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VICTORY OR NOTHING: Five Things Super Eagles Must Do To Beat Iceland

VICTORY OR NOTHING: Five Things Super Eagles Must Do To Beat Iceland

Ahead of Super Eagles’ crucial Russia 2018 World Cup clash against Iceland at the Volgograd Arena on Friday, Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU recommends five things the team must do to beat the World Cup debutants…

The Super Eagles seem more accustomed to a play a  3-5-2  formation than 4-3-3 these days and it showed in their last two friendlies against England and Czech Republic.
Even though they lost both matches, they team played better when the coach switched to 3-5-2 from the less effective 4-3-3.
Handler of the team, Gernot Rohr,  should seriously think of going for a 3-5-2 against Iceland and also use the right personnel.


Former Super Eagles captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha and one-time Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who handed Mikel Obi his debut at Stamford Bridge, both criticised the decision to play him in a more attacking role rather than a deeper position in the  defeat to Croatia.
Mikel was poor in that role and it was one of the reasons the Super Eagles failed to gel in the game. He lacked the pace to press opponents up field and affect the game positively.
The fact is Mikel is more accustomed to playing as a deep lying midfielder, a position  he has played since the start of his career at Chelsea, although to be fair to Rohr Mikel has played an attacking role for two years under him. However, playing Mikel in the deeper position will get the best out of him and rub off positively on the team as well.

One of the key flaws noted in the Super Eagles’ 2-0 loss to Croatia was their lack of urgency. The team did not show enough desire to win the game and it reflected in their overall performance.
They kept passing the ball backwards and did not threaten the Croatia defence for almost the entire game.
Against Iceland, they will need to show a lot of grit and  determination to win the game.

Zenith Ziva

With Iceland having taller players compared to England, Czech Republic and Croatia who have scored goals against the Super Eagles from set-pieces in their  last three games, then the entire team must find a way of stopping Heimir Hallgrimsson’s men from wreaking havoc from such situations.

Quite a number of the players failed to make much impact against Croatia with obvious good options on the bench. The likes of Shehu Abdullahi, Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo were poor all through.
To get a positive result against Iceland, Gernot Rohr must not hesitate to drop any of them and bring in good replacements.

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  • With the results tonight, Eagles hold her destiny in her very own hands..

    • Naija Man 3 years ago

      Rohr will still repeat the same mistakes that he has refused to correct after losing 3 matches and drawing 1 in a row.

  • Super Eagles Carry go

  • Djeniko Christopher 3 years ago

    One reason Mourinho is endeared to people is his having the gut ti make the big calls. No matter who you are, if you are not doing well he will substitute you. Ronaldo or Messi he will change you. If Gernot Rohr does not have the gut to do that means he is not a coach and manager but a weakling.

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    What else do we want God to do?
    God have answered our prayers it’s left for us to get the job done in tomorrow and Tuesday’s match.

    However, I am really scare of our coach because of his stubborness. He must using our players correctly with the perfect formation.

    The coach should tell his players not to be scared of any player or team. They must be focused for the entire duration.

    By winning tomorrow, we are going to get our confidence back before the Argentine’s game. I noticed one thing about the “Croatia team”. They were always calmed and this is what our team need in this tournament.

    I am begging Mr. Rohr to bench Ighalo.
    Simy and Ihenacho must be our strikers. No room for sentiments. They must attack and defend together.

    We have to put pressure on our opponents. We saw what Iceland and Senegal did in this tournament, Eagles must wake up and get the job done. Allah, have mercy on us in this tournament and whenever we played.

    We will pray for you Eagles. Go and make Africans proud. We must show the world who we are. The Wings of Africans pride must show its class in this year world cup. God bless us all, God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Our players shall perform well this time..

    • @ Omo9ja
      “…..because of his stubbornness.” I see something beyond mere ‘stubbornness.’ If Rohr is a professional coach, he should be interested in his career and record. If he persists in playing players out of position and does not seem to bother about the disastrous results, we can only surmise that something fishy is going on. And this will certainly come out one day.

  • Temitope 3 years ago

    Omo9ja, I quite agree with you 100%. 3 Things Rohr should please do for me.
    1: Bench Ighalo, make Ihenacho supporting Striker and TOP strike Nwankwo.

