Archive for January, 2008

Hapless Eagles

The African Nations Cup going on in Ghana has shown the world, especially Nigerians, that there’s nothing “super” about the Super Eagles. Before the start of Nigeria’s run in tournament I told my cousins that Nigeria will struggle and that I wasn’t really expecting much from them. The look of shock which ran across their faces at my mere insinuation that the Super Eagles would struggle one would have thought I had said something blasphemous against God. They then proceeded to call me a sell-out and started to cheer on Nigeria in their first match against Ivory Coast. Now we’re two games into the Nations Cup (a draw and a loss) and we don’t have control of our destiny in the tournament. Instead we have to pray that the Ivory Coast’s Team B can beat a strong Mali side…well that’s if we can beat Benin in our final group game.The trouble with Nigeria’s Super Eagles is one that have been in full display during the friendlies – a non existent midfield, the long ball, and players not knowing their roles.

The long-ball is an European thing, we don’t play that, we play African football, one that is heavily dependent on the quality of the midfield players and ball possession. Begti Vogts seems to have ignored this and has been trying to imprint the European style of football into their Nigerian players’ heads and for some odd reason they seem very inept when it comes to executing it (I find this rather hilarious when you consider that more than half of our players play in European top flight leagues). On the pitch what we get is a side seeming to forget their assigned roles whilst roaming around the pitch aimlessly.

All blame shouldn’t be heaped solely the players, some have to be assigned to the coach. Begti Vogts hasn’t grasped the fact that the long ball tactic isn’t working and worse off it isn’t utilizing the full potential of his side. Also he continues to put players out of their natural positions or off their comfort zones i.e. playing Mikel as an attacking midfielder when he’s better been a defensive midfielder or asking Kanu to attack from deep when he’s better up front along side a fellow striker or playing Martins wide left when he’s better in the striker or lone-striker role. Here’s the damning thing for Mr. Vogts, all these were evident during this friendlies yet he hasn’t corrected them…even worse some of the players he is fielding during the tournament weren’t part of his friendlies run of matches.

Whatever the end result is for Nigeria in this tournament so rethinking needs to be done by Begti Vogts but that’s if he survives the axe of the Nigeria FA.

Happy New Year!

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