|Sunday, September 5, 2021|
"The Super Eagles of Nigeria, have a bright future and can realise their immediate and long term ambitions, given the correct developmental environment." Cyril C. Nwokeji
he Super Eagles of Nigeria certainly didn't play their best match against Liberia, but were efficient enough to collect the three valuable points at stake and kick start their march to "Qatar 2022", on a bright note!
It was a rather 'subdued' match in terms of performance by Super Eagles' standards. The usual thrills and excitements associated with Super Eagles' performances, more especially their renowned offensive impulses, were somewhat missing.
This may be as a consequence of Coach Gernot Rohr's rather (very) careful tactical approach to the game. One had expected that against a team like Liberia, he would have opted for a more offensive approach to the game; like opening up the attack in a more wing-oriented fashion; by making maximal use of the conventional wingers- a typical Nigerian characteristic! But rather, he chose a conservative style of 4-4-2 !
In his tactical formation, Coach Rohr, used the "classical" 4-4-2 formation. That had of course goalkeeper Maduka Okoye as the last line of defence. He gave a good account of himself on the two occasions he was called to action.
The defence line had : "the usually brilliant" Ola Aina, at right-back; and he didn't disappoint. The left-back was Jamilu Collins, he also did well. The full backs in Rohr's tactical formation, were to 'improvise' for conventional wingers, in an offensive disposition. And they did quite well.
The central defenders were stand-in Skipper William Troost-Ekong, alias "Rock of Gibralter", at centre-half back, and did his job with dexterity. "Commander-General" Leon Balogun, at left-half back, was the other central defensive pair and he was equal to the task.
Together, the four- some( the defenders), provided the necessary cover for Nigeria's vital area, which contributed immensely to Nigeria conceding no goals in the match!
The very conventional mid-field setting in a 4-4-2 formation, had: Wilfred Ndidi alias the "Baggy bagger", or "Ndidi Bus stop", as the main defensive mid-fielder, standing in front of the defence. He was complemented by, Alex Iwobi, alias the "dancing Krekel", as the central mid-fielder. "The dynamic" Joe Aribo, was the other half of the central mid-field as. Simon Moses, alias "the Atilogwu dancer", was the slightly more offensive member of the mid-field quartet.
Together, the four- some formed the conventional compact four-man mid-field in Coach Rohr's rather conservative/ classical "4-4-2" tactical setting! They initiated the Super Eagles' offensive moves, but, most importantly, cut out all spaces for the Liberians, whenever they had ball possession, and, as a consequence, prevented them from creating one decent goal scoring chance for all of ninety-three minutes the game lasted!!!!!!!
The offensive duo were: the "highly predaciously predacious" Kelechi Iheanacho, who lived up to his billing, by scoring the two goals of the Super Eagles!
The other half of the attacking duo: Victor Oshimen, alias " El Magnifico", was good; but was somewhat unlucky not to have gotten himself on the scoring sheet.
As earlier stated, Coach Rohr, was conservative in his tactical approach. Apparently, not wanting to make the mistakes made against Sierra-Leone, a supposedly weaker team that turned out to be a "bogey" team, decided to be more careful in his tactical approach, by being very conservative tactically! The consequence was that the usual thrills and excitements associated with the Super Eagles' offensive play, were somewhat missing. This was apparently not an ideal situation for the numerous fans of the Super Eagles of Nigeria. But considering the high stakes, one cannot but understand Coach Rohr's tactical choices. It's better to win matches with lower score margins and less thrills and excitement , than to draw or lose matches with exciting soccer!
In conclusion, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, have started the 2022 World cup campaign on a bright note, the journey is still long though. Let's hope they continue on this path of success.
UP SUPER EAGLES! UP NIGERIA !!!!!!!!!!!
The book "Super Eagles of Nigeria : Pride of Africa", can also be gotten through the author. One can contact the author through : email@example.com Please note in this case, payment of postage costs will be necessary