Why Kevin Akpoguma’s Injury Could Be a Major Blow for Peseiro


The extent of Kevin Akpoguma’s head injury is not certain, but the defender may play no further part in Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in this window.

Akpoguma sustained the injury during Nigeria’s home loss to Guinea-Bissau in the Cup of Nations first-leg qualifying match on Friday.

He was deployed as a CB, a position he can deputize in, but hasn’t played as a mainstay for Country or at club level, with Hoffenheim.

The 27 year-old has played under two Managers at Hoffenheim this season, and both Coaches have preferred him as a RB or RCB, the latter quite seldom.

Why did Jose Peseiro deploy Akpoguma as a makeshift ahead of natural CBs Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Kenneth Omeruo.


Although the injury was as a result of a tackle, which could have happened anywhere on the pitch, Akpoguma was required to do too much and his pairing with Calvin Bassey also put pressure on the player.


Bassey has had a rough campaign at Ajax; whether as a LB or LCB. His strength is tackling, but often he might be caught our flat by a striker or pressured into giving the ball away because he’s not particularly a ball-playing defender.

Communication was a problem because two players were pairing in their secondary roles and on more than one occasion the frailty of that experiment was exposed.

It could have easily been 2-0 in the first half, Guinea-Bissau had a clear purpose in their attack and the Nigerian CBs didn’t even get proper cover in midfield.

Peseiro gambled, played his perceived best hand, left the better alternatives on the bench and it came back to bite him.

His 23-man squad list was wrought with inconsistencies, damaged confidence, discontent, nepotism and ridiculousness personified.

It may have cost him a good asset at the least, or even more consequential, valuable points in the tie.


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