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Okunowo: Super Eagles Need More Creativity In Midfield To Service Ighalo

Okunowo: Super Eagles Need More Creativity In Midfield To Service Ighalo

By Johnny Edward:

Former Super Eagles and Barcelona defender Gbenga Okunowo has blamed the lack of quality midfielders who possess good passing skills for Odion Ighalo’s lack of goals for the national team, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Ighalo has failed to score in his last three games for the Super Eagles and Okunowo has leapt to defence of the 28-year-old Chanchung Yatai striker.

Okunowo told CSN in an interview that the biggest problem the three time African Champions will have at the Russia 2018 World Cup is unlocking defences in the absence of their influential captain Obi Mikel.

Zenith Ziva

“It’s no news that we lacked the creative spark in the two games we played against Serbia and Poland,” Okunowo said.

“We need players who can pass the ball well for our strikers to score. At the moment the only player who does that perfectly is Mikel.

“We also saw that it was evident that there’s need to find a player who can string those short passes to unlock defence when Mikel isn’t playing.

“At the moment, we don’t have midfield players who can create scoring chances for the strikers to score and that’s why Ighalo and others will struggle to get goals because they don’t get the service they need to face the goal.

“What we have in midfielders who are combative but not creative.”

Okunowo, who is now a scout, however backed Ighalo to come good with adequate service in subsquent games.

The Changchun Yatai striker has scored four times in 15 international apprearances for the Super Eagles.

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  • ALFREDINHO 3 years ago

    Well spoken Gbenga Okunowo .The Super Eagles is more Combative in midfield but no Creativity . Mikel’s absent was great felt .Nigeria needs a replacement because Mikel is aging .Chidiebere Nwakali and Jack Ipalibo should be looked at for the future .

  • Like yekini use to wait for servicing den abi. Wat a d xteristic of no 9.falling down at wil 2 most not play hot shot 3 must stay inside d box 18 of opponent 4 mus not help to defend 5 must be able to play penalty over d bar.mst not be able to dribble. 6 must not be a good header of d ball. Must not play free kick.must not cegalo d ball.

  • Dele u are talking in parable. U mean eagle 9 not ve this quality

  • ighalo na player? we better find a good goal poacher oo. how many shot on target him d get for our matches self. only to play shot go up n hold his head d look bench.

  • Coach Gernot Rohr should give a chance to Kingsley Sokari who plays for CS Sfaxien of Tunisia. He might just be the missing link in midfield for the super eagles in Russia. He has also played for Nigeria previously at the under 21 level and is a very skillful and powerful player and midfielder. Also Obafemi Martins has the experience to assist Ighalo in the Super Eagles attack. A word is enough for the wise. Thanks

  • I wld like to emphasize on the need for keeping faith with ighalo, as well as having good backups with different qualities such as obagol(left footed, great swindling movements and a great shooter), olarenwaju kayode (direct attack player analogous to Samuel eto’o although not as effective) and Ahmed musa (whom does not knw wat to play) but since he has been given a look in by cska moscow as a top striker ahead of vitinho, I hope he develops 30 percent knowledge of what is required to achieving goal poaching.

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA. 3 years ago

    If Rohr goes to Russia with Ighalo as our #9 striker, Nigeria will come home after 2 or 3 games. l will bet my money on that. May be Rohr is ready to swim or sink with Ighalo, l don’t know.

  • well said! Ighalo and Musa are on my own probational list and kelechi might join them if he doesn’t get his himself together. these are guys that shld drop with strong rivals. RoHr G. shld leave sentiments and get new strikers that are in form otherwise we wld come home early .

  • This is experience at work, not minding his age.
    We might need Obafemi martins.

  • We may just make do with Samuel Air. Or Fernando Adi , less than world class strikers but with some bragado (I no send attitude) in front of goal. A lion hearted attacker

  • Aaron Samuel

  • Nigeria team is blessed with bench warmers in urope. But can be a good team if dey wake up. With umar .Martins .uzoho.Michel obi. Issac. Etebo.ndidi. ekong. Aina.ogu.moses.ebusihi.ihanacho. team A. Team B igallo musa.ezewa.echjile.onazi.iwobi. aRon.