    2: Let Oghenekaro Etebor play Attacking Midfield while Mikel plays Defensive Midfield.

    3: Todays match, we need more goals to put us out of the negative goal difference (2-0) is good for us since Argentina is in -3 now lets put Iceland in the same lane so that if we win Iceland and against Argentina when the other match is going on simultaneously we won’t be on on due pressure.

    Final, I don’t like the attitude of Coach that makes is first substitute 80 minutes or plus. You can keep your last substitute for this period but not your first two substitute. Any player that can not perform in the first half, 10 minutes into the second half remove such player. Wish well Super Eagles.

  • I re-watched the Naija v Croatia’s match yesterday and mehn…Iwobi and Shehu did badly but the worst was Ighalo. Yes he is playing as a lone striker but I don’t think that was the reason we didn’t score. Ighalo was very poor that he couldn’t even look up to pass the ball. Whenever he found space his head was down. No intelligent runs that will drag the defenders away to create space for the winger. He was our worst player.

  • I am thankful cos I am not Rohr today. Its certain he cnt listen to all of us at d same time. Apart from set pieces and d team avoiding lack of concentration, i do not see Iceland scoring. However, I am scared of our toothless attack when we have the ball.

    Similarly, for some of us clamouring for 3 5 2…it means that Rohr will have to drop one of Mikel or Etebo…and as u know i am not sure he will drop his captain, whereas Etebo was our best player by a country mile in the last match.

    I feel we shd allow Ighalo play today since Moses and Iwobi will be playing close to him. If he doesnt get into gear in 60mins..he shd be hauled off.

    I sense we will get a result today but not sure we would against Argentina cos I do not see our team…my super eagles and your team defending like Iceland and Croatia did.

    Pls lower your expecation..incase they break the heart and so that you can have reason to celebrate

  • Eagles must have that urge from beginning to the end. They vedio of Amokachi and JJ and see how football were played.
    All those relaxing passing back attitude has to stop from beginning.

  • Obilor osondu 3 years ago

    no african country can ever win d world cup wt a foreign coach. Pls, watch d march, senegal vs poland, watch senegalese coach, his commitment, his worries, dedication and any change he made in dat match. Our own is our own. Am not saying dat Rhor is not a good coach. Nigeria has a coach who has faced d world in both olmpics and under 20 world cup, a good coach who never came back empty handed in any of ds competitions, bt we look down on him. where is Siasia? He shld b encourged and send 4 more coaching training. He can do it.

    • I think the problem of local coaches is linked with the problem we have in Naija – Tribalism and sometimes, ego. Oliseh failed because of Ego, Siasia, I think is tribalism, lost to Egypt because he stuck witg Amuzie to defend Salah and later brought in Echiejile. I love watching Sia1’s team because there must be goals. Keshi was just a business man but he was the best local coach we had, in my opinion, he was a good motivator, talent spotter and tactical guru…but he was a business man.
      Rohr is not doing anything apart from assemblying the players we all knew are the best e.g. Oliseh used to bench Mikel just to prove a point, Manu at the U20 world cup benched Iheancho and Yahaya just to show them that they are not bigger than the team.

    • God bless u ,
      May God blesd u
      Wot again

      Siasia cud av made history wit our national..

      I kip wondering y dey ar nt givin him d job

  • Gernot Rorh, should start
    Moses Musa
    Mikel Ndidi
    Idowu Balogun Ekong Ebuehi
    as the first 11 eleven.
    Super Eagles will score goals in multiples as they did worn against Argentina 4-2

  • Bestsports. 3 years ago


    Oga German Rohr seems to talk a little too much! Rohr and his carefully selected boy have fumbled the winnable Croatia game and they are still pessimistic! Keshi took with him about 9 players including Ramon Azeez to last WORLD CUP 2014 and after they concentrated more about sharing finish then those 9 players vanish into thin air! Abnormal NIGERIA! Nigeria are experts in wanting short cut success without planning or working for it based on transitioning star youth teamers to the higher national team camp! We are begging half oyibo boys to pls play football for nigeria mother land. Bizarre Embarrassing philosophy! Ex international are never allowed to become NFF PRESIDENT like okocha and kanu to atleast bring experience and expertise football management. Football is Nigeria source of joy so we all must contribute to the development of all national team. Spain quickly drafted hierro to steady their ship and he is doing fine without chop changing first eleven or the Spanish stars PLAYERS. After almost two YEARs our Rohr isn’t settled with a properly thrilled first eleven starters and substitute? Embarrassment! Let us stay positive let them play the final must win two games which in all sincerity i find it difficult to see my dear nigeria qualify. In football you cannot offer what you don’t have! The team has resulted to miracle prayers as if other team worship satan? Hmmm they are more serious period!
    Pls continue reading my open LETTER.

