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AFCON 2023: Peseiro Responds To Criticism Of Super Eagles’ Tactics

AFCON 2023: Peseiro Responds To Criticism Of Super Eagles’ Tactics

Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro has defended the team’s tactical approach at the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

The three-time champions played a 4-3-3 formation in their first game against Equatorial Guinea.

Peseiro however opted for a 3-4-3 formation for the games against hosts Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.

Pundits and fans have expressed concern about the team’s lack of goals.

The Super Eagles have scored three goals in three games in the competition.

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Peseiro however said he has done what he believe is right for his team.

“I have the obligation to do what is right for my team, pick the best formation and how best we can win games,” he told reporters.

“The most important thing is for my players to believe in our strategy. They believe in what we are doing and have done well so far.

“If you remember at the last AFCON, Senegal didn’t score too many goals in the group stage.

“We are not scoring too many goals but we are winning. I prefer to continue like this and reach the final.”

The Super Eagles will face eternal rivals Cameroon in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

By Adeboye Amosu in Abidjan

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  • I dey ur syd coach. However our attack needs to stand up and be counted, or we come home on Saturday. Shikena

  • Larry 4 months ago

    So far, I’m really impressed with your formation and the only thing that you need to do us to utilize the right player. By now, you should have seen clearly players that can perform.
    Against Cameroon, you need and fast attacking and highly technical players like an in form Musa, Lookman, and Moffi to work with Osimhen.
    Strikers like Boni and Awo would have provided the combination of strength, skills, speed, and goals.
    Do not make the mistakes of starting players that do the followings:
    loose concentration easily, poor in ball control and loose the ball in vital area, not fast in attacking and tracking back.
    You need maximum concentration to beat any Cameroonian team.
    Just my 5 cents.

    • Honestly Larry,

      Whatever we might feel about Musa’s inclusion, his wealth of experience will be invaluable against a team like Cameroon from the start and then be subbed off early in the second half, similar to how Nwankwo Kanu played against South Korea in the 2010 world cup.

      I appreciate that this is not a popular opinion. I just pray that Ugo is not online to read this entry otherwise he will drop me from his list of friends.

  • Talking of tactics, I am still slightly worried in certain areas.

    My two concerns are:

    1) Why ditch an approach that proved strong against the strongest team in the group for one that turned out to be weak against the 2 weakest teams in the group?
    – Against Guinea Bissau we had 49% possession and just 1 shot on target.
    – Against Ivory Coast we had 35% possession and 1 shot on target.
    – But against the strongest team in the group Equatorial Guinea we outplayed them with 51% possession and a massive 7 shots on target.
    So, are we getting better or going backwards with each game following an unjustified change in approach?

    2) Also, my second worry is that we aren’t converting chances. AYTheGr8t, let me add a spanner to the works. Before we were not converting chances, now (following a change in arrangement) we are actually no longer creating as many clearcut chances as we started with. Again we have regressed when it comes to creating chances.

    Whatever tactical approach Peseiro uses, my support of this team is unshakeable.

  • Ugo Iwunze 4 months ago

    Your mumu knows no bounds – I don’t know how or why these people give you and your nonsense sense all this recognition – your football knowledge is at best mediocre – It is true what they say in the East. In a land of blind men, the one-eyed man is king.

    • Ezomo 4 months ago

      But tell me what else do u wat actually, playing this way and winning and playing free flow football and lose, people like u will still come and insult the coach
      What do u want actually?

  • Kunle 4 months ago

    Peserio please don’t listen to all these internet coaches ooòooo.
    Continue do what you are doing. May God help you till end.

  • Fatlee Okosun 4 months ago

    Coach Peseiro, though I expected you to update us of thr fitness of your players. However, the below is my list for Saturday’s match, tnx.

    Goalkeeper: Stanley Nwabali or Leke Ojo(Leke could come in 2nd half.

    Defenders: Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi, William Troost-Ekong, Zaidu Sanusi.

    Midfielders: Frank Onyeka, Alhassan Yusuf, Aribo.

    Forwards: Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman.

    • Dr Banks 4 months ago

      I only disagree with Aribo, swab him with Iwobi and your list will be cool. Iheanacho and miff can come in 2nd half

    • Fatlee Okosun, your list is ok with the exception of fielding Bassey in place of Semi Ajayi since Bassey can rove around the defence.

    • Papafem 4 months ago

      Why Aribo, Oga? Aribo na Arobo o. If you’re Yoruba you’ll understand. Iwobi please . We need those passes in the final 3rd.

