World Cup 2018: The fever is raging!

By Daily Sports on May 28, 2018

Views: 22,398

I don’t know why I am an incurable optimist. I grew up with it and in all my adult years it has remained same. I was worried at a stage whether it was slipping but now I have come to firm grips with it, till today.

To a large extent, confronting the Nigerian situation where upside down has become a way of life helped to sharpen it. A country where life has become the Hobbesian nasty, brutish and short can be worrisome for want of a better word. But we have a role to play as ambassadors and watchdogs.  My conversation with you dear readers has been forthright, steadfast, truthful, fearless and varied. I did promise you from day one that I won’t disappoint you because you have been the reason all these years for this soar away Column and Daily Sports.

By the evidence on ground, we have come thus far, faring better at our relatively young age. However, there has been this enigma of who is this man writing and where is he coming from? It has created a struggle between the good, the bad and the ugly. But like you know, we have refused to be intimidated by them and their agents.

Last week article was no exception. A onetime sports journalist pointblank sent me a text message that I should not tag him with my column again. You dear readers have been following when this page wrote on the disregard and not too well behaviour of Shehu Dikko, the chairman of League Management Company who out rightly and arrogantly failed to honour appointment with the Nigerian Players Union led by Dahiru Sadi to a meeting brokered by the Ministry of Labour to iron out the rough areas as it affects Nigerian players welfare.

I instantly replied ‘thank you’ to the request by the journalist. He was saving his job in LMC. He is one of the ex-sports journalists that have been feeding fat in LMC and promoting evils against the players including advising their masters wrongly.  That is the way we are in the cursed country where black is called white in broad day light.

My consolation has been what goes up must come down. This very person was swept away from his well paid job he equally secured based on fraudulent means.  Let us leave that out and face squarely the impending World Cup because that is what dominates sports pages. Fans and pundits are already passionate following the preliminary or what is better known as provisional team lists of countries that would trade tackles in Russia 2018 World Cup summit. The lists were let out of the bag the other week and analysts have been feasting on it.

It is evident that the cat is nearing being let out of the bag. It can further be likened to the hen that is also preparing to go home to roost. Nigeria will be in the thick of it all. The country is not leaving any stone unturned to make a point in the most prestigious single sport in the globe.  The air is gradually thickening, a sure evidence that the D- day is gradually coming to reckoning. Countries are fine tuning their strategies and tactics all in their bid to weather the storm as this year’s World Cup championship beckons.

The world has witnessed since the submission of the provisional lists, the dropping of star players by some countries either due to nagging injuries or one cogent reason or another.  That is World Cup for you and it has been the strong tradition of the round game over these years. It can also further be that such intrigues have readily served as the needed stimuli that have brought to bear what made World Cup different from other equally World sporting gatherings.

It sent fans and pundit wagging while the coaches and their players concentrate in their build up for the competition where only the fittest survive the frays, nocks and what have you. The just submitted 2018 provisional lists by countries qualified for the game witnessed where some supposedly sure belt like players got missing in their respective lists. This not only caught the unsuspecting fans tongues wagging but also showed that no one player can claim being home and dry until his name is among the 23 man list that would emerge from the present provisional 30.

It is why the round leather game has been vividly likened to a game where one plus one has oftentimes proved more than two. It is why the saying goes that you do not celebrate victory until the referee’s last blast of the whistle signaling the end of end game.

Nigeria as one of the representatives of Africa is hell bent on improved outing. The Nigeria Football Federation has been working round the clock to ensure the country wears brand new toga in its World Cup history. Where ever you are looking at it from, the technical crew led by Gernot Rohr has been improving by each game. The players on parade for the country are all average ones and  such one prays would fire them on to put up a determined posture to create some good reference points.

It is true that football is not the game for the pretenders but fact has also shown that players can turn the fortune of their teams round by creating for themselves the kind of history they want to be referred to when the curtain for the tournament is drawn. Nigerian lads to this World Cup in Russia are young talented ones though with no much experience but the determined lot that can hold theirs when the chips are down.

They have seen good actions in their respective club sides and are energetic foremost. Such would no doubt play crucial role as the experienced among them would provide the needed role and once such synergy is built in a team their cohesion level won’t be in any doubt. That is what is expected of Rohr’s soldier as they prepare to confront ‘mortal’ foe, Argentina, then Croatia and Iceland in the group stage. We pray and believe for injury free team. We also look forward for great outing in our first group game against Croatia and we take it from there.

We are solidly behind the team. The boys are set to fly. They have been armed and methinks God will crown it with success everyone’s hand being on deck. Our group is as dicey as the group of death.   What would see us through is determination laced with smartness from the boys on the field of play.  As the game looms, Nigeria will join other nations to march forward as count down to the biggest football event draws. The Eagles have been exposed to some quality friendly matches and that would take them on. The name of the game is focus, determination, exposure, fittest, calculated, sharp attitude and quicksilver thinking like. It won’t be easy in all for all teams as the game has grown among countries however one fact is that some traditional teams would still cling to it when the chips are down. Experience no doubt is the name of the game as players or teams that have such in their bench would captailise on it to wreak havoc.

Eagles with calmness, co-operation, and purposefulness as well as never say die attitude to their games, would surely make some reasonable impact. Though it is a young team its mixed grill. Nature would go a long way in their favour once the boys get their acts together and right in time as the championship swings. It is good tiding for the Eagles as the last lap of preparations continues. Confidence has come to be one of the ingredients of the game and the technical crews are there to sink it into the boys and tell them pointedly that no player plays with his two legs at the same time.

Let nip it here and resort to our social media handles for further discussion. World Cup year is an interesting and exciting one. Stay neck deep in this platform and get up-to-date on Russia 2018 World Cup festival. Keep shooting hard till next week!!

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 28, 2018

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