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Amuneke: Super Eagles Need Proper No.9 To Support Ighalo

Amuneke: Super Eagles Need Proper No.9 To Support Ighalo

By Johnny Edward:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Former Super Eagles star Emmanuel Amuneke has tasked the senior national team coach Gernot Rohr on the need for a back-up striker to Odion Ighalo ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Ighalo fired blanks in the Super Eagles’ last two games during the international break against Poland and Serbia and has scored four goals in 14 appearances for the three-time African champions.


Rohr has tried out Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho as alternatives during friendlies but former Barcelona star Amuneke admits it the pair do not possess the instincts of a striker.

“If you say they should play in that role as a striker of course they will, but I must be sincere with you that instinct that makes a real No.9 stand out they don’t have it,” Amuneke, who was African Player of the Year in 1994 after excelling at that year’s World Cup, told CSN.

Zenith Ziva

“Ighalo can deliver but he will need massive support from the creative players to get him to score but we need someone we can count on.”

Nigeria will face Iceland, Croatia and Argentina in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.-

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  • PapaFem 3 years ago

    We said it here, times without number, that ighalo needs a strong back up. Not the false 9 Iheanacho has assumed of late, a natural striker who plays as the team’s main centre forward. UMAR Sadiq should be tested. May be Awomiyi and Fernando Adi too. We shouldn’t put our eggs in one basket. Hope Rohr is listening.

  • 4 out 14 ……..F9
    7 out 14 = 50% C6

    Result of eagles No 0000009 in 3months in yatai.international school.

  • My advice is, Mr. Rorh should pls invite Cyriel Dessers, this guy can deliver, I rate this guy above Ighalo and Sadiq. He should also invite both sadiq and Adi and test them. We also need a creative midfielders and a good and experience keeper. Note” a clubless Enyeama is far better than EZENWA and Akpeyi

  • Hope Odianosen 3 years ago

    Asking Okocha and Kanu to come back to the National Team from retirement is the same as bringing a match “Rusty Enyeama into the fold”. What is the obssession by everyone asking for Enyeama to be invited to the team? When Enyeama was @ his best, we did not win the world-cup and now people believe we are going to win the world cup with unfit Enyeama, impossible, i guess we should manage what we have @ the moment. As 4 Ighalo, we do not need him in that squard, rather, Rohr should invite Awoniyi, Umar and Dessers to compete 4 that position. Ighalo would only make the Eagles 11th NO. On the pitch. Kalu 4 Musa and Aina 4 Echiejile.

    • Kelvin paul 3 years ago

      Elijah moses I agreed with ur suggestion,honestly,whether we accept the fact or not,Enyeama still far a head of two keepers we have now,bring him to the ford,with regular training with others will proved critics wrong

    • akonte 3 years ago

      I support Hope that we should forget about Enyeama. Dale Aiyenugba is the one we should recall He was number 2 to Enyeama at Enyimba and he is still playing week in week out in Israel. let us give him another chance.
      As for the role of striker, I like Idiom Ighalo but we need Adi and Awoniyi to give him the necessary competition. Idio is big and strong and can hold the ball. Also, Ado and Awoniyi are big and strong and can also protect the ball. in my opinion, Awoniyi should play the support striker role for Odion since he had been used before by Siasia as an attacking midfielder.

  • Kingmaker 3 years ago


    Who is afraid of this big, brown Cyriel Dessers?