  • Terryamosfet 4 months ago

    I have been waiting for a similar list, it’s winner looking at the caliber of players. Thanks, @Mr. Okosun

  • Mercy 4 months ago

    Passero if possible start the same set of players that started against ivory coast in the game against cameroon. In the second half, bring in kelechi and Alhassan

    • I think the personnel and their positions on the pitch against Equatorial Guinea is the best way to go. It has been our most compelling and exciting output thus far. Maybe just one or two players can be introduced for experience.

      That said, Peseiro knows best and should be left alone to adopt a formation of his own choosing.

      • Detruth 4 months ago

        If Preseiro knows best, you should not have suggested players to prosecute the match with.

        You contradicted yourself.

  • Ayphillydegreat 4 months ago

    @deo. I think we gave the Ivorians too much respect. However, in those other games we played 3-4-3 we had at least 11 shots each. To be honest we have been erratic in the final third. It’s quite ironic because our attack was our major weapon going into this tournament. 

    Realistically, both the 4-3-3 and the 3-4-3 will see us create chances. Let’s not forget that he made 4 changes to the line up that beat Ivory Coast. We can see the lack of synergy, but we still won the game. 

    I think the 4-3-3 can open us up on the counter against the run of play and concede silly goals here and there like against EG. A very astute team may not allow us to score them and we may end up losing. While the 3-4-3 brings defensive solidity and we can nick a goal then close shop in crucial moments. 

    I’m with the coach on this let him live or die with whatever formation he thinks is best for the team. I only hope Kelechi and Alhassan can be fully fit for the game on Saturday. The team overall haven’t done badly except for trying to take more of our chances. It’s a good SuperEagles team in my opinion. We just need more body in midfield and a clinical finisher upfront. 

    • Great points bro, great points!

    • Mr Hush 4 months ago


      Well stated. Couldn’t have said it better.

      Totally agree with you.

    • pompei 4 months ago

      Ayphilly, you spoke well.
      All we need is the trophy. Any formation that can land us the trophy is welcome.
      WE MOVE.

  • Hassan Tia 4 months ago

    I recommend coach Peseiro to go with the same rhythm , that means he should play with 3-4-3 with chaning it to 3-5-2 when Super Eagles lose the ball; this rhythm which he has played versus Cote De’ Ivore, with putting Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheancho as wingers in order to ease the pressure on Osimhen then to unlink him from blockade so he will emancipate from this blockade then he can score more goals; Musa has agility and pace on attack ,he can pass an easy and calm passes to Osimhen , also he can score goals , Iheancho has an eagl’s eye , he can also grant an esay passes to Osimhen , he can score strong goals from far dimension; also there is strong scorer Terem Moffi who has great third finishing , Peseiro should use thoes three players in the next match against Cameroon , cause if you would like to ascend to round 8 you must use strong an eagl’s eyes on the third finishing attackers to score more and more goals as above mentioned players.So SE line-up versus Cameroon must be 3-4-3 formation as follows:Nwabili- William Troost, Omuero, Bassey- Oneyka,Iwobi,Aina,Sanusi- Ahmed Musa,Iheancho, Osihmen; or Moffi instead of Iheancho.

  • John-1 4 months ago

    Dem don dey praise Peseiro now, refusing to point out the team’s weakness. No wahala

  • Coache 4 months ago

    Everybody kept quiet when a player touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area. It was not properly contested like what happened against Tunisia at the last AFCON. Players should learn how to fight for their deserved penalties NO KIDDING.

    Our coach lacks the wisdom to win matches desperately. Against EQG, We needed to win, he was making like for like substitutions. Desperate matches require desperate subs not like for like. I can only wish my country well though I don’t trust Peseiro. He is not given the players enough confidence from the bench

    • Machaveli 4 months ago

      @ Coache: unfortunately your coaching acumen has always been suspect judging by your utterances in this forum. Your comments has in most cases been negative and uninspiring. Stay out if you have nothing positive to say about the greatest burd of prey. ‘The almighty Super Eagles’.

  • Mercy 4 months ago

    That will mean Ajayi playing from left sided side of the defense. In EG match, he was badly exposed. In a game like cameroon match, Ekobi will exploit such weaknesses

    • Mercy 4 months ago

      The above comment is for deo

    • In that case Sister Mercy, the players should step up and make the arrangements used against Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau work better.

      Whichever arrangement they go for, we fans are solidly behind them.

      I pray we see a Nigeria v Morocco semi-final but we should take it one match at a time. I am overly worried about Cameroon but they definitely can’t be taken for granted.

      Good luck to the Super Eagles!

