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Adepoju: ‘Why I Won’t Give Eagles Pass Mark After Friendlies Vs Algeria And Tunisia’

Adepoju: ‘Why I Won’t Give Eagles Pass Mark After Friendlies Vs Algeria And Tunisia’

Mutiu Adepoju has labelled Super Eagles as an ‘average team’ in their two international friendly matches in October against the Desert Foxes of Algeria and Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.

The Eagles slumped to a 1-0 defeat to the reigning African Champions, Algeria, on Friday October 9, at the Worthersee Stadium, Flagenfurt in Austria. Four days later, the three-time African Champions settled for a one all draw with Tunisia at the Jacques Lemans Arena, also in Austria, to round off their disappointing two-match FIFA international window.

Adepoju, who is called ‘Head Master’ has voiced his displeasure with the results harvested by the Rohr’s men in the two games and describes their pertformances in the games as average.

“I didn’t watch the entire game against Tunisia because the rain affected the live telecast of the match, responds the former Racing Santander forward when Complete Sports called him up.

Also Read – NFF: Eagles Have A Lot To Learn From Algeria, Tunisia Friendlies Ahead AFCON Qualifiers

“But generally, I watched a substantial part of the game. However, I would say it was not a bright pertormance by the Super Eagles on the night.

“Coming from a (1-0) defeat by Algeria few (four) days earlier, one had to expect a better performance In terms of result.”

Adepoju added: “Going into the two friendly games, Super Eagles were rated in the FIFA ranking even though that wasn’t a clear measure of strength and quality.

“It has to do with results of games you played within a specific time. If you win, you move up in the ranking. And if you don’t win, you come down. So given the fact that they lost one and drew one, scoring only one and conceding twice, I will not give them a pass mark.

“And I won’t also crucify them as failures, no. But in my opinion, I can say they were just average in the two international friendlies.”

By Sab Osuji

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  • Cruise 8 months ago

    No lies told here 

  • Omo9ja 8 months ago

    This is why I said we should call a spade a spade. Super Eagles were average in those two matches. What is the way forward? I’m not impressed at all. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Adeyemi 8 months ago

    Where are all the Rohr supporters to criticize Adepoju for calling the team average? It seems they choose which one to comment to or whichever one praising Rohr. Rohr have a good win ratio. However, how many times have we won against opponents who are rated higher than us? Teams placed lower than up have staged upset against the Eagles, why cant we upset teams placed higher than us? Rohr’s time will come and go and the eagles will remain. I will continue to fold my hands and watch

  • Proudly 9ja 8 months ago

    Our pressing game leaves alot to be desired honestly. The forwards and wingers dont do enough in terms of denying teams the ball. The amount of space given to players to comfortably play the ball out is very disturbing to be honest. When our opposition has a goal kick, our forwards need to be at the edge of the box so as to pounce and possibly get the ball off the defenders or even force them to punt the ball. What I observed was our players nonchalantly given oppositions time and space to play the ball outta the back. Even throwing, our players are not man marking as aggressively as they should again leaving oppositions time to control and move with the ball. GR has to go watch old Barca, new bayern, man city, lverpool or even Leeds united and learn the art of pressing. We should start being on the front foot from the blast of the whistle rather than let teams start playing their game and getting confidence on the ball. 1st 5 mins of tunisia and algeria game, they were just stroking the ball so easily and our boys were just chasing shadows. We need to start imposing our will on teams. We need to start putting bodies on players to deny any pass to them. Max distance should be arms length, anything more than that means u aren’t marking your man. The team has to press as a unit (forwards, midfielders and defenders must press as a unit). When we dont have the ball, we should try and make the field as small as possible and when we have, make it as wide as possible and use our speed.

    Our boys should also learn to not give possessions away cheaply, as much as sanusi and iwobi played well, they were also guilty of losing possession easily. They and the rest of the team needs to do better.

    Chukwueze needs to stop hugging the line, he needs to play a pass into the box and drive into the box for a possible curler ala Robben, watch how Sancho holds the ball from the wing passes to a center forward in the box who then lays a pass waiting for Sancho to hit or curl the ball to the net. That’s where Kalu, Simon, Ejuke, and Samu need to start doing more off instead of dribbling just to dribble without an end product. Just tot I share my tots

    • Papafem 8 months ago

      Absolutely spot on, Bro. It’s been a while Super Eagles played this kind of football. At Atlanta 96, if I’m not mistaken. Keshi did a bit of it at AFCON 2013. But Nigeria has never played on this template in a long long whole. But the truth is, with kind of personnel at the the disposal of the national team now, players in the final third, who are swift, skillful and technically gifted, gegenpressing is the best tactical option for us. To an extent, Algeria seem to have adopted this method, and it’s working for them like magic. Unbeaten in 20 matches and still counting, even Mexico had a feel of that style from the Dessert Foxes in the last round of friendly matches.

      I strongly feel that Super Eagles have no defined playing pattern. All we do is to warm up into a game perhaps after studying our opponents in the first half. It’s so absurd. Super Eagles is gradually becoming a second half team under Rohr. Not cool. We will always have our way against small teams, qualify for big competitions, but when the chips are down and we come up against very organized teams, we will surely fall like a pack of cards. I just hope the NFF and the technical crew will come up with something interesting that will make our SE delightful to watch again.

