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Exclusive: Eagles Lack Cohesion Against Algeria –Babangida

Exclusive: Eagles Lack Cohesion Against Algeria –Babangida

Former Nigerian winger, Tijani Babangida has admitted that the Super Eagles’ loss to Algeria was as a result of the team’s lack of cohesion.

Recall that Nigeria lost 2-1 against the Desert Foxes in Tuesday’s international friendly game despite scoring first through Terem Moffi.


However, in an interview with Completesports.com, the former Ajax star and Atlanta Olympic gold medalist stated that the Super Eagles displayed an appreciative efforts against Algeria.


Read Also: Iwobi Blames Poor Officiating For Super Eagles’ Defeat To Algeria

He also pointed out that the Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro must work on creating a good cohesion in the team.

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“I must commend the Super Eagles players for their performance against Algeria in Tuesday’s international friendly game.

“The general display was good but the cohesion is still missing as they struggled to exchange passes. The coach must work on this area if he hope to make the team very strong.’

Personal life


Babangida, sometimes nicknamed “TJ”, was born into a large family in the city of Kaduna in 1973. He was married to Rabah (now his ex), the sister of Daniel Amokachi‘s wife. Two of his nine brothers, Ibrahim and Haruna are also footballers. The former spent five years at Volendam, while the latter became the youngest ever player in the history of Spanish football to have a buy-out clause in his contract and the second youngest player to appear for FC Barcelona, when he made his debut in 1998 as a fifteen-year-old.


In 1996 Babangida acted in a commercial ad for ABN-AMRO in which he points out his hesitations about a contract of some sort. In 2004, Babangida signed a $2 million contract to bring new footballs to Nigeria. The same year, he opened a shopping mall in Kaduna. Upon retiring from professional football, Babangida has been working as a football agent.

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  • Nigeria Vs Algeria : 2-1
    Retrospective Review

    There is precious little to get excited about when it comes to the Super Eagles these days. Inability to progress in one tournament followed by failure to qualify for the grandest stage of all and then continual failure to defeat rivals, the list is near inexhaustible and always ever painful.

    So, I approached yesterday’s high profile friendly against Algeria with bruised expectations and the scars were further deepened after the disappointing 2:1 defeat, the third straight defeat to Algeria in three years.

    Having said that though, it was a thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable game to watch. I was glued to the edge of my seat throughout as both teams battled away like brutal matadors for 90 odd minutes.

    Moffi was relentless in sniffing out the opportunity off the rebound and ruthless in putting the chance away for Nigeria’s goal in just 9 minutes. Rash defending from Onyeka gifted Algeria the penalty that was expertly dispatched by Mahrez in 41 minutes only for Attal to unleash a fiendish blast from well over 25 yards that left a poorly positioned and napping Uzoho clutching at straws in 61 minutes.

    2:1 it ended, another groundhog day ended for a poor Super Eagles fan 🙁 .

    The good thing is that I could see what Peseiro was trying to achieve.

    Also, I admire the passion and hunger of the Portuguese gaffer from the touchline as he barked out instructions and vociferously showed his displeasure at times which almost earned him a red card from the controversial referee.

    It was a distinct-direct style from the Super Eagles – no dressing the ball too much in midfield. They had this quick turn-around methodology that threatened to produce a flood of goals. Algeria would have possession for long periods and then lose it around Nigeria’s 18 yard box. Before you could take a breath, the Super Eagles would retrieve possession and be in Algeria’s 18 yard box with a little less than a sequence of 4 to 5 passing routine.

    It was great and wonderful to see. It added to the entertainment value of the game and produced plentiful moments of excitement.

    Peseiro’s Super Eagles are not interested in possession football. They just want to score goals quickly and many of these.

    For this approach to work, they have to eliminate defensive sloppiness and needless mistakes from their game: the sort of sloppiness and mistakes produced by Onyeka and Uzoho yesterday.

    It’s a game of narrow margins, those lapses in judgment and concentrate yesterday served as the difference between 1:0 to Nigeria and 2:1 to Algeria.

    Additionally, for Peseiro’s philosophy to yield more fruits, his strikers have to be razor sharp. It was heartwarming for me to see Nigeria carve out and create plentiful goals scoring opportunities yesterday. There were no rigmaroles, those Eagles only had one thing on their minds in possession: run up the pitch and score quickly.

    But many of their shots were either lame or tame. A key downside of Nigeria’s direct style was that they became way too predictable which made their efforts easy-pickings for Algeria’s defence. As the match wore on, particularly in the second half, the North Africans began to anticipate Nigeria’s crosses, through passes and long balls with greater degree of accuracy.

