Gabe Osho feels that the return of football fans is an experience like no other. Although he’s only 23, Osho is no novice. He has made appearances in the National League of Maidenhead and Aldershot, as well as Yeovil. It was nothing like this.
His recent West Bromwich Albion crowd was his biggest ever, and Luton’s home matches have been extraordinary. Osho told Sky Sports, “It’s been incredible.”
Last season, I was on loan to Rochdale. We were playing in a relegation fight but we had no fans which made it really hard at times. Because they are so loud, it is surreal to play in front of them. It is just amazing.
Osho has kept them up. His goals were not the reason, but his fierce tackling. He was a defensive midfielder against Sheffield United and produced two crowd pleasing interceptions. Kenilworth Road was enthralled.
It felt almost like scoring a goal. It was a feeling I have never felt since I was a kid. Since my debut, I’ve never felt that same feeling at a football field.
He made his debut in defense for Reading nearly three years ago, but this was only his second senior appearance in the new position at Sheffield United. It was a joy for him.
The manager trusted me and gave me the opportunity to take that job. The experience was similar to playing center-back, but I could run and tackle everything instead of being stuck behind.
“As a center-back, I’d describe myself as a ball playing centre-back. I love to pass the ball, and get on it. As a midfielder I’d describe myself as an “all-rounder”. My ability to cover large distances and assist the team in defense is a plus. “Defend is my first thought.”
It is a great experience, and I enjoy the fact that it was mainly involving the back four rather than the strikers or wingers. It is something I hope to do again.
Osho insists that he will play wherever the manager wants him to, but this shift into midfield was made by design. This decision was reached after discussions with Nathan Jones (Luton boss) during pre-season. Plans were finalized after Osho impressed in two training matches.
Osho says that Osho saw the position as an opportunity for him.
He has spent the last few months focusing on his craft, and much of these past months are now dedicated to it. I have worked every day and done extra, learning the job.
Not just for training.
He adds, “I’ve been watching Champions League finals since 1999,” and he continues: To learn about the position, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. “I just observe the midfielders, and the movement they make.”
Are there any individuals who have stood out in your opinion?
He laughs, “Well, Real Madrid was in around 10 of them.”
“Watching Casemiro is an example of the role I would like to play. N’Golo Kanta in the previous one. It is a role that I’d love to take on, even if it was back when AC Milan had Gennaro Galtuso or Andrea Pirlo.
He takes a moment to consider how it might sound.
You have to set high goals, I suppose.
Osho was driven by this ambition to leave Reading in last summer and accept a contract at Reading.
He says, “It was difficult because I had been there from eight years.” Although I had previously played for them as a player in their first team, I felt they were not able to keep me playing consistently so that was difficult.
It was unfortunate that he had chosen the wrong time. Due to the pandemic, budgets for the Football League were cut and smaller squad sizes meant that many highly skilled players couldn’t find work. Osho was denied a Championship contract and found himself out of work for three months.
There were moments during those times when I felt like “Oh my god, what’s going to happen?” It was difficult. It was especially difficult with coronavirus, as there were many free agents. Clubs tried to get you into trial so they could offer more options.
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Was he worried that he made a mistake. He adds, “There were many times.” I had to leave my apartment and move into the house of my mom. My mates would train, and I’d wake up to see them. I was going out for training at the park at nine o’clock in the morning.
It was a constant cycle of people talking about their pre-season games or anticipating the start of the season. But nothing was happening. It was the season that began and I didn’t have a club. I found it really difficult mentally.”
Osho is grateful to his brothers and mother for their support. My family kept me going. They are the reason I have it all. He thanked Jones for believing and laying out his plan for the future. I was given that helpline by the manager, who believed in me.
The last season saw the team trying to catch up after having been late. Although his loan move to Rochdale was unsuccessful, he still learned a lot from Brian Barry-Murphy, the progressive coach. It was a tough job, but it wasn’t impossible for me to rise to the occasion. As a player, I learned a lot.”
The season’s focus is on the next steps under another respected coach. Jones is now the second coach at Luton. He led his team to May’s top-half.
You can see his philosophy and how he trains every player. This is a challenging training environment with intense competition. He just wants me to improve my estimations.
After finishing Rochdale’s last season, I came into this preseason with a clear goal. I wanted to just play and so I worked hard. Although it is great to be part of the team now, I still want to see my teammates succeed.
I played in League One 22 times during the second half last season. I am now able to move up the ladder and become a Championship player at Luton. My goal is to prove everyone that I am capable. This is what I want to accomplish.
We have goals as a group. Personally, I believe this club will be able to improve on last year’s performance. We are looking forward to seeing if we make it to the playoffs, and if we get promoted to the Premier League. We are now ready to go.
Publited at Thu, 09/09/2021 11:13.39 +0000