Monday, 30 June 2014

World Cup: Thoughts on the Nigerian Team

World Cup: Thoughts on the Nigerian Team

Nigeria was eliminated from the World Cup yesterday after losing 0-2 to France in the Second Round

Before the match: Pepisco. D. Pepeiye wrote: "Lord Jesus, remember that France is a country of sin. They started the French kiss. Hold that sin against them, Father"

However, you can't give what you don't have. The Nigerian team is simply a counter-attacking one that lacks creativity in the middle and lacks goal scorers in front.

This problem was evident in the Friendlies just before the World Cup and in the matches at the World Cup

Forget about Musa's brace against Argentina. It was an unlikely act

Nigeria played better in the first half against France 'cos the French got their selection wrong. Benzema should play through the middle and Griezmann should be the supporting act ( instead of Giroud through the middle and Benzema supporting from the wings) Once this was rectified, 'water found its level'

General thoughts about Nigerian players

Enyeama- is the best African goalkeeper to grace any World Cup in my opinion. Likeable guy, Great shot-stopper, excellent reflexes.He needs to work on his only weakness: crosses

Oshaniwa and Efe Ambrose - physically imposing but limited skills on the ball. Nobody rates highly a FB who cannot play like a wing back with important contributions while going forward ( assists) in the modern game

I was impressed by the youthful Kenneth Omeruo at CB. However he needs to work on defending set pieces and crosses better

I hope this was Yobo's last game for the Super Eagles?

Mikel was the biggest disappointment in that problematic midfield. He played too deep ( with Onazi) and thus there was poor link between midfield and attack.

Babatunde appeared to find his own, in that No 10 role, against the Argentines, before his unfortunate injury.

Moses disappointed against Iran and against the French in that role

You're going to lack imagination upfront as a team without a proper No 10

Emenike was frequently isolated upfront and often didn't get quality passes due to the problems highlighted above.

However, the few times he did get the ball at his feet, his hold up play wasn't great. Little wonder he fired blanks in 4 matches. Strength is good but guile is better. Colombia's James Rodriguez anyone? :-)

I loved the way Odemwingie grafted in all the games, however forwards are always judged by goals and assists. He wasn't stellar on both counts. I can't help feeling that he has passed his prime

Ahmed Musa- speedster with poor decision making and final balls. Gets easily bullied by defenders. This is why he doesn't score more goals

I suppose elimination at this stage can't be viewed as disappointing in the grand scheme of things in Nigeria.....Boko Haram, bombs, kidnappings, inept leadership and all. Keshi tried his best in the circumstances :-)

Afterall, does anyone plant Cassava and expect to reap Yam?

So, #BringbackOurBoys



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