Shorunmu: Goalkeepers Are My Super Eagles AFCON 2019 Worries

Shorunmu: Goalkeepers Are My Super Eagles AFCON 2019 Worries

Ike Shorunmu, a former Nigeria goalkeeper and goalkeeper trainer has informed that his worries concerning the Super Eagles’ campaign at the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations billed to kick off this weekend in Egypt lie in the goalkeeping department.

“It is too late a time to begin to ask for or look for alternative, so the coaches must make do with what is available,” Shorunmu, an AFCON winner in 2013 as goalkeeper coach with Super Eagles under (now late) Stephen Keshi in South Africa remarked.

Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr, listed three goalkeepers; Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaiser Chiefs, South Africa) and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United, Nigeria) for the tournament.


But Shorunmu, himself a former goaltender of Besiktas of Turkey, reckons it will be difficult for him to stick out his neck for a realiable number one amongst the trio.

“(Francis) Uzoho has not been consistent at his club and country of late, (Ikechukwu) Ezenwa has also been off and on and (Daniel) Akpeyi, I don’t know.

“But the coaches are much closer there in camp with them. They are closer to them so they know better”.

A former Shooting Stars of Ibadan shot stopper, Shorunmu believes the Super Eagles have done pretty well in the buildup to the African 2019.

He reasons that it is important for them to get their campaign off to a winning start.

“The outcome of your first game in a major championship like the AFCON determines your journey in the championship,” the former Enyimba, FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Sunshine Stars goalkeeper coach stated.

“A win boosts your confidence, brightens your chances of further progression in the championship.

“Yes, Burundi are our first opponent. No team is cheap this time. They have their high points to have reached this stage.

“So, it is expected Burundi won’t be a walk in the park. Who knows, it could turn out to be a fourth AFCON title win for the Super Eagles at the end of the day,” Shorunmu stressed.

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  • Mykel 5 months ago

    I agree with shorunmu

  • Mr Streams 5 months ago

    uzoho..don’t deserve to b in eagle ,was disappointed wen he mounted d post in Russia….Akpeyi lack confident…ezenwa isn’t shud b fouth choice…Rohr n d rest shud go to Europe n shop for goalies…or put eyes in Local league we have talented Goalkeepers…#goodluck my dear eagle

  • That has been everyone’s worry, Ike. It seems Oga Rohr is just starting to realise it too as he still has not decided on his number one — 3 days to his first Afcon match in Egypt. To think Akpeyi, Ezenwa and Uzoho are the very best 3 Nigerian male goalkeepers? Strange!! To even think South Africa’s 3rd choice, Bvuma (who may not even have a chance to keep the post for them in Egypt) was at a time benching Akpeyi! Arrghh!

    It’s a far cry when we used to have you in goal, Oga Ike Shorunmu. Or Carl Ikeme, Enyeama, Peter Rufai, Agbonivare, Joseph Disu or even Alloy Agu. These were not the best in the world, but an opposting striker’s shot has to be really good or tricky to beat them, never just a simple loop into the 18 yard! I just hope this don’t come to be our Achilles heel, especially if other countries are reading our sports news and become aware of this. Onyekuru, Kalu, Musa, Mikel, Ighalo, Onuachu, Iwobi, Osimhen and co may do all the work upfront without complimenting effort in the goalpost, thereby rubbishing all the hard work.

    If only we had a version of good goalkeepers and backups like in the women’s team, the Super Falcons – Nnadozie, Oluehi and Jonathan Alaba. All of them brilliant and unique. One can’t complain too much. Alloy Agu never did his homework well in searching for a good keeper. I wonder why Peter Rufai or Carl Ikeme are never given the job of goalkeeper trainer. Why does it have to be Alloy Agu or Ike Shorunmu all of the time??:(

    • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

      “These were not the best in the world, but an opposing striker’s shot has to be really good or tricky to beat them”….like the one he conceeded at AFCON 2000 final against Cameroon. Lolz.
      All keepers do have their bad days..!

      • Abayomi 5 months ago

        Idiot will always look for negative yans to counter brilliant observation. Oga we dey watch you make you just dey misbehave anyhow your mumu no get rival.

        • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

          Hahahahahaha….Its not your fault. Its because the almighty gave u the privilege of looking like a human being, if only you had been left to be the he-goat that you are to be chasing she-goats all over the streets.

    • I agree with all you have said. Our coaches have simply refused to look closely at our local league for goalkeepers. Rufai Alloy Agu, and Agbonabvaire were products of our local leagues. The coaches of those days saw the talent in them and decided to give them the opportunity to man the post for Nigeria. Rufai and Agbonabvaire were able to get clubs abroad because they were really good.
      The keepers in nigeria that have the talent to man the post for super eagles don’t have to become Okala or Rufai overnight. What is needed is the ability of our coaches to recognize the talent in this keepers. It takes hard work ti fish out good keepers and I think our current coaches are not ready to do the hard work. That is why they keep resorting to Akpeyi, Uzohor, and Ezenwa.

  • Oakfield 5 months ago

    “Akpeyi I don’t know” lol, coach rohr, put ezenwa in between the sticks,biko.

