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Exclusive: Peseiro Must Maintain A Stable Starting XI In Eagles–Akpoborie

Exclusive: Peseiro Must Maintain A Stable Starting XI In Eagles–Akpoborie

Former Nigerian forward, Jonathan Akpoborie has warned the Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro to ensure stability in the team by maintaining a starting XI.

Akpoborie made this known on the backdrop of the team’s impressive 10-0 demolition of Sao Tome in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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In a chat with Completesports.com, the Wolfsburg star stated that the crop of players at his disposal are good enough to qualify and compete for AFCON title in Cote d’Ivoire.


Read Also: 2022 WAFCON: Zambia Becomes First Country To Arrive Morocco

“I am so confident that the current crop of players in the Super Eagles are capable of qualifying and competing for the 2023 AFCON tournament. However, the coach, Jose Peseiro must ensure that he maintain a winning team. This will help the players also understand themselves and create a perfect relationship.

“It’s also a good one that they defeated Sao Tome 10-0, that will at least send some message to other teams in Africa. My major concern is for the coaching crew to maintain stability in the team.”


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  • Four four two 9 months ago

    You can’t help but wonder whether some ex Internationals actually played the game. How can Akpoborie be talking about maintaining stability about a team that as been together for close to 5years. The same set of players have been playing together since the days of Roht and Egu .so stability is never an issue to worry about. What the team lacks is a winning mentality and tactical organization. That’s what the new Coach has been reiterating that he wana instill in the team. And u can see that in the two games they have played so far. He as employed same formation 4;4;2 or 3;5;2 like Rohr and Egu but with better tactical organization. I have a feeling this can go places if they can fully implement joe piessero ideas.

    • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago

      You can’t compare Rohr with Egu. Rohr plays 3-5-2 which is more like a 4-4-2 while Egu plays 4-2-4 that metamorphosis into 5-0-5 under pressure. Lmao!! Rohr’s style was just rigid and boring but gets results and met targets while Egudiolas style was “Hey boys go their and express yourself, have fun on the pitch”. Lmao!! Thank God we now have Peseiro same players same tactics 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 and we’re seen a difference. For now Ndidi is the only piece missing from the team that just made history against São Tomé e Principe. 

      • Aphillydegreat! You are wicked Oh my God! 5-0-5. Wetin Eguavoen do you naa? Lwkmd

      • pompei 9 months ago

        I thought 5-0-5 was a car ooo.
        I no know say na football formation too.

    • Akunde Kwagh 9 months ago

      Objective. Thank you

  • How many National team in the world mentain the same first eleven in each game?……The national team is for players who are currently in form or who have just made a break in club level…….France for instance have not less that 3 world class players cropping up now……tchomenna camavinga and konate who are already in the French team so why didn’t France keep them away and mentain the first eleven?…… Football is dynamic and playing well today does not guarantee playing well tomorrow…… konate ,tchomenna and camavinga are the future of real Madrid and Liverpool and you expect France to just throw such players away because they want to mentain first eleven?……This is the major problem SE had under Rhor……No competition in the team and the senior players became complacent and relaxed……Ekong and Balogun cost us alot of cheap goals……Musa loses possession carelessly in games…… Collins became a liability to the team going into attacks……Ighalo was just playing as if he was in his parlor…..and Rhor looked on and did nothing even praising them openly in the media and downplaying any upcoming player by telling us that any up coming player was just not good enough for his team………Am not saying old players should just be dropped outright but at least creat competition in the team…… invite younger players and give them game time let the old player watch what this young players can do……Kareem adeyemi Meetcha and Musiala are already regulars for Germany who is a 2 times world champion but if this same players where in SE under Rhor they will most likely be left out for players like Ighalo Musa Ekong Balogun Collins and Co.

    • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago

      You can’t keep comparing about Rohr as if he was the architect of our failure. No he wasn’t he gave us a team for at least a decade. Is it not the same players we are still using under Peseiro?? Who told you Adeyemi Musiala Nmecha and co ever considered playing for Nigeria?? 

      I agree we need more competitions in the team that’s why we have a youth system that has produced majority of the current SuperEagles. Osimhen Ndidi Iheanacho, Chukwueze, Awoniyi, Success Isaac all came through such program and are still a core member of the current SuperEagles. Even the foreign borns we have all came through a youth system. Lookman was a U20 WorldCup winner. 

