Ex-international, Taribo West has said the national team needs better rear guards ahead of Super Eagles subsequent matches, especially in the remaining games of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Nigeria’s defence has conceded five goals in their last four international outings, with the former Eagles’ player describing that as unacceptable.
According to him, the duo of Omeruo [Kenneth] and Oboabona [Godfrey] defended like amateurs against Sudan while questioning the rationale behind Oshaniwa’s [Juwon] invitation to the national team.
“The Eagles impressed me (on Wednesday) but our defence was suspect as Omeruo and Oboabona played like amateur defenders,” Taribo told Punch.
“They are good defenders but they were too relaxed and made the same mistakes over and over again. We have conceded goals the same way in the qualifiers. Sudan’s goal was similar to the one against us in the first leg in Khartoum.
“They only did well against South Africa, though they made some mistakes. South Africa had the opportunity to execute one-on-one moves and score goals but Vincent Enyeama saved us. The two defenders didn’t play like champions or professionals in other games,” he continued.
Taribo, who featured for Nigeria at two World Cups, suggested that new defenders should be tested towards improving the fortunes of the country’s rickety defence while tipping the Eagles to make it to Morocco should they step-up their performance.
“I think they need competition. We need to scout for new central defenders. I would have suggested that they should be dropped but we don’t have better replacements for them now. They should work on improving their weaknesses.
“We should have someone better than Oshaniwa in the left-back.”
“If they can continue to play the way they played on Wednesday, we’ll be in Morocco next year to defend our title.
“We should play like the Sudanese who play with determination. We should mark like them and play like champions,” he concluded.