Football is a team sport as well as one filled with individual skills in taking set-pieces or even extra-ordinary ones like Ricardo Quaresma’s rabona way of assists. The beautiful game is one that has its unique skills associated with different teams, who often use them in unorthodox fashion to acquire results in difficult situations.
This special artistry such as the ability to take penalties like Southampton great, Matt Le Tissier, exquisite free-kicks like Juninho in the last decade, has always left supporters and even teammates anxious to know the outcome in such moments when the need arises for the set-piece skills to be used.
Before now, we’ve seen Rory Delap and Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha shoot Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers respectively to victories and comfortable mid-table finishes with their unpopular but destructive long throw skills in the Premier League.
Back in the days in Nigerian league football, we had Godwin Obinaya, whose missile throwing abilities got Stationery Stores favourable results in the 1980s. Nigeria football great, late Stephen Keshi, was also known for causing havoc with this skill for New Nigerian Bank.
Launching a long throw into the penalty area has come to age once again in the Nigeria Professional Football League and it is now an unlikely but successful way of navigating difficult games for a particular team.
Current NPFL leaders Plateau United have punched above their weight in an outstanding manner this season. They’ve been a delight to watch with the characteristic free flowing football known with their gaffer, Kennedy Boboye; but they’ve found a weapon of mass destruction (not Obafemi Martins) in Daniel Itodo, who has been a thorn in the flesh of many teams so far this term.
Itodo, who is the club’s first choice at left-back, has assisted more than 15 goals in the Nigerian top flight from the start of last season, with all coming from his deadly canon-like throws.
Itodo’s throw-ins have also led to numerous goalscoring situations just like in his team’s last game against Abia Warriors in Umuaiha, even though they lost 2-1.
Itodo has also been wonderful with his feet, his goal securing a point for the Peace Boys in their away game at Katsina United earlier this season.
Unsurprisingly, Itodo’s team are still top of the NPFL due to his wonderful contributions across board. Defensively, he isn’t a weakness at all as he’s helped the Tin Boys to concede just 18 goals after 25 league games, the second lowest in the NPFL this term.
If Plateau United will be crowned champions at the end of the season, their creator-in-chief must be in top gear. The fear of Daniel Itodo’s cannons is the beginning of wisdom for any opposition.
Would Daniel Itodo’s long throws eventually lead Plateau United to the NPFL title? Let’s have your comments below.
Follow Samuel on Twitter: @Undisputed_Jsam
Photo source: Google Images