      • Ya-Ya 8 months ago

        “you can’t give what you don’t have”

        The issues with the support eagles are technical… This is Rohr’s area. He is the weak link.

    • Ya-Ya 8 months ago

      Ttuth is… The crop of players were now have is the finest and the best in all generation. However all the issues you rightly observed is due to the adverse technical deficiency. The only person that heads this department right now in this team is Rohr. Over time he has shown that he doesn’t have what it takes, yet 90% of commenters here choose to play Ostrich, and ginger point elsewhere. This makes one wonder why?

  • pompei 8 months ago

    Proudly 9ja’s comment is an example of CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.
    The Algerians played an almost perfect HIGH PRESS system game against us. The high press system is when you press high up the pitch, rushing at your opponent’s goalie and defenders, not allowing them to play the ball out of defense with ease.
    The Algerians did not allow our players any freedom to play. They were all over them, harassing and hovering, and this made our players jittery and anxious, leading to numerous avoidable mistakes.
    Nigeria needs to work on playing the high press game against others, and work on coping with it when it is used against us. What Algeria did to us, is what the big teams in world football do to their opponents. For example, Manchester United under Alex Fergusson were a nightmare to play against, because they don’t give you a moment’s rest. They keep coming at you until you are broken. Nigeria needs to play more like this. When we don’t have the ball, our players should hunt the ball down like a pack of hungry wolves. Then when we get the ball, we should use it well!
    Talking about Chukwueze and his touch line wing play. When it is working, it is exciting to watch. However, the big problem now is that every defender out there now knows Chukwueze has no option but to cut to the left, and as such, defenders are ready for him when he makes that move. To get to the level of lefties like Messi, Mahrez, Grieszmann, Shaqiri, Mo Salah, etc, Chukwueze MUST LEARN TO USE HIS RIGHT FOOT. That will give him more options, and make him less predictable. They say it is madness to continue doing the same thing and expect a different result. If Chukwueze does not reinvent his game, he will likely continue to struggle. The way out is to reinvent his game, and it starts with learning how to use his right foot.
    Nigeria needs to be better at playing the high press game. We need to be more serious and focused in matches, from the start to the finish, not starting slow and then trying to play catch up. And finally, we’ve got to do better with creating chances, and converting chances to goals.

  • Proudly 9ja 8 months ago

    Thanks my bro. You said it all, most of our players including Kalu, Simon, etc must reinvent themselves or risk being dinosaurs in the SE. Our players need to really up dia game, the coach should do the same too. Nobody would say they are truly satisfied with how GR used the two friendly games. Am an unapologetic fan of stability and I think that’s what GR has brought to the SE and he should be applauded. But with that being said d 2 games left a kinda bitter taste in my mouth personally, as I was hoping everyone invited would get at least 45 mins on average for the SE fans to really gauge dia performance even tho ultimately GR has the final say. A forumite made an excellent point earlier that these players had been with GR for 9 or 10 days, so in that period he most likely saw them and how good or bad they were hence possibly the reason why he limited their playing time. There is truth to that but we can also agree that desperation on GR part and us the insatiable fans (always wanting to win) contributed to GR only letting guys play for 15 mins which to most fans is not adequate. Sometimes, a player might not do too gr8 in practice but when it comes to the real thing they play like a person possessed. Allen Iverson comes to mind for those who follow basketball, remember the phrase “Practice”. Am not saying training is not relevant but in some situations especially friendly games, the coaches need to play guys invited enough play time so they can use dia legs to earn more call ups or no more call ups. Nobody can say they have seen enough of Dessers and Ejuke to determine whether they are SE material, the little they showed show promise but nothing more than that. Yakubu and Alampasu didn’t get a chance to stake a claim. People will say GR saw them in training but SE will also want to see them to assess for themselves even if ultimately it’s the gaffes choice who gets selected.

    Again having said that, I will give the coach props for always calling up players based on merit compared to the past. He is given young guys the chance to stake a claim which is commendable.

    • Sense too plenty for you my brother, this is how to give constructive feedback…

  • Having watched the two friendly matches played by the eagles, I can quickly summarize that we are yet to be ready as a nation. Gernot Rohr has been with team for over 4yrs now, yet there is no number 1 goal keeper, no starting 11, no pattern of play, no cohesion and the results are not encouraging.
    Djamel Bemaldi is the current Algeria coach, took the job 6months before nations cup, won the cup at the expense of Nigeria.
    I will encourage the forumite to watch Mexico vs Algeria friendly match played few days back you will understand a seriuos minded team with depth and character which we are lacking presently under Rohr.
    God bless Nigeria.

  • Hassan Ismael 8 months ago

    All commentators before have said the right facts on the position of Super Eagles now under leaadership of Gernot Rhor,SE need high pressing ball, combative ,rigorous,savege playing espcially defensive midfielders,center backs, side backs and need support from center forwards when we loose the ball, when we possess the ball we must expolite this chance correctly to score the goals,playing good crosses from the wings ,deceptive ,specious ball through the rival from the deep center as Iwobi can do this assignment, defensive midfielder and the backs(center,inside) must play sliding ball in order to cut it from the rival when he want to play crosses from the wings or deep center,if SE play this pattern they will perform and do excellent game and they will panic any rival then will win the game as golden generation were doing this style of playing thier games…