FIFA World Cup: How High Can Super Eagles Fly?
Nigeria News takes a look at the Super Eagles squad as world cup approaches.
Now that Moses Simeon is out of the FIFA Russia 2018 World Cup, the Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr must quickly fix Nigeria left fullback in less than two weeks.
That was the game against DR Congo became crucial for the German tactician. Rohr needed a replacement for Simeon and three other quality players to make his 23-man-squad that will fly to Russia.
The coach paraded debutants, Junior Lokosa of the Nigeria League and Simeon Nwakwo, a Nigeria international in Serie A. He wanted a strong attack, even though there are regular starters like Kelechi Ihenacho and Alex Iwobi in the match against DR Congo.
It is clear that Rorh is not satisfied with his attack and midfield judging by the players he paraded against DR Congo. He deliberately left out Odion Ighalo out of the match and refused to field the Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi in the game.
Nigeria played an unimpressive 1-1 with DR Congo. In the midfield, the likes of Joel Obi who plays in Serie A and OgheneKaro Etebo who plays in La Liga could not impress. DR Congo played better as a team and ensured that they shared points with Nigeria.
Some of the strongest Nigeria players, including Victor Moses of Chelsea, Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester could not play due to injuries. They are expected to join the team against England on June 2.
Monday game revealed that Nigeria had no quality bench and a slight injury for some of the first team players will definitely spell doom for three-time African champions.
The midfielders of Monday were not creative enough to cause any damage to the opposition. Nigeria will be playing against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in group D of the world cup. Croatia will be parading some of the best midfielders in the world. Argentina has Lionel Messi and other great players while Iceland is tagged “Giant Killer”.
Nigeria is rated the poorest in the group and from what I saw on Monday, the Super Eagles’ coach will need to do a lot of work to create an upset at the world cup.
At present, there is no replacement for Mikel Obi, the most experience in Nigeria squad. Mikel plays in China and for some time he has not been regular. He sat throughout Monday match against Congo but would be ready against England on Saturday.
The midfield of Nigeria on Monday, spearheaded Ogenyi Onazi lacked fluidity. The players lost the ball easily to the opponents, which of course will be their undoing in the world cup.
The world cup is won by either a strong team or the ingenuity of special players who can easily capitalize on small errors of their opponent to punish them.
If Super Eagles must fly high at the Mundial, the players will need to step up their games and be more disciplined with tactics and instructions of the coach.
Again, the Super Eagles goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho will need to be more calculative so as not to easily concede a penalty. Good luck to Super Eagles.