      The WorldCup is not our birthright and with our irrational decisions we bungled it to the worst Ghana team I’ve seen in my lifetime. The Current GoldenEaglets and the FlyingEagles should be our priorities for now. Let’s leave the SuperEagles alone for the new gaffer to do his job. 

      • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago


      • I wasn’t complaining about Rhor ,I was only making reference to his style to drive home my point regarding Akpoborie’s comment…….Humans most especially Nigerians do better where there is competition and relax when there is none……Dennis Bassey Sodiq Moffi who where not good enough for SE during Rhor are gradually becoming regulars now…… Imagine Balogun sitting on the bench for bassey to play which will never have happened under Rhor……But now Balogun and Ekong have seen bassey play the central defence position better that them and that will make them do better when Next they get a chance….. Competition brings out the best in everyone……Not just inviting young players for friendlies and leaving them on the bench or giving them 10 minutes then run to the media to tell us they are not good enough……Throw this young talented players into the deep end and let’s see what they can do…..Saka is already a starter for Almighty England but if Saka was to be in SE we will still be asking the question of “who will he bench?”……. National team should not be static…… National team is not a place to gather caps to be called the most capped……. National team is not a place to help your club career but your club career should help the national team…… We cannot keep sowing cassava and expecting to reap yam haba.

        • JimmyBall 9 months ago

          @Akp… I wanted to comment but when I saw and read your post, there was no need for mine anymore.

          Let me just add to your deep and thoughtful submission. See the guy “Golden Boy” Ishaq Abdulrasaq who just signed for Anderlecht.

          The Swedish club who sold the guy had a 20% sell-on clause inserted in the contract with Anderlecht, now that speaks volume to his potential.

          A lot of us have seen that the guy can be a very good prospect in midfield, so once he starts doing well and he gets ignored for Super Eagles callup, that will not be helping him and Nigeria.

          When lads burst into scene and begin to do well, call them and give them a good run-out in test games and friendlies. The same can be said of Malcolm Ebiowei, he is doing well now and we wont invite until Garteh Southgate sinks his fangs on the lad.

          In this modern era… there is nothing like maintaining a regular first eleven… players are selected based on production and form. We are yet to address the injustice being done to the likes of Awoniyi and Olayinka.

          Musa has no more Business in Super Eagles… there is nothing he wants to play again that we have not seen, Ekong should no longer be starting our games.

        • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago

          Saka will walk straight into SuperEagles starting 11 if he had chosen Nigeria that’s a fact. Alex Iwobi walked into the 11 while playing for Arsenal and still walks into the 11 while at Everton. I don’t know any sane coach that will leave an Arsenal regular on the national team bench if he’s not injured. As for most of the players like Ishaq, Ebiowe, Alhasan, Onyedika and co. Including even Calvin Bassey and Amoo should be the bulk of our next U23. After they qualify for the Olympics and do well that’s when they can be sure bet for the SuperEagles. Obviously, some of them are already in the team. The core of the current SuperEagles should be the ones to play the next AFCON. 

  • Coache 9 months ago

    Great post @Akp, after 5 years Westerhof gave us an excellent world beating team because of elimination by substitution. After 5 and half years, Rohr gave us a team CAR defeated at home because of what @Akp wrote above.

    Need I say more, that second vice president of the BFF from the North wants to be BFF president by all means. So Pinick must fail by all means even if it means burying 100 LIVE cows for the SUPER EAGLES to fail thereby dethroning PINICK. I maybe wrong

  • Coache 9 months ago

    Before you crucify me, please read the following post critically

  • Sunnyb 9 months ago

    Bro, pls don’t waste ur time in believing anything you read in Nigeria newspapers, same useless state chairmen complaining now, will sing another tune if they see a fat Ghana must go. That country is  done, hopefully the UN would do needful by taking the  Yeye country to auction  for the highest bidder. 

  • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago

    I will maintain the 11 that demolished São Tomé e Principe for now. I can only bring in Ndidi to balance the team. One major improvement under this coach is the quality of our crosses into the box. For the first time if I’m not mistaken Simon made a cross to the head of Osimhen and we scored most of the goals through crosses and through balls. If we can continue to improve on this aspect I’m seeing a SuperEagles returning to its glory in no time. 