  • Sunnyb 4 months ago

    Coach, pls blame urseif, u went to the tournament with five midfielders, out of the five only two showing up, Aribo, Iwobi Onyedika are minus three anytime, forget the overhyping and sentiments. Then u left a more technical winger Tella for a monkey post player Samuel, you need to get ur formation together before Saturday. Be bold move Aina to attacking midfield, push Osayi to the right wing play Awaziem in Aina position. Bench Chuwueze, Iwobi and Simon. Let’s lookman, Osimihen , Osayi combination upfront. Yusuf, Onyeka and Aina midfield combo, u can bring iheanacho in later.

  • Ayphillydegreat 4 months ago

    @John-1. Me I’m not praising the coach for anything OO! I’m only supporting and hoping for the best for my SuperEagles. 

    And let’s be sincere this coach has technically listened to the constructive criticism of faithful SuperEagles fanatics and adapted by tweaking his tactics in a major tournament. 

    I was honestly looking forward to the SuperEagles playing mostly 4-4-2 or 4-2-4 all through this tournament. Lmao!! If anyone had told me that Peseiro knows what 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 is I would’ve looked them side ways. Lmao!! 

  • Codex 4 months ago

    You guys have pointed out the issues in the super Eagles set ups @deo and AYdgr8 made some good points but the issues lies on the player profile/personell profile with respect to the opposition and the reason for this is simply the fact that coach Jose is STILL experimenting with this team which is strange cos one’ll think that he’d known his strongest lineup but he hasn’t,not yet,maybe he will in the KO stages but for now he’s still relying on basic tacticology and that’s defensive compression of space

    If he dropped Aribo and put in a midfielder whose main attributes is similar to Alhassan then the midfield will have the balance it needs

    In the wide areas,the 3-4-2-1 suits players like kelechi and lookman who attack in to out/in behind as well as feeding deep running wing backs and midfielders than samu and Moses* in those inside forward positions(Moses as a wing back is an option) while the 4-3-3 suits the likes of Samu and Moses/Musa who prefer to attack from out to in,stay wide and drive towards to the byline to cross or cut in and shoot. Jose Peseiro should know this by now and make decisions based on how he wants to approach games.

    So I feel he’s still hasn’t found the formula and time is of utmost importance which is a luxury he doesn’t have. He needs to make up his mind fast or he’ll be the 7th AFCON coach to leave this month.


  • Papafem 4 months ago

    The formation against CIV and GNU remains the best for me. Apart from giving us that defensive solidity, we weren’t bad at all going forward. We had great chances against CIV. We could have buried the game even in the 1st half. The match agsinst GNU was even better. We had the ball in the net which was canceled. Osimhen wasted glaring chances too. Aina and Iwobi too. I cant remember the last time Nigeria had clean sheets against our opponents back to back under Peseiro. And tbh, if not for that formation abd solidity, we would have conceded some stupid goals in the last two matches like we did against EQ.

    The only thing the coach should do is to talk to the strikers, work with them and special drills should be given to them on timing, shooting outside the box and quick release of the ball to players in better scoring positions.

    Osimhen is guilty of bad timing of his runs and his decisions in those crucial moments are very poor.

    Chukwueze is guilty of holding on to the ball unnecessarily, going solo even when his colleagues are begging for passes and his tendency to run into traffic or take on opponents blindly are so uncalled for.

    The positions Aina and Zaidu plays in the new formation will always put them in very good positions to score. But they should find a way of keeping their shots low. We would have gotten at least two goals from these guys if they had taken their time to pick better spots when shooting from those promising positions.

    Reason we need Iheanacho in this competition. Apart from his experience in big matches, he’s the most intelligent of all the strikers in that team. If Kelechi had played and had the chances Osimhen had, he would have converted at least 80% of them. Again, there are times Iwobi plays too deep, starving Osimhen the needed passes to create havoc. I don’t see Onyeka, Aribo or even Yusuf doing this. The only supply Osimhen that has for Osimhen is from the wings through the wing backs, the wingers and Bassey. And the Napoli big man is yet to get his headed balls right. It’s a shame. Iheanacho is a good passer, very resilient and crisp. Getting close to Osimhen in attacking situations will be of great help to the team. The coach should stop benching him. It’s not good.

    Cameroon is beatable, but we’ve got history. They’ll be extra motivated to defeat us because it could go a long way in propelling to the title. We should take fir granted.

    I wish the Eagles victory on Saturday.

  • Lordavid 4 months ago

    O don’t know how someone like sunnyb watches football how can Aina play attacking midfield you don’t just understand football at all and iwobi has been the most creative out of all our midfielders

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