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AFCON 2023: Peseiro Provides Hint On How He Will Approach Cameroon Game

AFCON 2023: Peseiro Provides Hint On How He Will Approach Cameroon Game

Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro has revealed he won’t use a different formation for the team’s Round of 16 clash with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The three-time African champions used a 3-4-3 formation in their last two games against hosts Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.

The formation has been termed defensive by many especially after the Super Eagles scored just two goals in the two games.

Peseiro however said he is not willing to use a different formation for the game.

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“I saw the statistics yesterday, we created the highest number of chances in the group stage,” Peseiro told a press conference on Friday.

“If we create chances, then why do we need change our style of play. Our team is playing well, we don’t need to change our strategy.

“What we need to do is start converting our chances. That’s what has been lacking for us.

“I think at times you can create less chances and score more goals. We hope things will improve for us in this aspect tomorrow.

“We want to score and win. It is important to defend well like we have been doing since that start of the competition.”

Saturday’s encounter will be played at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan.

By Adeboye Amosu in Abidjan

Photo by Ganiyu Yusuf

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  • “I saw the statistics yesterday, we created the highest number of chances in the group stage.”

    Yes, we topped the chart for missed chances at the group stage. A whooping 10 missed scoring opportunities followed by Senegal on 8.

    “What we need to do is start converting our chances. That’s what has been lacking for us.”

    Yes, we need this urgently. A 7/10 conversion rate will see us easing to the final and the trophy. I hope you’ve drilled all your strikers on that.

    Aghahowa was one Nigerian striker that hardly missed chances. In fact, he scores with quarter chances. Maybe the fact he didn’t wear the iconic Number 9 shirt confused the opponents on who to really mark.

    • Odelabu Wale 4 months ago

      Let d super eagle convert all their chances, is the Coach dat will score for them.

  • Did Peseiro Deceive The NFF To Gain Employment?

    The Super Eagles we know is a global brand of massive but highly unfulfilled potentials in world football. If not for NFF’s dire reputation of owing wages, international coaches always fall over themselves to manage this group of exceptional players.

    Jose Peseiro is one of them.

    Personally, I don’t think the Portuguese gaffer is a fraud, no. I have come to believe he is sincere in his own’s expectations and assertions of being able to win the Afcon with Nigeria. Not that he merely said what the authorities and fans want to hear.

    However, where I think he pulled the wool over the eyes of Eguavoen and the NFF is HOW he intends to achieve this.

    Let’s take a step back; Gernot was sacked immediately after using a 3-5-2 formation to eke-out a 1:1 draw against Cape Verde in Nigeria in a world cup qualifier. The same formation had led to a 1:0 loss against Central Africa Republic weeks prior. Bigwigs in the NFF and very many fans called this formation regressive and alien to Nigeria, more so an insult to be used against minnows.

    The NFF then sought to introduce a system that would position Nigeria as a bully to harness the killer instincts we have in our strikers. Up stepped Eguavoen and his 4-4-2. It worked for a while but the wheels came off spectacularly against Tunisia and Ghana in Afcon R16 and World Cup qualifiers respectively. Not to be deterred, the NFF sacked, demoted (whatever) Eguavoen and brought in Peseiro who promised to move heaven and earth to use the same 4-4-2 to win Nigeria the Afcon.

    After wobbling and largely fumbling through friendlies and world cup qualifiers, Peseiro has now ditched this formation (that has proven to be ineffective with the Nigerian players at his disposal) for one very similar in outlook and application to the one that saw his fellow European Gernot Rohr sacked!


    The question now is, how come our players appear to be more comfortable with a formation that provides 5 players when defending?

    As we can see, all of our centre backs bar none are error-prone. Yes we can praise Nwabili but the only goal he conceded thus far in the tournament was when the Super Eagles played with just 4 defenders at the back against Equatorial Guinea where he stood like a NEPA pole as the ball made its way into the net. Add to that, our attackers have largely underachieved when it comes to converting begging chances and our midfields often struggle to elevate their performances beyond just doing the basics.

