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Semiu Fagbayi

Semiu Fagbayi- “I hate it whenever we lose a game

Unfortunately, things have not been too rosy for the team, which is presently been managed by the versatile coach Akinyelu Olajide. Lying in 5th position in the Creative Championship League table, the team only has a win and 3 draws so far in the season.

I asked the captain how it feels, not winning a game of football. “Even if I am not the captain of a team, I hate losing. As a captain, each time we lose, I am not always happy. I always feel bad whenever we don’t win a game. it is not just about been a captain”.

The Ogun State-born footballer, who started his football career with All-Stars football academy, has been enjoying life with Gbagada FC. A team he joined in 2014, has given him a new lease of life. “Gbagada FC is like a home to me. Even in my neighborhood, I am the envy of all, when people get to know I am playing for Gbagada FC. Playing with the club is a huge privilege

Semiu who currently has two goals to his credit, just behind Edema Peter who is the current highest goal scorer for the team, believes that being the captain of the side is not in any way, weighing him down in terms of goal scoring.

 “I don’t think being a captain affects my goal scoring. It is a matter of time. Takes time for things to start working out. I am happy the efforts I am putting into the training is beginning to yield results. For example, I didn’t score in our first two matches of the season. In our third match, I got an assist for Edema Peters. In the fourth match, I didn’t score, but in our fifth match of the season, I scored a brace. So I believe they’re a development in my game and hopefully, in our next match, I will do more.

He explained the feeling of joy about scoring a brace against Emmydinho FC, as a thing of joy and happiness. The relief of finally breaking the yoke of scoring goals is amazing. Unfortunately, his brace wasn’t enough to secure all 3 points, as EMMYDINHO FC eventually scored an equalizer to rescue a point.

He sees Gbagada FC’s recent form which has seen them drop points in games they should have wrapped up as a course of concern. “I feel we tend to lose focus in certain games where we are leading, thinking the game is done and dusted. I will not blame the defenders, because I feel it is a team effort and hopefully we are going to work on it.

He explained the difficulty associated with being a striker and also a captain of the team. “I would say, it is not easy playing as a forward and at the same time trying to coordinate players from the back beginning from the goalkeeper. Thankfully, we have a lot of intelligent players in the team like our Central defender Adekunle Biliamin. He is an experienced player who helps defensively. He helps to coordinate the defense line”

Manchester City

Top 20 Manchester City Ladies on Twitter

Twitter is an amazing platform where you are privileged to come across loads of beautiful people from all walks of life. I have been so lucky to have had the rare privilege to have interacted with so many, who not only love football, but they tweet football and they also devote a chunk of their time discussing their love for Manchester City.

I will be making a review of my best top 20 Manchester City ladies and also sharing their best tweets. It’s beyond their beauty. Their passion for the game and Manchester City is unquestionable. They have been loyal to the club in good times and also in bad times.

Katefitzpatrick (@kathy121255)

“Mendy scored wow”

Forever Blue says: WEAR A MASK (@jackrussell1111)

 “I am fed up with negativity on here about my team. Onwards and upwards Blues, loud and proud. Oh and you can’t blame my lucky selfie this time, I didn’t post one”

Etta (@IckleMrsG)

“Come on you beautiful Blue Boys”

Linda  (@lindahyland63)

 “I have read and seen things on Twitter the last few days that I am appalled at. I love Twitter but I think it’s time to have a break. We Are Champions end of !!!!!!!!!! Deal with it I love my club and their achievements @ManCity.  See you all at Wembley and the parade”

Pernilla Larsson (@Qvittra)

 

Any thoughts about tonight’s game on Boxing Day? Must be a Christmas miracle. Again. City will show power, strength and will. Not too much food there. Slim and fit. Will they win? Well, I believe so. I got faith too. Love City

Pernilla Larsson

#ENDSARS (@RoseMCFC)

“Everyone laughing at City dropping points because of VAR. Remember today it was City. Tomorrow it will be your team”

LauraLou (@LauraLo23859821)

“Come on Cityyyyyyyy…”

BlueJo (@PlaceboJo)

“Best I’ve seen. I’ve had my personal favorites over the years, but the sheer class and absolute professionalism that this man has given us for a decade are a once in a lifetime thing. The pleasure, the privilege is ours, El Mago #DavidSilva #AlwaysABlue”

Joanie (@Northern_Star7)

“Imagine having a player like KDB in your team? He never stops, he’s so creative, so impossibly gifted – and he’s ours!!!!! Have to pinch myself sometimes”

Kathryn Rogers (@KathrynRogers6)

“Incredible player, amazing talent, irreplaceable. Thank you #ElMago”

Phee (@phoebe_ctid)

“Happy birthday to my absolute world David Josué Jiménez Silva. You are my idol and inspiration and I adore you with all my heart! I don’t want you to ever leave. Have a lovely birthday @21LVA

Love you SO much x”

Joanna Sargent (@JoannaSargent)

“Haters will always hate. Lovers will always love. I know where I stand …. #MCFC. Sleep tight you blues. We’re in for a bumpy ride but together we’ll fight to the end”

Jenna McGregor Jackson (@Jennababes)

“Getting nervous now! Come on blues!! Let’s do this!!”

