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‘Thank You For The Opportunity’ — Okoye Reflects On Udinese Debut

‘Thank You For The  Opportunity’ — Okoye Reflects On Udinese Debut

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has reflected on his debut with Serie A club Udinese.

Okoye made his first appearance for Udinese in the Coppa Italia defeat to Cagliari on Wednesday night.

The 23-year-old put up a good performance in the game, but conceded late, with Udinese bowing out of the competition after a 2-1 defeat.

“It was unfortunate, but I think that in recent times we have been developing a good mentality, offensive and patient,” he told the club’s official website.

“I thank the club for giving me this opportunity to play, I will learn from this experience. It’s been a long time since I saw the pitch, I also thank the fans. I’m sure I will enjoy playing for this shirt.”

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Okoye also expressed disappointment with the failure of the club to scale through to the next round.

“I think we pushed hard, some of us have waited a long time for this moment. We wanted to play and win, it’s difficult to finish like this because we conceded goals in the last minute”, he admitted.

“I would have been ready to face penalties but unfortunately we didn’t get there.”

Okoye joined Udinese from Sky Bet Championship club Watford in the summer.

The shot stopper endured a torrid spell at Watford last summer where he made just two appearances.

He earned a recall to the Nigeria national team last month and will be looking forward to making the squad to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jGZwcN5cpOs

    It’s like this guy still got something…may be we should give him a try. He had been there n the past Uzoho just need to sit on the bench for like 2 or more games.


    • Machaveli 7 months ago

      I concur that he’s better than Uzoho. We need to support him to regain his confidence.

  • Diran 7 months ago

    Maduka Okoye is much better than Francis Uzoho. Thanks

  • I disagree – Okoye and Uzoho are birds of the same goalkeeping feathers.

    Just have a look at the highlights of Uzoho against Ronaldo’s Manchester United in last season’s Europa league and you will see a goalkeeper that excels in close range combat with the ball.

    Time after time, shots rained down on Uzoho from close range like hail storms which he expertly deflected with aplomb, similar to Okoye’s Udinese curtain raiser yesterday – the German-Nigeria was a sight to behold in subduing efforts in close quarters with well timed runs and expertly executed parries.

    But, the crucial goal that brought Cagliary back into the tie was near carbon copy of the freekick that Uzoho conceded against Saudi Arabia. It was painful to watch Okoye misread the flight of the freekick from long range thereby failing to dive in time as the ball sailed into the net.

    Does he and Uzoho need glasses?

    Inability to deal with long range strikes continues to be bane of both goalkeepers.

    If that can both hit that one shortcoming on the head, then they can surely take their places in the echelons of top African goalkeepers.

    Their timing and technique in dealing with shots fired from different directions around the 18 yard box are remarkable. Someone should help both of them with goalkeeping telescope to be able to identify football-comets from afar to mount the right goalkeeping techniques in deflecting these to safety.

    • Thank you. I had to go watch the highlights, thinking the goal that eventually beat him was a classic. But no, it was a regular floating ball from a long way out which, like you rightly said, he misread. Plus the shots he stopped were with his body and legs and mostly fortuitous.

      Not taking anything away from both current SE goalkeepers, they’re professionals but their level no really reach. They don’t have that wow factor, that cat reflexes that stretch full length to palm away a long ranger.

      As Golden Child mentioned, no team wins a tournament with an average goalkeeper, no matter how complete or talented your outfield players are. The best coaches in the world, from Ferguson to Klopp to Guardiola invest so much in looking for the safest hands on the market. They know that means half of their problem solved. Manchester United is currently suffering in that regard now, a goalkeeper undoing all the hardwork and making the coach look bad.

      Let Paseiro keeps papering the cracks. Make he no win he Afcon and watch if he won;t be booted out with immediate alacrity.

    • Golden Child 7 months ago

      Excellent analysis @deo, the problem with most Nigerians is that they are easily swayed. The goal he conceded should NOT be conceded by any decent goal keeper. The only difference between the uzoho calamity was that the flight of the ball was low to the corner of the post.

