbiani said that Ivory Coast because of their major stars were tipped to win the AFCON but Nigeria won it.

She advised that Coach Keshi should open his doors to all players, including the ones he had abandoned like Chinedu Obasi, Osaze Odemwingie and Victor Nsofor to work with his AFCON team in order to pick his best squad.

On the possibility of Odemwingie returning to the team, Chimbiani said “I don’t think Keshi will (call him back) but I wish he does”.

Asked to give her verdict on Nigeria’s chances at the World Cup, she predicted a Quarter-Final finish as the realistic expectation.

I love Super Eagles; It is In My Blood – Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi on this edition of Sports Tonight answers myriad of questions from Nigerians via Twitter and he expresses his passion for the Super Eagles to excel.

He answered questions on the list of players for the forthcoming friendly match between Nigeria and South Africa, which exempts Super Eagles Captain, Vincent Enyeama.

The Big Boss also gave a hint on Osaze Odemwingie’s return to the Super Eagles, soon and what he’s done to get Mikel Obi give his best to the team and the future plans for the Eagles ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Keshi was the guest on a special edition of Sports Tonight with Toyin Ibitoye from Channels Television studio in Abuja.

Keshi Gets Support From NFF Over Players Call-up

Nigeria’s football management body, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has backed former Super Eagles captain and now Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi over team selection despite the loud protest by the team captain Joseph Yobo.

Yobo was very livid to learn that he was left out of the selection that will be facing the Harambee Stars of Kenya for the World cup qualification clash in Calabar last month.

Several other big players of the Super Eagles criticized Keshi’s act but Yobo who was definitely embittered was of the loudest as he openly criticized Keshi for leaving him out of the team after their victorious return from South Africa as the Super Eagles were crowned the African champions.

One official of the NFF said Stephen Keshi will always get the support of the federation as they have already resolved earlier to give him their support and allow him a free hand.

“We appointed Keshi for the Super Eagles job and we have resolved to give him a free hand to pick the players he deems fit to prosecute matches and thus far his selections have produced results,”.

According to an executive member of the NFF; Chris Green, there are several issues which is in the top drawer of the federation which has be addressed and be addressed in good time too, because it is in the interest of the federation to promote peace in the team for without peace the sole purpose of having a coach to steer the team is defeated.

Green made mention of the Yobo vs Keshi, Osaze and Keshi, Emmanuel Emenike, Danny Shittu issues as part of the issues to be addressed in meeting in Abuja.

“We are going to look at the issues objectively. A coach is a coach and is in charge of the team and can decide the players who could best play a game for him.”

“However, when players begin to complain and senior players for that matter, there is need for us to mediate because the team can only achieve more when they are united.

“Our concern is not to fan the ego of anyone, but for peace to reign in the Eagles. We appointed Keshi for this job and we believe in his ability, therefore we must do everything to make sure his job is easy and void of whatever distraction,”

It would be recalled that Joseph Yobo didn’t feature in most of the matches that Nigeria played during the Afcon 2013 in South Africa due to injury.

However, the captain who returned to his club and started playing immediately stated that he is not down with injury as he has been active for his Turkish club since the Nations cup, knocking off the issue of injury being responsible for being excluded from the Super Eagles call-up.

WBA Manager Fed Up with Odemwingie

Nigeria international and West Brom striker is at it again, not at the home front this time but with his club manager Steve Clark.

The former Chelsea assistant manager has spilt out the unexpected saying he is fed up of talking about Peter Odemwingie all the time.

Nigerian international has been a social media freak of late as he takes to twitter to express his opinions once he feels offended by one thing or the other.

It would be recalled that Odemwingie use the same social media network to talk down on NFF amongst other people.

Meanwhile Clarke vehemently condemned social media tantrums saying Odemwingie should physically address him if he has any bone to pick with him rather than go on to the social media network because it is not his thing.

It was reported that the WBA player was fined last week for bringing to the open issues within the club on Twitter.

Odemwingie is likely being seen as a negative influence on the rest of the WBA players rather be a spirit lifter for the team.

I Skipped Eagles Superstars Due To Personality Problems – Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi has opened up on West Brom and Nigerian International Osaze Odemwingie, saying he skipped the player’s name from his squad selection because Osaze had personality problems which he felt cannot be permitted in the squad.

A lot of uproar was generated between the coach and the West Brom player before the Afcon 2013 tournament due to Osaze’s non-inclusion in the provisional squad to the Nations Cup in South Africa.

To a lot of football-loving Nigerians, it appeared as if Keshi didn’t have an idea of what he was doing. This perception continued into the tournament especially in the face of the abysmal performance by the Super Eagles in the group games, giving rise to many questioning why players like Osaze and others were dropped from Keshi’s provisional squad.

“We decided not to take some of these superstars to the Nations Cup because it is a long period of time and for the long period of time, you need characters that go together,” the former Super Eagles captain explained in an interview with Daily Trust.

“And if you have one or two who do not get along, forget about the superstars, the team will fall apart. I can bring a player in for a game. We can manage some of these players with a little bit of character problems, but when it comes to a long period of time, that’s difficult.

“Odemwingie is a very good player, a player I love to have in the team, but he wants to do what he wants to do.

“In the national team, where I was captain for 14 years, you are nothing but an individual in the team as you are not bigger than Nigeria. If you are not ready to give the green-and-white shirt the due respect, you are walking out of my team.

“We talked on the phone, I told him what I wanted from him, but he had his own notion and I said for now, I will skip you.”

Keshi also revealed that Obafemi Martins was not ready for the Nations Cup, but he has not shut the door against the Levante striker.

“He is still part of the group. If his name is in the next call-up, if he wants to come, we will see how it goes,” he said.

The Eagles coach admitted he missed Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi at the African Nations Cup, whose presence in the dressing room would have improved his team.

“Honestly speaking, I missed Shola Ameobi because in the game against Venezuela, he has a different presence in the locker room, he came in with this coaching ability and togetherness, when he talks to these boys they listen. This was the first time he was coming.

“This was what I was looking for on the pitch, somebody who could talk for me on the field, because I know what I did as a captain on the pitch.

“He was really, really ready to come, but his contract denied him from coming.”

Keshi’s Star Players

Keshi also said he will stick with Efe Ambrose at right back despite concerns the Celtic star is being played out of position.

Ambrose is best known as a central defender, but was played at right during the 2013 AFCON in South Africa with many raising concerns over his suitability in that position.

Keshi said the versatile Ambrose grew as a right back during the AFCON.

“He was growing during the tournament; he loves to play in the position. With every game Ambrose was just marching forward with a lot of confidence. If he were not growing, then that’s a different thing,” Keshi remarked.

“He is a very technical player. He loves playing this position and so we said go ahead.

“He can also play in central defence, as a defensive midfielder and at right back; same goes for Oboabona, Kenneth (Omeruo) and Onazi.

“An emergency could come up and we are blessed to have players who can play different positions. It’s a wonderful gift.

“This is what we are looking for in a team, like when Onazi came in and played right back for Efe Ambrose when he was suspended.”

QPR wants Osaze Odemwingie

In the English premier league Queens Park Rangers boss, Harry Redknapp has confirmed he wants to sign West Brom forward Osaze Odemwingie .

Redknapp revealed his interest for the Nigerian international after goalless draw against his former club Tottenham and his optimistic that the club’s chief executive, Phillip Beard will be making a suitable offer soon.

There were however reports earlier in the week that Rangers had a bid for the West Brom forward Osaze but his club rejected the offer.

Rangers will be returning to the negotiation table to try and come up with a better offer.