    Last chance tournament in national team for IGHALO, SHEHU, ONAZI TB JOSHUA, ELDESON EJIEJILE, MIKEL OBI, JOEL OBI, AKPEYI. They should know it and fucking take down Iceland and Argentina or history will remember them all brutally negative! If they fail to qualify trust naija system or subsequent coaches to kick them out! Siasia should be told to be warming up by now ready to officially complete legit normal procedure and transition to COACH Nigeria. Unfortunately amaju PINNICH will be remembered as worst president in failure EVER! All BOARD and committee members and staff of NFF who are clueless will be dumbed and kicked out for GOOD! COACH Rohr should be told he is an old man coach now, so last chance to make history! Go and blow away Iceland and qualify by all means necessary! Nigeria are not in Russia to fashion out but we are there for football business! Not to say MY YOUNG TEAM EXCUSE! If they fail? Nigeria will ring massive changes! Ok pls back to open letter again.

    Please German coach rohr, before its finally too late for nigeria and before the USUAL phrase of ‘MY YOUNG TEAM EXCUSE OR GOING BACK TO DRAWING BOARD OR WE WILL LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES EXPLANATIONS. pls listen! Nigeria, if at all must loss matches which is sometimes normal, we want to loss playing sexy and attacking football with spirited efforts by the whole TEAM. From time immemorial Nigeria strong point is the attack so we must utilize that options by making sure they score goals. If we must loss, we want to loss 5-3 or 5-4 against Nigeria, like siasia teams to all tournaments impromptu. Coach rohr, our defence are usually no nonsense type of selected players like OKECHUKWU AND taribo west. Not your new found soft belle oyibo breed amateurs defenders even idowu included. Coach rohr please mikel obi is well established number 6 defensive midfielder and not the by force number 10 attacking midfielder! Coach Rohr please iwobi is a brought up number 10 midfielder and rarely also perform as a winger! Coach rohr please ighalo goal drought in super Eagles is alarmingly embarrassing and a disastrous goals return and so the world cup proper isn’t a place to have easy better good luck! Coach Rohr please iheanacho goals ratio for nigeria is LEGENDARY dating back from youth teams. Ighalo from youth team goals ratio are a calamitous record! Coach Rohr please Ahmed musa hardly even gets the business done because inconsistency and the thought of two pretty wives at a young age are his irresponsible greatest undoing. Imagine the bad luck wishes from a legitimate abandoned first wife because he decided to be husband to multiple women and expect soaring career to flourish? Common sense! Musa is not dependable! Hmmm coach Rohr please a certain Samuel kalu of Gent could have replaced simon and then Nigeria retains that speed and skill but your so called scouts went blind. Your scout missed the transition of the nwakalis BROTHERS and Nigeria now lack CREATIVITY. Ok to amaju PINNICH, please remember Nigeria have failed to qualify for two nations cup under your watch and another disastrous consequences world cup? Your job amaju is on the line truth by told. Let nobody say YOUNG team again because we left experience ideye and efe Ambrose at home. Experience Players still on form. Even Ejide nko? Where are kenneth omerue defence partner at u17 level by name gbenga AROKOYO presently in Sweden? That guy was bloody good, Rabiu ibrahim nko our supposed new okocha!, and a couple of others talented Nigeria youthster who specially proved themselves BUT many are obviously in obscure countries and leagues because of Evil greedy Agents. Where are NFF advisory committee set up to guard our future stars? Hmmm coach Rohr please those proven YOUNGSTERS could be fished out and get them fit and they will play better football. No transition for musa MOHAMMED, usman Mohammed, nwakali two creative directors; sadik USMAN last Olympic top goalscorer for us, ezekiel on loan to las palmas, sokori, ajayi, where is micheal babatunde very impressive at 2014 WORLD cup, dele Ajiboye should have been Nigeria number 1 by now based on transition and even alampasu! Where is sunday mba! Revelation under keshi nations cup triumph, these and many more special proven youth players. Fish them out and train and oil their engine again and they will kick and take tackles for Nigeria! Because talent na talent. Talent doesn’t die since they are still young. Mix THEM up with our present Ajebutter squard?of course they can do destruction. Uzoho was upgraded and trained and his engine well oiled. Today Uzoho is number 1. Others can be fish out AND have their talents trained, oiled up and they are good to kill opponents. Amaju PINNICH over to you. to everyone Good luck against ICELAND. Thanks everyone for reading. We love Nigeria football of course. So we must contribute by writing! One love Naija people. CHEERS AND GOD BLESS.