  • Ololo 9 months ago

    Good analysis Ayphillydegreat.. In just 4 games with pesero there have been alot of improvement in our play.. don’t forget some of the boys were in thr team from the US to Nigeria and had close to 2 weeks together… 2 weeks means alot for Any national team.. I enjoyed the crosses of bassey, Simon has improved with his assist, I watch Simon in his club those crosses are not new to him but probably he didn’t understand the positioning of the strikers in the national team which made him look like a poor crosser of the ball.. as the coach has said you must be better than what we currently have to come into the team.. we should not beg foreign players. Oshimen is a local boy ,he came through u17, same with iheancho, awoniyi, success, Simon etc… We should leave pesrio to do his job while the focus should be on the u17 and u17… We really have great players in those two teams especially in midfield and defense.. my worry are their strikers obviously not in the Level of what oshimen was producing at that level… Bosso especially should scout for strikers before the African tournament.

  • Golden Child 9 months ago

    Whilst I admit that we maintain the team that defeated STP, we must be mindful of competition as stated by @Akp. Great teams are built over time through evolution, Peseiro would be greatly mistaken to believe his team has reached the Eldorado.

    Do we have good players now?Absolutely! We need to be mindful of the opportunities to improve the team when such presents itself e.g. if ebere eze or Michael olise suddenly are ready to play for the SE, such rhetoric by the manager might scare them off. The coach must be on the look out to improve the team if the opportunity presents itself. Westerhof was a good example, he always looked out for players who could improve his team regardless of age. He brought in amokachi when there were more senior alternatives. He also brought in Okocha in the game against ivory coast in Abidjan. He was willing to relegate keshi to the bench when chidi nwanu became available.

    Whilst we advocate for stability, we must never lose sight on merit, competition and team improvement.

  • Akunde Kwagh 9 months ago

    I used to respect this comment column, until it has become the hub for paid or shallow commentators.
    What is the improvement by the new coach? Nothing to say yet and so far not any better than Rhoe who for many years so the the SE brought in nothing, and achieved no thing.
    Please, don’t sell your PVC here also.

  • Coache 9 months ago

    Everybody keep mentioning the Class of 94 becos even when Keshi was not starting Eguavoen was competent and Kalusha failed to score against Zambia. When Keshi was on the pitch, he bullied his mates to perform. Now Musa is not starting and Ekong ought to have been dropped. The famous 4 all draw with SLeone exposed him and their coach said Ekong was the weakest link. He still played again and they capitalized on his weakness. Against Mexico, an own goal what a FANTASTICALLY DANGEROUS VICE CAPTAIN. If the team will make any impact going forward, Ekong has done his best and should leave the team in peace.

    When th old man was coach, we will be winning and still be afraid of losing. His philosophy was incredible, KEEP THE BALL ON THE GROUND AND WAS ALWAYS PLAYING 2 HOLDING CM…EVEN AGAINST SAO TOME, you would be sure he will play 2 Cms. We were too predictable. Now Jose philosophy trust his players and allows deliveries from the wings. A SHARP CONTRAST. WE NEED A BACK UP FOR EKONG ASIDE AJAYI.

  • Coache 9 months ago

    ****CM = DM. This the time to start trying the back up for EKONG not during the AFCON. EKONG PLEASE RETIRE WITH MUSA. You have done well. My urgent 2k advise

  • It’s hard to understand what Akpoborie was trying to say by imploring the new Super Eagles coach to ‘maintain a stable team’.

    I guess every coach wants stability in their their team and this equally applies to Jose Peseiro. It depends on what Akpoborie actually meant by ‘stability’.

    Without being arrogant, Nigeria should qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. Between now and then is roughly 12 months. In that time, quite a number of Nigerian players would have done well in club football while others would have sadly lost form or would get injured.

    So, maintaining the same starting 11 from now all the way to Ivory Coast next year will be near impossible.

    However, all things remaining equal, Peseiro has more than enough personnel to carry out his tactical vision on the pitch. Peseiro is taking the talk. He believes Nigeria has enough talent to win next year’s Afcon and he has the brains to facilitate that success with the right tactical approach.

    And his tactical approach embodies wing play, a twin strike force, fluid midfield, a solid defence with a reliable goalkeeper. Where ever you look, Nigeria has the players to fill in the roles to bring to life Peseiro’s ideas.

    The question is, which players have the possibility to be guaranteed a starting 11 slot if they stay fit?

