Is Victor Moses the New Boss?

Is Victor Moses the New Boss?

Victor Moses is undoubtedly under consideration for the 2017 African Footballer of the Year. His performances with Chelsea FC of England and for Nigeria have been the storied all year. On each of these teams, he has risen to be a key or the key player and yet his on-field position for each team has been dramatically different. While he plays as a wing back for Chelsea, with Nigeria he plays as wide forward and usually at the opposite side of the field. That he can quickly transition from one position for Chelsea to another for Nigeria is remarkable on its own.

But Victor’s rise to prominence on Nigeria’s team has not been seamless. Not too long ago, he was the guy with enormous talent but considered not cerebral enough to harness his talent. He could always take on defenders and could always run. Where he failed often was decision-making and getting his team-mates involved. But that was Victor Moses a few years ago. Today, he is entirely a different player, more trusting of his teams and more focused on getting positive results for his team than seeking applause from the stands. He may be the best wide forward in Africa, not minding the likes of Riyad Mahrez or Mohammed Salah. Moses, arguably, has surpassed those two at least with his exploits for Nigeria where he has become the new boss in mold of the likes of Jay Jay Okocha or Kanu Nwankwo. This is not to state that he plays in the same position as those two. Being the boss is recognition that Moses has become the dominant player of not just his Nigerian team, but one to be considered as an All Time player. Victor Moses is quickly becoming the player who will be remembered, like Okocha and Kanu, long after his career is over.

Think about this, Nigeria has lost only three matches in which Victor Moses has played and none of those was at home. With Zambia coming to Uyo in October to confront Nigeria in a critical World Cup qualifier, such statistic must be good news for Nigeria. Importantly, that statistic is meaningful. Consider that the poor patch of results when Nigeria failed to qualify for three of four Africa Nations Cups (AFCON) never involved Moses on the field. Perhaps, his absence meant a lot. Then consider that his return to representing Nigeria at internationals has made remarkable difference. Yes, he was absent in Nigeria’s win in Zambia but there is no denying that he bossed the other three games in which Nigeria has been involved in the World Cup qualifiers. Against Algeria, he scored two of Nigeria’s three goals in a 3-1 win. In  this month’s critical two games against Cameroon , he was arguably the best player on the field and his statistics tell the story. In the first game he recorded one assist and one goal. Importantly, he was involved in a third goal of that game with a run to deliver a pass to Onazi, before Onazi’s cross was put away by Kelechi Iheanacho. In the second game, he gave the Cameroonians fits in-spite of the special attention that they not only paid to him, but they made it known to him with some heavy fouling.

Moses clearly is driven as he bosses Nigeria towards a sixth appearance at a World Cup final. The way he is playing, he is likely to be critical in the October game against Zambia. After all, he is the leading Nigerian player in the run up to the 2017 African Footballer of the Year award.

Table of Victor Moses’ National Team Statistics

Date Opponent Competition Result Started? Minutes Goals Assists
Feb 29, 2012 Rwanda AFCONQ 0-0 N 24 0 0
June 3, 2012 Namibia WCQ 1-0 Y 79 0 0
June 9, 2012 Malawi WCQ 1-1 Y 72 0 0
June 16, 2012 Rwanda AFCONQ 2-0 N 17 0 0
Sep 8, 2012 Liberia AFCONQ 2-2 Y 75 0 1
Oct 13, 2012 Liberia AFCONQ 6-1 Y 90 2 1
Jan 9 , 2013 C/Verde F 0-0 Y 45 0 0
Jan 25, 2013 Zambia AFCON 1-1 Y 78 0 0
Jan 29, 2013 Ethiopia AFCON 2-0 Y 90 2 0
Feb 3, 2013 I/Coast AFCON 2-1 Y 87 0 0
Feb 6, 2013 Mali AFCON 4-1 Y 52 0 1
Feb 10, 2013 B/Faso AFCON 1-0 Y 90 0 0
Mar 23, 2013 Kenya WCQ 1-1 Y 85 0 0
Aug 14, 2013 S/Africa F 2-0 N 45 0 0
Sep 7, 2013 Malawi WCQ 2-0 Y 70 1` 0
Oct 13, 2013 Ethiopia WCQ 2-1 Y 67 0 0
Nov 16, 2013 Ethiopia WCQ 2-0 Y 78 1 0
Nov 18, 2013 Italy F 2-2 Y 75 0 0
Mar 5, 2014 Mexico F 0-0 Y 70 0 0
May 28, 2014 Scotland F 2-2 N 28 0 0
June 3, 2014 Greece F 0-0 Y 90 0 0
June 7, 2014 USA F 1-2 Y 90 1 0
June 16, 2014 Iran WC 0-0 Y 52 0 0
June 30, 2014 France WC 0-2 Y 88 0 0
Mar 25, 2016 Egypt AFCONQ 1-1 N 19 0 0
Mar 29, 2016 Egypt AFCONQ 0-1 Y 90 0 0
Sep 3, 2016 Tanzania AFCONQ 1-0 Y 83 0 0
Nov 12, 2016 Algeria WCQ 3-1 Y 90 2 0
Sep 1, 2017 Cameroon WCQ 4-0 Y 82 1 1
Sep 4, 2017 Cameroon WCQ 1-1 Y 90 0 0

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