    God bless Amuneke for speaking up!
    The Man, CD.
    Born December, 8 1994 (23years) to Belgium Dad & Nigerian Mother.
    Ex-Belguim U-21 International star player.
    Height: 6’1″.
    Mkt Value: €1.75million.
    He is versatile as central striker, left winger and second striker.
    Blessed with great speed, a good height & strong on the ball. Good first touch. He has the rare ability to combine both feet and head effectively to great profit. He rustles his markers, bullies his way to put away sublime goals, or simply evade his markers with a first touch clinical finish.
    He has a keen vision and is very dangerous in the box. His runs, on-and-off the ball, put his markers in disarray. He has his nose to the ground, and can smell goals from afar.
    Play him as starter or super-sub, his quality is undeniable.
    If Nigeria truly desires a natural top 9, this is the dude.
    He was top scorer for NAC Breda, Holland, where he made goalscoring a past time.
    He is prolific. Quick, lethal & precise in finishing.
    He celebrates each goal by spreading out his two hands like an Eagle in flight. He told an interviewer that he is an Eagle and wants to fly with the Nigerian team.
    Cyriel Dessers too is a product of Youth Soccer Academy in Leuven, Belgium, place of his birth.
    Wikipedia said of him, “He is not known to have any significant weaknesses as a player”.
    However, his strengths are his box finishing, deadly in the air, his intelligence on the ball, unpredictability & out of box long-range missiles.
    He can also play the “Gra-gra football”.
    Last season, 16/17 he scored 34 goals, 13 assists (40 matches) to send NAC from Div 2 to the Dutch Eridevisie (1).
    Currently plays for Utretch FC. 13 goals, 3 assists, 15 starts, (35 all matches).
    He is eligible to play for both Belgium & Nigeria.
    He is still a household name in NAC Breda for his proficiency in the box.
    He is complete top 9 & an uncanny dangerman.
    He was met by the Nigerian Coach, Gernot Rohr who pleaded with him to switch allegiance to Nigeria and move to Utrecht Fc for stronger competition and increase his chances to join the SE squad for the WC in Russia.
    He has met all the vital criteria requested by Rohr. The International passport won’t be an issue & switching also, by certification from fifa won’t pose any problems either.
    Cyriel Dessers is good to go for the Super Eagles, and support the team’s quest to hit the ground running at the WC.
    He is young, mixing with others, his age mates, will just be great fun for him.
    I have watched him play, he is your playmaster especially with those killer passes certain to come from Mikel, Iwobi, Iheanacho, Ajayi or Moses.
    With CD’s quality, it certainly gonna be goals, goals and more goals for the Super Eagles.
    Hate him or like him, he is a Nigerian, and if GR gives him the chance he deserves, he will take it with aplomb & gratitude.
    Now, who exactly is having sleepless nights bcos of **Cyriel Dessers?
    Until the SE finds a replacement for Yekini the subject for a top 9 will remain trendy.
    He is not coming to take anybody’s shirt, so no need taking his name to your pastor for prayers.
    If Nigerians agonised about Martin’s predicament, we dont need another, or fingers will be pointing in all directions.
    We don’t need that, right?
    Nigerians are the best people in Africa, and we are our brothers’ keepers.
    Fans should pray for this chap and encourage his quick inclusion for assessment of his fitness.
    Nff & GR over to u..
    Thanks for reading.
    Thank you CSN online crew.
    May God bless us all.
    May God bless Nigeria.
    May God bless the Super Eagles.
    See u guys in June. Signing off..

    • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

      If you like write the longest and biased article, it does not change the fact that UMAR SADIQ is the answer to the No.9 role. Cyril Desser is far below Umar Sadiq when it comes to rankings. Umar Sadiq’s prolificacy in front of goal and his intimidating height that scares defenders tells it all. Your Dessers is not Super Eagles material. My people, ignore this biased write-up and let call for Umar Sadiq’s inclusion all together

      • Salami Musa 3 years ago

        This is my first time I will be commenting here. @chairmanfemi, I think u are cynical, prejudiced & uninformed. Have u checked the stats about what @kingmaker wrote? Some of u just write to run others down when u are the problem yourself. U lack good education. The article on Cyriel Dessers is an intellectual piece & should be praised. Nigeria is blessed wit several options in the striking role where the coach needs to increase competition. I believe Dessers should be given a chance because he is a natural 9. Eagles can be better going forward.

    • @ Kingmaker wants to make Cyriel Dessers a king. This is how u all sang the praises of Joel Obi….

  • Ojo Samuel Rohr 3 years ago

    Hope,u Are Superb Bro…But Maybe Rohr Should Get A Back Up To Ighalo

  • Kudos @kingmaker

  • ako amadi 3 years ago

    Based on his most recent performances,it’s not a question of Ighalo needing a back-up. What he needs is competition for a position that he cannot be sure is his own. Odion Ighalo has become very predictable, always backing the goal, hoping to turn around defenders who have now employed the tactic of tightly man-marking and suffocating him.

