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Adepoju: Super Eagles Should Be Top Contender For 2019 AFCON Title

Adepoju: Super Eagles Should Be Top Contender For 2019 AFCON Title

Former Nigeria international Mutiu Adepoju is confident that the Super Eagles under the tutelage of Gernot Rohr has the capacity to compete for the 2019 AFCON title in Egypt, reports Completesports.com.

Reacting to the 23-man list of players for the dead rubber AFCON qualifier against Seychelles and a friendly game with Egypt in Asaba on March 22 and 26 respectively, Adepoju told Completesports.com that the squad should be able to execute the two games conveniently

“I think coach Rohr invited the players he feels will give him what he wants against the two sides. He must have reasons for omitting some players and inviting a couple of new players into the team. Leaving out Mikel Obi does not mean the skipper is no longer needed in the team

“I am sure the coach has his reasons for leaving out Mikel. His experience and leadership qualities will play a big role in the team at the AFCON. This young Super Eagles team will need all the experience and qualities available to do well in Egypt,” Adepoju stated.

He continued: “After missing three consecutive AFCON, the Eagles have with it takes to compete favourably for the title in Egypt. Having been together for over three years now coupled with their experience at the Russia 2018 World Cup, this team should by vying for the cup”

He commended the coach for the inclusion of Flying Eagles defender Ozornwafor Valentine in the team adding that this will fast-track the right-back who shone at the recently concluded Under-20 AFCON in Niger.

On the dropping of Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses’ international retirement, the 1994 AFCON winner insisted players should earn their invitation to the national teams.

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja

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  • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

    Coach Of Morocco Herve Renard List Super Eagles Among Favourite To Lift 2019 AFCON
    Ahead of the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, coach of the senior national team of Morocco Herve Renard has tipped the Super Eagles among teams who could lift the tournament in Egypt in June.

    Renard made this known in an interview on the official website of Africa football governing body CAF as teams who are yet to be through to the Africa Cup of Nations get set for the final round of qualifiers.

    The coach of Morocco who won the cup of nations with Zambia in 2012 however admitted that host Egypt stand a very big chance of winning the trophy due to the array of stars they parade, notably Mohammed Salah of Liverpool.

    Nigeria who were champions the last time they took part in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 made the list of teams the coach feel will trouble the ambition of his team to lift the tournament.

    “Statistically, football lovers know that Egypt is a great country especially when you can count on Mohamed Sala. And even more so at home with strong popular support”, the coach said.

    “It will be very difficult for all their opponents. Which team today has individual qualities like Sadio Mané or Koulibaly for Senegal? Let us not forget also the Ivory Coast of Nicolas Pépé and Serge Aurier, the defending champions of Cameroon or Nigeria. I’d rather not be a braggart for Morocco but make the opponents fall on the field.”

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Thats the most sought after coach in africa listing Nigeria as favourites to win AFCON. But ‘some people’ who know football more than the rest of africa think we are not. Infact all they predict is group stage exit for the Eagles, all because their favorite players are not being invited to the team. Make una nor worry, we still dey price the thunder wey go strike all our enemies of progress for ariaria market. Who say make our water nor boil, dem nor go sell kerosene for in area.

      • I think there is one team we should fear – Senegal and hopefully we do not meet in the early stages of the competition. They are number one in Africa for a reason.

        Since 2018 they have beaten us in Under 17 (twice), Under 20 and for good reason.

        The upheaval in our football 2014 to 2018 has cost us a lot. We need to get our football organization in order, the league uninterrupted and run very well, our age group football performing better and great footballing minds running our local football. otherwise the gains on us made by South Africa, Uganda, Mali could be costly and Senegal could move further in the distance.

        We have not lost to Senegal since 1977 and it would be a battle royale if and when we meet

        • Plus they beat us in the Beach soccer tournament in Egypt last year.


        • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

          Did we not loose to them at the semi-finals in AFCON 2002 in Mali, wen wilson oruma spectacularly missed his penalty after a huge fight within the team on who should take the kick.
          Anyways, senegal has always been title contenders since their golden era of 2002. They have somehow never been in short supply of talents, but they always seem to falter when it matters most. I think it is this ‘over-talent’ syndrome that is making life difficult for them as it becomes difficult to find the right combinations that can win championships for them. I cant even remember when last they won a medal at AFCON since 2002.

          • I should have that match on tape somewhere in my archives. Funny, in the database I copied and pasted, it shows us winning both 2000 and 2002 matches 2:1.

