AFCON 2019: Super Eagles Must Cross The Red Sea To Win

AFCON 2019: Super Eagles Must Cross The Red Sea To Win

Soccertalk By Mumini Alao

THE Muslim and Christian holy books, Quran and Bible, narrate the story of how Prophet Musa (Moses), with the permission of God, led the Children of Israel to miraculously cross the Red Sea while their pursuers, the oppressive King Pharaoh of Egypt and his army, perished. For the religious ones amongst us, it is one of the stories that assures us that, with God, the seemingly impossible is possible.

That story is centuries old. But, as the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations get underway in Egypt, Nigeria’s Super Eagles will have to create their own version of Crossing the Red Sea to become African champions for the fourth time. They will have to practically split the Red Sea!

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Ahmed Musa

I was a guest on Godwin Enakhena’s popular radio programme, Global Sports Update, this past week. He asked me whether coach Gernot Rohr should be sacked if the Eagles did not win the trophy. I said to him that would be stupid arrogance by Nigeria.

The Eagles are only one of about SIX countries capable of winning the competition. Egypt have won the tournament each time they’ve hosted it; our eternal rivals Cameroun are the defending champions; Senegal have grown in leaps and bounds and though they didn’t progress beyond the first round at the last World Cup just like the rest of the African contingent, they were probably the strongest; Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia will join Egypt to provide the usually tough Arab resistance; then you have our West African brothers, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana always ready to die on the pitch the moment they confront Nigeria.

All these other countries that I’ve mentioned have the quality, the pedigree and the experience to win the AFCON, not to mention surprise packages Zambia. With such a highly competitive field, why then should Nigeria feel that the Eagles MUST WIN, otherwise Rohr should be sacked? Abeg, I no gree.

Also Read: INTERVIEW – EgyptAir Boss, Abdulrahman: Nigeria, Egypt May Clash In AFCON 2019 Final

Lest we forget, the Eagles also did not qualify for the last two tournaments, so we’re practically starting from scratch again following the giddy outing of 2013 when, led by the late Stephen Keshi, we surprised everyone, including ourselves, by winning the tournament in South Africa.

Now, hold it there! No, I’m not contradicting myself. Yes, we won in South Africa against the odds and we can do it again in Egypt, against the odds. But I insist that if we don’t do it (win the tournament), the thought of sacking the coach should not cross our minds at all.

Depending on our luck of the draw from the knockout stages, a quarter-final or semi-final finish by the Eagles will mean success, for me. If they progress further to the final or even win the trophy, I will celebrate it but I won’t be disappointed if they don’t.

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Gernot Rohr

Talking about crossing the Red Sea, it’s unfortunate that our own modern day “Moses,” Victor Moses has quit the Eagles. Thankfully, we still have “Musa”, the deputy captain Ahmed Musa. But you can imagine how spiritually powerful it would have been to have both Moses and Musa splitting the Red Sea for us. Perhaps then, I could have agreed with the postulation that if the Eagles didn’t win the trophy in Egypt, Gernot Rorh should go.

Where do YOU stand on this matter, dear readers. Should Gernot Rorh be sacked if Nigeria fails to cross the Red Sea? Join the conversation at our forum, NaijaSuperFans.com.ng.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • Yes He should be sacked if Nigeria Fail to Win The Cup. there is no question about it. Keeping him on board would be counter productive and will show Regression rather than Progression.

    However I disagree with you Ahmed Musa is not our Key Man in the Super Eagles the younger Guns we possess will be our Danger players. But yes Victor Moses would have been good but in saying that, Henry Onyekuru out performed him in Turkey this Season so much so that in the Istanbul Derby this year Onyekuru powered a header over Vic Moses bulldozing Moses to the floor in the process.

    God willing if Gernot Rohr figures out how to utilize the Players at his disposal Nigeria should not Miss Moses because we have enough quality down the Flanks

     
    • Ovoke 4 weeks ago

      Not forgetting that we have another Moses. Talking about Moses Simon

       
    • “Yes He should be sacked if Nigeria Fail to Win The Cup. there is no question about it. Keeping him on board would be counter productive and will show Regression rather than Progression.”

      Erm that statement is not correct, especially the last sentence “regression rather than progression”.

      You forget that we did not qualify for two consecutive AFCON finals -2015 and 2017. So even if we lose every game (unlikely) in the current AFCON, we have already made progress by qualifying.

      That we are one of the favourites to win it is no surprise, we are within our rights to expect a minimum of a semi final spot, seeing that we have climbed from 14th in Africa to 3rd in Africa in that time (that is progress as well by the way).

      So the statement that “he should be sacked if we don’t win it” is short sighted, is a knee jerk reaction to a headline that is misleading.

      We tend to win AFCON every ten to 15 years (1980, 1994 and 2014) we have usually come second or third when we don’t win it. Given that we have not qualified for the immediate past two, our minimum standard should be our usual semi final appearance

       
  • Samson Oyeyinka 4 weeks ago

    This tournament will be very thrilling. By Gods grace and diligence, we shall cross the RED sea. No doubt, we will emerge the winners in our group with maximum 9 points. Our players should believe in themselves. Yes, there are no push overs in football again, but wherever the Eagle is, other birds must bow. I hope the players are reading my post. Mr Rohr, please do not put sentiments in selection. Select based on your observation of players fitness. Remember, if we win or loose, you have to take responsibility for both. I believe we have the potentials to win and bring the cup home again. All the players must be sharp on the ball. Our strikers should try their shots from outside 18. Its been a while I saw that in the Super eagles. Do not wait till you get inside the box. Try long range shots whenever it is necessary. To the goal keepers, please communicate well with your defenders. Do not wait until the boy gets into the net. Lastly, our midfield must be compact. Skippo Mikel, please God will bless your leg, kindly distribute the ball well to the strikers. I will suggest a 4-4-2 formation. My starting line up will be
    ….. Goal Keeper: Ezenwa Defenders: Samuel kalu (wing right back) Troost, Omuero and Collins Midfiled: Ndidi, Mikel and Etebo, Strikers: Moses Simon, Chukwuze and Ighalo. Second Half substitution Ahmed Musa for Chukwueze, Onyekeru for Moses Simon and Iwobi for Etebo

     
  • Samson Oyeyinka 4 weeks ago

    I will suggest a 4-4-2 formation. My starting line up will be
    …..

    Goal Keeper: Ezenwa Defenders: Samuel kalu (wing right back) Troost, Omuero and Collins Midfiled: Ndidi, Mikel and Etebo, Strikers: Moses Simon, Chukwuze and Ighalo. Second Half substitution Ahmed Musa for Chukwueze, Onyekeru for Moses Simon and Iwobi for Etebo