  • Bomboy 5 months ago

    Whenever we said the same thing in this forum, some people would react sharply thinking we were trying to undermine Coach Rohr (their god).

    Truth be told, the coaching crew were not creative in their approach to our goalkeeping crises.

    Good luck to the players and coaches!

    Like I mentioned in a previous post, it may be too late to cry out but not too late to pry and hope.

  • Dr Drey, you have a point though! I don’t even want to talk about Rufai in 1998, even in ’94, i still think he could have done better against Ivory Coast and Zambia in the final.

    God bless Carl Ikeme (the consummate professional whose sickness-induced early retirement was a blow to all of us). But that last goal against Egypt at home by Salah, I would have expected another goalkeeper to spot the danger from his vantage point and then bark instructions to his defenders in front of him to pay attention to Salah’s run.

    Was Enyeama overrated? I think Enyeama was just a decent goalkeeper prior to his heroics against Argentina in the 2010 world cup (which catapulted him to a mega star and to his credit, he built on that and continued to rise).

    He could have done better against Greece in the same world cup and poor positioning and indecision led to the goal that he conceded against South Korea to contribute to Nigeria’s exit from that world cup.

    Thokelo Ranthi of South Africa showed him pepper!

    Alloy Agu…..Oh my goodness. The year was 1992 and Alloy Agu was at the height of his powers as Nigeria sunk to a 2:1 defeat to Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations. His performances declined to such a state that Westerhorf had to revert to Rufui (whom he was never fund of to start with!)

    Joseph Dosu… I thought he could have done better for some of the goals he conceded against Brazil in the semi-finals of the olympics after parrying a harmless effort to the on-rushing Bebeto who took the gift!

    I am eternally grateful to the Almighty because, all the aforementioned goalkeepers were brilliant goalkeepers on their day who were only susceptible to the odd uncomfortable moments like any other goalkeeper past or present.

    The three goalkeepers we have may not be the best but they are far from being the worst!

    My only worry is for Ezenwa (who is battling fitness issues) and Uzoho (who must overcome recent on and off the pitch setback). If they are fully fit, then we have 3 professionally sound goalkeepers who should be able to hold their own on the continent.

    To Rufai, Enyeama, Alloy Agu, Ikeme and others, I remain very grateful for their services to the national team. For all the wonderful memories and brilliant saves that they left us with, they were not without their foibles.

    • Bomboy 5 months ago

      @deo, Rufai, Enyeama and co. made MISTAKES. I thought there was a difference between mistake and poor form?

      • Bomboy, I want to believe that if Rohr wasn’t confident in the ability of Ezenwa and Uzoho to recover from recent setbacks, he would not have selected them for the final squad.

        According to media reports, goalkeeper trainers were sent to Cyprus recently to help Uzoho prepare for the Afcon while Ezenwa has been assessed to be fully fit on time for Nigeria’s first match on Saturday 22 June.

        That being the case, we should have 3 fit professionally competent goalkeepers for Nigeria at the Afcon.

        This is what I have been made to believe, I can only hope it is true.

        If Uzoho doesn’t recover on time psychologically and Ezenwa doesn’t recover on time physically to both serve as deputies for the vastly experienced Akpeyi, then Rohr has a lot of questions to answer.

        That just means he has misled Nigerians and have taken only 1 fit (and quality) goalkeeper to the Afcon and that will be most unacceptable.

        • @Deo,you list errors,as if when people say De Gea is brilliant, it means he doesn’t make errors;or is it Oblak or is it Alisson or Neuer? They all make comical errors and at crucial moments too.
          But it is not in doubt that all these keepers are world-class.

          Secondly, the issue is not about anyone recovering from recent setbacks. Talk of recent setbacks comes in, if the keeper was sound to start with.Uzoho?It was painful seeing him between the sticks at the WCup because we deserved better. Some of us cried for others,eg that Austin Ejide was doing absolutely well in Israel,and he has so much experience that will help the young team,thus the coaching crew should try him out before the WCup.They didn’t.
          See,we must have our best in all facets.
          Same way I hollered dat James Obiora is doing well as a natural nmba4 in his club(with stats similar to Ndidi’s),that he wud be the most impressive deputy Ndidi has ever had in the Super Eagles.

          Someone here talked about the Falcons goalkeepers.That person is not Dennerby’s brother or bribed by the Falcons. Some things are just obvious,let’s be true here. We know everyone can’t play at the same time,but can’t you see that people are generally satisfied with the assembly of keepers the Falcons took to the World cup?
          It should be as clear as crystal that the class of keepers we had before(the ones you listed their errors) are far ahead of these ones now. But that’s not even the main issue.
          The issue is that,the assembly going to the Nations cup are not even our best hands currently. It’s sad really.
          Now,if I have to pick from the three it would be Ezenwa,but who knows…

  • Bomboy 5 months ago

    If Shorunmu is worried about our goalkeepers, that should be a cause for concern.

    However, I pray that at the end of the tournament we will all be congratulating each other for the victory of the SE.

