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Ighalo deserves a Premier League start at Man Utd + NFF resolutions

Odion Ighalo substitute

Good morning and welcome back to the blog. It’s been 15 days since I last wrote a blog which was about Liverpool’s title win after waiting 30 years for the trophy. It has also been 15 days since Odion Ighalo last scored for Manchester United, that is why I decided to write about the Nigerian striker on my return to the blog, hoping he will start and score as usual.

It is a little weird when you look at the stats of players away from what we see on the pitch, as impressive as Manchester United has been since the restart of the Premier League, or say since Ighalo and Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes joined the club in January, everything started falling in places for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. The front three of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood has been exciting if not devastating for opposition defenders.

The Red Devils exciting striking trident has contributed 56 goals between them this season, which is more than Liverpool’s 53 goals scored by their front three. Since the restart which saw Rashford restored to the side, in five league matches played, Rashford has only managed a goal, which was a penalty against Sheffield United. He has provided three assists, which is a good return by any standard but there is a case to be made, keeping Rashford fresh and in competition with Ighalo might restore his confidence in front of goal.

United have scored 15 goals in the five games they have played since the restart, Solskjaer has no business in changing a winning team, Rashford plays on the left side of the attack, which is Martial’s preferred position, if the United boss wants to change things a little bit upfront, I feel Ighalo who has scored in every match he has started, can repeat continue his streak. It is a little worrisome that despite the team’s recent form, an injury might see them suffer for fluency, games are played every three days which is a big ask for any footballer, but winning matches makes heavy legs fresh because they are going at full strength.

The three frontmen deserve to be in the team every day, Ole definitely sees enough in the training to have such strong conviction in the fitness of these players, but Ighalo has given his boyhood club the platform to excel, providing depth and quality if needed off the bench.

Manchester United are pushing for a top-four finish and will welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Monday, it might be a good place to give Ighalo his first league start for the club. He has played 9 league matches for United, all as a substitute without scoring, scored 3 goals in two FA Cup start against Derby County (2) and Norwich City (1); scored in the Europa League as a starter against Club Brugge and LASK and will score if he makes a Premier League start. (hahaha).

Manchester United fans will be like…“This guy is a cunt. Why should we change a team that is flourishing for a 31-year old? F’ck you mate…” and I will reply “f’ck you too mate! Have some shame you little prick and you can kiss my ass..” ….Na joke I dey joke ooo.

NFF league resolution ahead of new season

Yesterday, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, came out with a resolution that the country’s football body has resolved to adopt the Point Per Game, PPG, an option which was presented to them by the League Management Company in collaboration with Football Club Owners Association or whatever they call themselves. If you were ever in doubt that they will uphold the decision, let me see your hands up?

Truth be told, there was no way league football would have started considering the current situation in the country, as I said once in the podcast, it is fanciful to even think in a country like Nigeria that is hell-bent on politics, will consider putting money in a football league that is not profitable. If you are reading this blog from a country that knows how to make money from football, well, the case is different here and we all are hoping and praying as a nation to see a turnaround in our fortunes.

What the resolution says is already what we all know about the 2019/2020 season. Officially, it has been ended with Plateau United finishing top, Rivers United in second place, meaning the two will represent Nigeria in next season’s CAF Champions League. Using the PPG, Enyimba finished in 3rd place and will play in the CAF Confederations Cup while 2019 Aiteo Cup champions Kano Pillars takes the remaining slot for the continental position.

The odd thing here is that Lobi Stars who finished 4th will not play in the continent which is a shame. My opinion all day is that the league table should have been followed with the top four teams deservedly going to the continent. But this is Nigeria and things are not always done the way we expect.

Another thing is that there will be no relegation, meaning, no team will be promoted in the NNL. I had a chat about that with media officer of the league, Amar Ignis, after the NNL also resolved to end the league season. Since there has been an agreement between the leagues, I feel it is meaningless to give my opinion. If you haven’t listened to the podcast, all the links are here below.

In another news, the 2020/2021 season is expected to begin in September of October, lets keep fingers crossed and hope that date is possible.

Talking about podcasts, we’ve not recorded an episode this week. Sincere apologies for that but surely we will be back before you know it.

That’s all from me this morning. Have a great weekend.


Download the latest episode of The Athletic NG NPFL podcast. Links below.


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