Tottenham’s Nathan Oduwa at Ibrox – half term report

Tottenham’s Nathan Oduwa at Ibrox – half term report

When England youth international Nathan Oduwa was linked last summer with a loan move to Mark Warburton’s Rangers from his parent club Tottenham Hotspur, the obligatory YouTube research found a player of promise, with some clever trickery in his armoury.

The winger had never scored at senior level for any club, although at age 19 there was certainly plenty of time to do so.

He subsequently arrived at Ibrox with a growing reputation, and took his maiden bow at the Indodrill Stadium in Alloa, coming on as a sub on the 60 minute mark – and this was where Nathan Oduwa’s (unwarranted) controversies in the Scottish game began.

After humiliating the Wasps’ central defender Colin Hamilton with a lavish ‘rainbow flick’ by lifting the ball over the home defender’s head before being fouled by him, the attacker was post-match accused of belittling his opponent which saw headlines use the word ‘disrespect’, although the player himself (Hamilton) never actually said that word.

Naturally this only happened because it was a Rangers player, for we have seen dozens of examples of such trickery (Douglas Costa’s flick against Leverkusen for Bayern two weeks later brought praise and not widespread criticism), but nevertheless it left a marker on Oduwa.

We did not see the best of the youngster till Raith Rovers came to Ibrox – this was, and remains, Oduwa’s shining hour in a Rangers shirt. The trickster was electric – two assists, winning a penalty, and some wonderful improvised play too. He destroyed Raith alone, and it looked like he was flourishing at last.

Unfortunately since then, not unlike his colleague Gedion Zelalem from Arsenal, it has tailed off a little. There have been undeniable glimpses of his talent in fits and starts, but nothing sustained and nothing which has led to him securing a permanent starting slot.

However, after the quite thuggish treatment he was subject to when then-Livi manager Mark Burchill’s outfit went to Ibrox in the Petrofac Cup in October, it is not surprising.

Burchill’s tactics clearly instructed his men to carry out a hatchet job on the playmaker, and Hugo Faria and Kieran Gibbons in particular assaulted him with minimal punishment.

That brought condemnation from everyone of a Rangers persuasion, but no respective action.

The last time Oduwa showed any skill was against Falkirk away, and the moment he did, he was clattered by Leahy.

In short, the attacker is not being allowed to flourish in the Scottish game for fear of retribution – defenders and midfielders are clearly being told to stop him at any cost, and as such he is completely unable to develop here.

The lad has talent, lots of it, although he does suffer like any winger from inconsistency. But if his manager Mauricio Pochettino saw the kind of treatment he gets from his opponents north of the border, he would probably terminate the loan deal anyway.

It is a great shame, that Rangers fans are unable to truly see what Oduwa can do – but a fine glimpse of it occurred v Raith.

Unfortunately Scottish football will pull out all the stops to make sure that does not happen again.

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  1. In my opinion….hes over rated. Yes he has some tricks and plenty of pace but if im honest, so did i when i was 19 and i never even made it to amateur level football. Clearly when a young kid has a talent and tries to pull off the tricks in a professional game then the easy way to deal with him is to take him out. What he needs to do is learn how to avoid the tackles. I remember the likes of Brian Loudrop recieving the same treatment. The difference was he was two quick for the knuckle draggers and usually left them looking rather stupid and on their backside….

    • I dont think anyone is particularly raving about him, he is a young academy prospect and if he trains hard, he has a future in professional football. Im a spurs fan and i am looking forward to having him back and seeing him progress into the first team. Assuming he comes back in one piece. You honestly couldn't pay me to watch Scottish football, its a shame that this outlook on entertaining players is adopted, seemingly, by the whole league.
      Unfortunately for the supporters up there, they are destined to support glorified Sunday league football teams whose most impressive attribute is their ability to stop any actual football happening.

    • You couldn't make it at amateur level how on earth can you make a comparison to yourself and him?
      However he needs to learn to ride a tackle but that comes with experience and the drive to make it, look what happened with bale under redknapp, if you don't know that story because you were too busy trying to make it at "amateur" level, redknapp told him to man up and forced him to train even when bale said "I'm injured", oduwa just needs manning up and hopefully his talent does shine through but how many talented youngsters have just not made it? Hopefully he doesn't fall into that category

  2. obviously thats why the poor lad has smartly decided to not bother trying anymore, why show off your skills in a piss poor scottish league where skill died out as did the Dodo and brute force took its place..not surprising scottish football in all levels never amounted to anything note worthy in football history.. if i was the lad i too would simply keep my head down until the loan spell ends and returns to the PL where skill and imagination is revered and applauded not scorned upon and have fingers pointed at you as if youve just been accused of witchcraft.. just goes to show the the different class of football being played in scottish football and the EPL..

  3. When I first saw oduwa in first cple of games I couldn't believe Wat I was watching n how did we manage to get him up here to play in the championship in Scotland, by since that Alloa game he has done zero doesn't look hungry,looks scared, doesn't want to run at defenders, soon as he gets the ball he wants rid of it. In my opinion I would let him go back to Spurs n get templeton match fit as soon as and back in the team ,on his game hes unstoppable n a know other fans will say he's hot n cold but can't perform any worse than oduwas been play for the past few months.

  4. As a player myself, if anybody clattered me, I always demanded the ball back to take on the same player,,and let him clatter me until he got sent off. Oduwa needs to grow a pair of balls and toughen up. Boohoo,, scottish football gives our players tough tackles,, get a grip and give it back, but be clever about it. The lad has the skills, just needs the balls to keep taking the knuckle draggers on. The referees wont help us, therefore its up to the players to be tough. We dont sing "No Surrender" for nothing!!!

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