Nwosu Downplays Cameroon’s Threat to Eagles

first_imgNwosu, who captained the national team in the mid1980s, in exclusive insights he shared with THISDAY last night, said the Eagles should not lose the urge to secure the 2018 World Cup ticket in spite of Cameroon’s triumphant outing at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.Nigeria currently seats on top of a very tough Group B which has Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria with six points, and will hope to consolidate the position when Eagles rekindle their rivalry with the Lions in Uyo and Yaounde in decisive ties.Nwosu not only placed a bet on Nigeria to subdue their adversaries in the crucial fixtures, he said he was not impressed by the quality of the Cameroonians despite their exploits in Gabon where they beat Egypt 2-1 to claim their fifth Africa Cup of Nations title.The former Eagles midfielders said the Lions, coached by Belgian Hugo Broos, were not spectacular and warned that Nigeria would give their eastern flank neighbours the psychological edge if they begin to develop jitters before the real battle.“There is nothing special about this current Cameroon squad. Yes, they won the Africa Cup of Nations but they were not spectacular in my opinion. They owed their success in Gabon to determination. I watched when they forced a 1-1 draw with Zambia in Limbe in November 2016.“I stayed back to watch the match in Cameroon as I was being honoured in the country and what I saw did not impress me. They were suspect from the right back position that featured Joel Matip. We should pack our midfield, put a player to block their right back and attack from the left,” Nwosu proffered.According to him, though he watched a couple of matches involving Cameroon in Gabon, he felt they were outplayed by Ghana’s Black Stars which should have prevailed in the semi-final tie.Nwosu admitted that Eagles have been playing well since the arrival of Franco-German Gernot Rohr as the national coach and added that the group should use the six months break before the matches to get focused rather than pander to panic buttons.“Look, Nigeria is good enough with the calibre of players Rohr is bringing up. We can beat Cameroon. In the past, they used to be our nemesis, but not anymore. We can beat them home and away and in the worst case scenario, we can secure a draw in Yaounde,” Nwosu concludes Nwosu who was the youngest member of the Green Eagles when Nigeria won the 1980 AFCON at home in Lagos.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Insists the five-time African champions can be caged in Uyo and YaoundeOlawale AjimotokanOne of Nigeria’s greats, Henry Nwosu (MON) has sent a message of inspiration to the Super Eagles ahead of the crunchy meeting with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in August -September this year when the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches for Africa resume.last_img read more

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Luke Walton ready to change Lakers’ losing culture

