By James Agberebi: Former Nigeria international, Mutiu Adepoju, has expressed his disappointment following the home-based Super Eagles’ 4-0 thrashing against hosts Morocco in the final of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) on Sunday in Casablanca, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
Morocco claimed their first senior title since winning the Africa Cup of Nations way back in 1976 with the comprehensive win against Nigeria.
A brace from Zakaria Hadraf, Walid El Karti and Ayoub El Kaabi, gave the Moroccans the deserved the win.
They became the first country to host and win the CHAN tournament since it began in 2009.
Reflecting on the Eagles’ heavy defeat, Adepoju stated he had expected tight contest.
“I didn’t expect that the Eagles will lose with such margin. I expected the game to be competitive than what we saw. I think the result was not good,” Adepoju told Completesportsnigeria.com.
Adepoju dismissed talks about stage fright for the Eagles’ players, positing that the team had been squeezing out results.
He said: “I don’t think the loss had anything to do with stage fright. Most of the players play in front of large crowds in the NPFL. Rather I will say in most of our matches before the final, yes we’ve been winning, but it had been difficult wins. I knew the game against Morocco will be different because they have a solid team. But like I said, even if we are going to lose, I didn’t expect us to lose this much.”
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner, however picked the duo of Ikouwem Udoh and Okechukwu Gabriel as the home-based Eagles players that impressed him at the tournament.
He added:”I was impressed with the left-full back , Ikouwem Udoh. He did very well but he still has much to do, he needs to gain more experience. He attacks and also defends well and his movement was good.”
“Okechukwu Gabriel did well in the previous two games he played, but unfortunately, I didn’t see those runs behind the defenders against the Moroccans. But he has a lot to learn and improve his game.”Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.
Our former internationals never tell the NFF and the players the truth, that the home league is of very poor quality, which is why we have difficulty finding sponsors for matches played in empty stadia on bad pitches. When it rained on the lush grass in Casablanca, our CHAN Super Chicken were slipping and sliding like ice skaters. This resulted in unintended rough tackles and a red card that put the game to bed.
Really appreciate Adepoju sincere comments. The quality of the player is not the problem. They struggled all matches they played. For me the weakest point of the team is the technical crew. I have never in the past supported foreign coach but really we will always need one if we ever plan to do well in competitions.
Nigerians are still living in the Middle Ages when it comes to sports. We believe in miracles, never in hard work. This is why the better Nigerian players are all overseas, just like the better doctors. The environment for growth of sports in-country is disgraceful, and the performance of the CHAN Eagles, representing 180 million Nigerians bears testimony to the fact that home conditions are primitive. Take for instance the fact that the pitches in Morocco are far superior to what our footballers are used to at home. As a result, the strikers like Anthony Okpotu had poor first touches on the ball, and were rendered ineffective. Others kept slipping and sliding into rough tackles that cost us two red cards. The CHAN EAGLES did the best they could, and I hope the bright lights, which I saw in that squad – Eneji, Falaye, Eze get signed by foreign clubs to start a better career and earn a living. We can blame coaches, native or foreign as much as we like. In no part of the world is a national team coach mandated to develop football in a country within the short space of a contractual period of 2 to 4 years. Sports development is evolutionary, and based on government policy and other economic and cultural externalities over decades. All national coaches in the world identify and use excellent, finished products for the national team. It is the NFF which has the duty to develop football through programmes for different categories of competitions, training of coaches and referees, maintenance of pitches, and in collaboration with state and local governments, the development of sports in schools. No foreign coach will and can do this for Nigeria.
The performance from Eagles was awful .There was no purposeful play,no fight ,no competition from the players at least to redeem their name . They were so disappointing at the finals .Losing with so much margin is a shame to Nigerian Football .
