BBC Match of the day host Gary Lineker was effusive in his praise. “It was a thing of beauty, the way he glided past those defenders!” he gushed. His co-host Ian Wright responded in his own enthusiastic manner, ” The Manager Roy Hodgson should give the lad the key to the Palace !” It is true, the goal scored by Eberechi Oluchi Eze was indeed beautiful. To borrow a cliche often used in Zimbabwe football, ” he cut through Sheffield United defence like a hot knife through butter !” It was good to watch.
I came across an article in which former Super Eagles captain, Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha in he urged Nigerian fans to stop their obsession with the emergence of ” the new Okocha “. The immensely talented Okocha said, “We should not put pressure on any emerging talent by comparing them to Okocha, we should allow them to develop at their own pace!” While I agree with the legend, i could not help but think about him as I watched Eze gliding across the field on his way to scoring that beautiful goal.
Yes Eze is of Nigerian heritage and although he is being groomed through the England junior teams. The young man has not ruled out playing for Nigeria in the future. ” I can still play for Nigeria although currently i am playing for the England under 21. When the time comes , i will consider it “, said the rising star.
This was good to hear and if the Nigeria Football authorities can move fast and persuade him to commit, they would have nicked themselves a gem. I think Nigeria will offer him a better chance of achieving his dreams . I say so not because he is not good enough for England but because I know the pressure which come s with playing for the success starved Three Lions. With Nigeria, there is pressure but the expectation of winning the World Cup is not as intense.
I hope it will happen, it will be good to see him in Super Eagles colours. Nigeria has already lost another rising star Bukayo Saka. Yesterday he played a blinder as Arsenal took apart WBA in a scintillating performance which left the doubting Thomases finally convinced. Arsenal have a good bunch of young stars and Saka is the ace in the pack. What a shame that he has already been lost to the the Super Eagles but i still wish him all the best on his journey with England.
Because of Saka , let me talk briefly about Arsenal. It was indeed pleasing to see The Gunners make Big Sam Allardyce eat humble pie. He had declared, ” Arsenal are our relegations rivals !” in a moment of reckless bravado. When Arsenal came to the Hawthorns, their quality simply rose to the top despite the harsh weather conditions. Big Sam did not know what hit him and he had to admit, “I need to make some additions in January !” All the best to him but i do not see him saving WBA.
Indeed this weekend had some interesting results, the race for the crown is getting hotter with Liverpool, Manchester United, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City all posting some great results. A lot will be written but allow me to celebrate that beautiful goal by Eze and dare ask, is he the next Okocha? Only time will tell!