The Weekend’s Real MVP: Jamie Vardy and Victor Osimhen

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Of all that happened this past weekend: Chelsea’s 7th defeat of the season, Leicester’s fine run of form, Man. Utd’s ‘clean sheets’, Bayern’s four in the first 40 minutes, Neymar’s beautiful goal, Real Madrid’s shock loss to Sevilla and many more, not excluding the exploits of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, I have chosen to write about two players. The first,

Jamie-Vardy
Jamie Vardy
How else can you describe a player who by himself has defined the term ‘goalscorer’ this season? The hottest prospect so far of the 2014/2015 Premier League season is banging in goals left, right and center and on Saturday, he scored again, a penalty this time, against Watford. He has now scored 12 goals this season, scoring in every of his last 9 PL games. Little wonder Quique Sanchez Flores, Watford coach, described Vardy, who was once a factory worker, as “the best striker we have played against so far.” Vardy is having fun scoring goals and I won’t be surprised if he eventually matches van Nistelrooy’s 10 goals in 10 games record set in 2003.

Goal Meister: Osimhen scored 10 in 7 games

Goal Meister: Osimhen scored 10 in 7 games


Victor Osimhen
The goal-scoring delight of the just concluded U-17 World Cup, the Nigerian bagged 10 goals in the competition, finishing the tourney’s highest goal scorer.  His last goal, which came in the final against Mali, which was also his 10th of the competition, made him the highest goal scorer in the history of the competition. Oh did I mention that his goal in the final was a real striker’s goal, that he won the silver ball and the golden boot, and that he plays like Zlatan? Well, now I have told you and now you know.

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The Weekend’s Real MVP: 3 Teams, Four Wins Out of Four, 0 Goals Conceded

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A round of applause please...

After a weekend of football drama, heart-breaks, 89th-minute penalties being awarded, title contenders being slaughtered and huge statements and discoveries being made (Juventus and Manchester United) I have selected 3 teams that, unlike some other teams that can’t stop conceding goals (Did I mention that I love Chelsea?), they have been as brutal up front as they’ve been at the back.

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Sterling Citizens

Manchester City
The Citizens had another ‘routine’ win over the weekend and Watford was the one who got the beating. So far, they’ve started the season so well, they have now won four of four, have scored 10 goals in the process and have kept clean sheets all the while. During all this, they’ve set a new club record as regards their current form: WWWWWWWWWW. They’re still behind Chelsea in the title race and it’s still too early to call right?

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French Champs still churning out the results

Paris Saint Germain
It’s understandable (barely) if you feel it’s the French Ligue 1 and PSG, as the only “major” team in the league (that you know), scoring 7, keeping 4 clean sheets in 4 is not a surprise. Well, what can I say? You’ve said it all but, only team or not, they’ve played 4 games (against 44 men) and have not conceded a goal. Just maybe they’re the only team in the league afterall.

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A team on a mission...

Ajax
Seems they’re still pissed at the fact that some other team carted away their “usual” end-of-the-season present last campaign and now they’re out with a resolution to get it back! After four games, the Eredivisie outfit have banged in 12 past their opponents and have refused to let them return the favour. It’s four wins out of four for them and there’s no ruling out the possibility of getting their treasure back at the end of the seaon. Or maybe they won’t get it back. It’s just the beginning of the football season.

Worthy Mentions
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich
Both clubs have scored quite a number already this season, have won on the trot too but have each conceded a goal apiece.

Have a great week ahead! Send in your own Real MVP(s) for the weekend too by dropping a comment and you can follow me on twitter @rotdav and let’s talk more football 😉

The Weekend’s Real MVP: Quique Sanchez Flores and the Watford Band

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Here to stay? Watford players celebrating goal against Everton

To face Everton, in your first Premier League game since the early 2000s is not exactly what pundits would call a ‘Baptism of Fire’. For Watford, a team coming from the English Championship to play with the ‘senior men’ in the PL, I can say their Everton game was like testing a man’s swimming skills in a 21-feet pool before he goes on to the real deep sea diving. You get the picture?

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We came ready! Deeney throws one in.

But they did not drown. Watford just refused to stay down against Everton. They refused to play like the underdogs they were touted to be. Matter-of-factly, they brought the game to their opponents’ door-step and, here’s the ‘hilarious’ part… THEY LEFT IT THERE! They (unexpectedly for me) set the tone of the game and enjoyed themselves while doing that.