  • Diuto Nwachukwu 3 years ago

    Oga Kingmaker, you’re always on POINT! Hopefully, your tireless effort on this Cyril Dessers inclusion in the Super Eagles’ squad for the mundial will not be in vain… So, keep writing, keep soliciting for him, keep advertising him until Gernot changes his mind…

  • Obruthe ufuoma 3 years ago

    The guy is good cyriel….absolutely….. and also GR should give umar n the rest guys chance to prove their worth.

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    Thank you Mr. Amunike. Olohun aje ariyinpe, agba o nitanlorile, amin. I think it is high time I realized that enough is a enough to keep mentioning names. 64 days to the world cup, if coach Rohr doesn’t know is 23 players that is going to represent Nigeria by now, it means he doesn’t know what he is doing. However, I can tell now that the coach won’t have any of the strikers we asked him to includes in his final list and he will be for sure disappointed about his actions. This is the truth which Nigerians doesn’t want to hear but I have no choice but to say it. Fingers crossed. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Nicolsen 3 years ago

    If i dont see cyriel dessers in our next friendly game then nigeria football is a joke and dt world cup is a waste of our resources and tax payers money.

  • If anyone thinks he knows better than the NFF and Mr Rohr on how better the team, he is only deceiving himself. If anyone thinks he has a better players monitoring method than the NFF and Mr Rohr, you bet, you are only deceiving yourself. Nigerians can be rest assured that these guys under Amaju pinnick are on top of any player matter that can better the Eagles. Rohr already know his starting 14 players. The team as it is, is ready to take on any team. We just need a longer camping time. To blend. Meanwhile there is no fear about all the players fans are clamoring for to be invited. NFF and Rohr knows them and if they are that good, they will be included and some weeds will be cleared out. We can mention our starting 14 as it stands today: Any of 3goalkeepers, Balogun, Troost, Shehu, Aina, Mikel, Ndidi, Joel Obi, Ighalo, Victor Moses, Ogu, Agu, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, So any player coming in is just to dot the i and cross the t. Trust the ever well informed Amaju Pinnick and his able crew to be on top of the matter. Abi you no trust?

  • Luqmanov 3 years ago

    Those of you clamouring for Cyriel Dessers and you that blindly follow them, is he his club’s main striker? Is he even among his club’s starting eleven?
    Though he plays regularly, but as a sub. He has started in only two games this year with two goals since January. He’s just an average player. Though it is good if he’s invited by Rohr in the coming friendlies just like any other uncapped player, but he is certainly not yet a player for the big occasion.
    I still can’t understand the motive behind the hype for a player who is not among the sure starters for an average club like Utrecht in an average league like Eredivisie. The hypocracy cum irony in this issue is that Bathelomew Ogbeche is Nigeria’s top scorer in Holland but they’ll never mention his name. If you are truely doing this for sincere reasons, why wouldn’t you campaign for Nigeria’s best (based stat, 9 league goals and 1 assist) player in Eredivisie? Why a Dessers that’s just a fringe player for Utrecht?

    • King Divine 3 years ago

      Do you know that Cryiel dessers was named the deadliest striker in the dutch league few weeks based on his shot coversion ratio. For a striker in a new club where the manager obviously favours the ones he knew before CD came and still yet has a better shot conversion rate dont you think he is one to get a critical look in? When he was in this sam club sadiq umar is in, he practically carried the team through out the playoffs. He has indicated his interest close to a year now and I wonder why he has not been given a look in. Go check his play pattern and tell me if the super eagles wont be happy to have him. Kingmakers analysis on CD are on point.

  • Luqmanov 3 years ago

    We must always remember our past mistakes. In 2002, we were blinded by the media hype for Ogbeche (who plays for PSG then) and those experienced players that helped us to qualify for the world cup, Agali and Yakubu, were dropped for the young and inexperienced Ogbeche and Opabunmi just because they were poor in African nations cup that yeara. We all knew what happened at the world cup. Ogbeche even scored an acrobatic goal in a friendly match, but he completely flopped at world cup and today he has become a player to forget in the eyes of Nigerian fans.
    We often contribute to inability of young players to attain their full potentials with our hyping and pressure.

