It’s really noble of Uzoho to tender a public apology for his singular response after a tsunami of virulent abuse hurled at him over several months.
Uzoho isn’t unused to criticisms. His post box was inundated with unfriendly mail following games against Ghana and Algeria where he conceded a similar type of saveable goals. But he bit his tongue.
But, the nature of recent vitriol following another set of dubious performances was too much for the usually unassuming net minder to tolerate.
One thing though is a common denominator: his performance.
Football is a sport that evokes strong emotions and fans are understandably frustrated.
But, with this public apology, I hope all parties can draw a line under the matter and start from a clean slate.
And, it is a clean slate.
A new world cup qualifying campaign and another edition of the Afcon.
If Peseiro sticks with Uzoho as I think he will, Uzoho has to work on his confidence and abilities. He has improved massively (from what I noticed) in ball distributions. Yesterday, I went back to watch highlights of the match against Portugal and saw him pull off a breathtaking save to punch a goal bound effort.
Against Guinea Bissau, there were also some saves of note. Uzoho is not a waste of space.
But, to be honest, it is too much to expect fans to continue to stomach damaging goalkeeping performances.
Perhaps Peseiro should give him a break to deflect some attention off him. Adeleye seems capable and Okoye appears to be looking after himself.
Gernot Rohr wasn’t stupid. Shielding his goalkeeper with 3 centre backs and 2 defensive midfielders offered ample protection. But Peseiro has gone with 2 centre backs and minimal defensive midfield apparatus. Yes he has two midfielders but the have near 50/50 attacking and defending responsibilities.
Rohr plays it safe, sits back and hits on the break while Peseiro plays with all guns blazing, stabbing forward like a supernatural killer in a horror movie. In this dispensation, the Super Eagles goalkeeper should expect to be busy with shrapnels of shots raining from all directions.
It’s a thankless task to be a goalkeeper in a loose formation but some relish it, it keeps them busy. It’s up to Peseiro to decide whether Uzoho is the missing goalkeeping piece in the jigsaw puzzle intended to guarantee a memorable outing for Nigeria in the Afcon and early world cup qualifying fixtures.
I have my doubts but Peseiro knows best.