On Saturday, October 13, 2012, The Super eagles of Nigeria thrashed the lone stars of Liberia 6 goals to 1 at the U.J Esuene stadium in Calabar thus qualifying for the nations cup in South Africa billed to take place January next year.
That’s no more news you want to say because a lot has been said and written before and after the match but the gist is that like every event under the sun there will always be a lesson to learn by every student of history and this match is not an exception, because after the era of the gangling Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory) in the Super Eagles I cannot recall when the team is so convincing in front of their opponents goal post. Especially when those goals were needed most because in those era the team manufactured goals as at when due, with ease, then the team is a force to reckon with , in Africa football and the world over.
Perhaps the biggest lesson learnt from the Saturday encounter is that the super eagles are still a force to reckon with in Africa. The result may look flattery when you considered the general performance of the boys as a team on the day but the signs that this team is bound for glory are obvious only that the coaching crew should not rest on their oars, and the NFF should continue to support the team and the fans be patient enough to understand that it’s only a matter of time, The Eagles will fly past their hurdles and bring back the glory of Nigerian football,the task ahead is enormous though but it can be done.
The second lesson is that Keshi should not deceive himself that the boys are ready, Now is time to for the gaffer to roll up his sleeves and ensure that team rebuilding work is concluded on time before January, when Nigerians will be hoping for at least, a performance they can be proud of at the AFCON’13’.
The “re-building” and “Work-in-progress” Alibi will not fly if the team fail to meet the minimum expectation of Nigerians come January in South Africa, because the general performance of the team is not the best, the defense is too poor, the midfield lack the coordination of modern football, thanks to the individual display of the likes of Mikel Obi, Nosa Igiebor and Obiora Nwakwo, when they put to maximum use; the individual prowess of Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses on the wings with their constant supply of defense wreaking passes and the strikers don’t disappoint in the final third which is much more aided by the poorly managed high line of defense of the lone stars
Any fairly good side in Africa will trouble the eagles defence without stress especially the central defense paired by the two home based, Azubuike and Oboabona Godfrey, They are constantly off guard,as they struggle to match their excellent attitude with their ability their performance gave credence to that line,” The home based players are not ripe for the eagles” and that was the third lesson learnt.
The home boys need to be encouraged no doubt and be given some match international experience but In as much as I love to see a lot of them play for the Eagles, they must prove that they merit the eagles shirt and not on the sentiment or for parochial reasons because the Super eagles shirt should be an exclusive right of our best legs, always, Irrespective of where they are based. The CHAN should be given greater attention and now that that home based eagles now have a nucleus, the team can be built around them and the platform should be used to bring out the best out of them, as this will give them the necessary exposure, maturity and ultimately the much needed experience at the international stage.
The fourth lesson learnt is that Nigerians still love the Super Eagles despite the Craze for European football and the growing pessimistic tendencies that are that trailing Eagles since the beginning of the so called rebuilding process, you have a feeling that nobody cares about the eagles success or failure anymore, especially your next door ‘football fan ‘as long as my club is doing fine” is a popular line in any one of the numerous ‘cubicle’ viewing centre but on saturday when the goals kept raining ceasely until the net of the Liberia was flooded with goals, you need to see the excitement and joy on the streets of Calabar and elsewhere the celebration that follow our qualification actually shows that Nigerians are willing to give their all in terms of support to the Super Eagles, that it is a team they love with passion, that they only transfer the love for the premierships, La-ligas of this world because the of the poor performance of the Super Eagles in recent years ,the turn of event last Saturday showed that once the eagles are back to their best shape the fans are always ready to support them.
The fifth lesson is a little bit controversial, the match again returns the debate topic who is a better coach between Samson Siasia and Stephen Keshi, the streets and social media was lively with the debate, it clearly shows that some folks are still bitter about and are yet to come to terms with the sack of the Samson Siasia as the coach of the super eagles.
I don’t want to say more on that, you can continue the debate but the fact remains that both Nigerians have a considerable knowledge of the game, they need to constantly improve their technical and tactical knowledge too, So that Nigeria can benefit from the wealth of experience having played the game to the highest level and their combination will form a deadly combo on the bench of the eagles come Brazil 2014 or what do you think?This surely a debate for another day.
The sixth lesson learnt is the fact that CAF will not seed nigeria for the AFCON 13 draws, no matter how high is the score line,the implication is that the Eagles could face either the host south africa,the defending champion, zambia,his perennial rival Ghana or the dreaded elephant of Coted'voire when hostilities begin in south africa next year.