  • Bestsports. 3 years ago

    Coach Rohr should be told to invite kingsley sokari who plays in Tunisia. He is deadly and creative midfield player not like all our present combative midfielders. Based on fitness these players below are deserving invitation with intents to solve problematic positions. Ejide, Sadiq umar, obagoal martins, ideye, Cyriel desser, Ajayi and sokari Kingsley. Remember Efe Ambrose because our defence to be compacted and a no nonsense type of approach.

  • i dont see anything good about ighalo. he could be lucky sometimes while he scores but he is the biggest flop to send to world cup. ighalo has never been a goal scorer for eagles. his sucess at watford thanks to deney. he was among the team that failed in egypt under 20 world cup as a captain and top striker with just one goal. in a junior turnament is that ur hope

  • sadiq umar was our top striker at the olimpics a step closer to a worldcup. why is rohr not looking at him. we all saw wat he did at olympic. his controls skills shots header and gathering the ball his so super. a striker that was bred in seria A has never been giving a look. samuel kalu of gent that guy can be our own debraune very skill full and never selfish loves to assist alots. joel obi should be considered as a left back he will do better there. and etebo should retain his sports he is more skillfull than the rest. we should not forget our own kante a rare gin of Azubuike okechukwu the central mildfielder at the olympics this guy his a complete mildfielder the best of these generation but rohr has dumped him

  • It is true we lack creative midfielders, it is also true we lack a top striker, we an experienced top nine.

  • Sunnnyb 3 years ago

    Nigerians with sentiments, if lazy Rohr goes to this world cup with ighalo, Iwobi. Iheaniacho, ogu, onazi, musa,Ezeanwa,u guys must be ready fir first round knockout

  • Still looking at the standard of our players i know we can do better alot better..The coaching crews and the nff ‘re on the right path, it is very good that we’re playing friendly matches with countries that will be participating at the world cup proper,those ‘re the types of test we need instead of playing some countries that have nothing to play for etc Italy Chile and co.The high pressing style that we played against Poland was good but it is impossible to burn energy like that for ninety minutes that means when we press high and get the balls we must learn how to use it effectively get one or two goals then slow down the pace a lil bit to recover, but to run like that all through to the end will affect bcos players will get exhausted and maybe perform below par in the next games, If we look at some coaches that plays this pattern, Teams like Liverpool Man city they do it for like 20/25 minutes slow it down a lil bit…we must make count of the high pressing.. we have to be comfortable with the balls on our feet…most of the successful coaches in modern days says.. i quote Football is fun only when you have it but if you lose it then you have to run arround like a warrior to get it back…that was exactly what happened to boastful Manu Garba at the u20 world cup in New Zealand instead of keeping his plans close to is chest he started boasting,I could remembered when i took my son to his usual academy trainings at bayern leverkusen me and his youth coach was chatting about the upcoming match between flying eagles and germany and he jokingly said Taiwo listen we know how skillful the flying eagles are bcos they played some friendly matches here b4 jetting to New Zealand but there ‘re other things in football that you guys don’t understand that was exactly what happened on that day we just run and run to no avail, If anyone ask awoniyi or ugbade what went wrong on that day they will just say we don’t really understand… that’s the magic…but when the Germans faced Mali in quater finals they went back to their normal style and were surprisingly beating by Mali…I believed in Gernot Rohr and his lads we just have to limit our expectations from our young teams bcos they ‘re human being and some read stuffs as well for example here in Germany even though they ‘re the reigning world champs they hardly talk or expect to defend the trophy they won last 4years yA all can imagine Joachim löv setting semi finals stage for his more lucrative team and we want the the cup straight away it is too much burden on our relatives in inexperienced super eagles team

  • Ifeanyi 3 years ago

    I have said before and I will continue to say it, we need creative midfielder who will assist Mikel Obi when he’s not available, without creative midfielder in our team other department will not function well. It was obvious in our match against Poland and Serbia. Our team collapsed because no creative midfielder, nobody to hold the ball in the midfield,dribble and throw passes . I will advise Rorh to send his scouts to search for that creative midfielder between now and May. And also one top striker to assist ighalo.