first_imgOAKLAND >> A faint but familiar thumping leaked through the closed doors of the Golden State Warriors practice Saturday. Strains of a melody followed. When the door cracked open, Warriors assistant Jarron Collins’ grinning face popped out, a torrent of sound escaped and the hallway was treated to Randy Newman’s 1983 soft rock jam, “I Love L.A.”A day earlier, Walton had accepted the Lakers’ offer to become the Lakers’ next head coach.The day before that, Thursday, Walton exited a hotel at Oakland’s Jack London Square, confident about the six-hour interview he had just given Lakers executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, but with no idea how quickly the organization he played eight-plus seasons with was looking to act.“I left the meeting thinking it went well,” Walton said following the Warriors practice. “Obviously didn’t think it would get done that quickly.” “I think his heart’s in L.A.,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson, the All-NBA son of Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson and former Santa Margarita High School star. “He grew up down there (in San Diego), played eight, nine years for them. I think he’s going to do big things for the Lakers.”With Walton, the Lakers now have a young coach to go with an inexperienced team, and a leader whose recent experience has been with the loosest, coolest and most successful team in the NBA.“He is such a big part of our culture and so much fun to be around,” Kerr said. “He’s going to be fantastic.”Inside the interview processWalton said his interview with Buss and Kupchak was somewhat casual, as a natural function of the relationship the men have shared since Walton was drafted 32nd overall in the 2003 draft.It was also, however, very much a business meeting.“It was a long day,” Walton said.Walton quizzed his soon-to-be bosses about the organization’s vision for the future, touching on their plans for free agency.“They laid it all out,” Walton said. “They showed what they want to do, players they plan on going after, all that type of stuff.”He added: “It’s exciting to me, to get with one of the greatest organizations in the history of sports and they’re ready and willing to go after it, whatever it takes. That’s an exciting time.”Walton said he did not need to be sold on the Lakers’ collection of young talent and that he was embracing the opportunity to build from the ground up.“I love it,” Walton said. “I think they have some good young talented players. Obviously you need to mix in some good vets with that to have players on the court that can help the young players grow.”• RELATED: Walton’s path Lakers began at Memphis during NBA lockoutIt’s a situation entirely different from the one Kerr and his staff inherited in 2014, when they were brought in to replace Mark Jackson. That the Warriors catapulted to the top of the league after one season under Kerr was also a testament to the groundwork that had been laid by the previous staff.Every coaching job, Walton said, has its challenges.“The one here (in Golden State) was trying to take a good team that already had established themselves and trying to make them great,” he said. “The team in L.A., we need to go down there and build a foundation, we’re in the beginning years of that.”No Triangle offenseAfter spending the past two years trying to recreate the success of the 1980s with Byron Scott’s old-school approach, the Lakers are turning to one of the most progressive teams in the league for a model.Walton already knows he will run a system more similar to that of the Warriors than what he played in with the Lakers under Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson.“I don’t think the triangle is the most appropriate offense for the players that they have in place right there,” Walton said, “so I think I’m going to bring more of the style and spacing that we use up here.”Walton looks at D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ most prized young asset, as an ideal building block. Marginalized at times in Scott’s offense, Russell, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, averaged 13.2 points and 3.3 assists while starting 48 games.“What he did was really impressive,” Walton said. “He’s got a skill set that could allow him to be a very talented, high-level point guard in this league.”Adopting the Warriors cultureAs much as offensive philosophies and defensive sets, what Walton could eventually install with the Lakers is a culture that, in two quick seasons, has become the envy of the league.Yes, that includes the music.The Warriors pump tunes into the gym for a portion of practice each day to help get players’ blood flowing. Kerr adopted the practice after visiting Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks and seeing they played music. Assistant Nick U’Ren is responsible for the day’s playlist.On Saturday, he included something special for Walton.“I thought that was pretty good,” Kerr said, chuckling.Players get a say under WaltonWalton is a reflection of Jackson, yes, but also Kerr, the laidback surfer with a firebrand desire to succeed. Kerr’s inclusion of his players in the decision-making process runs in stark contrast to Scott’s isolationist approach, in which players often drifted unsure of when or if they would play.“You get some vets like we have here it makes it easier,” Walton said, “but just his approach of we’re going to include the players and when we do we’re going to ask their opinions on things, do everything we can to get them invested.”Both Walton and Kerr have roots at the University of Arizona, whose basketball team operates under the motto, “A Players’ Program,” an ethos that has carried over to the NBA.“Ultimately, he and I agree on it,” Walton said, “this is the players’ team.”That’s how Walton views the Lakers as well. It will be Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson’s team. Larry Nance Jr.’s, too.It’s a philosophy that stirs some hope for the direction of a wayward franchise. It’s also what made the Warriors such a wonderful training ground for the newest face of the organization with 16 championships.“It was obviously tough to leave this place,” Walton said, “but I think it’s one of those opportunities you can’t pass up on.” Even Kerr, the Coach of the Year who hired Walton as an assistant two years ago and watched him grow into one of the business’ hottest commodities, acknowledged being “shocked” by the Lakers’ timeline.Kupchak had vowed not to let the search lag like it did two years ago when the Lakers waited until July to hire Scott. But even the general manager’s most ambitious timeline had the Lakers making a hire in another week.Walton and the Lakers were simply too good of a match to waste any time. Walton guided the Warriors to a 39-4 start while Kerr recovered from offseason back surgery, and the team’s 24 straight wins to open the season shattered an NBA record.Even in those early days of the season, he was popularly discussed as a replacement for Scott.“His heart’s in L.A.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Stuart Man Survives Virus and Donates Plasma to Save Another Life

first_imgA Stuart man who beat the coronavirus is gaining national attention for donating his plasma donation to save the life of an Orlando father.The experimental treatment is credited with possibly saving the life of the patient who has been in a medically-induced coma two weeks ago at Orlando Health.Michael Rathel received the plasma injection Monday and just four days later he has improved so much that he could be moved out of the ICU as soon as today. James P. Crocker, who lives in Martin County and is the president and founder of Hog Technologies in Stuart, said he contracted COVID-19 while attended a funeral in Palm City on Feb. 27 for his nephew.Crocker said 20 people at the service got sick about a week later. He was one of two family members who tested positive for the coronavirus.As he recovered, Crocker reached out to a friend in Orlando who had told him about 52-year-old Michael Kevin Rathel’s battle with the coronavirus in Orlando.His friend told him that his 52 year-old friend was “perfectly healthy” but now “on life support and his only real chance was plasma.Rathel was hospitalized in a coma and hydroxychloroquine and other treatments did not work.Crocker drove to Orlando and within 36 hours had donated his plasma, meeting Rathel’s family beforehand.Convalescent plasma uses blood from coronavirus survivors to help patients with COVID-19. The FDA recently approved it only for emergency use on a case by case basis.Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate their plasma can visit OneBlood.org for more info.last_img read more

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