Rachel Dixon (@BlueTiger81)

“The day we city fans all dreaded is here @21LVA the magician the man you will be missed so much we love you and you are a blue for life. Already had one crying sesh after watching a video of your moments. Don’t be a stranger”

Julia Coulton (@juliacoulton)

“We fight to the end Blues!! Keep the faith”

Sungazer (@SenoritaSungaze)

“Kevin still has two seasons left on his current contract and will have just turned 32 when that deal expires. If he signs an extension he could be looking at playing for City until his mid-thirties. It was as if he was claiming he wishes to end his career at City”

Jenna Pannell (@jazzyjen1986)

“Manchester City were the first team in English history to win a domestic treble in the same season”

Sarah (@Stonesology)

“If you’re not backing our best players through their worst times, don’t back them through their best. Simple as that. You’re allowed to be frustrated, but there is no need to slander anyone. They are humans”

Emilia 🙂 (@mcwfcwalsh)

“Sunday will be his last ever premier league game. Thank you, Merlin. One of the greatest ever”

emma ♡ (@_emmactidxo)

YESSSSS ABSOLUTELY BUZZING. LOVE YOU CITY

Edema Peter

I once went a whole season without scoring- Edema Peter

The dream of every striker is always to find the back of the net. That is the primary reason why they are signed. Unfortunately, every striker experience goal drought along the journey of their career. Edema Peter, a striker with Gbagada FC, Lagos Nigeria, shared his experience with me in an exclusive chat recently.

In my first season with Gbagada FC, it wasn’t so easy for me. I went through the entire season without scoring a goal. It was a difficult moment in my career. There were days I went home after a match, feeling so empty and unhappy

The truth is that world-class strikers also experience goal drought along the way. Take the case of Saido Berahino, who was so clinical in front of goal for West Bromwich Albion scoring a total of 35 goals in 100 appearances. He however went 48 games without scoring a goal. One of the longest goal droughts in the Premiership.

This season has however been good so far for the Ondo State-born goal-poacher Edema Peter, who is currently on top of the goal scorers chart in the Creative Championship with 5 goals. He is brimming with renewed confidence in front of goal, as he spearheads the Gbagada FC attack.

A graduate from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Edema emerged as the most valuable player during his National Youth Service in Ekiti State. The eldest of four kids, he was quickly snapped up by Nigeria National League side Ekiti United, who gave him a 2 years contract.

Things did not however turn out as expected for the big No9, as he got a knee injury that kept him out of the game for 7 months. It was a huge blow to his footballing career, as he never got to play for Ekiti United.

Sometimes, things happen for a reason. When I got injured immediately I signed for Ekiti United, the pain of not playing for several months was so much. I struggled to fight my way back from injury, and it was not easy”.

In 2018, things turned around for good as he got an invitational trial with Gbagada FC, and after a few matches with the Lagos-based side, he was signed on. The excitement was immense, as he had the opportunity to once again blossom in his football career.

At first glance, one is tempted to think Gbagada FC is a club in Europe. Seeing the amazing set-up within the club, ranging from the branded team bus, beautiful pitch, customized jersey, standard Gym, and dressing room. The professional touch can easily be seen from within and outside the club.

The professional touch currently in place at the club has been birthed by the owner and manager of the team- Akinyelu Olajide. He has been the brain behind the amazing development taking place within the team.

Asked about the impact the manager has had on his career, Edema Peter didn’t mince words: “He has taught me all I have learned till date. Always patient with me, even when the goals weren’t coming. He has instilled so much confidence in me. This has molded me into a better person and a better striker in front of goal

Gbagada FC, no doubt has got so much going for them. This has seen a plethora of official partners, helping them to achieve their cooperate goal as a team. As of the last count, the team has a total of six official partners:

Edema Peter resurgence in front of goal saw him recently, scoring his first professional hattrick for the Lagos based side in a 3-3 draw against Iganmu FC in an entertaining encounter that saw the striker showing his prowess in the air with two well-headed goals and a well-taken penalty kick.