  • Pompei 5 months ago

    Left to me, the one who exudes the most confidence, and who raises my blood pressure the least, is Ezenwa. Having said that, I was impressed by the performance of the AKPEYESQUE one against Zimbabwe. Perhaps, he is turning a new leaf. Also, Uzoho in his first few matches had everyone singing Halleluyah. Then the performances gradually nosedived and hit rock bottom against Seychelles. So, which way Nigeria? Rohr, carry your load.

  • oga GR ezenwa is the best hand at the moment biko. i keep saying this ezenwa is the man to go with or risk to come back home after group stages period

  • kamji Nendang peter 5 months ago

    all our goalkeepers are trying but Rohr should invite sebastine osigwe of spain after afcon
    may God help Nigeria at afcon
    *****super eagle soar*****

  • Omo9ja 5 months ago

    Fantastic. Yeah, fantastic I said. This quote here has finished coach Rohr.

    “(Francis) Uzoho has not been consistent at his club and country of late, (Ikechukwu) Ezenwa has also been off and on and (Daniel) Akpeyi, I don’t know”.

    Are these 3 goalkeepers the best for Nigeria?

    Money changed hands I think.
    If not, how come this could have happened to this coach?

    Oga Shorunmu, thank you o. Good abservations. Coach Rohr is a gambler.

    No compention in the team and his fans still believed this coach has something big to offer?

    We are watching o. Yes, very very closely berekete pa a pa. You coach Rohr, NFF and coach Rohr fans go hear wela soon if they don’t do something meaningful in Egypt. They had enough time and let’s see if this year episode would be different to the Russia. I hope coach Rohr fans won’t be annoyed with me? Ę Ofe e fe lol,

    Ę…., ęma abi,ę ębami nbę lol. Saying the truth is my daily bread. So therefore, no apologies this time around o.

    I wish Super Eagles a good outing in Egypt.

  • Bishop Joshua 5 months ago

    Just reading comments

  • Asoko Emmanuel 5 months ago

    AVOIDING SHALLOW MINDEDENESS:Hoooooooh Nigerians,how often we forget the good deeds offered by others and we only turn around to condemn them at slightest mistakes.
    Did some body refer to Dea Gea as world class?wat happened to the blinder against Xaka,in addition to many other blunders in EPL culminating in becoming the worst Goal Keeper at the last world cup (evident in Portuga vs Spain)…..can go on and on……
    It bit me hollow how an error from Uzoho against Seychelles has suddenly made him a bad keeper after all he did in the past.I still wonder how Akpeyi became a bad keeper just for one error against Argentines,in a match where the Argentine goalkeeper made countless errors.
    Ezenwa was in goal for most of world cup qualifiers and he was fantastic,yet we don’t have a keeper.Uzoho was not left in bench cos of poor form in his club, but due to issues that arose as a result of someone’s neglegence.He was adjudeged the best teenage goal keeper at the world cup.The goals scored against Akpeyi vs South African was by all standard not his fault, the first was a header which could go either way and the second against the run of play after his players had left him to the wolf.
    Now wat is ur determining factor for a bad keeper.You are a bad keeper when u make the same errors over a period of time and there is no sign of correcting it.Tell me aside from the error against Seychells which other one can u attribute to Uzoho,same with Apkeyi and all.It is obvious some mischief makers are waiting at the side for this team to fail,but wat I know is that the team will not fail.Even if they fail I will still not condemn them cos our chance will come.Garmany failled same with Spain and they have all gone back to the drawing board.
    We should stop this condemnation as the best we can offer is wat Rohr has taken.

    • A standing ovation for your piece above Asoko. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Even if it was none of Akpeyi, Uzoho or Ezenwa, are we saying that the goalkeeper – whoever it might be – is immuned from mistakes!!

      Time and time and time again, I have seen “world class goalkeepers” making “world class mistakes” at the world stage!

      Name me 2 world class goalkeepers and I suspect you will name Allsion on Liverpool and quite rightly so. His class and quality were instrumental in Liverpool coming second in the Premier League and winning the champions league.

      However, I watched Alisson disgracefully dispossessed by our own rejected-Iheanacho in the build up to a goal (video below).

      My point is: if Allison, De Gea, Casillas, Willy Cabellero (watch Argentina v Croatia 2018) can make big mistakes (often), so can Akpeyi and Uzoho. It is no big deal.

  • Sunnyb 5 months ago

    Akpeyi and Uzoho are two of the best goalkeepers in the world, I won’t be surprise if Chelsea or Arsenal bids for these guys after Afcon,Shorunmu is just being jealous of these guys,forget any Yeye blunders in the past these three Amigos are best goalkeepers Nigeria would ever produce.Ezenwa, uzoho, Akpeyi I hail ooo

    • Bomboy 5 months ago

      You are right @Sunnyb.

      Kaizer Chiefs already snatched Akpeyi from Chippa United and he has been giving them great value for money.

      His next destination after the AFCON will be Real Madrid, Man City, or as you have said, Chelsea or Arsenal.

      What does old guys like Ike Shorunmu know about goal keeping?

  • @Bomboy, Gbam!

  • The mighty dr drey u have a gud point bro,forget about people like abayomi and his fellow idiots,this shoromi made us to loose that cup that year 2000 to cameroon,now he come to say rubish for our keepers,