Trust me. We haven’t seen a better squad of players in the Super Eagles of Nigeria. I don’t care what anyone wants to say. Take a look at the guys Rohr has at his disposal. The names are solid in every position. I can’t remember the last time I purred over a list of players that ARE ACTUALLY playing for Nigeria.
Having secured qualification for next year’s African Cup of Nations with a game to spare, the pressure should be less on the team as we look forward to watching this team attempt to make Nigeria proud.
Between Michael Okoye and Francis Uzoho, Nigeria has finally filled that Vincent Enyeama-shaped hole in goal, the ‘Oyibo Wall’ of Troost-Ekong and Balogun remains the trusted defensive pairing. If need be, Awaziem and Omeruo can easily step in and do a job. You don’t get a more robust midfield than one having Ndidi, Etebo, Aribo, Abdullahi, and Ajayi. You will do well to beat Nigeria through the middle in games.
Up front, you have an abundance of attacking options who are playing in some of the top leagues across the globe. From Chukwueze to Oshimen, Simon, Kalu, Iheanacho…not to mention Iwobi and the senior head in Ahmed Musa, you can sit for hours noting several combinations to use to kill off a game. It is a killer position to be in as a coach. Even the match-winner against Benin, Paul Onuachu, was on the STAND-BY list. I’m not sure Rohr is aware of what he has available to him.
If you haven’t watched the Super Eagles play recently, you would be excited at what I’ve written, but if you have, you will share the frustration I feel right now.
I still can’t understand how we have not settled on a proper formation that suits this squad. We still can’t find a system that brings out the best of our attacking players. With the individual quality on offer, this team still struggles as a cohesive unit; both defensively and offensively. Creativity is hard to find even with the likes of Iwobi, Simon, Kalu and Chukwueze.
You see…this team could go on to surpass the achievements of the great Nigerian teams of the past; AFCON triumphs, World Cup sojourns to the 2nd Round, top 10 in the ranking…this team can beat that with the players available. We weren’t even this good in 2019 and yet, the team finished 3rd at the AFCON.
Clearly, the team has moved on from losing Ighalo, Mikel and Victor Moses. The quality required to dominate games is there…but you need a plan that adds consistency, style…and convincing performances.
Get a formation that works, a starting eleven that will gel, and a style that can compete with any team in the planet and we will see something close to what the famous teams from ’94, ’80, and 2013 gave us.
England took time to find a system that brings out the best from their best players. A formation change and a closer attention to team cohesion saw them make the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup. Nigeria could learn from that. Funny thing is that I think if our technical staff can think just as deeply, we can achieve similar or even better results.
This is a golden opportunity for the Super Eagles to emerge as a powerhouse in not just Africa but on a global scale. Our players are already of international repute. It is time for Nigeria to challenge the likes of Algeria, Egypt and Senegal (Countries with ‘golden generations’ in them) for a shot at glory.
With the right technical support, everything is possible.