Friday, 9 June 2017

Can The Eagles Fly

Can The Eagles Fly

As the Super Eagles of Nigeria gets set to do battle with the Bafana Bafana  of South Africa and the Indomitable lions of Cameroon in a crucial Nations and world cup qualifying matches on the 10th of june 2017 at the Akpabio Stadium in Uyo and August respectively.

The question on the lips of soccer loving Nigerians is if we truly have a team strong enough to subdue the roaring lions from Cameroon who are the 2017 Afcon champions? And also the Bafana Bafana who denied us the qualifying ticket to the 2015 Nations cup held in Equatorial Guinea.

Only recently the Super Eagles played out an inspiring 1-1 draw against the Teranga Lions of Senegal in a friendly match in March followed by an Uninspiring 1-1 draw against Corsica in May.

The head coach of the Eagles Gernot Rorh in his post match conference 'said the Senegalese has given his players an idea of what to expect from Cameroon.

The international friendly was also a valuable opportunity for Rorh to introduce two strikers to the squad, with Isaac Success and Olarenwaju Kayode making their international bows.

Success and Kayode might have played for 29 and 14 minutes respectively their debut performances against Senegal was quite encouraging.

The Cameroonians will be high on confidence having triumphed at the recent 2017 African cup of nations tournament. They will be banking on the firing power of Vincent Aboubakar and Afcon 2017 MVP Christian Bassogog to reproduce their  Afcon heroics to propel them to victory.

But with Bassogog's recent move to the money spinning Chinese Super League, doubts has been cast about his form as many believe the League is not competitive enough, it is left to be seen if he can produce the spark that endeared him to heart of football fans.

The Cameroonians will have the golden opportunity of a summer engagement at the Fifa Confederations cup come June 2017 and they will be taking on world class teams like  Chile, Germany and Australia in the group phase. these matches will provide the team with a stern test and  also increase their confidence for the Match against the Super Eagles.

In a move to make the Eagles competitive the NFF arranged a camping exercise last month in France ahead of Matches against South Africa and Cameroon coupled with the previous encounter against the Senegalese and Corsica in March and May respectively. it hoped the Eagles will be in the right fix for the double headers.

The plight of Nigerian players of late in their various club sides has been worrisome as they've been churning out inconsistent displays and finding game times hard to come by.

Even those who are perceived to be our best legs are having it rough at their clubs. Alex Iwobi who was before now a regular at Arsenal struggled for game time towards the end of the Season.

Kelechi Iheanacho who used to be a jewel at Manchester City and a regular fixture was confined to the bench having to make do with cameo appearances.

Ahmed Musa was also snubbed by Leicester City's new boss Craig Shakespeare, our first choice goalie Carl Ikeme is presently out injured, the other goalkeepers Akpeyi, Ezenwa and Alampasu are not reliable enough.


The recent sojourn of our first team players, captain Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye to money bugging Chinese League hasn't gone down well with Nigerians as they feel the League is less competitive and may hamper their form and by so doing affect the nation's qualification aspirations.

Our defenders themselves did not have the best of times at their various club sides, FSV Mainz defender Leon Balogun struggled for game time since his return from injury, new defence trojan William Troost Ekong was sparringly used by Gent, left back Elderson Echiejile has been inconsistent since his loan move to Sporting Gijon in La Liga.

But at the end of the tunnel there's always light and light in this sense can be visible from the performances of some other Super Eagles players.

A player most worthy of mentioning is Victor Moses the Chelsea fc of England player has had a resurgence under new coach Antonio Conte as has been very impressive in his new found wing back role for the blues, churning out superlative performances week in week out in the EPL, winning the Premier League title and earning rave review from football greats turned pundits Jamie Carragher and Garry Neville.

Another player who has caught the eye is Leicester City's new boy Wilfred Ndidi, since his winter move has been impressive and has brought the much needed stability since the departure of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea, And he has often been dubbed the new N'golo Kante. Moses Simon, Olarenwaju Kayode and Portland Timber 's Fernando Adi who has been painting MLS with goals are some of the players who performances are worthy of mentioning, Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo had good spells for Trabzonspor and Alanyaspor respectively in the Turkish league.

The National team is a different ball game entirely as dedication and commitment on the part of the players will be key to Success, having started the World cup qualifiers on a strong foot with six point garnered from two matches played and sitting comfortable at the summit of the group standings the Eagles can only draw positives from their victories over the Chipolopolo of Zambia and the fiery foxes of Algeria and they'll hope to replicate the performances against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

Rorh and his charges should not afford to rest on their laurels  Anything less than three point will suddenly blow the world cup group wide open and also in the Nations cup qualifier against the South Africans only a victory will put us in good stead of qualifying as we can't afford to miss out on a third time.

Author : Ifeanyi Orji

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