The challenge Efe Ambrose will face should he proposed move to Hibs go through will be considerably less taxing that what he faced in the Premiership, or in Europe, with Celtic. Efe will go down in folklore as another African Cup of Nations enigma.
He was part of the heroic story against Barcelona in November 2012, before heading to the African Cup of Nations two months later. That tournament would see the player achieve the peak of his continent’s football Kilimanjaro. He played right back for champions, Nigeria.
That was on the Sunday. By the Tuesday he had been flown across the globe and made the starting line-up for Celtic in their Champions League last 16 game against Juventus. Two minutes into the game Efe was caught underneath the ball and out of position, Juventus exploited the lapse to the full.
As far as Efe’s time at the top goes, that was that. Since then his form has been on a pronounced downwards trajectory. The thing is, he’s still only 28. There was a player of considerable value in there one. If someone can bring focus to him, there may be again.
A word on matters relating to illness and medical information of our heroes…………
Pretty much everyone knew of Billy McNeill’s condition for some time but thankfully, it wasn’t subject to online speculation. There are a few guidelines on health matters which are worth observing:
Health is a private matter and should not be discussed online unless and until the person or family decide otherwise.
While we feel close to our heroes and will naturally want to offer support at a time of need, serious illness is the most private of matters, it is wholly inappropriate for a former footballer to hear his condition is a matter of public knowledge.
A bereavement should only be ‘revealed’ online by someone acting on the explicit instructions of the family. The unofficial release of this type of news is a very regretful manifestation of the internet age.
In recent years, we have seen many occasions of older celebrities’ deaths being incorrectly reported, then retweeted and retold thousands of times before it is denied. For an ill person and their family this can be a horrific experience.
The world can do without our condolences for a couple of hours until the family concerned have been able to contact all members.
These guidelines are scrupulously followed by the mainstream media in Scotland, who will hear of a footballer’s bereavement but hold the news – and prepare their reaction – until the family are ready.
For former-Celtic players, the club will usually be in touch with the family and release the news at the appropriate time. If you want to express your condolences, prepare your thoughts but hold until an official announcement.