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Super Eagles Ready For Tough AFCON 2023 Campaign — Peseiro

Super Eagles Ready For Tough AFCON 2023 Campaign — Peseiro

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has said his side must be ready to face the best teams on the continent it they want to emerge champions at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The West Africans will be looking to win a fourth AFCON title in Cote d’Ivoire next year.

Peseiro’s side are drawn in Group A with hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

The Portuguese stated that his team must brace up for a tough AFCON campaign.

Read Also:Exclusive: Ikhana Labels AFCON 2023 Group A ‘Tough’, Tips Eagles To Win Nigeria’s 4th Title

“If we want to win the AFCON we must be ready to face any team. Cote d’Ivoire , Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau are good teams. If we want to win the AFCON, we have to win the group,”Peseiro told reporters after the Super Eagles friendly against Saudi Arabia in Portimao, Portugal on Friday night.

“It is not going to be easy because in a tournament anything can happen . You need to put a lot things in place. You need focus in a short tournament like this.

“We want to win this group and qualify for the next phase.But first we have to play Lesotho and Zimbabwe. We must be at the next World Cup.”

The Super Eagles will open their campaign at the 2023 AFCON finals against Equatorial Guinea at the Alhassan Quattara Stadium, Ebimpe on January 14, 2024.

Cote d’Ivoire will host the competition from January 13 to February 11.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Your team is not ready sir, especially the goalkeeper department. Uzoho is a calamity waiting to happen again. As a coach your winning stats too is very worrisome.

  • _ Nigeria vs. Saudi Arabia: A Brief Reflection _

    It was neither the performance nor result that Super Eagles fans wanted yesterday as our darling team struggled to impress with their 2:2 draw against Saudi Arabia.

    Coach Jose Peseiro, who only had his contract with the NFF renewed recently, is still yet to endear himself to a large body of Nigeria fans with the sort of wishy-washy display we witnessed yesterday. I was among those who clamoured for his contract renewal – if truth be told – but his brand of football with Nigeria is yet to produce the excitement and conviction he himself would love to convey more so as his mantra is to win the Afcon trophy for Nigeria (something that seems more like a pipe dream at this time if their performance against Saudi is anything to go by).

    Saudi Arabia would take the lead in yesterday’s match following a fancifully flighted freekick from the right which goalkeeper Uzoho slapped into his own net embarrassingly. A neat 1-2 manoeuvre between Simon and Ndidi eventually produced an own goal after Alamri was adjudged to have beaten Boniface to make contact with Moses’ cross. Iheanacho would power Nigeria to the lead with a swish and swanky long range strike before Kanno made it 2:2 after a poorly defended freekick (from Nigeria’s perspective) in 100 minutes.

    2:2 it ended much to the frustration of us Super Eagles fans.

    Below are my brief takeaways from the encounter.

    1, Uzoho has improved in areas: the Cyprus based goalkeeper, who is now a pantomime villain in the eyes of very many Nigeria fans, showed massive improvements as a Keeper-Sweeper yesterday. He showed composure on the ball, particularly when pressed, to shell out neat and delicate passes to help the team play out from the back. He also excelled in running out of his area to intercept close range efforts. But I as well as millions of fans watched in horror as he palmed a perfectly saveable long range freekick into his own net (showing shades of his recent gaffes against Ghana and Algeria). He has so much problems anticipating and executing the right techniques to effectively deal with long range strikes – a shortcoming he shares in common with his kindred spirit Maduka Okoye. If both of them can hit that flaw on its head, then we have hope; they are actually quite decent in other goalkeeping responsibilities; healthy game time in club football will be helpful to both.

    2, Lack of intricacy: yes the Super Eagles created multiple half chances and some glaring goals scoring opportunity, they are not to me intricate or cunning enough in their play. Peseiro’s boys are reactive (not as proactive as I would like in imposing their will on others); they tend to play to the tune of the opposition. I guess their emphasis on quick transition from defence to attack doesn’t leave room for much imaginative game play. This for me will continue to rub their game of excitement and introduce a level of predictability. There is not so much creativity you can inject in your play with just 2 midfielders (one more defensive in nature in either Ndidi or Onyeka – where is Etebo?).

    3, High Pressing Works: the Super Eagles are yet to reap the rewards of their high pressing game. With Nigerian 4 strikers bearing down at the Saudi defence when trying to play out from the back, the defensive apparatus cracked on multiple occasions but Nigeria failed to cash in on their pressing investments. Victor Boniface had a shot saved on one such occasion when he and his colleagues could have been better prepared and intelligently placed to profit from such scenarios. This repeated itself severally in the match – something Peseiro has to develop better routines to capitalise from.

