Lessons of Alexandria: My Personal View
I felt Super Eagles of Nigeria played like FC Barcelona, putting all of the Egyptian fans on the edge of their seats for 94 minutes. After you calm down from your anger, try and watch the match again. I termed it one of those bad days of Barcelona when teams like Althetico Madrid or Bayern Munich suddenly hit back at them with counter attack and score a goal, and the game is over.
I think the match at Alexandria could have gone either side. A goal mount scramble drove the ball through defections inside the Nigeria net and that was it. For me, it was a lucky goal. Supposing Victor Moses’ shot that hit the side bar and went right across the goal, got into the net. Perhaps, we would have seen a different ball game. For me, a bad luck for Nigeria.
The lesson is this: Super Eagles may not have had a well orchestrated strategy to break through the kind of defensive wall built by the Egyptian team, but the team spirit and what I might call their fighting spirit is worth commending.
The kind of game the Nigerian side played shows that we can have a world class team if we have time to blend the players into a team. Now, you can’t put Samson Siasia in the eyes of the storm. After all, he was only a rescue man who had only less than a week to raise a team that played so convincingly. I think we expected Siasia to be more than a magician to win that encounter with the Egyptians.
What Next Super Eagles After the 2017 AFCON Ouster?
It always baffles me when a typical Nigerian fan feels he is far better than the national team coaches. I have heard and read what aggrieved fans and journalist said they could have done differently and I laugh –“ah ah ah ah ah!”
Let me tell you, it could have been worst if Siasia wasn’t the man in-charge of Super Eagles in these two encounters – believe me!
I read Oma Akatigba’s re-tweet on twitter that Amaju Pinnick will soon announce the Foreign coach that will take over the Nigerian National team. Perhaps, Jean Tigana or Henry Michel. Well, I don’t know if that would be the best decision now.
I think NFF is about to make the same mistake they made in 2011, when Siasia failed to also qualify for AFCON then and they discarded the great team he was already in the process of building. Although, Stephen Keshi came on and won AFCON 2013, but couldn’t build a durable team Nigerian can be proud of. So his success was short-lived by some unacceptable failure and bickering.
Perhaps, you may look at it this way, Siasia will be working with 75% of these players during the Olympics in June; and I think that may be when the proper building of the national team begins.
I can cross my heart, to say Siasia will build a dream team we will all be proud of at the Olympics. I also believe Nigeria will do well at the Olympics Men Soccer event. It would have been easier to promote Siasia as the national team Chief Coach after the Olympics – that may be a better progression than bringing-in an entirely new foreign coach or what do you think?