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Ndukwe Chukwu: Eagles Were Poor ‘Playing Safe’ Vs Dr Congo: Mikel Will Stabilize Team

Ndukwe Chukwu: Eagles Were Poor ‘Playing Safe’ Vs Dr Congo: Mikel Will Stabilize Team

By Johnny Edward:
Former Super Eagles striker, Rapheal Ndukwe Chukwu has slammed the Super Eagles players for being too cautious in Monday’s international friendly game against DR Congo which ended 1-1 at Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium Port Harcourt, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Bursaspor defender William Troost-Ekong scored his first international goal for Nigeria in the 14th minute in his 19th appearance for the three time African Champions.

Cedric Ngulubi converted a spot-kick to peg Nigeria back in the 78th minute after Ola Aina was adjudged to have fouled Issama Mpeko in the penalty area.

Ndukwe Chukwu, a member of Super Eagles silver-winning squad at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations cohosted by Nigeria and Ghana, also blamed the midfielders paraded in the game for their poor positioning which didn’t help the team’s build-up play.

“I hope that whatever happens today ends here because they didn’t give their best. They were too careful,” the former Bari of Italy striker said during his post-match analysis on SuperSport.

“They were playing to avoid injuries just because the World Cup is close.

“A lot of 50-50 balls during the encounter which they didn’t go for and that took the shine off the game. Personally, for me it was a poor game.

“The midfielders were hiding from their positions which didn’t allow their defenders play comfortably with them.

“We didn’t play well because we didn’t have good midfielders who can play with the ball.”

He however praised Crotone striker Simeon Nwankwo who was impressive bringing a different option to the Super Eagles’ attack.

“It was his first game and I think he did well. A different striker from Odion who has led the lines well,” Ndukwe remarked.

Ndukwe hopes to see the captain of the team, John Mikel Obi, return to the team in the international friendly match against England at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

“Obviously, Mikel should return to the midfield against England, he will stabilize the team well and make them play with more confidence.”

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  • Mykel 3 years ago

    Okay heart right should play the oyibo wall Mikel, v Moses, and other important players for only 45 mins. We seem to have a lot of injury prone players so we must be cautious

  • Lucky Ukhun 3 years ago

    This guy is talking as if the friendly game was a world cup game. If the players had come out hard and got injured forcing us to take a make-shift team to the world cup, it’s still people like him that would still come out to blame the team for being too serious with a mere friendly game. Nigerians!

  • Prince 3 years ago

    @Rapheal Ndukwe Chukwu….Snr Man, I strongly disagree with you for the slam on the Super Eagles players for being too cautious !!!

    So if you are the coach, you would have told to lads to play that friendly match like it was a world cup final abi?

    so you would teel the lads to go hard abi…on that pitch that can end a player’s football career abi?

    so how would it have being if the SE have won that match by 3-0 but we now have about 3-4 prospective players out injured?????

    That match was simply a mere friendly and a way to see if we can pick out some couple players to add to the team…….I am happy for Simmy, loko, Ebuehi, Ola and Uzoho for their performance….that’s what a friendly match gives to a coaching crew….

    Even the UEFA champ league between Real Madrid FC and Liverpool FC, most Russian World cup bound players did not make throw themselves at a 50-50 chance !!!
    look at what Egypt are emotional going thru simply becos their own Mo Salah went out injured!!!

    Even the Europa league between Atletico Madrid vs Marseille produced a casualty…Dimitri Payet !!!

    Congo Dr no dey go world cup and yet you want our players to charge at 50-50 chance!

    even when we play England, I will advise our boys to take it easy, especially the likes of Ebuehi, Etobo and Ndidi…. and even the Likes of Mikel obi, Alex, Victor M, Leon, Ekong…..

    I know getting injured is part of the game but I advise our boys to be watchful of picking up un-necessary injuries…. the players should wait for the main event proper and start that power play with Croatia !!!

    My people, I hail ooo

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 3 years ago

    Why must friendly matches be organized so close to the world cup date? Is like lack of wisdom on the part of NFF and the coaching crew! It is already doing more harm than good. Don’t be surprised that some of the super eagles players may be hiding injuries. 

    • everyone, i mean all teams organize friendly match, to test players, strategies, and generally prepare for the world cup proper. there are also fifa calendar when countries have opening to plan and play friendly. the team will make too many mistake in player selection and tactics without friendly match, only that approaches to friendly match will be quite different from the world cup…

  • Abdulrazak 3 years ago

    Friendly matches are organised to try out different tactics and formations.

  • Djeniko 3 years ago

    @Onyeagoro J China, what you are saying is that not just the NFF, but all the WC bound countries no get sense to organize friendly matches at this time. Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Egypt, Uruguay. So if you are Amaju Pinnick, you will not organize any friendly matches for your national team going to the WC. You will be impeached immediately and you will be call foolish. It makes much sense(wise) to organize friendly matches at this time even into the week of the WC proper. This is to maintain fitness and finese. Strategy and formation can be perfected. Friendship and understanding can be cemented by the team in general but particularly by the wing partners: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, attackers. The team captain and his vice will get to know the players more and advice the coaching staff any challenges the team in general but particularly any player is facing. The benefits of these friendlies can never be over emphasized. What do you say @Onyeagoro? If Brazil and Germany are organizing, why won’t the other teams including Naija. It is wisdom to do so now and into the week of the WC proper.