    • blossom 3 years ago

      on [email protected] if they read these things..if we has taken kelechi nwakali.this team would hv been better creative wise…play ihenacho pls mr rohr…the above named players should pls make way after the world cup.their sevices will no longe be needed

    • Prince 3 years ago

      Too long we non dey prepare for jamb

    • Nigerians forget so quickly, the same siasia that couldn’t qualify us for two Afcons is who you expect to coach us ? Remember olympics is an U23 championship

  • Arguably, never in Nigeria’s world cup history has so much been expected from a group stage match as is the case with the encounter against Iceland later today.

    Win, it is game on; lose then, they crash out; draw, then a slim (very slim) chance of progress remains.

    Who stands in our way? Iceland.

    I will like Nigerian fans to see this Iceland much the same way you view countries like Italy, Croatia or England.

    Even if the Super Eagles had played better against Croatia, a win against this Iceland side should still be viewed as an upset.

    Let me remind us what our Eagles are up against :

    A few contemporary results for Iceland in competitive fixtures:
    Iceland 1:1 Portugal
    Iceland 2:1 England
    Iceland 2:0 Turkey
    Iceland 1:0 Croatia
    Iceland 3:0 Turkey
    Iceland 2:0 Ukraine

    This is a team with a highly developed winning mentality who fear no opposition and is ready to go as far as their fantastic work ethics take them in any competition.

    A draw for the Super Eagles against Croatia may have eased the pressure going into this match.

    As it stands, they need to do what even the current European champions with arguably the greatest player on the planet (Ronaldo) tried but failed to do in 2016, defeat an emerging European football powerhouse, Iceland.

    Can they do it?

    (I love the Super Eagles to bits) but I have to hope they can win, even though evidence from recent matches point to the contrary.

  • Just waiting for 4pm, I want to see if all that we have been saying did anything. Fingers crossed!

  • Abdul andah 3 years ago

    Samuel Kalu always better than even Victor moses offensive attributes.
    I don’t know why Rohr didn’t see what am home here without traveling seeing with my phone connected with data.
    The syndrome of, it is he who qualified super eagles to world cup that will play the world cup is killing us presently in the world cup proper.

  • tomzzt 3 years ago

    All of them perform 0% they did not make we Nigeria proud, they have put mikel on defender

  • Super Eagles,need to also realize that they must keep things tight at the bad,while attacking d icelandic national team.

  • Father.JP 3 years ago

    Eagles are going to line up in a 3-5-2 formation this evening with Omeruo, Musa and Iheanacho coming in for Shehu, Ighalo and Iwobi.

    I think Rohr is desperate for a result. I hope he gets his tactics right.

    What do you guys make of this formation??

    For me I sense panic here.

    I would have expected him to stick with his preferred and tested 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 but ring few changes like

    Deploy Mikel at the base of the Midfield two with Ndidi

    Play Etebo as the attacking midfielder

    Drop Shehu for Ebuehi

    Drop Ighalo for Iheanacho

    Bring Musa in at second half as impact player….but wait I know

    Let the rumble begin

    Naija all the way

  • Rohr was busy counting on Russians supporting their in-law (Mikel) and Musa and Idown (who play in Russia). Now, he is also considering weather, the man should just coming up with the right tactics and leave environmental issues. Even Russia can be beating in Moscow with their mammoth crowd and weather they have known since birth.
    Coach do things right! Field right players in right position. Let them play as a team … and be more committed… Next time, if they will be a next time, stick with fit players and not loyal players … thank you

  • Africa, Nigeria is my father land keep it going NG