  • BobbyJ 3 years ago

    Coach Amunike , ex-barca, ex-super eagles, I greet u for speaking the truth many ppl won’t want to hear. This team is incomplete without an instinctive stiker. Umar sadiq is a joke, why do some people just post without thinking? Go and buy MB and research very well. Stop deceiving yourselves. Gernot Rohr and Nff can’t kno everything which is why they need to read comments of Nigerians to learn 1 or 2 things. Also we still dont have an experienced goalkeeper. Young Uzoho can’t stand the world cup pressure. If these changes are not made Nigeria may not make it beyond this first stage if these changes are not made. This is common sense. I hate to see us fail.

    • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

      How is Sadiq a joke?? 4 goals and 3 assists in 10 games is a joke?? Mind you he scored 4 goals for Nigeria at the OLYMPICS. How many goals did Gabriel Jesus and Neymar scored at the Olympics??? He should be in provisional list if we’re really serious about having a striker whose presence will be intimidating to opposing defenders in the team. That way the likes of Moses, Iwobi, Kelechi, can have more space to do damage. Ighalo will be in the squad, but he needs another top striker to compliment him.

  • Luqmanov 3 years ago

    @King Divine. What shot conversation rate are you talking about? He has only scored two goals since January and he’s not even among 25 top scorers in Eredivie. So where did you get your ‘deadliest player’ tag from? You guys are funny! Even the top scorer for his club, Utrecht, is a midfielder, Zakaria Labyad.
    Ofcourse he should be invited since he has indicated interest in switching to Nigeria. But a prayer struggling for playing time at Utrecht being hyped this way is ridiculous and crazy!

    • King Divine 3 years ago

      Bro, go and argue with opta not be me do the stats two weeks back.

  • Jason Burroni 3 years ago

    Guys, what is this great clamour for a cyriel dessers call up abeg. What has he done please? That he scored 30 plus goals in the 2nd division in the dutch league last season!!??? Have you been monitoring his progress for Utrecht this season or y’all just fine looking up his stats and youtube videos. I have actually been following this guy since rohr noticed him and asked him to take a step up to a more competitive club to get a national call up. He did make the move from Utrecht to Nac breda but hasn’t still gotten a call up and nobody wonders why? Dude has never been a starter for his club ( usually subbed in at 80 to 90mins or not at all) and Rohr is probably very aware of this. Mr Rohr is a guy who knows his way around. With an extensive scouting network he monitors every player worth a look in around europe and he’s very aware of these players we are all crying for. He will only extend invitations to any player who can improve or at least compete with current SE players. Among all the strikers been brandished about, the only guys i think probably stand better chance on current form right now are awoniyi and sadiq. Not forgeting they still have to show in camp and in our upcoming friendlies that they are better than what we have right now ( i see no calls for Anthony Nwakeme anymore).
    I understand we are passionate and badly want our eagles to do well in Russia but at the same time we need to be careful not to cause us to make the mistakes of Brazil 2014.
    The truth is that our current team is as good as it can be and there are not many players around that can make it any better than it is already. Maybe in a few years we will but right now we don’t have that luxury. Please lets allow the coach and his assistants do their job.

    • Thank you @Lukmanov and @Jason. Me too, I asked simple questions like you did a week back and someone was attacking me and others who shared my views. By the way, I’m sure in the next press conference with Nigerian press, Rohr will be asked this Dessers and Bonaventure questions and people will see why they’ve not been invited.

      People think Rohr doesn’t watch all of these guys and know the statistics? I don’t get it. Perhaps he’ll give Dessers a 15 minute cameo appearance in any of the next friendlies towards the tail end of a match Nigeria is already in control of; then we’ll all see.

