HomeNigeria National Teams

Oliseh: Iwobi, Good Defence Key To Eagles’ Success At AFCON 2019

Oliseh: Iwobi, Good Defence Key To Eagles’ Success At AFCON 2019

Former Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh believes Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi will be very key to Nigeria’s success at the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations in Egypt should he play to his full potential, Completesports.com reports.

Iwobi has scored five goals and provided two assists in 28 appearances for Nigeria since he made his international debut under Oliseh.

“With Iwobi playing the way he is, we would not be lacking, creatively, at the AFCON if he maintains his form,” Oliseh told Completesports.com.

The former national team captain also notes that the addition of Paul Onuachu gives the team more options in attack while adding that Gernot Rohr’s team must have a very good line of defense to clinch a fourth AFCON title.

“Paul Onuachu is another good one. He brought back memories of what Yekini used to do back then. To me with these guys in our attacking lineup, we have much more options.

“A team is as good as your defense line. Anybody can attack, but can your team soak in the pressure? Your team will absolve all that is thrown them once you have a good defence.”

The Super Eagles are making a return to the AFCON tournament after missing out on the last two editions.

By Johnny Edward

Copyright © 2024 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.


  • Chukwueze must make the team if we actually want to go AFCON with our best players. Iwobi is good but needs to improve while playing for Super Eagles, onuachu lack pace, most of his goal come from heading,so he is good on set pieces situation only.

    • Gritty 5 years ago

      I disagree wit u on Paul Onuachu. He is very good on foot. Can dribble, commit defenders and creat useful spaces/assist. In my opinion, Ighalo is ineffective without a good AM (like Iwobi or Chukwueze) who can pace in, create spaces and make penetrative passes.
      Osimhen, Onuachu and Ighalo (pending the return of Iheanacho) are the best Super eagles strikers, in pecking order, for now.

  • Asoko Emmanuel 5 years ago

    Sir,I agree with u that it does not make sense for us to go to the nations cup without Eze,who to me is our best player in Europe right now.Again I agree that Iwobi though good but should improve as every player needs to keep improving.However,I don’t agree with respect to Onuachu he’s not only good in setpeice as u can see from his goal against Egypt.I agree that he might not be the fastest of players but he holds the ball well and uses both feet, see his goal against man United.

  • Gritty 5 years ago

    Chukwueze should focus on Super eagles and possibly help the Olympic team.
    Mr G.Rhor should deploy Chukwueze to attacking midfield (AM) role to effectively support (substitute) Iwobi for that role at the AFCON. Super eagles need an attacking midfielder who is skillful, pacy, penetrative, highly counter-attack minded and goal oriented and who can also commit defenders to penalties (or free kicks at dangerous positions). Etebo is good but he is not pacy, penetrative and counter attack minded enough. He (Etebo) should remain a defensive midfielder and should stop wasting our set pieces. The best set piece taker for the Super eagles now is Kelechi Iheanacho. The coach and players should train and fish out an accurate set piece taker for the team. These things (excellent set piece takers and skillful/penetrative players that can commit defenders for penalties) win tough matches. Mr G.Rhor please kindly deploy Chukwueze to AM position in the super eagles to compliment Iwobi at the AFCON. Thank you Sir!!!
    Ighalo cannot operate effectively without a good AM (Iwobi or Chukwueze) to create space for him. Our best attacker in the Super eagles now is Victor Osimhen (He has pacy, energetic, skillful and can commit defenders too).
    God bless all our players (& coaches) and greater you I pray.

    • I have said it here many times that etebo is wasting our set pieces, Rohr has also failed woefully on that department. One don’t need to be Messi or Ronaldo to do that well after all Iceland don’t have that individual talent yet very dangerous one set pieces. For onuachu he should be substituted when we leading, as we are defending and going on counter attack I don’t think his speed is good enough,second half against Egypt shows that.

    • Can Chukwueze displace any of the following Igahlo, Musa, Onuachu, Onyekuru, Samuel Kalu, Osimhen, simon moses?

      I am afraid Samuel Chukwueze might not make the national team for AFCON with his form for Villareal and his displays against top division sides in La Liga. And with Rohr, he is not likely to make changes to the SE attack set up.

  • Having read the opinions N comments of contributors on this forum regarding the issue raised by legendary Oliseh, I should like to say this about the best time for Nigeria football regain our top spot in African soccer given the abundance of quality players at the disposal of the SE coach, Genot Rohr.

    However, while we might have a rich supply in the attack with Henry Onyekuru, Simon moses, Kalu Samuel, Paul Onuachu, veteran Ighalo and Musa and perhaps Moses yet there are concerns in the midfield area of the team which is not down to lack of personnel but inconsistency and lack of team chemistry.
    In Mikel’s absence, Rohr’s midfield has not produced enough spark, creativity and cohesion with Iwobi and Etebo in as many games after Russia 2018.

