Revealed: How Peseiro’s decision to axe six senior Super Eagles players backfired – Newstrends
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Revealed: How Peseiro’s decision to axe six senior Super Eagles players backfired

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Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro

Revealed: How Peseiro’s decision to axe six senior Super Eagles players backfired

The head coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Jose Peseiro is currently under huge pressure for the team to meet expectations at next month Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

His short term deal with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will expire after the tournament but it will be extended if he leads the team to at least the final of the tournament.

In the build up to the tournament, the team has lost 60 percent of the games played since the Portuguese was made coach of the team, and more revelations has now been made about how he has handled the team in the period under review.

After securing passage to the AFCON, the coach started the process of building a team for the AFCON and took a drastic decision to axe six senior players from the team, with some even kicked out of the squad entirely.

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In defence, the first casualty was the two vice captain of the team in William Troost-Ekong ans Kenneth Omeruo, It’s started with the coach dropping the duo to the bench before kicking Ekong out totally but kept Omeruo as a squad player.

Captain Ahmed Musa wasn’t spared as well and unless a late change of mind he won’t be in the team to the Africa Cup of Nations, while he had his way with the above mentioned trio, the idea backfired with certain senior players in the team.

Peseiro also dropped Moses Simon to the bench in preference for Ademola Lookman but after two poor performances from the Atalanta man he brought Simon back.

Simon hasn’t looked back since his return as a regular and he is now one of the key players heading into the AFCON. A similar situation played out with the duo of Ola Aina and Wilfred Ndidi.

He twice subbed Ndidi off at the break during games but couldn’t ignore his form at Leicester City hence a recall to the team. It was the same case with Ola Aina who forced his way back into the manager’s plan with impressive performances for West Ham.

Revealed: How Peseiro’s decision to axe six senior Super Eagles players backfired

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UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

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Victor Osimhen

UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

Victor Osimhen scored as Napoli drew 1-1 with Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League (UCL) second-round match.

The 25-year-old equalized for the Serie A champions in the 75th minute, after Robert Lewandowski put Barcelona ahead at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday.

Osimhen spun away from Inigo Martinez inside the box after Zambo Anguissa’s pass reached him. The Lagos-born striker rolled the ball past Ter Stegen, who went the wrong way, and into the goal.

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The match marked Osimhen’s first start for Napoli since December 23, 2023, when he was sent off in a 2-0 loss to Roma.

He played an important role in the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s silver-winning effort at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.

In the other game of the night, Galeno’s late goal helped FC Porto defeat Arsenal 1-0 at the Estadio do Dragao.

Galeno picked up the ball 35 yards outside Arsenal’s goal area deep into stoppage time, proving that the best play was saved for last. The Brazilian carried the ball forward before finding his place and bending a shot past Raya’s stretched limbs into the net.

UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

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Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Pep Guardiola

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised to Kalvin Phillips for saying the midfielder was overweight when he returned from the 2022 World Cup.

Guardiola had told reporters that Phillips was not in the right condition to go through training sessions after returning from Qatar, where he was used for only 40 minutes in two substitute appearances in England’s campaign.

Phillips endured a wretched time at City after signing from Leeds United in 2022, making only six starts in 18 months, and the 28-year-old joined West Ham United on loan last month.

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After making the switch to West Ham, the midfielder said his confidence had taken a “big knock” from Guardiola’s comments.

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday.

“I apologise to him. I spoke to him before making the comment. I never, ever don’t speak to the team before I say something here, or the player in that case.”

City, who are third in the Premier League, can close the gap to leaders Liverpool by one point if they beat Brentford at home later on Tuesday.

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

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Francesco Calzona

Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

Struggling Napoli sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday and brought in Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona just two days before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League.

The 62-year-old Mazzarri became the second man to be sent packing this season by the ailing Italian champions.

Mazzarri took charge in November after Rudi Garcia was dismissed but Napoli then fell to ninth in Serie A ahead of Wednesday’s last 16, first leg with barca at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

“I thank Walter Mazzarri, a friend of the De Laurentiis family and Napoli, for having helped the team in a tricky period,” said Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis on X, formerly Twitter.

De Laurentiis confirmed that Calzona has been hired, reportedly until the end of the season, and will be in charge on Wednesday night.

“It’s always painful to sack a friend,” said De Laurentiis in a short interview with Sky Sport.

“But we need to consider that in Naples you have to give Napoli fans something extra. Now we’re going to try to do that with Francesco Calzona.”

Calzona guided Slovakia to Euro 2024 but has a huge job on his hands as he returns to Napoli, where he was an assistant under Maurizio Sarri and during Luciano Spalletti’s trophy-less first season with the club.

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The 55-year-old will reportedly keep his job with Slovakia while also trying to drag Napoli back up the table after the disappointing end to Mazzarri’s brief second spell in charge of southern Italy’s biggest club.

Mazzarri helped return Napoli to the upper echelons of Italian football between 2009 and 2013.

He guided Napoli to the 2012 Italian Cup, beating undefeated league champions Juventus in the final to win the club’s first trophy in over two decades.

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