  • Abdul andah 3 years ago

    Two key players Nigeria need to blend with this current team players is CYRIEL DESSERS AND SAMUEL KALU.
    In our midfield, there is no cause to worry because iwobi is a natural born 10 and he has said it before now time without no. And he has really impressed any time he plays in that position…
    Wallahi Musa is leaving on past glory because he hasn’t improved over time at all. He should be dropped without any sentiment. His crosses are woeful , no dribbling skills, lacking good passing ability and his conversion rate is very minimal…

  • greenturf 3 years ago

    Azubuike Okechukwu and Sadiq Umar are the only introduction i am clamouring for in this team otherwise i think the coaching crew has the best crop of players available.
    Meanwhile the clamour for Dessers is baseless the truth is he wont get an invite simply because he is not good enough.

  • ako amadi 3 years ago

    Everybody is talking about this Cyrille Dessers as if he lives in Lagos and is willing to play for Nigeria, come what may. Do we know what the present status is? Do you think the Belgians are not watching him and thinking he could complement Lukaku and Hazard? The guy could have decided now to play for Belgium. We cannot assume that he’s foolish enough to wait for a Nigeria call-up for ever. There’s only 2 more months to go, and he’ll go where he is wanted first.

  • charles 3 years ago

    Cyril Desser here and there,he is not even a starter at lowly utrecht and people are here overhyping him.At the moment he hasnt been good enough to start for fc utrecht,a team that is not even a powerhouse in the dutch eredivise and the league is not among the the best leagues also.

  • Gbenga 3 years ago

    It’s a serious case now! Some of us are not cultured.It’s wrong of us to call ourselves fools,just bcos we differ in d ways we view things.Complete sports shld screen such comments out!I support u,Djeniko.The NFF and this coach have strong monitoring squads watching these boys!He knows those he needs and why he needs them!All of us are coaches on this page.LOL!Rohr may not even know if some of these sports newspapers,on which we make many funny suggestions,exist!D mundial is just few days away! At this point,Nigerians shld just pray for d success of d team in Russia.Am sure d coach will not field an unjust player!It was not easy getting to Russia!

  • King Divine 3 years ago

    Abeg somebody should please give me reasons why Ighalo is still our number one striker. Back it with stats especially with his appearances with the super eagles.

  • Dowell 3 years ago

    abeg brothers….. this is the comment section not attacking each other’s opinion…. just type your own takes

  • Twhe Super Eagles will come good without Cyriel Dessers. I am not saying the guy is not good, but you are all overating him. Let the coach do his work. I am comfident the Super Eagles will come good.

  • Eyema score card after 3 months in lile .,,,,,,,,,,
    …………. No game played.
    Zero scooore
    NO print out………..
    Advice to withdraw. .from Russia w C..race.

  • Murphy 3 years ago

    Super eagles will deliver in Russia much love and support that’s what the team need…

  • steven okocha 3 years ago

    Every body is now a coach in nigeria,there is no way nigeria would surpass the second round result achieved in U.S.A 94 and FRANCE 98 with the present EAGLES,they lack experience.in the past,we could rely on individual talents like amuneke,finidi,kanu,ikpeba and babangida.all of them playing in recognised leagues in the world.but today what we have are people playing in china and saudi arabia,they are not even in the first eleven.

  • Salami Musa 3 years ago

    @kingmaker, kudos. U are the best, always on point, I believe in ur researched work. Pls understand that not everybody is at the same level, some are street boys who will be angry at facts and stats because it will reveal the reality of their ignorance. @Chairmanfemi is talking of Sadiq Umar who is a lonee on substitute bench to NAC Breda where Dessers wrote his name in gold. Abeg, who no get something to say should stop wasting our time here.
    I agree wit @Omoba, @Cj, @ everyone calling for reinforcement of super eagles attacking line and goalkeeping.
    I dey laugh oo! Make wetin happen for Korea/Japan 2002 no repeat itself again o.

    • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

      Sadiq Umar is playing regularly for NAC Breda. The same Desser that Mr kingmaker is clamoring for is not even a regular at Utrecht. Since January he has only scored two goals. Because he scored 30 goals in the Dutch second division he should now be the sacred number 9 for the SuperEagles??? Ighalo scored over 30 goals in the English Championship to bring Watford to the premier league yet Odion has only scored 4 goals in about 15 appearance for the SuperEagles. This same Desser has only scored 8 goals so far this season in 25 matches and you call that a top striker??? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Sadiq has already scored 4 goals and 3 assist in less than 10 games. If Nigeria is in need of a sacred number 9 Sadiq ‘Jololo’ Umar is that guy.

