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Was It Right For Francis Uzoho To Hit Back At Criticism Online?

Uzoho Finally Hits Back (About Time, If You Ask Me!)

Uzoho is usually a humble and unassuming personality online. But with so much abuse directed at him on social media of late, the beleaguered net minder finally cracked.

There is a saying that goes something like, if you push a usually timid goat too close to the wall, he will eventually retaliate and fight back.

Fans (including me) are quick to retaliate, sometimes ferociously, whenever other fans criticise their veiws on Internet platforms or social media feeds. But we now slam Uzoho for responding to vitriol after keeping quiet for so long - doesn’t this smack of double standards?

Uzoho burst into the scene in 2018 after fans indirectly forced Gernot Rohr's hand to replace a competent Daniel Akpeyi because we found it hard to overcome an unfortunate miscommunication caused error against Argentina in a friendly - a friendly we won handsomely anyway with Akpeyi making some fine saves.

We qualfied for that 2018 world cup with games to spare with the same Akpeyi playing 60% of games. Ezenwa played the remaining 40% which - in living memory - ended up being Nigeria's most rip-roaring, whiplash inducing all-conquering world cup qualifier series against heavyweight oppositions.

Yet, the 2 goalkeepers at the heart of that unforgettable accomplishment never attracted criticical and fan acclaim. No no no! Akpeyi and Ezenwa are pariahs, 2 of the worst, comical and awful goalkeepers ever to be unfortunate enough to wear Super Eagles colours (in the eyes of many fans).

Gernot Rohr listen and hurriedly promoted Uzoho to number one, jettisoning the other 2 highly experienced capable but admittedly at times comical goalkeepers.

Guess what, the 2 goalkeepers - Uzoho and Okoye - that succeed Akpeyi and Ezenwa are now both already pariahs even at their young age with no end of criticisms hurled at them!

In the words of Francis Uzoho: “Do it yourself if it’s easy!” A statement that I think hits the bull's eye and one that is simply apt.

Coach Peseiro had said earlier: "Nigerian goalkeepers never play freely or calmly because of the fans. I don’t know why they attack the goalkeepers every time.”

I don't either, Mr Peseiro. Why not attack the useless NFF instead?

In truth, Uzoho peaked in 2019 and has experienced very minimal but undeniable decline ever since. Okoye on his part, was a rookie who was still cutting his goalkeeping teeth the same year with glaring shortcomings.

Between 2019 and now, Nigeria has attended 2 world cups, 3 Wafu Zone B Cups and 1 Afcon in U-20 football. In U17, we have been to 1 world cup, 2 Wafu Zone Bs, and 1 Afcon. We have played 2 Chan qualifiers and 2 under 23 qualifiers. A whole 15 mini tournaments!

Yet, yet we have not been able to identify fresh goalkeepers with skills better suited to a loose and porous 4-4-2 formation? Shame on everybody concerned in scouting goalkeeping talents for Nigeria.

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