Seven months ago, the average Nigerian fan could beat his chest that his Super Eagles team was good enough for the World Cup and waiting to shock the world. It is not everyday you put four goals past an Argentine side, Messi or no Messi. Five games down the line and he is wondering what has happened to his team because all he sees now is a team who look like they don’t know what they are doing on the field of play.
Like an accident waiting to happen, the Super Eagles suddenly look like well sauced turkeys waiting to be fried at the World Cup. The oyibo wall seem to have suffers some cracks, the wingbacks are failing to fly, and the midfielders and forward men seem to have lost their connectivity and creativity in the final third. The Nigerian is depressed and his hope and dream to see his super eagles team break records at the world cup seem to have suffered shipwreck.
One would say these games are merely friendly matches, mainly meant to test new tactics and strategies for the team ahead of the World Cup. True but, I don’t think I have seen disastrous rehearsals produce excellent performances. The FIFA ranking and other Power Ranking has not done our confidence any good, they are all predicting we will only play our 3 mandatory games and return home.
Taking a closer look at the friendly matches, one would realize that the team interpretation of the coach’s idea just need little tweaking and the Super Eagles will be able cause massive upsets at the world cup. A complete switch to the 3-5-2 formation (of which the team have shown to be comfortable and effective with) will give us a better fighting chance against our intimidating group opponents and any other team that comes our way. Do not forget, this is a team with no major star player(s) but a group of young, talented and energetic players fighting for each other and the good of the team.
On the bright side, this team is a very young team. Like statistics has shown, it is the youngest team going to Russia 2018 and the World Cup experience will only make them better players both for club and country in years to come. Imagine how big and good the likes of Uzoho, Ebuehi, Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi, etc will be for the Super Eagles years from now.
Our hopes and dreams for this team at the World Cup may suffers bruises and the friendly matches may given us a humbling reality but we must not be quick to forget that when we lest our darling Super Eagles to perform, thats when they bring their A game. Do not be surprised to see a repeat of the WCQ Cameroon game at the World Cup. They are Super Eagles and they are wings of African Pride.