    For now, these could be the following: Calvin Bassey, Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen. I think all other positions are potentially up for grabs.

    I strongly believe exciting times lie ahead. Peseiro is single minded. He has a ruthless desire to succeed with Nigeria.

    Hopefully he can pull it off.

    • Ayphillydegreat 9 months ago

      I think Ndidi will walk into that 11. Calvin Bassey Alex Iwobi Victor Osimhen and Ndidi if fit will be sure betters. I agree about the rest anything can happen 12 months. 

    • AY, I wanted to add to something you said in a related post. Recently. Indeed, Nigeria doesn’t have the birth right to participate in FIFA World Cup tournaments based simply on the number of teams currently allocated to Africa.

      Think about it, at the moment, there are currently 10 undeniable powerhouses in African men’s senior football. These are:

      1) Algeria
      2) Morocco
      3) Cameroon
      4) Nigeria
      5) Tunisia
      6) Egypt
      7) Ivory Coast
      8) Senegal
      9) South Africa
      10) Ghana

      You also have ranked but formidable outsiders like Zambia, Mali, Congo and Burkina Faso.

      So, at any point in time, the hopes of 5 of the 10 heavyweights of African football will ALWAYS be dashed in world cup qualification.

      In 2018, Nigeria qualified for the world cup that we probably had no business qualifying for owing to the nature of our qualification group and the dire state of our football at the time (having failed to qualify for successive Afcons).

      Unfortunately, in 2022, we then failed to qualify for the world cup that we probably should have qualified for owing to the strength of the current Nigeria squad compared with Ghana.

      That is just how the cookie crumbles.

      Nigeria always has just a 50/50 chance of qualifying for any world cup which is the se as all other powerhouses in African football. Ivory Coast, Egypt and South Africa all join Nigeria in staying at home while the likes of Algeria (who pushed Germany all the way in the 2014 world cup) have now missed back to back world cups.

      If only Africa can have 7 allocations, then Nigeria’s odds of qualifying for the world cup will improve; conversely so will the odds of Nigeria’s rivals in Africa.

  • Golden Child 9 months ago

    Guys please check Malcolm ebiowei from derby county who is on Manchester United ‘s radar. He is a dead ball specialist. Amazing talent who has the talent to bench chukwueze.

    He is a left footed player, with amazing balance and technical ability.He also made the championship team of the season. Though he is a left footer, he has the capacity to cut in or to switch to the right. The SE handlers should take note.

    I understand he was invited to the eaglets before the world cup but was dropped. Now is the time to go for him, do not wait till he becomes a star at Manchester United when Southgate would have swooped on him.

    • Tristan 9 months ago

      Checked him out! Good dribbling skills but bad decision-making and poor team tactical awareness. He tends to pull 2 or 3 defenders towards him on the right wing but instead of realizing that a pass to a teammate would unbalance the opposing team because of the attention on him; and give a tactical advantage to his team, he resorts to dribbling 2 and 3 players at once.

      Even when successful his final ball after tiring himself with such dribbles is not as efficient or productive as it could be. Sometimes he’s able to play a cross or a crucial pass oftentimes he makes a mediocre nonthreatening square or back pass just to get himself out of trouble from overwhelming defensive attention.

      He is similar to Ejuke but not as bad. The one redeeming feature that stopped me dismissing him as adding nothing new was his skill with a dead ball. He plays some very sweet balls diagonally into the penalty area that someone like Osimhen would love to meet with a header.

      • Tristan 9 months ago

        Because some people downvoted me, I will explain further. Ebiowei is still immature in his game. Some people never get matured while others under the right guidance achieve playing maturity and are better footballers for it.

        The main fault I have with Ebiowei’s game is, as his team attacks with pace after gaining possession. Once they pass to him, he correctly moves to take on his marker, which attracts other defenders to surround him – overloading his zone, to prevent him getting past.

        This would be the time to play a pass – as his teammates would have greater numbers outside his zone – that take these defenders out of the game while maintaining the forward attacking momentum of his team.

        Instead, Ebiowei usually opts to dribble his markers, this decision slows down the forward momentum of his team’s attack as they all wait for Ebiowei to release the ball and he dallies by trying to dribble 2 or 3 players at once.