      I think the reason we will continue to suffer is that we do not have a goal keeper yet and what worries me is that the coach does not seem to be actively looking for a replacement to fix that position. It is either peseiro is completely bereft of sound football knowledge or he is just here to pick up his cheque and leave. Either way it is quite disturbing. How do you explain the continual use of an inactive goal keeper and it is the same goal keeper you want to take to a tournament (A tournament he claims he will win), this is delusion of grandeur! No matter how good your outfield players are, if you do not have a proper goal tender, you are just living in deception and would not win any laurels. Think about it , could Liverpool win the ucl without their goal keeper(We all saw Judas Is karius) ?Manchester city win the treble without their goal keeper? Chelsea without peter cech? Beyern win the ucl without manuel nuer?that dream would come crashing down. We saw it with okoye vs Tunisia and uzoho vs Ghana. As long as the NFF and the coach continue along this path of folley, lightning will strike again, we would be bundled out of the tournament and we will not qualify for the wc.

  • Golden Child 7 months ago

    Having stated all above, Okoye might still turn out to be a good goal keeper but let us not judge him by just one game.

  • Chima E Samuels 7 months ago

    We need Rasheed from Invamo putting out decent GK performances this season.

  • Omo9ja 7 months ago

    Going by what I saw in the highlights of the match, Okoye is good, but he’s not there yet to be at the national team. The same thing applies to Uzoho.

    I love Okoye and Uzoho, but they are not reliable when it is matter most.

    For example. The goal he concided in this match tells a lot about Okoye.

    I know many of us do not like the truth, but I won’t hesitate to say it here on this platform. We have to be honest with ourselves.

    If Oga Paseiro truly wants to win the Afcon, then he must not get Uzoho and Okoye involved. Instead, a reliable Nwabali is the best option among the two.

    Okoye is for the future. I have seen a lot of Okoye and I can tell now that he have to stay out of the national team for a while and when is a little bit improved and get more exposure then he should be welcome back into the national team.

    Adeleye, Nwabali, Osagwe, and Jonathan Rasheed and others are in line for the Afcon, but if Oga Paseiro insists he have to take Okoye and Uzoho to the Afcon, I won’t be part of it. I wish Okoye, Uzoho and others the best in their journey.

    Lastly, we are not the favorite to win the Afcon. We have to stay humble and more focused if we have to go far in Ivory Coast, shikena. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • @Omo9ja, it’s like something is wrong with you and this your Nwabili? Suddenly, what Okoye and Uzoho can not do, it’s Nwabili that will do it?


      Check out Nigeria vs Mexico (1st and 3rd goal) see Nwabili at his best.

    • Omo9ja 7 months ago

      Thanks, @Larry. We have to get it right before the Afcon because we have too many options to choose from.

      Oga Paseiro is just like Oga Rohr. I doesn’t convince me he is the right man to take the position of the Super Eagles coach.

      If in truth Oga Paseiro really mean business, he would have introduced new goalies in both friendlies Super Eagles played few weeks ago.

      He had Olorunleke and Adeleye but he decided to use Uzoho. This tells me the man is not the right coach for the Super Eagles. NFF are just enriching their pockets while Super Eagles may continue struggling to win something for Nigeria.

      However, @Sean, I want to prove to you now that nothing is wrong with me.

      Kai, let me have some minutes out of your time, gentleman.

      I don’t recommend players or goalies to the national team without doing my research.

      Why am I calling Nwabali’s name each and every time?

      Now let me expanciate how you can discover a raw talents in football for you.

      I watched the match Nigeria vs. Mexico live, and because of that match, I picked Nwabali because I saw calmness, confidence, boldness, and leadership qualities in Nwabali.

      At first, NFF did not allow the main team to play the match but opted for the B team, and by doing that, the B team of ours was no match for the Mexican team.

      Upon that, Nwabali stood his ground and commanded his territory. If it wasn’t because of Nwabali Kai, we would have collected at least more than 4-0.

      Am I making sense to you @Sean?

      Mr. Sean, the video clip of the match you posted here says a lot about the match. Even the commentator said it wasn’t Nwabali’s fault that he concided thise goals.

      You see, gentleman, go back and watch Nwabali videos on YouTube when he manned the post for his South African club, then you will see that we can count on Nwabali any day any time.

