Out of favour Super Eagles left-back, Taiye Taiwo, who riffled home the winning goal in Marseilleâ€™s 2-1 win over rivals Lyon at the weekend, has vowed to reclaim his starting shirt from new kid on the block, Elderson Echiejile at the World Cup.
As the kickoff date of the first World Cup to hold on an African soil draws nearer, players have been pushing for stellar performances which they hope would attract the attention of their respective coaches, who are yet to pick their definite 23-man team for the biggest single sport competition that the world has come to know.
The situation in the Nigerian camp, which saw the appointment of Lars Lagerback as the teamâ€™s manager, offers a chance of a lifetime to many players, who hitherto, were not given any chance by erstwhile coach Shuaibu Amodu, now know that all they have to do to book a plane to South Africa is by churning out brilliant display, which they hope, would move Lagerback to hand them an invitation to the Mundial.
Having ceded his starting place to Echiejile after a blip showing at the African Cup of Nations in Angola, Taiwo has been witnessing a renaissance of sorts in the French Ligue 1, churning out impressive performance in the last few weeks. But it appears that the player with the thunderbolt shot is finally staking a strong claim to the Eagles starting shirt if his performance against Champions League quarter-finalist, Lyon at the Velodrone is a pointer to what lies in stock at the World Cup.
With the match tied at 1-1 and time running out, Taiwo, who was all along tormenting the Lyon defence, immediately replied for Marseille after LyonÂ failed to clear a corner properly and the Nigerian claimed possession 30 yards out. After initially having an effort blocked, the ball fell kindly for him to take a touch and deliver a sizzling low shot into the corner of Llorisâ€™ net from the edge of the area.