Prior to the last international break, Chelsea and Nigerian international Victor Moses featured for the London giants in an away match against Hull City in the English Premier League (EPL), that has now become the turning point of their present blistering form in the competition.
With knowledge of Nigeria’s invitation for a crucial Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Zambia and Nigerians expectant of his availability for the match, Moses churned out a five-star performance (in his new role in the team) in that particular match which Chelsea eventually won 2-0.
Thereafter, Nigerians were hit a bombshell in the form of the news that the talented star will not be honouring the Ndola showdown. Rumours of an injury he had just copped did surface and were rife just as that of Watford FC’s Isaac Success. Citizens took the Moses ‘injury’ gist hook, line and sinker without a doubt and even wished him a speedy recovery amidst lamentations of his imminent absence.
To everyone’s utter dismay, Moses featured in the next match against EPL reigning champions Leicester City a couple of days later, churning out yet another sublime performance worthy of a man of the match award in fact Chelsea fans worldwide were divided as per who to get the accolade between Moses and team-mate Ngolo Kante; the team’s newest midfield dynamo, who incidentally, it was against his former team which he dumped in the summer for Chelsea, that he unleashed what can pass for his best performance so far this season. Again Chelsea did win, this time, by 3-0.
It is not only Moses breathtaking goal from his right full back position that amazed people, it was his participation in the match despite his rumoured injury situation.
Eventually, it emerged that Moses refused honouring the Zambia match because of a backlog of flight ticket refund owed him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the tune of N8.5m. Even before this revelation, many citizens have begun taking a dim view of Moses because of his tendency to select matches to honour and not to honour for the Super Eagles in recent years. Let’s call a spade a spade, since winning the AFCON 2013, Moses has changed, he’s no longer that ‘good, responsible’ dude we used to know and which we saw at that tournament who was so passionate and committed and even took some difficult games by the scruff of the neck to rescue the Super Eagles. Recall that within this period, he had a fall-out with the late Stephen Keshi – precisely at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – costing him his spot in the starting line-up.
Now, it is pertinent to ask that is Moses doing all these because he feels he has now arrived the big stage on the back of an AFCON gold medal and trophy with the Nigerian national team as well as a World Cup appearance; also currently doing very well with Chelsea in the EPL i.e his own transformation of fortune and needs us no more OR a sort of vindictiveness against the nation giving his sad, unfortunate childhood story down here, precisely, the northern part of the country before fate took him to England? You know, we Africans have got an attitude of letting little success get into ours heads.
This is unsavoury of a player I rate so highly. I have always been of the opinion that him and Osaze Odemwengie are Nigeria’s most technically and tactically-gifted footballers of the present generation, class above the rest, only Mikel Obi comes not too far behind…Hey! It’s ma opinion!
If Moses doesn’t feel like it anymore, he should tell us the way Emmanuel Emenike and Vincent Enyeama did. Nigeria is bigger than any single player and even a group or team of players no matter how talented.
I have a feeling that sooner than later, this guy will drop an ‘international retirement bombshell’, you just watch and see!
The extremely crucial WC qualifying match against Algeria is just one week away, let’s hope he isn’t gonna replicate the same act and let’s hope he gives us 100%, I say this because African players in sublime, fantastic form – for their clubsides – as he is in right now have got a huge tendency to ‘save their legs’ while on national duty.
On the other hand, and, in playing the devil’s advocate here, let me say that the NFF should try bring a permanent end to this recurring embarrassment of owing players and coaches,their salaries and bonuses. It’s not just fair as these people have got lots of financial commitments. It takes quite a lot for a foreign player to stress his or her body after very demanding club matches, board a plane, fly over thousands or millions of miles over seas and oceans, come play on an entirely different terrain and be told ‘stories’ afterwards. It’s not just fair!
Some may say N8.5m is a ‘chicken change’ to someone like Moses but truth is that’s no small money at least on the strength of what is currently going on down here in Nigeria…You just get the alert of such a gargantuan sum on your phone and we see whether your life is gonna remain the same.
To be honest, my head says Moses was right to have done what he did to us while ma heart says he was wrong. What do you think?