    Fans of Gernot Rohr and the German tactician himself will be having a filled time, saying to themselves that: ‘didn’t we say that Super Eagles players aren’t as technically endowed as most of their fans think?’

    As for me, whatever happens, the end justifies the means. If Peseiro uses a defensive formation to achieve Afcon greatness, happy days! If he lied to the NFF to get the job only to change his formation and philosophy when push came to shove, who cares?

    I don’t think Peseiro was dishonest. Just like Gernot Rohr, I just felt he might have landed at the realisation that the players at his disposal aren’t grounded enough to unleash the potentials inherent in a more offensive style whilst in the same breath not being able to keep it tight at the back well enough.

    • Rommie 4 months ago

      Great write-up, great analysis!! I appreciate you putting in your time and effort to provide a detailed insight into the current situation of our football and style of play.

      But one quick observation. Don’t you think one major mistake that both coaches (Rhor and Peseiro) made is the non-inclusion of natural creative midfielders in the team that will feed our hungry attackers with those killer passes they are begging for?

      There is no way the team can unlock defenses without the inclusion of confident, intelligent, ball-holding midfielders who can dictate the direction of the game, and stamp their authority on the field against their opponents.

      If you do a deep analysis of the types of chances our attackers have been missing, you will realize that most of them either came as a result of our opponent’s error or some wayward crosses by our fullbacks, and not from our domination of the midfield.

      So I think our coaches and scouts urgently need to do a better job in the selection and invitation of players to the team.

      We do not necessarily need to have an Okocha, but we need at least scout for 2 or 3 solid creative/intelligent midfielders who understand the game and can fit in.

      It doesn’t matter if they play in Division 2 or championship, or NPFL. Bring them in. Sunday Mba was a local league Midfielder when he won the Nations Cup. Equatorial Guinea striker who is the current highest goals scorer currently plays in a division 3 clubside.

      It’s all about the player’s quality and technical ability. That’s all I have to say. THANKS

      • Thanks Ronnie for the feedback. Honestly the Super Eagles is yearning for depth of quality in midfield.

        • **Rommie**

          • Lordavid 4 months ago

            Iwobi is creative but he is being made to play deep we need to get him closer to osimhen he lookman and Aina has been our best

      • Without mincing words, a dearth in our midfield has been a deliberate, perennial issue by our coaches because some of the “undroppable” players will HAVE TO GIVE WAY. My consistent mafia tone is because of the many larger than life “dead weights” in our middle and attack that are proving too stubborn to displace or better still replace.

        For all I care, like Deo wrote, coaches with little or no balls have no business coaching the super eagles. 2019 till now is a long time to stem a decline which the managers are afraid of doing.

        Rather, Simon, a left footer would rather blend on the right. Ihenacho would instead be played on the wings rather than centre etc.

        I need a coach with big balls. What stops them in spite of their healthy salaries to call up quality players that will enhance their coaching credentials?

        Waldrum is one who proved such stuff can work

    • Codex 4 months ago

      He(Jose Peseiro) didn’t pull any wool out of the NFF eyes and the realisation of the fact that the team lacks the technical know-how to execute sophisticated attacking patterns is borne out of the fact that a combination of circumstances(the NFFs antics and his square peg in round hole approach) is the key reason as to why we haven’t truly evolved from Gernot Rorhs tactics after 2 years.

      He could’ve utilized the right players in their positions irrespective of team and league standing or quality plus if he wanted to play a certain way he would’ve inundated his scouts on the player profile that suits his preferred style and formation.

      Anyway what’s happened has happened since he’s convinced of the tactics and its successes, then he should carry on but it could have been so much better.

  • Lordavid 4 months ago

    Iwobi is creative but he is being made to play deep we need to get him closer to osimhen he lookman and Aina has been our best

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