Day 5 with Eagles: Enter the Rwandans

I didn’t do much on the fifth day because I was already getting weary. I had told myself that after the events of Thursday I would shut down on the job until the Rwandans come out to train and then the match day.

Pic: Rwandans pray before training on Friday
The minster of sports, Bolaji Abudulahi jetted into town today and while the journos around rushed to his hotel to interview him, I couldn’t be bothered.

I preferred lying on my back in my room watching TV and getting myself in high spirits for the work to be done later in the day.

I wasn’t bothered with going to the Eagles hotel or even watch their training in the morning I just made my mandatory calls out to Cool FM, Abuja, Wazobia Port Harcourt and of course sent online reports.

I also knew getting accredited for the game would be another headache as chief media officer of the Nigeria Football Federation had told us it would be done at 6pm.

Tough talking Sredojevic

At 4.45 pm the Rwandans came into the stadium and started training in earnest.

We saw them try their hands at shots from afar; we saw them try shots from close range; they also tried flick headers from shot crosses and chipping the balls in from outside the box.

Finally as they were rounding up the session, they went into practicing penalty shoot-outs.

The final session lasted a little close to twenty minutes.

Could it be that Milutin Sredojevic was planning to park the bus? End the game goaless and the go through the lottery of penalty shoot-outs?

What was on his mind?

As they walked out of the pitch, those of us journos on duty at the stadium cornered the coach to ask him what his plans were for the game.

The coach said he will play an all total football when his side play Nigeria on Saturday.

"All over the world Nigeria is known for their potent strike force. Their strikers have always been world class and the case is not any different here.

"We will be planning to be slaughtered if we adopt a defensive formation against the Eagles so we will not do that," the coach said.

"All over Africa, Nigeria has the highest level of fire power and we will do whatever we can to stop that firepower from consuming us.

"We are going to attack them and we will defend against them. I believe in my boys and at the end of the game fans all over the world who watch it will be happy to have seen two fine playing sides."

He added that he will capitalize on the existing pressure on the Eagles.

"You people call yourselves super powers and having missed out on the last Nations Cup you don't want to miss out on the second in a row.

"We will capitalize on that pressure to show that your players are indeed human beings and not super men."

By the time he was through with us, a lot of journos were no longer confident.

I thought he was just playing mind games. If he’s coming to attack then why train for penalties for a game that ended goaless in the first leg?

Time will tell.

Ademola Olajire delayed us about an hour before we got accredited and then I was whisked to the studios of Paradise FM in Calabar for a one hour pre-game show that also had Dr. LAdipo and members of the supporters club.

Next up for me was Gennys but no fish this time.

Keshi and his crew

I was shocked that no member of the Super Eagles’ coaching crew was on hand to watch the training session of the Rwandans.

I would have expected at least one of them to be there. I’m not a technical man but watching them for one hour gave me an idea of what they would do on match day.

You can imagine if Keshi, Amokachi or Okpalla sat in the stadium to watch them train what they would have interpreted from what happened in that hour.

Oh well. I don’t think I want the Eagles to win the match more than the coaches who are paid heavily for it.

I believe they know their reasons for not turning up to watch the Rwandans.

I have two more days in this town and then I go back home to continue my life as a Port Harcourt boy.
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  1. Your articles are drab :(

  2. Thst's the big idea mate. To bore you to death