He later dedicated the hattrick to his late Dad and inspiration. Describing the dad who died in 2014, as someone who gave him the foundation he presently enjoys academically. An immense inspiration in the early stage of his life.

Dad was always there for me when I needed him. He was a journalist, and was interested in sports, and helped encouraged me in my football career. My Mum who is an Orthopedic doctor has also been supportive. Always there to nurse me whenever I had injuries. Hopefully, she would enjoy the fruit of her labor when I make it to the top

Asked about how he gets inspired for games, he never wasted time in responding: “Jamie Vardy of Leicester FC has always been my main motivation. I love the way he scores goals for his team and I usually watch clips of his goals before each game. I keep telling myself, that I can do it just like Jamie Vardy is doing it”

On a final note, he opened up on the essence of hard work and the need to keep striving and never give up on one’s dream. “The journey is not easy, because each day one is learning to become better. My target is to score about 20 goals this season, and I know with patience, hard work, and the help of my teammates and Coach Akinyelu Olajide, I will make it”

Gidado Toyeeb

I am not scared of bigger players- Gidado Toyeeb

Austin Okocha, Juan Mata, Bernardo Silva, Lionel Messi, Xavi, and David Silva. These are all world-class players. They all have some common traits. They are attacking midfielders and they aren’t the biggest in terms of size or height. What they lack in size, they compensate with skills, goals, and defense-splitting passes and assists.

One advantage players with small physique have, is their low gravitational force, which makes them more stable while dribbling and very difficult to dispossess whenever they are with the ball. An example is Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, the Late Diego Maradona, and David Silva. These players were exceptionally good when on the ball and they had this uncanny way of utilizing small pockets of space in the field of play.

Gidado Toyeeb, an attacking midfielder with Remo Stars FC shared with me during an interactive chat recently, about his love for Bernardo Silva, the Portuguese international who presently plays for Manchester City of England. Weighing at 68KG and a height of 5 feet, 4 inches, the Lagos born footballer doesn’t lack the confidence to take on bigger players.

I prefer the taller players because it is easier for me to maneuver around them. I don’t have problems dealing with players that are bigger than me

Gidado who was nicknamed “Baba Kekere”, while playing with Crest Football Academy (Formerly Cowbell Football Academy) because of his height, never allowed his small size to stop him from achieving his dream. The Academy which was owned by Godwin Dudu Orumen helped shaped his career.

He was also part of the victorious U-15 team that represented Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth games held at Gaborone, Botswana. Gidado coincidentally captained the team, which went on to win the Gold medal at the competition. They defeated Swaziland 3-1 in the final.

The team led by coach Danladi Nasidi, defeated host Botswana 2-0 in their opening game, before playing a 0-0 draw with Mali. They trashed South Africa 3-0 in their third game before defeating Tanzania 2-0 in the Semi-Finals.

Asked to share his experience at the competition, Gidado remembered with nostalgia, the excitement that came with winning his first major honor as a footballer; “It was great. It’s the best feeling ever, wearing the green white green jersey of Nigeria. Nothing feels better. The happiness, excitement. It was my best moment as a footballer, and I was the captain of the team”.

He didn’t score in the tournament, but chipped in three-assist, as the team scored an impressive eight goals while conceding just one goal en route to winning the Gold Medal. He jokingly shared how his teammates and friends threatened him because of his height. he said he has however come to accept his faith, as he didn’t create himself.

Gidado who is the eldest of four kids remembered the rough treatment he usually got from his Dad whenever he came home late after playing street soccer. “Dad and Mum didn’t approve of me playing street soccer at that time. Mum didn’t even want me to go into football. It was not until I went to England in 2011 for the Copa Coca-Cola Mini Tournament, that they began to approve of my taking  up football as a career.

When asked about the secret of his success in Remo Stars FC. He attributed his performance so far to the influence of the Remo Stars FC coach. “My present manager usually has a mantra, and that is IJA, which when translated from Yoruba means FIGHT. It’s not about been talented alone. You must be ready to give your all at any given moment. You have to be ready to Fight

On a final note, he has this little advice for aspiring footballers: “As an aspiring footballer, you have to be confident. You got to be disciplined. There would be lots of obstacles. Be ready for challenges and stay focused. Hopefully, everything will fall in place”

hope

Hope keeps the heart alive

On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States of America. By that victory, he also became the first African elected to the White House.

