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Exclusive: I Always Hope For The Best From Super Eagles At AFCON 2023 –Onigbinde

Exclusive: I Always Hope For The Best From Super Eagles At AFCON 2023  –Onigbinde

Former Super Eagles coach, Adeboye Onigbinde says he expects the Super Eagles to make Nigerians proud at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

He made this known on the backdrop of the the final 25-man list that was submitted by Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro on Friday.

Recall that Nigeria have been grouped alongside, host, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in Group A.

The Super Eagles is expected to commence their campaign against Equatorial Guinea on January 14.


Read Also: AFCON 2023: Enyimba Salute Ojo For Making Super Eagles’ Final 25-Man Squad

However, Onigbinde, in a chat with Completesports.com stated that he expects the best from the senior national team in Ivory Coast.

“I am a Nigerian and a football lover at least, so I will always hope for the best from the Super Eagles in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Let’s leave the administrators to do their job. And as for the idea of camping the team in Abu Dhabi, I want to believe that it is between the coach and the administrators. They decide where they want the team to be camped.

“I can only wish the team the best at the tournament.”


By Augustine Akhilomen

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  • Rating Nigeria’s 25 Man Squad

    The cat is out of the NFF bag, finally. The list of the history makers for Nigeria in the 2023 Afcon was released yesterday and it has received mixed responses from critics and fans.

    The inclusion of players like Musa, Ekong, Umar and Uzoho has drawn condemnation in certain corners with others left scratching their heads about the omission of Moffi, Yusuf, Dele-Bashiru and Akpom, to mention a few.

    Here I will aim to subjectively rate each player in Peseiro’s list.


    Stanley Nwabali: untried and untested in tournament and high level international football. Uzoho’s perceived inadequacies paved the way for Stanley’s inclusion. Will he be number one? I think this will be a huge gamble. Nwabili is not the marquee goalkeeper Super Eagles fans are screaming for but can he be the saviour? I have my doubts. 5.5/10

    Francis Uzoho: truth be told, he has allowed far to many long range efforts to get the the best him in the past 24 months. He has become pantomime villain of a large section of the Super Eagles Fanbase with many seeing him as harmful to Nigeria’s chances in the tournament. He has a lot to prove and he will be chomping at the bit to prove his critics wrong if Peseiro retains him as numero uno. 5/10

    Olorunleke Ojo: he has been a peripheral part of the team for some time. A competent goalkeeper on his day, Ojo is a wildcard. If he sees action, the low expectations of his competency should work in his advantage. 5.5/10

    Overall Nigeria’s goalkeeping department on paper is nothing special on paper.


    William Troost-Ekong: his leadership skills and passion for the national team are positives. His propensity for errors cannot be ignored as well as not particularly being one of Peseiro’s favourites. 6/10

    Bright Osayi-Samuel: a great revelation under Peseiro who has knocked Ebuehi and Shehu Abdullahi into a cocked hat. His ability to win penalties or draw fouls in dangerous opposition areas are boons. He is also no slouch in his defensive sub-routines. A player capable of injecting flair into the Super Eagles. 8/10

    Ola Aina: a workaholic who is purposeful driving forward and dedicated when defending. Aina is a firm fan favourite who can introduce the odd moments of magic to the Super Eagles. 7.5/10

    Zaidu Sanusi: his influence on the team has waned in recent times but his quality remains undeniable. Should Zaidu bring his magnum opus to play, his presence can be pivotal in Peseiro’s philosophy. 7/10

    Bruno Onyemaechi: another revelation though untested in tournament football. He produced shades of eye catching performances for Nigeria with his pullouts recently. On the ball, Bruno is a beast but his defensive acumen will be tested massively in Ivory Coast. 6.5/10

    Semi Ajayi: a committed centre back who is very lethal with headers in set pieces – in fact he scored a header for the Super Eagles recently. But he can be found slightly wanting defensively. A sense of place seems his problem at times and he is susceptible to being bullied by African strikers. 6.5/10

    Calvin Bassey: a versatile defender who is still learning the ropes. He can be caught unawares at times and chemistry with his colleagues at the back needs to be polished. But his long balls are world class and his overall skills set makes him deserving of his place. More so Peseiro has faith in Bassey which is what is most important. 6.5/10

    Chidozie Awaziem: making a return to the team, Awaziem’s versatility is his trump card. He brings a lot to the table with neat interceptions and clever runs into offensive areas. Highly experienced in international football and he seldom seems fazed by the occasion. But he is not to complete article. He has his fair share of error propensity and can be anonymous just when you start believing in him. 6.5/10

    Kenneth Omeruo: old soldier never die. Omeruo is here for experience. Never really pacey in his heydays, Omeruo has slowed considerably. But his positional sense, physicality and overall awareness are suitable tasks on ground. He proved recently that he still has the legs, lungs and latitude for African football. 6/10

    For me our defence is not without inescapable flaws. The fullbacks are decent going forward but can be found wanting defensively. Our centre backs all have errors in them are have cracked more often than not recently.


