Former Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has spoken out in expectation of a revival for Nigeria at the ongoing World Cup in Russia, as he believes the team can storm back stronger against Iceland.
Though Okocha opined that lack of a creative player affected the Eagles in their opening group match against Croatia on Saturday, the ex-international enthused that the squad would be able to play better once the coach, Gernot Rohr rejigs his tactics on Friday.
Okocha blamed the Eagles’ lack of creativity and passage of play as reasons for their 2-0 loss to Croatia, which he said means Rohr must take responsibility for the defeat.
He further highlighted the need for role clarity in the squad, whilst calling for Rohr to stamp his authority more on the squad and assign more freedom to certain players who have the ability to create in the middle of the park.
The former Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, PSG, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City dazzler then urged the team to learn from their mistakes and put everything right, ahead of their second group game against Iceland on Friday
‘The Emperor’ stated: “It was a decent first half but maturity was the edge the Croatian team had over the Nigerian team.
“We didn’t get the best out of Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses because the manager was trying to accommodate Mikel Obi in the team.
“We didn’t have a creative player today; Mikel has been a good servant to the national team. His best position is playing in front of the defence.
“We saw what he did playing for Chelsea where he had a glorious career. The most creative player in that team is Alex Iwobi but he was played on the flanks.
“He can play on the flanks at Arsenal because they had better players in that role like Mesut Ozil. The reason why we lost was because we played our best players out of their positions.
“Sadly, we have lost today but we can’t give up now, I believe he can work on the lapses he saw here and come back stronger against Iceland.”