Before the election, the young senator wrote the best selling book titled: “The audacity of Hope”. It was an intriguing book that showcased the American dream and the possibility of achieving these lofty dreams.

That same sentiment has always kept some individuals strong, even in the face of daunting challenges. A few days ago, I shared my sentiment concerning the tenacity of Arsenal FC fans.

I tweeted: “Sometimes you got to praise the courage and resilience of Arsenal fans. Season after season, that constant heartbreaking experience never weigh them down. I draw inspiration from them and this week I’ll be writing an article dedicated to all Arsenal fans. You deserve all the Love”

Funny enough, the football season started on a very beautiful note for the London side, as they clinched both the FA Cup and the Community shield. An ecstatic Mikel Arteta was over the moon as he savored two trophies in his new managerial career at Arsenal.

The mood among Arsenal fans was even made merrier with the litany of signings in the summer transfer window. In came the likes of Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian, Runar Alex Runarsson, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, and Dani Ceballos.

The hope of a good run in the new season was high. Defense, midfield, and attack had been fortified. Unai Emery had been shown the exit door and Mikel Arteta was given a warm reception.

Everything was put in motion to ensure Arsenal brings back the glory years, and the FA Cup and Community shield triumph was an appetizer to the ever-loyal Arsenal faithful.

Fast forward to week 12 of the 2020/2021 English Premier League season, and Arsenal are rooted in the 15th position in the EPL Log after an embarrassing 1-0 loss at home to Burnley. It was not the first time they were losing at home this season.

Sundays’ loss to Burnley was Arsenal’s 4th consecutive home defeat at home this season. The initial hope that came with Mikel Arteta’s coming and the new signings have fizzled out. The alarm bell has started ringing, as rumors have started going around about the possibility of looking for a new manager.

It has indeed been a turbulent time for Arsenal supporters, as they have endured years of pain. The pain of going from season to season without a major trophy can be so devastating, but the ever-resilient gunner fans have always stood behind the club and players.

The audacity of hope can be seen in the play, as they keep dreaming about some positive moment. Unfortunately, someone jokingly tweeted about Arsenal’s trophyless run after Diego Maradona died recently. “Did you know that Diego Maradona died without seeing arsenal winning the champions league, he lived for 60 years

It was a rather embarrassing fact, that highlight the long wait for Joy among the Arsenal fans. Indeed, things have not gone according to plan this season, and confidence is at an all-time low among players.

Mesut Ozil

There have been fingers pointing at the ill-treatment meted out to Mesut Özil as been responsible for Arsenals dismal display so far. Indeed, the creative midfielder has been frozen from Arsenals first team since March 2020.

He remains Arsenal’s most creative midfielder and there is already a clamor for his recall to the team. The possibility of Mesut linking up with the squad in January is high, even as pressure keeps mounting on Mikel Arteta.

Lack of goals

Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Eddie Nketiah have been used as Arsenal’s main striking options this season, but their goal return has been dismal. Aubameyang has played 12 premier league matches this season and has scored just 2 goals.

Alexandre Lacazette has played 8 matches and made 2 substitute appearances this season with 3 goals to show. Eddie Nketiah has started 1 premier league match and made 9 substitute appearances and has just 1 goal to his name. Unfortunately, goals can only come when chances are created. Sadly, creativity is absent in the middle of the pack.

The manager

Questions have been raised about the ability of Arteta to steer Arsenal from the murky water of despondency into a top 4 team that they are used to. As an assistant to Pep Guardiola, he was never faced with these sorts of challenges.

Experience at the top level may be lacking. How to rightly utilize players at his disposal is another challenge. How he handles the Mesut Ozil situation will further show his capacity as a manager. Technically, he still has few things to learn in the game, but helping Arsenal to a respectful finish seems to be the agenda for now.

The agony of hope

Watching Mikel Arteta’s post-match interview after the Burnley defeat was heart-rendering. He was pensive and almost in tears. I could imagine the pain and turmoil inside of him. He didn’t look too hopeful, just like millions of Arsenal fans who have already resigned themselves to whatever comes their way.

Arsenal’s next four games will be crucial

The next four games for Arsenal have assumed a more significant dimension considering the situation of the club. They play Southampton at home, Everton away and Manchester City in the EFL Cup Quarterfinal. They then welcome Chelsea at home on boxing day in a must-win game. If they drop points in three EPL games, they may be swimming in the murky waters of relegation.

The audacity of hope may eventually give way to the pain of resignation. It’s a lonely world out there and even in this festive season, let’s keep sending love and light to all Arsenal fans. They are the real heroes in this unique chapter of the club’s unenviable transition.

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