    Wilfred Ndidi: he has found a new lease of life as an attacking midfielder for Leicester. This augurs well for the Super Eagles as Peseiro plays only 2 midfielders expected to inject creativity. A supremely experienced midfielder in international and club football, Ndidi’s inclusion is a no-brainer. 8/10

    Raphael Onyedika: a rookie at this level, passion,hunger and a desire to cement his Super Eagles status should help channel his unique talent to devastating effects. Fans yearn for fresh faces, in Raphael we have it, really good addition. 7/10.

    Joe Aribo: he has been lightweight in Super Eagles midfield but his passing range and quality have noticeably improved. He often fails to justify his selection ahead of other prospects in the midfield for Nigeria but his versatile is a key advantage this time around as Peseiro has at times deployed him as a striker. 6/10

    Frank Onyeka: it’s always difficult to place where he belongs in midfield. Not clinical enough in attacking midfielder and not robust enough in defensive midfield. He often struggles to impose himself on a game as he seems to fly under the midfield radar in-game. But he is quite unpredictable in a good way and he is a consummate workaholic. 5.5/10

    Alex Iwobi: his influence in Nigeria’s midfield had weakened recently. His passion and dedication remain undiminished but the light midfield apparatus of Peseiro doesn’t always allow Iwobi to shine as he has to to far more with this ball than he is comfortable with. Still he is a solid addition to the squad due to his wealth of experience at this level. 8/10

    Our midfield lacks creativity and ample mobility. They have struggled to interpret Peseiro’s vision but hopefully things will change in Ivory Coast.


    Victor Osimhen: what else is there to say about Osihmen? The hottest property in African and world football at the moment, the Napoli juggernaut is expected to light up the tournament. He is one of the reasons why neutral observers across the globe will tune in to watch the tournament. My only worry: will he be able to shoulder the huge weight of expectations? 10/10

    Victor Boniface: despite doing good numbers in Germany, Boniface is still finding his way in the turbulent world of national team football. His invitation meant other fan favorites like Onuachu, Akpom, Moffi and Dessers are excluded. All eyes will be on him to just his inclusion ahead of others. Still his addition might be a gamble but his club heroics cannot be overlooked. 7/10

    Kelechi Iheanacho: having been in the national team since 2015, senior man is fast becoming senior citizen. Quite an enigma, you never know what to expect from Iheanacho. One minute he is Nwankwo Kanu, the next he is Antony Okpotu. For me Iheanacho is not overly reliable but when the spirit of football possesses him, he is truly magical. 7.5/10

    Moses Simon: quite an accomplished winger, Simon is undoubtedly one of the marquee names in the squad. Although he lost his starting berth to Lookman, his impact off the bench have been electric. A highly skillful and technically endowed winger, Simon’s contributions are pivotal to how far Nigeria will go in the tournament. I just pray he doesn’t get carried away and starts dribbling aimlessly. 8/10

    Ademola Lookman: he hasn’t been very effective on the flanks but time will come for him to shine. It remains to be seen whether he will retain his starting 11 slot but this winger is a big game player who will endeavour to bring no end of problems to Super Eagles opponents. 7/10

    Ahmed Musa: quite a symbolic addition to the squad. I am of the personal opinion that at least one slot should be reserved for a largely non-playing symbolic player who has paid his dues and wants to hang on slightly beyond his sell-by date. Musa can still run, lay passes, track opponents and whip crosses. As a bit part player off the pitch and an influential dressing room presence, Musa is deserving of his slot from that perspective. 6/10

    Umar Sadiq: some otherworldly goals in Spain recently rescued his Afcon chances. Umar is an arrow head who is expected to grow into the tournament. His talents are not in doubt though many fans feel excluded Moffi, Dessers, Onuachu and Akpom bring more to the table. 6/10

    Samuel Chukwueze: I think he has lost his starting 11 slot to Iheanacho (who plays with greater intelligence). Chukwueze has been more of a miss than a hit for the Super Eagles recently. He seemed clueless with begging chances and he missed some ghastly sitters. Decision making has let him down and he has migrated from fan-favorite to fan-bugbear. His selection is controversial but he is a big name player playing in a big name club. 6/10

    Our strike force misses far too many scoring chances. They are predictable and have shown to be able to be curtailed.

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