t was by no means the best performance the Super Eagles of Nigeria could have put up in a match. The Super Eagles have put up far better performances in matches past. But however notwithstanding their very average performance, the Super Eagles were efficient enough to grab victory in far away Poland, against the home team!
How did yours sincerely see the match football technically?
Yours sincerely saw a Super Eagles team that played in a 4-4-2 formation, with four defenders; the full backs were apparently not given the licence to overlap; apparently as a consequence of the Polish style of play, that relies heavily on fast counters that usually liberate their dangerous strikers: Skipper Lewandoski and Kurzawa! Coach Rohr, apparently, didn't want to be taken unawares and thus asked the fullbacks to be conservative in their playing style.
The four mid-fielders: one strictly defensive mid-fielder: Wilfred Ndidi, alias "the baggy bagger"; the central mid-fielder, or rather the main co-ordinator in midfield, what yours sincerely describes as the CEO of the midfield: Joel Obi; and the two wing offensive mid-fielders: the silvery ,silky, flowery-skilled, magnificient and ubiquitous Victor Moses and of course the "dancing Krekel ": Alex Iwobi.
Yours sincerely saw a two-man attack with: Odion Ighalo, alias" Top 9"; and the predaciously predacious Kelechi Iheanacho.
The match wasn't the best played by the Super Eagles, the Super Eagles tried to stamp their authority in mid-field against a Polish team that was by no means a footballing team. They succeeded by moments, with Joel Obi dictating affaires in mid-field. But by moments, they lost control of the mid-field; and made themselves vulnerable to the famed Polish dangerous counters. This resulted in fairly clear chances to the Polish, which fortuitously were missed. The epileptic performance of Nigeria's mid-field, could be ascribed to the in balance in the Super Eagles' mid-field set up, occasioned by two factors: Joel Obi's inability to blend with the midfield quartet, occasioned by a four-year absence from the international scene; and the inherent in balance in a 4-4-2 formation. In balance occasioned by lack of sufficient central mid-field play activity due to two members of the mid-field quartet that operate from the wings. Me thinks a 4-3-3 formation, in a Super Eagles' offensive game suits the team better. This lack of sufficient mid-field activity is the reason the Super Eagles for all of ninety minutes, couldn't create one decent goal scoring opportunity! The goal scored by Nigeria, came as result of the individual brilliance of Victor Moses! It was a penalty he sought for by engaging in quintessential solo run in the Polish eighteen yard box. The panick-stricken Polish defenders fell for the trick and brought him down. It was an expertly gotten penalty and expertly converted by a quintessential player: the silvery, silky, flowery-skilled, magnificent and ubiquitous Victor Moses!!!!! Certainly a world class player!!!!!!!!
Another disadvantage of the 4-4-2 formation, in the match against the Polish ,was the fact Odion Ighalo, had to share the central attacking space with Kelechi Iheanacho. Odion Ighalo functions best as a lone centre-forward, in a 4-3-3 formation!
Now let's rate the players:
- Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho: was as usual at his confident best. That young man is gradually profiling himself to be Nigeria's new number 1 goalkeeper. He committed no errors for all of ninety minutes and kept a second consequetive clean slate for Nigeria, in his second full international outing. Yours sincerely gives him: 7/10.
- Shehu Abdullahi, alias "Man O war", at right back, didn't play his best game. The Polish left winger got the better part of him on one- on- one situation a number of times. He wasn't solid defensively as we have always known him. He gets: 5/10.
- Bryan Idowu, at left back, was ok defensively. Apparently as a consequence of Coach Rohr's tactical choice, he didn't overlap. He gets 6/10.
- William Troost-Ekong, alias "Rock of Gibralter", at centre-half back, was ok. But one noticed that in a fast one-two combination by the opponents' attackers, he and Leon Balogun, were sometimes swept away, thus exposing goalkeeper Francis Uzoho. This should be food for thought for Coach Rohr, going forward to the World cup tournament! At the world cup they would certainly encounter faster, sharper and hungrier attackers; and would encounter faster and more dangerous one- two movements! He gets from me though: 6/10.
- "Commander-General" Leon Balogun, at left half back, was solid at the back, save for the sometimes troubled combo with William Troost-Ekong, in the face of the sometimes dangerous Polish attacking combinations! He prevented a certain Polish goal! He gets 6.5/10.
- Wilfred Ndidi, alias "the baggy bagger", as defensive mid-fielder, carried out his role with dexterity. He is no doubt growing to be a very effective defensive mid-fielder! Little wonder Liverpool Fc of England, is reported to be interested in his services. He gets 6.5/10.
- Joel Obi ,the central mid-fielder, was ok for a returnee player after 4 years in the international soccer wilderness. He gets 6/10.
- The silvery ,silky ,flowery-skilled, magnificient and ubiquitous Victor Moses, had a generally average game, but with the goal which he expertly initiated and expertly scored, he further raised his stocks in the eyes of yours sincerely. He gets 7/10; and in my considered opinion is the "man -of-match "!
- Alex Iwobi, alias" the dancing Krekel", was ok in the first half, but fizzled out in the second half. This prompted his replacement. One saw his quintessential dribbling movements, in the first half. He gets 6/10.
- The predaciously predacious Kelechi Iheanacho, was ok. He did his best under the circumstances. He gets 6/10.
- Odion Ighalo, alias "Top 9", was ok. He also did his best. But would have functioned better if he had more space. He gets 6.5 /10.
- "The supersonic jet-heeled" Ahmed "Mansa" Musa, was ok, for the time he played. One sincerely hopes he regains his fantastic form of yore, going to the world cup.
- Ogenyi Onazi," the angry wasp", who chases his opponents to hell, was ok. He carried out his duties well.
- "Field Marshall" Kenneth Omeruo, deputized well for Leon Balogun, whom he replaced.
- Tyronne "the Dream" Ebuehi, showed flashes of his quintessential overlapping runs, when he came in. Yours sincerely would like to see him play a ninety minute game for the Super Eagles. He is a player with a lot of potentials!
- John Ugochukwu, didn't have enough playing time to be assessed.
- Simon Moses ,alias the "Atilogwu dancer", didn't also have sufficient playing time to be assessed.
In conclusion, the Super Eagles didn't play their best match against Poland, but were efficient enough to eek out an away victory in Poland against the home team. The shrewd tactical master: Coach Gernot Rohr, certainly played a key role here. He tactically manipulated the game in Nigeria's favour, more especially, when the Super Eagles were one goal up. He tactically closed the game to the Polish, by adopting a tactical defensive game, by asking the Super Eagles, to play more on the counter! Little wonder four of his six substitutions, were of a defensive nature!
Coach Rohr, is apparently, a coach who knows what he wants in a game, and knows how to get it!
Yours sincerely believes in these Super Eagles!
"Anyi bu nkwa "!
UP SUPER EAGLES! UP NIGERIA!!!!!!