      Mr. Sean, I don’t recommend weak or bad players/goalies for Nigeria since I have scouting for Super Eagles, and I promised not to do so because this is the one thing that unit us.

      If truly you watched the match Mexico vs. Nigeria live that day, you could see that Nwabali when under pressure, he’s more composed. Very calm and taking control of the defense nicely. His physical is a plus for Super Eagles, and above all, he is very good when it comes to the penalties.

      Please, I will wait for your response when you watch his video on YouTube or on his Instagram page. All Nwabali needs is a chance to prove his worth for everyone to see. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Larry 7 months ago

    @omo9ja, well said.
    Okoye and Uzoho are two similar GKs that employ same skills and concede similar goals. These two baskets have failed the team and its time to move on. It didnt take this long for carl Ikeme to exert himself on the team.
    Pesseiro, listen to the heart beats of the committed players have spoken and to the voices of the passionate fans, do not consider Uzohobasket or Okoyerror for the top 2 GK positions for any game. You can act on this advice or get dropped out of AFCON before QF and your job ends there !!

    • pompei 7 months ago

      Larry, you got it backwards.
      Hahaha. They are both nice young men. I like them as individuals.
      But as SE goalie, hmmm.
      E get as e be.
      E be as e get.
      Of course, I will continue to support and wish them well. It’s up to the coach to select whoever he wants.

  • Edoman 7 months ago

    I always wonder why Omo9ja is not the ‘wonder coach’ that Nigeria is waiting for. He thinks in his brain that, he is already the best coach the country is waiting on. No National coach that have been hired by NFF over the years, have escape his criticisms. I want to say this about this guy, whenever Omo9ja revaccinate in another life, he could turn out to be the Gondolas of Manchester City or the most decorated coach Nigeria that could come out from Africa. In many ways, l really feels sorry for him seeing the way he struggled to make various unsolicited recommendations in this forum over the years. Gee, get a life man. Omo9ja, you can never be a national coach or any coach in your lifetime. let it go. Nigerians are extremely bored with your unwanted and unprofessional lessens you enthusiastically dumped on us every time you come on.

    • Don’t mind that clown. He’s waiting for my response.
       A goalkeeper fumbled in 2 out of 4 goals conceded, you are telling me to go and waste my time for 90 minutes? Who says Uzoho wasn’t performing until the free kick against Saudi? go and watch one on one saves he made that day.
      You’ve never recommended a weak players for Nigeria but Anibaba, Arokodare, Fanedo Adi, etc are all African Ronaldos? 
      I should go and watch Nwabali’s you tube? Let me send Okoye, Uzoho, even Agbim’s You tube for you and see which one is the sweetest to watch. 

      • Dr. Drey 7 months ago

        Hahaha fantastic reply.

        He has only ever watched 1 game….just 1 game of Nwabili (where he swallowed 4 goals) and the rest, youtube compilations…..LMAOoo. He never even knew Nwabili had left the shores of Nigeria form close to 2 years now. Even the worst GKs on earth have great compilations of their best moments.

        Dude and his cohort keep shouting Osigwe here as if Osigwe has a crush on him….LMAOoo, but ask when osigwe last kicked a ball or kept goal, I bet they cannot tell. Osigwe’s situation is seeming worse than okoye and uzoho….the guys seems like 3rd choice in his team as he is hardly ever present in matchday squads.

        Same way he kept shouting Alampasu when the guy wasn’t tying down a shirt in latvia….all because of U17 exploits of eons ago….LMAOoo.

        I wonder how people clamoir for players they have not seen in ages…..LMAOoo.

        I am hoping age will speak for Jonathan Rasheed should he be given an opportunity just like Carl ikeme when he debuted for the SE in his 30s. Of all the names being bandied around, he is the only one I can risk giving a chance to provide competition to Maduka and Francis in the SE camp heading into the AFCON.

        I’ve watched the others severally and they’re not a tad better or infalliable than Uzoho and Okoye. They are all international baskets in the making.

        • “International Basket in the making” haha 🙂
          Dr Drey, the health of my ribs are in your hands o!!! 🙂

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