    Iwobi has struggled to create a niche for himself in the middle with many disappointing ball possession and distributions with reactions that he might not be the heir to Mikel afterall; same as his midfield partner, Etebo,his qualities in terms of creativity, movement, power, vision and long drive, ball winning and quick exchange of passes are all missing, and so are his goal scoring ability as identified under Siasia, such adventurous and frenetic displays are fast eluding him. It’s time for Rohr to fashion out an improved team chemistry in the middle that will allow for creativity, fluidity and efficiency by allow Etebo a free role and bring in exeperienced Azubuike Okechukwu dubbed Zubby, who is one of the best midfielders in Turkey to screen the back four and dovetail with Ndidi in a 3man midfiled. Ndidi’s energy, industry and tackles and long drive will come in handy anytime.Mikel Agu is one to consider to relive Ndidi in dire situation or to throw in to add more steel to the midfield when oppositions like Egypt , Cote d’ivore becomes stubborn and unyeilding.
    Sadly, Iwobi will be better deplored at the star studded wing where his game is best suited; though lovers of Iwobi who think his place is in the AM might not agree to this, but this is what his game has shown in the aftermath of w/cup.

    The SE defence has gained stability in the wake off the world cup with centre halves like Balogun who’s arguably Eagles best defender in the national team, Troost Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo who has grown in leaps and bounds in the LA Liga. Chidozie Awazieam is another option.

  • Those canvassing for Chukwueze’s inclusion in the SE AFCON list on the basis of his imperial displays in the La Liga esp. against Real Madrid and Barcelona may have to weigh his chances against estalished forwards and wingers.

    Samuel has produced some eye catching moments in the La Liga against top sides and has drawn alot of followerships but these might not be sufficient enough to displace his competitors in the SE.

    1.Ighalo Odion – CF
    2.Ahmed Musa. -Winger
    3. Iwobi Alex. – winger
    4. Victor Moses** -winger
    5. Onyekuru Henry. -winger
    6. Samuel Kalu. – winger
    7. Simon mOses. – winger
    8. Paul Onuachu. – Cf
    9. Victor Osimhen.- Cf

    Can Rohr afford to go to AFCON with nine forwards in a squad of 23 players and which of these can Samuel Chukwueze bench at the moment in the national team bearing injuries and loss of form.

  • Mr Hush 5 years ago

    My take is simple..and I am being judicious,so hope I am forgiven if my opinion comes out arrogant..
    But I believe I have all the reasons to be a bit ‘arrogant’ in my belief in this super Eagles going into the cup of Nations..

    For me,the super Eagles are 80percent ready,10 percent being for unforeseen circumstances and the other 10percent for luck or if I may,the ‘act of God’..

    The fears and worries are understandable,but it is as always been the same old rhetoric.
    The Super Eagles defence or lack of it..
    Or the midfield and lack of cohesion .
    And such assertion as raised its head here as it regards this team..

    But I have been an avid follower of the super Eagles,( I believe as much of us here); but there have never a time we went into the Afcon without this same worry..defence or midfield or no cohesion, been the worry..
    Even the three times we won,such raised its head .
    And I know many would argue differently..

    The super Eagles have always made do of what is in her disposal,like every good team should.
    In 80, we had to rely more on our wings and flare.
    In 94,where we were blessed to have a good squad,we improvised according to the team we faced.
    We played a good midfield game with quick passing,short and long against Zaire,Gabon.then relied on the wings and wing back against Ivory coast.then had to play it hard and robust like the English of old against Zambia..
    The Keshi squad of 2013,lacked creative midfield maestro in a number 10, so we had to make do with our flare and grit.with Moses,Ideye,Emenike,Musa,playing pivotal role and Mikel and Onazi holding firm in the middle.shielding the defence.dont forget the tenacious attacks by the two back men of Elderson and Ambrose,rushing forward to help the attack..

    My point is this..
    This present has the talent to adapt to any situation they find themselves in and we should make do of them.you build your team and tactics around the resources available to you..and this team has a lot of talent..more in the attack…

    Our midfield have lack cohesion.but we have been winning.even without Mikel and Victor Moses..two of our maestros,in term of creativity and cohesive organization.teams with better cohesion has lost.(sic Morocco)..but it doesn’t mean we can’t improve..we should.and I think we would..cause this team has grit and has I said,lot if talent..

    This is where Oliseh goofed .
    A team is as good as its bench not its defence..
    The French team that won the world cup aren’t really fantastic defensely,they conceed in most match.same like the past invisible Spain team who won the world cup and Euros.
    Likewise the Argentinian team of 86.
    In fact,the 96 dream team in Atlanta,didn’t have a good defence.but they got grit …

    Every good team plays to its strength..
    Our strength right now is in our attack and our many talent,so I think we should build towards that..
    Work a good formation that would suit our players available..and with passion, dedication and a bit of luck.
    We can deliver….

Update cookies preferences