It’s no news that the round leather game is a sport that is being played by eleven able professionals, who are signed by their respective clubs to show the stuff they’re made of and also to continue building the dynasty and the culture of the team they represent.
No doubt, the desire, and determination of every professional footballer is to always get the opportunity to play for their club, however as fantastic as that sounds, not all of the players get to play, some get to play, some plays sparingly, while some don’t get to play, in the end, it renders them unhappy and they ended up going through a torrid moment in the team.
Today on this piece, Cheapgoals will look at few African players who are going through a torrid time at their respective clubs.
Victor Wanyama – Tottenham Hotspur
The Kenyan captain signed for the London based outfit following a terrific season with the Saint in 2016, after they had reached an agreement with Southampton on a five-year contract for a fee of £11 million, prior to his move down to Spur, Wanyama had previously worked with the then gaffer Mauricio Pochettino who brought him to Southampton in 2013.
Even before Pochettino left the club, Wanyama hasn’t been able to replicate the kind of form he churned out with the Saints, and since he has been going through one form of injury or another which gradually frozen him out of the team first eleven under Poch.
As it stands this season, Wanyama is currently not enjoying life in the EPL and of course with Tottenham, since Jose Mourinho joined the team, the last time the Kenyan midfield maestro featured for Spurs was way back in December 11 when he came on as a second-half substitute against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and in total this season Wanyama could only boost of 24 minutes for Tottenham in all competitions.
Wanyama has found himself behind Eric Dier, Harry Winks, and Sissoko in the pecking order for a spot in the team, with his career at North London gradually coming to an unfulfilling end, it’s just a matter of time before the Kenyan captain would be shipped out.
Paul Georges Ntep – Wolfsburg/Unattached
The Cameroonian forward joined the Wolves in 2017 on a four-year contract from the Ligue 1 side Rennes in January, and the contract was expected to expire in 2021, but Ntep hasn’t been able to live up to expectations with the German side.
Ntep spent the first half of the season in Turkey with Kayserispor, following his poor form and haven’t failed to replicate the blistering form which made the German outfit to signed him in 2017, however, Ntep returned back to Germany in December due to the financial crisis that befell Kayserispor.
Following Ntep return to the team, the Cameroonian couldn’t break into the Wolfsburg’s first team, and it looks more like his service isn’t needed again by the Bundesliga side and he is expected to look for Greener pastures elsewhere in other to revive his dying career.
Ntep three-year marriage with the German side didn’t produce any goal despite playing 19 games in all competitions, which includes two loan spells outside Germany, as his contract was terminated on mutual of recent which made the Cameroonian a free agent.
Efe Ambrose – Derby County/Livingston
The former Super Eagles defender who of recent put pen to paper to sign for Livingston in the Scottish second-tier league after 13 months of inactivity as a professional footballer will get to play again.
The center-back Ambrose endured a torrid time at the Championship with Derby County where he had a spell in the 2018-19 season under the tutelage of then-manager Frank Lampard, even after the former Chelsea midfield maestro left Ambrose still couldn’t buy a game to his name under the new manager.
Although Ambrose’s career is on that stage where it’s gradually winding down, however, the Nigerian will get the opportunity to revive his career with the Almondvale outfit in the Scottish second-tier league as he recently signed an 18-month contract after being without a club since he was released by Derby.
Kwadwo Asamoah – Inter Milan
Saying Kwadwo his a loyal player to the Italian club sides he has played for and the current team his playing for is definitely an understatement, Asamoah spell with the Turin side Juventus did produce a lot of success until he left the Mauricio Sarri led side in 2018.
In 2018, Lega Serie A’s registration confirmed that Asamoah had agreed to become an Inter player in May, and the signing was confirmed officially in July and the following month he made his Inter debut in a 1-0 away defeat to Sassuolo, which was the first match of the 2018-19 Serie A season.
Since Asamoah joined the Nerazzurri, he only had 40 game appearances for the Antonio Conte led side, the Ghanaian has failed to recover from a knee injury that has been troubling him since October last year, which has only put his future at the San Siro under serious scrutiny after the likes of former Manchester United winger Ashley Young and Conte’s anointed son Victor Moses joined the team.
Asamoah’s contract expires in 2021 and hopes of renewal have remained muted perhaps due to his constant injuries which have also caused him being frozen out of the national team of recent
Sodiq Umar – Partizan Belgrade
In early 2019, the Nigerian U23 forward Sodiq completed his loan move to Serbian club Partizan which included an option to buy, however during that period he played a total of 18 games for Partizan in all competitions and scored 11 goals with the Serbian club.
Step forward this season, Umar hasn’t been able to rekindle the form which got him a permanent move to the Serbian side, after having a successful loan spell in the first stanza of the league.
Umar has netted 16 goals, and 12 assist in 30 matches for the Serbian side, but he has not been able to play many matches just like he did when he joined on loan from Roma before being signed permanently, as he has only played just one match so far until now.
Ebrima Colley – Atalanta
The Gambian young star started playing for the U19 squad of Atalanta in the 2017-18 season, and he made his professional debut for Atalanta in a 2-1 Serie A loss to Bologna in 2019
Since his debut for Atalanta in 2019, he hasn’t been able to really get into the team in full throttle due to the avalanche of stars in the team, and of course with the fact that he is just coming from the U19 team, so going straight into the first eleven will be a tall order for the Gambian.
No doubt Colley is just 20 years of age, perhaps he would come good for Atalanta if he remains dedicated, focused and stay out of injuries, then he would definitely get much playing time with the Italian side.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
READ ALSO: Mosengo-Omba Is CAF New General Secretary
The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.