Hello and welcome to my blog.
I have been wanting to write this post but decided to wait till the last group B match was played.
Nigeria kick-started their Afcon 2019 with a 1 -0 win against first timers Burundi. Many expected the match to be a walk over for the Super Eagles considering the array of talents at their disposal. That was not the case as the Super Eagles suffered before scoring a 77th minute goal via Odion Ighalo from a exquisite Ola Aina pass.
They were expected to turn up in the second match but that was not the case. The same thing repeated itself and they needed a Omeruo header in the 73rd minute to grind out a win.
Their last group match against Madagascar saw them lose woefully by 2 goals to nothing. That match was a true reflection of Nigeria first 2 matches.
For a team that aspires to win the Nations Cup this is not a good sign. What is wrong?
No playing style
The match against Burundi was one poor match. The Burundi team was setup in a way to play long balls with the hope of catching the Nigerian defenders offguard. The pacy duo of Abdul Razak and Saido Berahino were tasked with the responsibility of keeping the Nigerians defenders at alert every time and unable to play out from back comfortably. The Nigerian team opted to play the same kind of football. Playing long balls to the tall Onuachu with no runners behind him. He was left isolated for most part of the game before he was substituted. The double substitution of Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo saw Nigeria turn to a patient passing style which saw us win the game.
Players played out of position
You see Etebo a box to box midfielder playing in a deep midfield role and Mikel Obi a renowned defensive midfielder playing as an attacking midfielder. It’s crazy. How do you want the team to gel? No creativity whatsoever. I expected a formation similar to the World cup own. The trio of Mikel, Ndidi, and Etebo in the midfield. We can play a 4-3-1-2 formation and have Iwobi as the attacking midfielder. Chukwueze and Ighalo can pair upfront. That will give enough fluidity to our playing style and see them mix stuffs upfront which will confuse the opponents.
It’s not too late to make amendments and get things right. Losing to Madagascar is a wake up call to Rohr and his boys. We are in the Knockout stage now and any mistake means ouster.
Good luck Super Eagles. Bring the trophy back home.
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