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Ajayi Ready To ‘Kick On’ After Brazil Test

Ajayi Ready To ‘Kick On’ After Brazil Test

Semi Ajayi admits his confidence has taken a boost after helping to keep Brazil quiet on Sunday afternoon – but says he is by no means the finished product.

Ajayi played a pivotal role as Nigeria held the star-studded, five-time world champions to a 1-1 draw in Singapore.

The centre-half, who can also play in midfield, has also been ever-present for the Baggies so far this season – forging a strong partnership with Kyle Bartley in the heart of Slaven Bilić’s defence.

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And perfectionist Semi, who has been lauded by Baggies fans for his performances since arriving from Rotherham in the summer, believes it’s now time for him to “kick-on”.

“I’m feeling really good,” he said after returning from international duty on Tuesday. “The [Brazil] game went really well. I’ve given myself a lot of confidence coming up against the big stars. Hopefully I can carry that form into our league game on the weekend,”Ajayi told the club’s official website.

“You want to play against the best players and test yourself. If you can come out of that with a good performance and a good result then that is even better so the trip went really well.

“I don’t really focus on their names, it is more about what they do on the pitch. I felt like myself and my team-mates dealt with their threats really well and it is something we can take a lot of pride from.”

Semi says he’s “over the moon” with how quickly he’s settled into life at Albion, adding that the detail Slaven Bilić goes into has the players all “singing off the same hymn sheet.”

2019_10_17 Ajayi 16-7.jpg

“It’s a joy to be involved in. Everyone is on the same page, the manager has got us singing off the same hymn sheet. He is very detailed in the way he tells us how he wants us to play and everyone has taken it on board and it has been a joy to be a part of and to watch. Some of the forward play at times has been breathtaking.

“I’ve been over the moon to come straight into the team and settle in. The lads have welcomed me really well and the fact that the team has been winning as well has made it even easier for me to settle. It’s been a really, really positive environment for me to come into and long may it continue.

“I’ve been happy with how I have played. There is still definitely more to come from me. The start has been really good and I just need to kick on now. Slaven talks to me daily, he is always giving me pointers on how I can improve or little bits of information that he thinks could help me that I may not have seen. I am always picking his brains for things I can learn. He has been really, really good with me.”

The London-born defender adds: “I’ve been going into every game thinking we are going to win, no matter who we play against. A big part of that is down to the form we have shown here. We have been nearly faultless. We have got one defeat and even that defeat we played really, really well.

“The fact that the performances have been really good and consistent is giving me the confidence to know that when I step on the pitch it is likely that we are going to continue.

“As they say the league table doesn’t lie. After 11 games, almost a quarter of a way through the season now, the fact that we are where we are can only be on merit and it’s important that we don’t get too carried away now. We just need to take every game one by one and make sure we keep the levels that we have already achieved so far.”

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  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Ajayi plays football like someone who studied it in the university. Very methodical. His performance against Brazil means he is no longer an UNKNOWN. When a center back is able to keep FIRMINO in his back pocket for 90 minutes, that center back will attract attention. Ajayi is a BIG BOY now. However, he should remain humble and keep up the hard work.

    • Glory 2 years ago

      A little bit of ruggedness/ no nonsense demeanor, you LL be having one of the best centre half in the world at the moment. He has got all the brain you need to play in the centre defence. Just a bit more brawn to match it.

      • Greenturf 2 years ago

        He doesn’t need to be rugged, he’s okay the way he is.
        In Africa we believe in power and never embrace artfulness.I’m a fan of guile and dislike brawl.
        The way this lad plays is phenomenal and you are guaranteed of no unnecessary infregments which can cause the team.
        Finally,if we want to make appreciable impacts in the world cup we need intelligent players like Seyi Ajayi.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    I only pity Kenneth omerue, he has lost his place automatically to the improved ajayi. When a player who knows he was dropped from Afcon cos he was good like the others he plays harder than someone who knows he is a regular.
    I’m loving this competition cos omeuoe would never love to sit on the bench, we have even forgotten about balogun. This teak had grown, it has gotten to an height when players themselves know when they don’t deserve an invitation, so there is nothing to be angry about for a balogun,

    • Glory 2 years ago

      Man, Balogun is a beauty on the ball. Saddly,injury kinda not being fair to him. He will come stronger n better pretty soon. Still has an unfinished business with SE. Gonna be really interesting to see all four in top shape, Ekong, Balogun,Ajayi n Omeruo.

    • Ugwudede 2 years ago

      Instead of Omerue it is the captain for that day should be dropped his defending is too week. Omerue is Nigeria best defender at the momebt

      • Ololo 2 years ago

        Ekong held the defence well against Brazil, it wasn’t easy, he was even the captain. Dropping ekong would be a very difficult task, anyway I love the competition

        • Greenturf 2 years ago

          All of them are first team players for the super eagles but it depends on the most in form at their clubs to determine which two amongst them start games.Just like England and other top nations does,the fittest players at any point are the ones guaranteed to start games.
          In other words,you are as good as your last game.

  • Chidi 2 years ago

    This guy is really good GR should dig deep and get us moregood players from d lower league before de become stars and we will start dragging with england

    • fidelenny 2 years ago

      then go for Ovie Ejaria now, the ideal no 10, a great central midfileder and great passer of the ball.

      • Greenturf 2 years ago

        I’m a big fan of Ejaria.Super eagles needs ball playing midfielders like Zubby and Ejaria it will make us stronger and able to score more and concede less.
        We let our opponents come at us lately especially in the second half when we have to defend deep but this can change when you have players who have flair and are able to win and distribute balls accurately.
        Retaining possession is very important if we want to start winning bigger teams.The players to help us achieve that are waiting and available for invitations.
        However,it all depends on the gaffer who knows how he wants his team to play to pick players for the team.

  • Ndubuisi 2 years ago

    I don’t see Ajayi going to bench for anybody. He is mature and very composed. He has brought stability to the defence line. He is less error prone that’s why to me he will retain his shirt even when omerue is back. Fire on boy we are solidly backing you. Go and conquer premiership

    • Ololo 2 years ago

      Exactly my problem, omerue is also very good and experienced but he is error prone sometimes. I can remember during the afcon, against Algeria, omoruo show an high ball and couldn’t clear, he immediately shouted when he knew he had made a mistake, but fortunately the Algerian striker wasn’t able to punish his error..

      I strongly feel we could have won the afcon if a semi ajayi was in the team, sometimes in a tournament many Fringe players come out to surprise the coach an example is awaziem, playing at right back was never what rohn had in mind but he was left with no other option than to try awaziem in the right back when the preferred shehu was injured, Just imagine the result, an awaziem might not be good going forward but one thing I observed in his game is that no striker / wingers dribbles pass him, for the first time he was a cotinhho went pass him but I knew he was just preventing a freekick cos normally he would have brought the man down.

      Ajayi form started last season, he was the highest scoring defender in the championship, yet he didn’t make afcon squad which was a pardonable mistake made by rohn (everyone makes mistakes) , he must have been stocked with so many options and had in mind playing ajayi as a midfielder when his main position is central defender, and dropping Mikel would have been an insult to him. Anyway the boy is back and young and agile.. I don’t see Kenneth nearing that position anymore, except there are an injury.

  • Glory 2 years ago

    @ Greenturf lol, when we say ruggedness, we are not saying he should be kicking everyone. I am saying toughness on the ball when challenged. That quality is what stand out defenders like company, Van dyke,etc..n stood out past defenders like Paulo madini,Fabio canavaro, Franco baresi, Jaap Stamp.etc Rohr was even trying to emphasize that when he said it’s not enough to have the height but put it into use.