Nigerian player ratings (for clubs) over the weekend
Nigerian football exports were in action for their various clubs over the weekend.
It’s fascinating to see how some of them got on below:
1)Daniel Akpeyi – Chippa Utd. (0): The 7 capped Super Eagles goalkeeper was not listed for Saturday’s away match against Phiva Young stars to which his side ran away 0:2 winners.
2)Leon Balogun – Mainz (4): The rock at the back for the Super Eagles started at the right of a 3-man defensive wall for his club in Germany this weekend; he doesn’t always seem comfortable in that formation.
Leon and his colleagues in defence conceded 4 goals as their hosts Hoffenheim ran away 4:2 winners. He earned a yellow card in 87 minutes.
3)Kenneth Omeruo - Kasimpasa (6): Omeruo continues to be a consistent performer as he put in a 90-minute shift in his club’s hard fought 1:1 draw against Yeni Malayaspor in Turkey.
The 36 capped Super Eagle was timely in tackles and focused in his all-round play.
4)William Troost Ekong – Bursaspor (6): The Super Eagles defender's positioning was not too bad when under pressure as he tried his best to obstruct opponents neatly in Turkey. His side lost though.
5)Shehu Abdullahi – Bursaspor (6): Playing as a right-sided defensive midfield, Shehu stayed focused to thwart Akhisar Genclik's players' attacking initiatives with timely interceptions and tackles; he also sprayed simple passes to get his team moving. Shehu's side lost 1:0.
6)Ola Aina – Hull FC (7): Playing in his traditional right back position, the defender was solid and uncompromising as his side ran away 0:2 winners against Nottingham Forest in England’s tier 2 league.
Aina’s positioning for his goal-mouth clearance (after his keeper was already beaten) in the second half was defensively astute.
7)Oghenekaro Etebo – Las Palmas (7): Another side was seen to Etebo’s game in Spain as he was initially deployed as a deep-playing central midfielder doing the kind of job you would expect of Ndidi.
He did well to break up play when required and instigated some attacking moves with crisps passes and sporadic runs into space as his side drew 0:0.
8)Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester (5): The tough tackler covered quite a lot of grounds but his physical and close marking approach were not enough to help prevent a more technical Man City team put 5 goals in Leicester’s net – 5:1 it ended with Ndidi yellow carded.
9) Mikel Agu - Bursaspor (0): It seems Shehu Abdullahi's deployment as a defensive midfield in the same club continues to consign Agu to the bench as he played no part in his team's 1:0 loss to Akhisar Genclik. If this continues, It will be hard to see him mount a challenge to Ogu, Mikel, Onazi (who also was inactive) and Ndidi in Eagles' central/defensive midfield slots for the World Cup.
10)Alex Iwobi – Arsenal (4): He came off the bench in 65 minutes to try to inject pace, creativity and urgency for Arsenal’s attack as they were down 1:0 to Harry Kane’s Tottenham at that point.
Iwobi threaded one pass that Lacazette should have better utilized. He also gave the ball away too often as Tottenham held on to win narrowly.
11)Kelechi Iheanacho – Leicester (4): With Leicester already trailing 3:1 at that point, Kelechi was introduced in 53 minutes to add bite in Leicester's attack. It was Man City that will add 2 further goals with no noteworthy contributions from the Super Eagles striker.
12)Brown Ideye – Malaga (7): Back playing big games in a big league, Ideye was expected to unlock the defence of mighty Atletico Madrid with incisive passes and clinical finishes.
The AFCON 2013 winner was very lively particularly in the first half but was starved of service on occasions.
He tried to connect with crosses and pressed the opposing back four while putting himself about to try and make things happen. His side fought but lost valiantly 1:0.