Is Victor Moses the Saviour or a Pretender?

Is Victor Moses the Saviour or a Pretender?

Nigeria’s most valuable player at the moment is no doubt Victor Moses.

But how has the player’s form translated to a leadership and match-winning role in the national team?

Moses, 26, has England to thank for his development in football. Growing through the academies at Crystal Palace and subsequently to the top scene until he landed at Wigan Athletic under the guidance of Roberto Martinez.

Indeed, England has proven to be the new Mecca for football science and development. Evidence of the years of investment is the progress recorded by their youth national teams this year at the world and continental levels.

Moses also suited for the young lions. As a matter of fact, he did so 29 times from the Under 16s through the Under 21s.


It has always regressed; when in the 1990s and early 2000s it looked like African football; albeit National teams and individual players, will compete at the very highest level against Europe and the very best of South America, the subsequent years has seen a humongous decline in quality.

He showed much prospect and the signs of a superstar with the right guidance.

At some point, you could even argue he was designed to be not just a leader but also the go to guy for the match winning plays.

An example of the young winger’s influence was felt after Chelsea snapped him up in 2012 for £9million from Wigan Athletic – as well as the exit of some other players – and the free fall followed at the DW Stadium.

It’s now five years since that major tug-of-war (Five bids) that brought Moses through the ravines and slopes of professional football to becoming an impact player in Chelsea’s successful 2016/17 EPL campaign.

However, has he replicated the same form for the national team?

Some may argue only glimpses or even a shadow of his true capabilities.

His introduction to African football in 2012 was facilitated by the NFF and the ingenuity of the Legendary Stephen Keshi.

Deployed in the wings, Moses showed depth, an immediate understanding of the secret to football on the Motherland.

He was fast, could dribble and wasn’t afraid to try new tricks.

But he was never the finished article. African football has never reached an advanced stage.

It has always regressed; when in the 1990s and early 2000s it looked like African football; albeit National teams and individual players, will compete at the very highest level against Europe and the very best of South America, the subsequent years has seen a humongous decline in quality.

In those years, the topic of Victor Moses as a leader or game changer; with due respect would never have been a subject.

Yet, here in these times Moses is and will be considered one of the Continent’s best. And he embraced what role he was given to emulate the Finidi George, Emmanuel Amuneke and Tijani Babangidas of the past.

What Moses had was the ability to play with both feet and carve defences open, particularly on the left. It was a position like a tempestuous sea that had long needed a Master Seafarer to tame it.

The winger made his mark in the AFCON of 2013, rose to the occasion when Nigeria needed a player with the mentality of ’94.

He was loved but cautiously to and at the 2014 World Cup he fell out with Keshi.

Though that bad blood had been evident through the qualifiers.

Moses had struggled with fitness, owing to his frequent injuries; his European club would have ascribed it to the tough nature of African football.

Not just the play, but also the pitches, poor fitness techniques and all what not.

So, when the player began picking and choosing which games to play, what position he preferred, it was only a matter of time before he entered the Coach’s bad books.

Fast track to 2016, Victor Moses has been instrumental to the revamping project under now Super Eagles Tecnical Adviser, Gernot Rohr and he has been the key man, the enigma but also the evasive player.

So it’s 360 with the player and we’re back to dealing with the same issues that has beleaguered the national team – Complacency and selective representation among the most prized player(s) in the team.

Which brings us back to the question of if Victor Moses is the messiah of this generation of Super Eagles?

He could very well be, but he needs to realize and accept the role otherwise we’re stuck with a pretender who needed what Nigeria could offer him more than what he was willing to give.

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