Recipe for the success of Super Eagles at World Cup Qualifiers

Super Eagles

This week’s speculated appointment of Austin Eguavoen, and Emmanuel Amuneke as handlers of Nigeria’s Senior Football, Super Eagles, has finally buried the issue of whether to hire a foreign coach or not.

The appointment of the duo has no doubt shifted the focus primarily to the two crucial World Cup Qualifiers against our perennial foes, Black Stars of Ghana.Recipe for the success of Super Eagles at World Cup Qualifiers

How will the Super Eagles team, and the entire Nigeria Football Family approach these very critical assignments particularly with the unceremonious exit of the Super Eagles from the 2021 AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

In a recent interview with Brilla, Coach Austin Eguavoen had disclosed that they were yet to begin preparations.

We have not started preparation for the Playoffs. I will sit with my technical crew and draw up a program for the World Cup playoffs. We only just submitted our technical report of the AFCON. In fact it is the reason why I have travelled from Lagos to see the Honourable Minister,” Eguavoen said.

The above confession by the Super Eagles gaffer may indeed not sound palatable to the ears of millions of football lovers in the country with the two – legged play – off barely a month away, and invariably kick off on March 23,2022, at Cape Coast Sports Stadium, Accra, Ghana.Recipe for the success of Super Eagles at World Cup Qualifiers

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The second leg is slated for Nigeria six days after the first leg in Ghana.

It’s good to hear that the Coach visited the Revamped Moshood Abiola Stadium, the venue of 2022 at FIFA World Cup Qualifier return leg game against the Black Stars of Ghana alongside the CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, GCON and the Honourable Minister of Youth & Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

Adequate Preparations for this crucial qualifiers should go beyond visiting the venue of the match beginning with meticulous, and painstaking selection of the players for these critical assignments.

Selection of players should be based purely on current form, and patriotic zeal.Recipe for the success of Super Eagles at World Cup Qualifiers

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This is no time for selection of players based on ethnic, tribal, religious or other primordial sentiments like past performances of individual players.

The Super Eagles’ starting line-up should not include any ageing or exiting players.

Their experience will be needed to stabilize play at critical moments of the games.

The Super Eagles Coach, Austin Eguavon should have learned some bitter lessons from the ouster of his team at the quarter final stage of 2021 AFCON Tournament.

It is not enough to tell us he regretted not using two talented wingers in the match against Tunisia.

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This is a clear acknowledgement of technical inefficiency which may not be condoned at the level of World Cup..

Individual player call-up letters should be sent out early and on schedule to avoid a repeat of the Emmanuel Dennis and Jude Ighalo scenarios at the 2021 AFCON Tournament.

There should be no room for unnecessary, and irrelevant camp visits by people who will not add value to the success of the team.Super Eagles

This includes the regular distraction of promising bogus cash rewards to the players and the team.

The AFCON 2021 experience should serve as enough lessons for managers of the Super Eagles team.

A word is enough for the wise.

 

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About the Author

Obum Akawor
A retired Senior Civil Servant and sports journalist. A Fellow, Chartered Institute of Administration, FCAI.

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