    Hence the Super Eagles became less lethal in the course of the game.

    The Algerian defenders were celebrating their crossing interceptions and blocks as if they scored a goal in the second half – so happy were they that they had worked out Nigeria’s plans and had neutralised these effectively and ever more frequently.

    Peseiro just needs to add more variety to his just-in-time bulls eye all round attacking style. He also needs midfielders with better ferocity and technique in taking long range shots.

    Super Eagles fans will have to be comfortable with seeing the Nigeria cede possession but the predictability that comes with this has to be addressed.

    I was very happy to see all the players deliver their performances with passion, pride and patriotism. They were fired up for this game and it showed in how they executed their manager’s game plan. I couldn’t ask for more in this regard.

    They showed chemistry and coordination but lacked the quality to really see through their early lead. Our wingers were lively but they were predictable and they still hug the ball long enough enough to allow themselves to be crowded out.

    The Super Eagles’ passes were incisive and insidious but their ultimate end products were disappointing for the most parts. They attempted several long range shots with technique that left a lot to be desired, leading to shots that were easily gathered by Algeria’s goalkeeper. They were disciplined in soaking pressure but they soaked far too much pressure leading to the second fatal goal.

    There were many positives to take out of this game but negatives stick out like a sore thumb with massive areas of improvement.

    By eliminating rough edges and sharpening their scoring boot, this Super Eagles outfit can come away with a more favourable outcome next time.

    Despite the depressing outcome of this match, the Super Eagles appear to me to be moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly.

  • Olujjjj 2 months ago

    If the ref had allowed the second goal.or if the ref didn’t give the penalty against eagles . Again , y is the ref always paying attention to the Algerian gymic.
    One of the gymic led to the penalty been awarded. The play hit the ball and Since the ball went out the ref saw his drama .the ref became VAR on the field.he shud have asked for a u tube video to confirm he is using VAR.
    In other words those justifying the ref decision are his video assistant ref. Not even the linesman .

    • GentleD 2 months ago

      @Olujjjj, pls leave emotions and sentiments out of your judgement. That was a rash challenge by Onyeka which has been his trademark right from Midtjland his Danish club and it is a penalty all day and everytime. We could however argue that Nigeria’s 2nd goal might have been given if there was a VAR analysis (that again we can never be too sure about)

      • Tristan 2 months ago

        The quick freekick that the referee awarded, against Bassey, to Algeria that led to the penalty was not even a freekick. The player dived!

  • Papafem 2 months ago

    We should always learn from history. We cant be playing against a north African team and be careless in our approach. We’ve played them long enough to know who they are. They are full of dirty antics and always have the support of the ref to do evil. Not to even mention their supporters who are as dubious as the players on the field. Did anyone notice the laser lights on the face of our players anytime a set piece was to be taken? What of the Algerian players falling like sick chickens to win easy free kicks and penalities? Next comes the Tunisian ref who was Algerian on the day, cancelling a genuine goal among many other things.

    Until we learn that playing against these Arabs goes beyond been good or talented, and that extra care should be taken in doing so, we will always cry of one thing or the other after each match against them. Remember Nigeria at last AFCON againsg Tunisia and Falcons against Morrocco at the last AWCON.

    Again, Peseiro should address the issue of his team being dominated for a long spell in matches. I noticed this against Mexico and Algeria. Even in the match against Serra Leone in Lagos early this year, we lost it at a point and almost paid for it. There is always a yearning gap in the midfield, where we seem to have more defensive players than creative ones. We hardly retain possession while iniating a move and look quite clumsy while marking. There is too much gap in the middle for our opponents to expploit and this 4-4-2 system only works when we are attacking, mostly from the wings. Once we lose the ball, we look so vulnerable and disjointed, with our players committing unforced errors and unprovoked fouls. Our pressing game is so poor, giving our opponents so much time to initiate to plan their own game. The only thing i noticed in this Peseiro team is their eagerness to score goal. And once you a team that has an answer to our long balls and crosses, we look so poor and clueless

  • Hassan Tia 2 months ago

    I agree with deo on his excellent and scientific comment which described Super Eagles technical analysis on Algeria encounter before yesterday; SE need more variety attacking bull eye and need ferocity and agression and pressing at defensive midfield to intercept long range shot from rival or distance shot, also SE need strong and follower goalkeeper who has falcon eye or goalkeepers who have the same trait; also Peseiro must look at SE players set-pieces by center backs or defensive midfielders.Super Eagles have been lacking defensive pressing play with ferocity and agression, so Peseiro must creat new SE have these traits, if he would like to win next Afcon. Cup of Nations in Cote De’Ivore 2023.