Friday, August 24, 2018
he Super Eagles won the match -up against Seychelles, but were not impressive in victory!

One expected a more convincing performance from the Super Eagles, considering their quality and considering the quality of their opponents: the 188th rated team in the world! But rather we saw a Super Eagles team that somewhat struggled to achieve victory, notwithstanding their domination of proceedings. Have I contradicted myself? Certainly not! What one observed was a Super Eagles team that dominated the match, but scarcely created chances! Consequently, scoring was somewhat difficult. If the Super Eagles had played to their fullest potential, they would not only have won, but they would have won with more goals scored. In other words, they would have gotten a more convincing victory against their opponents, notwithstanding the synthetic nature of the pitch! The Seychelles, notwithstanding their courage and determination, were certainly not in the same class as the Super Eagles, and by a far margin for that matter; as depicted by their relative ratings!

What went wrong with the Super Eagles' performance ? Me thinks the creative mid-field department didn't function optimally. The chief persona in this department: Kelechi Ihenacho, notwithstanding his high work rate, had difficulties giving the necessary creative/ defence-splitting passes necessary to flatten the defence of the opponents, in order to set the attackers free! His job was to break down the opponent's defence in order to liberate the attackers. He had difficulties carrying out this responsibility. Consequently, the opponent's defensive formation, appeared more impregnable than should have been the case. Make no mistakes about it, Kelechi Ihenacho, is no doubt a fine player, a polyvalent one for that matter, who has proved his worth to the Super Eagles! The problem was that he hasn't gotten used to playing in the offensive mid-field position for the Super Eagles. If Coach Rohr wants to use him in that position, he should give him more exposure and with time he will become the quintessential offensive mid-fielder for the Super Eagles.

Another reason for the average performance of the Super Eagles, was the somewhat over- anxiety with which they played. Apparently, in their desire to win, they became somewhat nervous and didn't play with the necessary self -assurance needed to convincingly subdue their opponents. For example, they unnecessarily used high balls, as a way of quickly getting into the opponent's vital area. This was unnecessary, they should have used a strictly "footballing" solution against their opponents - keeping the ball on the field of play, and exploiting their experience and superior skills to disorganise them. This would have done a better job!

High balls are sometimes ok in a match, but, generally, not the best way to subdue an opponent. A team that keeps the ball on the field of play, in order words, a team that plays "football", usually has a better chance of success. This of course requires the necessary skills on the part of the players. This is one of the reasons, Latin American teams, generally, do better in soccer! According to late Coach Chris Udemezue of blessed memory, an apostle of "tip-tap" or "tiki-taka" brand of soccer, when the ball is kicked in the air, it belongs to nobody. Winning the ball then becomes a game of chance/ a game of survival of the fittest! Modern soccer doesn't follow that way! This is the reason the English "Premiership" competition, has a lot of foreign managers, who have been hired specifically to bring the technical aspects of the game to their teams, as opposed to the traditional English style of "kick and rush"!

This makes the point about generally "refurbishing" the style of play of the Super Eagles of Nigeria! When Coach Rohr, was appointed two years ago, he had a tall order to get the 2018 World cup ticket. Consequently, his aim was to win matches, regardless of how the Super Eagles played. This objective was achieved- qualification for the 2018 World cup competition. But during the course of the friendly matches preparatory to the 2018 World cup competition, Coach Rohr, apparently, realised he didn't have a team to effectively compete with the rest of the World cup competitors, "footballing" wise; hence he decided to make the Super Eagles play "counter-football", as a way of solving the 'exigencies' at that time. The 2018 World cup is history, going forward, Coach Rohr, having proved himself as a good coach, needs to do one more thing for the Super Eagles, in addition to winning; he needs to make them play "football"! This is with regards his dreams of being in charge of the team up to the 2022 World cup competition! The Super Eagles, given their status, need to win matches more convincingly, with decent, beautiful football. Playing on the counter, or always trying to use high balls cannot get the Super Eagles where they are supposed to be in soccer, considering their potential! Yours sincerely knows Coach Rohr, wants to make a name for himself with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, he has already started making a name for himself - he was the CAF second best coach of 2017. He can do better, if he changes the Super Eagles' style of play. He needs to make them play football!!!!!!!!

To achieve this objective, Coach Rohr needs to radically revamp the mid-field department. This is the heart and soul of any team. He needs to still scout for more skilful/creative mid-fielders, to help him in making the team play "football", and, consequently, play better! The present set of creative mid-fielders are ok. Coach Rohr, needs to make them play differently and better. For example, emphasizing to them the need to keep the ball on the field of play, and, build up gradually, instead of unnecessarily playing high balls. When the creative mid-fielders play "football", this style of play, will automatically become "infectious" with regards the rest the team; we shall then see a beautifully-playing Super Eagles, that can achieve great results against great teams!

In conclusion, one congratulates the Super Eagles on their victory against Seychelles, by so doing, they have gotten the necessary three points, and, have changed the negative goal aggregate's balance to a positive one; and, consequently, relaunched their quest for a ticket to the 2019 CAF Nations' cup competition. Nigerians as always fervently support them!


Also at the link below, one can come into contact with a number of items, needed to support the Super Eagles at "RUSSIA 2018" !!!!!