            I gues the days of El Hajj Diouf, some of his Crase rubbed off on others

  • When it comes to African football we are always a threat, for me the strongest teams in Africa remains Senegal and morocco.those teams are better than us both technically and otherwise.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Well said.
      There indeed was a time when almost all the best strikers in europe were senegalese….Demba Ba, Papisse Cisse, Moussa Sow, Mbaye Niang, Souley Camara etc. How they couldnt even win an AFCON medal in those years is still a mystery to me.

  • Mr Hush 2 years ago

    We keep mentioning names, but forget, names don’t win matches. Teams do.
    Especially when it comes to the national teams,and Africa nations cup at large..
    There have been a lot of instances when the supposed favourites based on quality of players in club sides has lost out in the nation cup.
    The last Asian cup was won by Qatar, a team with no big name, but a team, well oiled and grilled, that didn’t lose for while playing friendlies and qualifies.
    Every one expected the big names of South Korea, Japan, defending Champion, Australia, Saudi Arabia or even the host, UAE, to win ,no one gave Qatar a chance.. But they won, beating most of the afore mentioned names..
    Likewise the African nations cup hasn’t ever been won by the ones with the best of players in Europe, but the best team.
    When Ivory Coast had arguably the best players, in the continent, Drogba, The Toures, the Kalou brothers, Bonaventure and Solomon, Romanric, Zokora, they never won.
    Same with Ghana in 92 with Pele, Nii, Odonkor, Afriyie, Kuffour, Charles Akunnour. They lost.
    The times the super Eagles won the nations cup, we weren’t favourites.. Yes, we were amongst the favourite, but never favourite.cause we never had a lot of the big names or so called technical gifted players in Europe, playing for big clubs.. We have few, yes.. But not always much. But we won.

    Egypt has won this nation’s cup three times in a role with players primarily playing in their league. And in dffirent locations, not necessarily favourites.
    I can go on and on.. From when South Africa won in 96 to Zambia winning, they weren’t favourites.

    Senegal yes, have quality players, but sincerely how far are they from us or Cameroon or Morocco.
    They have Mane, Coulibaly, just those two in top level, and some quality average goons, like Balde,Niasse,and majority in French ligue 1..
    What is the difference with them and the Super Eagles? Or Ghana or Egypt? Or Ivory Coast..

    Go through the World Cup and nations cup qualifiers and see how Senegal fared.. Or every one else..
    Then we would understand that Rohr’s super Eagles is doing great and ready to go..
    We are certainly amongst the favourite.
    After all we played this Senegal with a second string team in London,Kelechi leading the line , it ended in a draw.. We have played almost the best in Africa in the last two years, and have lost just once.. So I don’t understand the worry..
    A team is as good as their last game, and I believe we are on the right path.
    I respect the Cameroonians, Ivorian, Ghanaians ,Tunisians,Moroccans, Senegalese, Algerians, heck, the Guineans, but the overwhelming favourites should be Egypt, cause they got quality and more importantly, they are host..
    But everyone else is beatable.

    Thank you for reading through my rant.

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    Valentine Ozonwafor is a central defender rather not a right back.ú
    Well said Adepoju.But the eagles manager should be very intelligent with his final decision on who should go to Egypt,this is very important to our title challenge.
    Experience players who can stand the heat as the tournament gets underway and demanding is what this team needs.The likes of Mikel,Moses should be recalled and must be in the team for this all important assignment.
    However,I don’t know if we can win the nation cup because we have the host Egypt,Morocco,Senegal,Tunisia,Cotedvoire,Guinea and Algeria.This are very strong sides with amazing foreign based professionals though we aren’t short in that department but we are sure to play games with teams who are well stocked with highly professional personals.

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago

      If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, that’s why we are going there at the first place. To win!
      I don’t think a country like Nigeria should be worried about winning the nations cup, we have the football pedigree, it is not like we haven’t won it before!
      Besides, everytime we have won it, these same teams have always come with their best plying their trade wherever the deem feat.
      It doesn’t really matter who plays where or when, what matters is you going there with your own game and go for it..
      This is the nations cup, not the World Cup or Olympics.. If Nigeria can’t win the nations cup, then who should be aspiring to?

  • Bomboy 2 years ago

    Egypt is the clear favourite to win the AFCON, and this will not be due to the fact that they have Mo Salah.