Ultimately, the performance reflects the quality of our National League and Home football. We need a great deal of professionalism injected in the league. Especially in the coaching area. We do not do enough to train our footballers on the techniques of the game. The positioning, when to hold the ball, when and how to release the ball. Our approach is based too much speed and strength. When you meet another team which can match you with those it becomes a problem. And that is where technical ability comes into play. The difference between the home Super Eagles and the World Cup Super Eagles is just the technical ability and application. It is not the strength, speed or even the raw skills.
D league is poor but we got to d final,those countries with good league y didn’t dey get to d finals.i am not saying our league is very good,d problem with this team was technical and not the league.
And that a pitch is lush green,that does not mean it is playable,a pitch might b green but it isn’t playable
Those who found the pitch of international standard playable ultimately won the game by 4-0. Logical, isn’t it?
A coach is as good as his last match. You can’t give what you don’t have. The technical crew and preparation towards the competition are poor. It would have being an injustice for Nigeria to win the competition with such “fire brigade” preparation. The Nigeria football federation shoddy preparation of the team and non invitation of some quality players in the league and academy’s around the country, it’s another talking point maybe that will be discussion for another day. If we win with such lackadaisical approach it will become a norm. I believe with so much tongue lashing of the officials they will try to do better next time. The boys tried but you can’t give what u don’t have, soccer is science and techniques.
Thank God they didn’t win, because if they did, it’d have shown how poor the competition is. I said it during quater final stage that even if they manage to get to the final they’ll not win. Psychological edge won all the matches for them hence all the narrow and slim score line. They were tactically inept. Though I didn’t expect them to win. 1 goal would’ve shown a gallant fight but 4 chai! Even when I tried changing channel my wife mockingly insisted I must finished the match since I deprived her of watching her movies. Fellow Nigerians 90minutes was like 90 hours. Anyway no wahala. Shit happens!
@Mutiu Adepoju, I am more disappointed in you than I am of the CHAN Eagles. You are a one time national team player and you should know how difficult it is to play with 10 men against a World cup team and a host. You have played in North Africa and you know how freezing cold the weather can be. Rain brings more cold abi. The referee was not reasonable in giving that card because replay showed that the tackle was not worth a yellow card especially considering that the player has a yellow card already. This is a final for crying out loud! That yellow card contributed to the crappy play. The referee was following a script written by CAF in support of the host team winning by all means. Moses and Gabriel were tormenting the Moroccans and they must be stopped. It was silly of the player not to remember that he was on yellow card and just tackle like that but the ref was too harsh. @Adepoju should know all this and commend the boys like Atiku did instead of following the crowd who just criticize for criticizing sake.
One is compelled to sympathize with this djch who has decided to take up the duty of PRO of the failed Home Eagles. In doing that, he has forgotten that he does not have the right to meddle in the considered opinions of other people, most of who are/were great participants in the game. That Atiku commended the failed team does not mean that Adepoju should. Afterall, how can anybody compare Atiku with Adepoju in football matters? The repeated excuse that we lost because we played with 10 men is lame because cases abound where teams played with 10 men and still won. The warped consolation that our main Super Eagles will beat the Moroccans silly is an illusion because the team that beat the failed eagles is not the main national team of Morocco eventhough some of those players are in the team. Our main Super Eagles will have to work hard before they can beat the main Atlas Lions. Whenever a Nigerian club or team loses a football match, the referee was responsible. The Lions out-played us and a well-deserved second yellow card was shown and djch attributed it to CAF shenanigans. Our team did not do well and we must vent our anger. Even when one of the players(Eze) has apologized to Nigerians for their bad performance and failure, Mr djch said he had no reason to do so just because Nigeria reached the final( as if just reaching the final was the only reason we went to CHAN). My dear djch, Nigerians do not want to know what your interest is but you should go about it responsibly without attacking anybody who dares to criticize the failed eagles or who holds views that are at variance with yours. Nobody is killing them. They represented Nigeria and did their best but it was not good enough. They will be warmly welcome back any time they return. But the truth must be told: they failed woefully.