The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations has come and gone, but if Nigeria aims to clinch 2021 AFCON the work must start now.
Moreover, some of the factors which wholly dashed Super Eagles’ hope in 2019 AFCON hosted should be put under scrutiny:
Lack of Compactness
It is a belief of many that Nigeria is blessed with dynamic footballers. Yes, but individual skill without compact wins no team trophy,as a piece of broom never sweeps like a bunch. Lack of communication and inability to come together as a team cost them a lot.
Goal keeping problem
Super Eagles traveled to the tournament with three goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho of which the former was chosen as a starter.
Self confidence, pass accuracy, quick saving and catching were absent in him.
Most especially against Algeria where he hide behind the free kick wall that later resulted to 94th-minute-winning goal that broke nation’s hearts.
Absence of Specialists
Creativity plays major role in conquering foes during competitions. Super Eagles found it difficult to produce free kick specialists,corner kick experts et all.
Inability to put round peg on the round hole is another failure.
Ball juggling midfielders
During Austin Jay Jay Okocha’s reign, his twists and turns often brought joy to every lover of football.
It is repugnant to scarcely see a strong Ball jugglers who can exhibit dexterity, distribute passes and mesmerize stubborn opponents among the present players.
This dragged Super Eagles’ image to dust at the just concluded AFCON.
Weak Attacking force
As fierce as a lion, so the attacking force should be. Had it been the anointed – top striker(Odion Ighalo) been looked hungrier he would have scored 8 or 10 times.
Current Super Eagles’attack doesn’t threaten opponents defence enough.
It was apparently glaring during Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon encounters where Nigeria was saved by the duo of Kenneth Omeruo and Troost Ekong respectively instead of attackers.
On a final note, coming third at a tournament which 24 teams competed in is never a curse.
Although we should always aim high and go for nothing less than gold.
Compactness, good goal keeping system, expertise at all angles, midfield restructuring and reliable attacking force remain factors for Super Eagles’ resurrection, former Eagles player Oladimeji Lawal told Brila FM.