        The forward momentum of his team mates eventually grinds to a standstill as they all watch and wait to see if Ebiowei would get past his markers and release the ball in order to continue their attack or if he would lose the ball and they would transition to defensive play.

        When he finally releases the ball all his teammates are now standing in the penalty box and have lost all forward momentum that would assist them in scoring a goal.

        The boy needs coaching advice and better tactical awareness.

        For those who want to improve their football analysis:
        Football Websites
        FBref.com – player statistics
        theathletic.com – news, game analysis and analytics
        Soccerment.com – Players statistics from major leagues
        YouTube – HITC Seven – Football news
        YouTube – DW Kickoff – football documentaries
        YouTube – Tifo Football – news, documentaries
        YouTube – Tifo IRL – analysis
        YouTube – Football Meta – tactics strategies, formations
        YouTube – The Coaches’ Voice

    • pompei 9 months ago

      Ebiowei is good. At just 18, he’s incredibly gifted. Lots of potential. The way he moves and uses his left foot reminds me a lot of Maradona.
      Needs to work on a few things:
      1) Over dribbling – he tends to hold on to the ball for longer than necessary. He draws defenders to himself because of his threat, but he doesn’t often take advantage by making the quick passes that can release his unmarked colleagues. His decision-making could be better.
      2) End product – he needs to improve on this. More goals and assists. He’s good at free-kicks, which is a plus. He should use his pace and trickery to give himself space and time to deliver crosses into the box. And he should be scoring more goals.
      He’s SE material in my opinion. The earlier we approach him, the better. Before Northgate pounces.
      The wingers we should be looking at now in my opinion are:
      Ejuke, Amoo, Lookman, Ebiowei, Simon, Chukwueze (needs to do better. Has been poor of recent) and perhaps 1 or 2 more. The best 4 or 5 can then be selected for the main squad.

  • Ako Amadi 9 months ago

    Many of Nigeria’s ex-Internationals are not intelligent. Players get injured. others lose form and younger ones challenge for a shirt. How can anybody demand for “stability” in the starting line-up? A coach must field the current in-form and injury-free players. It is for him to teach them a system he has worked out.

  • Hassan Tia 9 months ago

    Mr.Akunde Kwagh your comment is not right ; you havn’t any sight and vision on a new changing in Super Eagles; SE play a wing crosses attacks, fluid midfield , solid in defence, proper finishing, falcon eye with goalkeeper, pressing in attacks on the rival just this appeard in tow SE encounter versus Sierra Leone and Soa Tome and Principe; SE need improvement in tactical organization than to make stability on the line-up, SE have been playing togther since Rhor has recevied SE in 2016, so Mr. Akpoborie SE needn’t a one line-up but need a tactical orgnazation especially in defensive midfield and centre defence.

  • 3 Players in that team currently are irreplaceable, Victor Osimhen, Wilfred Ndidi and Calvin Bassey the rest all have good competition which the coach knows and some windows one or two current squad members may be dropped to accommodate another player on the fringe of the team. i.e. In Chukwueze’s position if he doesn’t sit up better, we have Isaac Succes, Chidera Ejuke to name 1 or 2. in attack Awoniyi,can offer stiff competition for Umar and Moffi. In Aribo or Iwobi position, Iheanacho can add the to the link up play depth and offer competition to those two. I feel in the Ghana second leg a big mistake Cerezo made was leaving Aribo on the pitch and Iheanacho on the bench for the entirety of the match as Iheanacho should have come on when it was clear Aribo was having an off day.. and if Olise reconsiders as it is looking more likely as neither France nor England is capping him then if he comes in he will be another irreplaceable player. I feel that a minimum of maybe 2 or 3 players may be introduced if form drops on the current squad not more than that as they all will not lose form on the same day. the core must be left intact. but, Ndidi Osimhen and Bassey are generational players X factor if you like they don’t build them like them every generation.

  • Codex 9 months ago

    For every @Tristan there is a @Hassan Tia in football,complete opposites.

  • Hassan Tia 9 months ago

    Improvement of Super Eagles which mentioneed it veteran coach Jose Peseiro is how SE can understand his ideas just like playing pressing on attackt, solid defence, speed and sprinting with the ball, running and press the rival when it pkeeps the ball, proper finishing , goalkeeper has a falcon eye, the team must have solidarty and unite, fluid midfield with playing in depth and width; all these ideas Peseiro would like to do them in order to creat formidable Super Eagles.