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ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP: ‘New’ Yobo at Old Trafford

Posted by Ademola Olajire on 2005/12/10 | Views: 696 |

ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP: ‘New’ Yobo at Old Trafford


Two teams on the bounce make it a date at the Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon, Everton visiting Manchester United in a reverse of the first matches of the campaign.

Two teams on the bounce make it a date at the Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon, Everton visiting Manchester United in a reverse of the first matches of the campaign.

In their first fixture at Goodison Park months ago, Everton coach, David Moyes, was inconsolable as he lashed at his Nigerian defender, Joseph Yobo, for the cross-field pass that gave Wayne Rooney the ball to snatch and blast behind Nigel Martyn for United’s second goal in the 2-0 defeat.

Yobo and his team-mates went through so much in those early days, as they lost match after match, were bundled out of the UEFA Champions League so quickly and then got eliminated from the lesser UEFA Cup in no time.
But the Toffees have won four of their last four matches, have lifted up from the drop zone and have garnered tremendous confidence to confront the opposition and make their point, in the last month.
Yobo himself has scored only his third goal for Everton in the campaign, rising above the pack to head a corner kick past Newcastle goalkeeper, Shay Given in Everton’s 1-0 win at Goodison a fortnight ago.
So, it is a ‘new’ Joseph Yobo and Everton party that Manchester United host at Old Trafford tomorrow evening in one of the Week 16 games of this season.

It is that time of the year that all the teams put in extra effort in order not to end the year in an unfavourable position on the log. Presently, Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Sunderland are the teams firmly rooted to the drop zone.
United, with a match on hand, have cut Chelsea’s lead to 10 points, while Everton, also with a match on hand, have 16 points to sit in 16th place.

Last Saturday, Gavin McCann and James McFadden hit two brilliant goals to seal a three-point steal from Blackburn Rovers right at Ewood Park, taking Everton to a new level of away win.
Indeed, the Toffees need to stay at their new accentuated level to meet with the expectation of home fans when they play second-placed Manchester United. The Red Devils have firmly placed themselves in the position of Chelsea’s main opposition, more so after Arsenal performed so poorly to lose 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Kieron Richardson, Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes are dangerous fellows any day and Scholes showed he has forgotten nothing of his predatory instincts when powering home a header against Portsmouth in their 3-0 win on Saturday.

A second successive week in front of Red Devils’ fans will galvanize United to maximal output, and that calls for caution on the part of Everton defenders. Overlapping by a Joseph Yobo to go and nod corner kicks at the other end would certainly not be part of Coach David Moyes’ game-plan for tomorrow’s session.
Liverpool’s barn-storming run of the past month should continue when they host Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s Middlesbrough at the Anfield today, as a third place position on the log has been secured and the European champions won’t mind to go second if Manchester United falter against fellow Merseysiders, Everton.

Peter Crouch finally got his first Liverpool goal (and his first in 24 hours for both club and country!) last weekend, looping the ball over Wigan Athletic’s goalkeeper in the 3-0 win that took the Reds to third.
The dangling striker would look forward to scoring at least another one today against a Boro side that have had a bad last few weeks. Aiyegbeni and mates lost 1-0 at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge last weekend and are stuck in mid-table with 119 points from 15 matches.

Should they remain in that same position before their power-playing Nigerian forward, Yakubu, travels for the African Cup of Nations, Boro are unlikely to be fighting for a place in Europe towards the end of the campaign.
Aiyegbeni is likely to partner the pacy Dutchman, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink this afternoon, but Australian Mark Viduka is also there. Franck Quedrue and Gaizka Mendietta are also available as Coach Steve McLaren seeks a turn in fortunes for his side.
Crouch and Luis Garcia got the goals against Wigan Athletic but Xabi Alonso, Djibril Cisse, Mohamed Cissokho and Florent Sinama Pongolle are all capable of hitting the net.

Bottom Birmingham City have been giving Coach Steve Bruce more gray hairs. Bruce, the former Manchester United captain, is unable to understand why City would not show greater hunger for points in the championship. After 14 matches, they have only 10 points, having won only two of those matches and lost eight. Somehow, perhaps to their own consternation, they are better than Portsmouth and Sunderland.

But today, the Blues would want to start a revival with their home game against Fulham, who travel from London believing they can pull another surprise away after holding Nwankwo Kanu’s West Bromwich Albion scoreless last weekend.
On their part, West Brom are home for the second successive weekend, entertaining Manchester City at the Hawthorns.
Nathan Ellington, Nwankwo Kanu, Diomansy Kamara, Kevin Campbell and Robert Earnshaw have all their time in the Brom attack, but it is down to the Baggies' boss , Bryan Robson, who starts today’s game against the motivated Citizens.
On Sunday, City virtually demolished London club, Charlton Athletic 5-2 at The Valley and any team hosting City at home in this era must be extra careful in order to avoid a flogging.

West Ham United, one of the two newcomers that have been pulling weight (the other is Wigan) are away to Blackburn United, who suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Everton last weekend and are not exactly too sure of what would happen against the Upton Park landlords this evening.
West Ham are 9th on the log with 20 points and like all the teams in the campaign, retain their last weekend’s play-station, away ground. All the teams that played home last weekend are doing same this weekend, and all the teams that played away return to away ground again this weekend.

Bolton Wanderers, who pounded Arsenal 2-0 and should have won 6-2 instead, host Aston Villa at the Reebok knowing that victory would take them to third place if Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal falter. Charlton would hope they can rise from the haunting memory of that 5-2 bashing by City on Sunday as they host bottom team, Sunderland, at The Valley.
Arsenal are on away ground again and they could be in trouble against Newcastle United, who dislike Arsenal's guts, and recall that they could have lost to Aston Villa on Saturday but for a fluffed penalty kick by the visitors. And only last mid-week, the Magpies were incinerated out of the Carling Cup in a most disgraceful way by Premiership new boys, Wigan.
Coach Graeme Souness might be keeping his job but how much longer he would do that remains to be seen if Geordie fans witness another horrifying performance against the Gunners.
On Monday, 4th-placed Tottenham host Portsmouth, and have to remember they were lucky to snatch victory against another lowly team (Sunderland) at the same White Hart Lane last weekend.



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Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)