Quique Sanchez Flores, the Head-Ni**a-In-Charge, set up his team (half of which were Watford summer buys) in such way that you had a feeling that the team was born ready. This is the part where I ask you to feel free to ask: “How did a Championship side get away with a 2 – 2 draw at Everton with half the team full of new kids?” Obviously, only Quique can answer this better than anyone but let me give it a shot:

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Raring to go!

They Played Like A Premier League Team
Watford played like a Premier League side that only just came back from their summer vacation. They functioned like a team that already had PL experience. They did not play like they were overwhelmed by The Experience, they played like the originators of The Experience. This might sound like going over the top for a team that has just been promoted but the truth is, they deserve it. Can I mention that they had a couple of players who already had Premier League experience?

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Quique

Quique Sanchez Flores
His team, on the pitch, showed off his tactical ability and management skills. With the way his team was set up, he seemed to have put the right players in the right spots: Nothing got past Nyom, the tall defender; Deeney, the captain, led by example; Capoue and Behrami had the midfield on lock; whoever was tasked with marking Lukaku did a brilliant job! When he needed a goal, he sent in Ighalo and he got his goal. He knew what his team was like and… set them up in a way that they could play against Everton. At a time, his team even parked the bus! That’s how flexible Flores is.

No they didn’t win. But they didn’t lose too! They got a point from the game and a lot of confidence and lessons (if they noticed them) that will help them going ahead into the season. They played like an English Premier League side and not an English Championship side and that’s why they’ve caught my attention.

Kindly follow me on twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football.

This Week’s Real MVP: Old Friends, New Foes

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Champions League week and it was, sometimes in the news, more of the reunions than of the games at hand. This week on Real MVP, I’ve picked out two players who showed up their former friends to remind us that the memories and moments shared don’t matter when it comes to playing football.

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Switched allegiance

Álvaro Morata vs Real Madrid
When Real Madrid was paired up with Juventus, the Spanish giants must have, in some way, been licking their lips no thanks to the ‘favourable’ dish UEFA served them. They had been here before and then they did job clean! Come Gameday, the current champions were stunned by friendly fire. Alvaro finished off an effort from Tevez to put the Juve in the lead; a lead that helped Madrid to lose the game 2 – 1.

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Mentor et Protegé

Lionel Messi vs Pep Guardiola
Reunion day. Pep was returning to his former hunting ground: a ground where he killed many dreams and slaughtered many teams. He was also coming back to meet his one-time mudering machine: Messi. He had touted the Argentine as being ‘unstoppable’ (who better to say than the man who wielded the machine himself). Matchday, and Barca was all over the place. One man wasn’t to be denied his usual shine. Lionel Messi put two past Guardiola’s men in the space of three minutes; putting Barcelona on course for the final, making a mess of Boateng and also of Pep’s reunion.

You can follow me on twitter @Rotdav

This Week’s Real MVP: Pep the Philosopher

The man who, according to Robben, calls some of his players up in the midnight to talk… wait for it… football! Maybe he loves football. Maybe he’s obsessed.

His side surprisingly went 1 – 3 down to Porto in the first leg and he (majorly) was tasked with the job of getting the German machines back into the competition; a machine that has made it some sort of tradition to always appear in the Champions League semis. Huge task right? Try the Professor.

In the first 35 minutes of the game, Pep’s boys had already put four in the opponent’s onion bag and had registered 8+ attempts. It was some sort of assault; an early assault on Porto to keep them busy defending while they were busy attacking. By the end of the first half, Bayern were already 4 goals up, leading the game 5 – 3 on aggregate.

I’m of the opinion that he watched the first leg of their game against Porto and used the tactics that beat his team lost to turn the game on its head. In other words, he beat his counterpart Lopentegui at a game; a tactical victory.

Alle begrüßen den Philosophen! which in english means All hail the Philosopher!

The Weekend’s Real MVP: No. 20

After a weekend of action, I look back and try to pick out the stand out performers of the weekend.

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Make that 20!

Sergio Kun Aguero
After a contender for ‘Own Goal of the Season’ put Man. City in the lead against West Ham, Aguero scored another to give Man. City a 2 – 0 win. That goal was his 20th of the Premier League season and he was the first to get to that milestone. Well done Sergio!

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Harry Kane celebrates his goal

Harry Kane
Tottenham’s Golden Boy got a goal in their 1 – 3 win over Newcastle. His did not cone until late in the game but it was a well deservef one as it made him the second player to reach the 20-goal mark in the league.

P.S: That was his 30th of the season