    Other contenders like Nigeria, Senegal and co. may give a good account of themselves, but will fall short.

    These are the reasons I am putting my money on Egypt:

    i) The fans: North African fans are specialists in intimidation and harassment. They will intimidate the referees, players and fans until they get what they want;

    ii) The referees: They will be under pressure to please the home crowd. And most importantly, their sweaty palms would certainly have been greased before the games. African refs are about the most corrupt in world football;

    iii) CAF: The way they hurriedly awarded the hosting rights to Egypt (one of the most unsafe tourist destinations in the world at the moment) tells you whose side they are on (don’t tell me CAF is impartial!).

    Does Nigeria have what it takes to win? Yes. But this can only happen if CAF allows it. We lost against Cameroon in at least 3 AFCON finals, not because they were better, but because they were the anointed of CAF.

    • Paschal 2 years ago

      Waaaaaoooowww amazing analysis from Bomboy there. The strongest factor against us is number three: CAF. I have always said that the award of the right to Egypt goes far beyond football matters. Egypt is seen world over as very notorious right now cos of their terrible human rights record, regular suicide bombings and dictatorship govt. Tourism in Egypt has fallen to an all time low. President Al Sisi is desperately seeking international relevance and good name for himself and where is the best place to start? FOOTBALL. Who will be the best pilot? CAF. I keep saying it that we are going to have suicide bombing during afcon and caf knows it. I just pray for the safety of our players. Bet it with me, even if Egypt’s opponents score a winning goal in the final match, they will cancel it so that Egypt can win. Remember they bribed Algeria in 2010 so they can win their afcon game. They are a bunch of desperate people who would kill in order to win a match. However i believe that if we work hard and our quality is too glaring to see, nobody can defeat us. Naija forever.

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    I expect the SuperEagles to make it to the Semifinals which will be a good progression for these team. I don’t expect us to win it this time, but if the SuperEagles reach that stage anything is possible. 

    Egypt will be truly be the overwhelming favorite basically due to their home fans who are notorious in intimidating opposing teams as pointed out above. Nigeria have a sit in the CAF executive committee therefore, if VAR is implemented in this tournament there should be a level playing ground. 

    Senegal and Morocco will be no pushovers while Ghana and Ivory Coast know how to handle North African oppressions. Cameroon is also a powerhouse along with a young SuperEagles. Tunisia and Algeria will also feel at home. It will be fascinating contests from the quarterfinals stage. 

    We sure need all our best legs to be able to withstand the hostilities in Egypt. Mikel and Moses should return to the team to provide calm and stability for the young talents around. Anything is possible between now and camping in May, some players will hit form and some may decline. We just need to go with our inform players and blend them to a strong unit. 

  • Austin 2 years ago

    Rohr should prepare the team for the nations cup in Egypt as though we are going to a friendly war. Most of our players are inexperienced at this level of the nations cup but have been at the world cup. I disagree to the saying that the super eagles is a young team. All departments of the super eagle’s has at least two experienced players. Our strength is at the midfield with the likes of Mikel, iwobi, ndidi, etebo, maybe onazi(if he is in form and is invited)etc. The strength and stability our defence would be surely tested in the tournament. We need to bring victor Moses back where possible. The goal keeping section scares me. I’m not scared of Senegal. I’m only scared of the north African trams like Egypt that is playing at home, Morocco, Tunisia etc because playing in Egypt is like playing at home for them. But I believe in what Adepoju said. If we can get the right tactics, attitude to work,selectons and substitutions right,we’ll get to the semis and then anything can happen from there.

  • Olympics medal winning is considered most coveted across world wherein major countries participate. But corona virus in China has tempered with the mood and now there is a doubt if Olympics2020 will be held and if held, where – in prefixed Japan or somewhere else. lets wait and watch.

  • talking about Football, the upcoming Copa america will be the most exciting event in south america and Brazil stand rock tall after winning the last championship held in 2019. It is being considered again the winner this season also.

  • African football team is a stong one we are always a threat, The strong teams contenders in Africa are Senegal and morocco. Both have the potential of winning and creating new records

  • The upcoming UEFA Euro will be interesting and published in Spain also and other parts of Europe.

  • Garry 1 year ago

    This is a good post and analysis also needs a pat on the back. Keep up the good work and giving such information

  • Needs such information on regular basis.

  • Good to know such information.

  • Keep updating info on football cups like euro, copa and world cup.

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  • Thanks for sharing! It was really interesting stuff.

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