  • Abeg we support u 4 inviting osimhen we trust him in goal

  • Well for me am still advocating for Sadiq and Ideye as a back for Ighalo without sentiment. These are the tested players we known already, because the devil you know is better than the Angel don’t know. As for Enyeama, is case is already settled. we do not need him.The guy is match rusty.i still remember what happens at France 98 when Match rusty Rufai was brought in as our goalkeeper. Mistake should not repeat itself.

  • The time to call for fresh faces to the team, I think, is over.

    We the world cup now less than 3 months to go, the action points now for the present team is blending, more cohesion, greater team work and team spirit.

    These are not the best players to feature for the Super Eagles and they are not the worst either.

    People point to recent performances in friendly marches, well if points were awarded for these, this present Eagles will have 6 points out of 9; probably enough to qualify you from a group stage at the world cup!

    I hear names like Sadiq Umar, Fernando ADI, Cyril Desser etc being mentioned with such passion. Well I share that patio.

    However, in your heart of heart, do you honestly think that any of these can win you the world cup as part of the current team? Perhaps you do but I don’t think the injection of any of these players at such a late stage will be a step in the right direction. It is just too late in the day (in my humble opinion).

    Let us let the coach work with the players at his disposal, blend them, build their confidence, m
    an-manage them to work on key areas to bring out the best in them so they can go as far as they can in the world cup.

  • Hope Odianosen 3 years ago

    Hey guys! It’s high time we stoped crucifying ourselves with conflicting comments. I think coach Gernot Rohr should be the one to decide who to invite or not, one thing i can bet my money on is that Rohr has his 23-man squard in his head baring any injury or loss of form. One thing that is noteworthy, is that Rohr is sentimental & political when it comes to inviting players for national duty & this action spells grave danger 4 Eagles in Russia. It has become obvious that Rohr doesn’t want to utilize our best players home & abroad because of personal benefits.

  • those of us calling for new names to be included in the super eagles set up av forgotten that the word cup is jux three months away, and the team chemistry is more important than jux inviting new players, those of u clamouring for news names will still crucyfy the coach if by now he is still testing players for a tournament that is 3 months away, leave it or take it gernot roah was the one that qualified this team to the world cup even when most of us here never believed and gave the team a chance and now some of us here now thinks that we know better than the coach chief of them all being @kingmaker and calling the coach a sort of names, shame on u all take it or leave it gernot roah already has about 99 percent of his final list sorted out and if not for injury or loss of form he already av his starting eleven for the world cup what we should be doing is advicing the coach on how to manage what he already has and not criticising him,CU’s personally I think iwobi should be given the number 10 role after watching him against Southampton .

  • Hope Odianosen 3 years ago

    We should pray for the team and hope for the best

  • Lol i said it b4 and will say it again dessers is an average player he is no a starter for his club,u guys saying belgium will cap him ,if he was that good y has’nt him been caped by belgium.he is not even considered top player in holland,thats not to sat he should not b giving a chance but d hype is not worth it.i will prefer umar to him cus of umar’s hold up play.

  • ishaya 3 years ago

    I believe the coach knows them better. Let us support and keep praying for them to succeed

  • You guys shld stop criticizing ighalo,this guy is a “resilient” striker,he just haven’t gotten the right person to back him up,and moreover we don’t have creative midfielder to do d job for this guy… If you watch his previous games critically,u will understand my point

  • The problem of the current super eagles is not really the problem of top 9 or marksman but rather lack of service for the strickers from the mid field. It is clear that whenever Mickel Obi doesn’t play our strikers fire blanks. So instead of uncalled for focus on the top 9; we should rather focus all attention at getting other options in the creative midfield position

  • Murphy 3 years ago

    Ighalo is not a bad striker, maybe he will prove our fans wrong in Russia, With all due respect to Desser
    i don’t believe he is that good he hardly come’s in for Utrecht this season, anyone that think we will lose him to Belgium should tnink again bcos he is no where near the qualities of strikers in Belgium presently and even 6years to this time..sincerely speaking he has nothing to offer Belgium national team..