    4, Wing Play with Full-back Support: something that worked well (in so far as causing problems to the Saudis) was effective deliveries from the wings most especially from the fullbacks. Okay, Ebuehi was ineffective with his deliveries but the set-up, tactical formation and instructions (all from Peseiro) allowed Ebuehi to get into dangerous and delicious positions. It’s a shame he (Ebuehi) let himself down with subpar outputs. Just see how glorious Onyemaechi’s deliveries were on the left flank! Also, I bonded with the idea of delivering old fashioned crossed from the flanks across a wide space for a Ruud van Nistelrooy (or even a Paul Onuachu) to pounce on. There was another heavenly cross from I think Victor Boniface – though we didn’t score from these, they remain my most fabulous moments from the match. These reminded of ancient crosses from George Finidi and David Beckham that can still be effective in modern day football if cleverly adapted. With better timing, anticipation, positioning and a killer instinct, our strikers can profit from such deft deliveries in subsequent games.

    5, Low 1 on 1 Success Rate: is it just me or have our players totally lost the art of dribbling. I remember not that long ago when we used to complain that our players hold on to the ball too long in dribble-attempts. Heck even unlikely dribblers like Odion Ighalo still danced past defenders at times. Yesterday, I watched in shock as Ebuehi, Osihmen, Lookman, Chukwueze and Umar were hopelessly displaced in 1 on 1 scenarios. As it will happen, it was Moses Simon (a player rumoured to have lost his dribbling skills) who produced a goal following a successful 1 on 1 take on situation. To have any realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals of the Afcon, I think we need players like Aina Ola, Osayi-Samuel and Iheanacho who can still breeze past at least one or two players (with pace and trickery) if needs be with positive outcomes.

    6, Effective Substitutions: 2 things here – one, it was refreshing to see Peseiro tweaking his team and formation when things were not going exactly well and two, it was reassuring to see that we still have game changers on the bench. The subs were instrumental in both goals scored and Nigeria started resembling a well oiled machine in game-play following those introductions. We started playing with more intention, conviction, agency and verve; the areas where substitutions were made showed marked improvements and the game could so easily have ended 2:1 largely due to the substitutions made and the timing of those substitutions – Peseiro wins a brownie point from me in this area.

    Summary: all in all it wasn’t an uplifting performance from the Super Eagles from me. We still have glaring issues in the goalkeeping department; the brand of football is neither always effective nor attractive to watch; some players continue to produce mediocre results; the chemistry right across the team is lacking; the strikers aren’t always best placed to advantage of openings and – lastly – the flat 4-4-2 formation with an emphasis on quick transition is yet to fully win over a large body of fans (me included).

    Peseiro’s Super Eagles a tournament winning outfit? I don’t think so!

  • Sportradio88.0 fm 8 months ago

    Nobody in nff can give paseiro the record or history book of wat some coaches did before dey got it right with eagles….no 1 Philip trousers..he always camp eagles in Cote de voir.for at least a week to game . No 2: onigbinde. He wil look for best leg and tell Dem the styles to play against the opponent to get a win or draw.
    Noba 3 westerhorf. He will take them to Europe to play friendly game with clubs and using elimination by substitution he wil bring in performing players to remove the weak once
    Boferere Jo did the same. But after wining the Gold in atlanta.he got another contract with my club in gulf region and d nff used it against him wen dey wanted to sack him and lastly keshi he brought in players in local clubs mixed with serious foreign guys and won the 2013 edition.
    But paseiro is praising his players allowing Dem to loss matches at will approaching every game with same style as if the players are table soccer machine.
    By the time 2024 group stages are completeed u just find out that this machine guys wil drop their efficiency record to 30% after topping or running at100% in the group stage..I think that was wat happened to eguavoen in the last edition. The

  • Sean T 8 months ago

    The best formation for the Eagles will be 4-2-3-1 or 3-5-2. Since we lack creative midfielders, and our so called wingers are not good enough, so why play 4-4-2.

    Going forward Chukwueze should never near the starting 11, Ebuehi should 4get Afcon i used to be his fan but i refused to be a blind follower. We’ve decent players that can play wing backs for us, join the attack and also support defensively. E.g Aina, Osayi Samuel, this newbie Bruno. Not really sure Sanusi is that effective going fwd. From what i observed yesterday, Bruno put in lovely and decent cross into the box better & Simon can also play wing back from the left.

    With 3-5-2, we will have more body in the midfield, so no more struggling against average opponent in that dept. Onyeka or Onyedika should join Ndidi as double 4 because we need strong players at the midfield since AFCON is very physical, then a Player like Ihaenacho should stay up the field like a creative midfielder. Iwobi have lost the zeal and creative touch otherwise he should be the one taking that role. However if the new midfielder Fisayo Bashiru is up to the task, the coach should begin to integrate him into the team asap. But for now, i only see Ihaenacho taking up that role. Then Osimhen and Boniface upfront. With either of the 2 dropping to the midfield to pick up the balls. In this case Boniface is better with ball on his feet.

    3 central backs wouldn’t bad. Bassey, Ajayi & Awaziem should take up that role. The new guy Torunarigha could break in if he can displace any of the 3. The coach shouldn’t even try to include Omeruoh or Ekong cuz both of them are now weak and not sharp to handle pressure.

    As for the Goalkeeper, i don’t really know what to say but Uzoho, Okoye shouldn’t make the team to Afcon. They should invite Sebastian Osigwe asap to join Adeleye, then let Finidi do just 1 job by sourcing for the best GK in the Nigerian league to complete that dept. Only the best GK from the league and pls np sentiment. With this we can still manage to reach Semi Final bcos the truth is the Coach is not really good.

    SE need a good football administration and a decent coach not necessary world class Coach to utilise the potentials we have. It’s as simple as that

  • DEO AND sportradio you guys are spot on, I hope the coach will listen.
    Let’s try Adeleye or Ojo, they are better than Uzoho and Maduka, Adeleye showed sharpness and great talent in our match with S/Leone secondly friendlies should be to discover nee possibilities with a view to create competition not to recircle and reinforce Heartbreakers.

  • Glory 8 months ago

    With just few touches in this team,especially in the goalkeeping department, they will go on to shut the mouths of many baseless criticism. Peseiro is doing a great job and the team is gradually entering into an unbearable phase. So no qualms. I am just already seeing a really good team coming out of the longer camping together before AFCON. CONGRATS TO ALL PLAYERS AND COACHES. YOU GUYS DID WELL IN YESTERDAY’S GAME, THOUGH IT CAN BE BETTER.

  • Chima E Samuels 8 months ago

    This coach should keep quite and bow his head in shame for his Goalkeeping department is in crisis!!!

  • Dcardinal 8 months ago

    I love what I saw yesterday especially Ajayi and Bassey combo

    • Why do I feel like I watch a different match to everybody? Because I watch a very good performance from the SE bar the GK error, statistic shows 57/48% procession in favor of SA,4 to 15 total shorts in favor of SE,2 to 4 corners in favor of SE, 5 to 20 crosses in favor of SE, 83% to 83% passing accuracy,47% to 67% tackle accuracy in favor of SE, 38 to 44 successful aerial duel in favor of SE. all this against a team coach by Mancini a well known top coach that’s the current highest paid coach in the world presently plus this Saudi teams are the last team that defeat almighty Argentina, common guys we need give peseiro and the boys some accolade.

  • oluwole 8 months ago

    Chukwuezie needs a challenge at the right wing. He’s being too complacent and he needs to be pushed at both club and national levels. Chukwuezie, what have you done for us lately…. If Peseiro knows what he is doing, this is the right time to find a replacement and Nathan Tella is lurking and knocking. Same for Uzoho and the rest of them at the Goalkeeping Department. Imagine SE playing all their hearts out at AFCON only for our goalkeepers to divert harmless free kicks into the net (own goal).. That will be heartbreaking and that will make the defense to lose confidence in the setup. We have been seeing this weakness in the goal keeping department for over 2 years now and I wonder what the coach is doing about this.

  • I guess all your comments have been heard by NFF and the Coach crew. Let us allow the coaching Team do their job. Don’t forget that friendlies are meant to sift the chaff from the wheat.

    Yes goalkeeping department needs a job be done quickly and not a surgical maneuver as is being peddled by many. Secondly the defence needs to be tweeked. Bassey should be at half back not full back. It doesn’t make sense. That guy Tourinagha needs to be used at the full back to know what stuff he’s made of. A jittery defence is not good for the goal keeper. Omeruo shouldn’t be written off completely, he has experience and coordination to his advantage.

    The midfield requires players with tenacity and strength. Ndidi requires a back up and Ihenacho playing as a linkman bw the midfield and strikers, sounds ambitious and correct.

    Yesterday’s game reveals Boniface as a fast striker synonymous with what Oseihmen did last year in Napoli. This is lovely even though Oseihmen seems to have lost the flair of last year’s achievement. I stand to be corrected.

    Now the wingers: Chukwueze, Lookman and Simon should know what type of pullouts both Oseihmen and Boniface have been using to score goals for their clubs. The dearths of World class strikers in the Eagles team is enormous needs to be properly harnessed.

    The coaching crew should understudy these strikers for pullouts, corners, free kicks and deadballs from the wingers and midfield links to advice accordingly. I suggest, they watch the league matches where these guys operates. This is seriously lacking.

    Yes, the defence and goalkeeping is porous however, the pullouts and links should be corrected including strikers carrying the balls to the 18 yards box for possible hackdown for penalties. This is a suicide mission. Saudi Team tried it yesterday but failed.

    Let’s encourage them and not to pull them down. Lastly Sadiq Umar despite the interest he represents do not have any function in that Team. He was a mediocre and this includes Ebuehi.

    Overall more friendlies should be organised away from AFCON enclave to expose our Team properly. It was a good game bw Super Eagles and Saudi Team. Bravo.

    • Echi Umogwu 5 months ago

      If we can check Brasil problem of not doing well in world cup time is because the change of their football tradition by overtrusting foreign base players to do the job for them. We should forget how Nigeria football was admired by many nations of the world but we losing that power because foreign base players and new clueless soccer administrators in charge of our football.Moreso, we should not forget our root like Brasil.

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