Nigerian Team building Strategy after World Cup 2018 Exit
The Super Eagles made it into the World Cup 2018 and that is a feat in itself. The Nigerian side got this close to success only one time in the history back in 1994. That time has remained in the memory of every Nigerian and we have set it as a standard of achievement for the national team. If you have been a Betway Naija fan, you would know just how many people have been betting on the Nigerian team during this World Cup.
Many of them were disappointed with the first round exit of their team, where they missed out on becoming the first African team to go farther than the first rounds. However, they were impressed by their gameplay and the fact that the Super Eagles put on hold Argentina, for nearly the ninety minutes.
But 1994 was a long time back and we should look in the present. It is evident that Gernot Rohr contributed a lot towards the success rebuilding the team and making them at par within a short time of his taking over. The exit from World Cup is not a defeat but the start of a rebuilding phase that can see them do wonders at the Africa Cup of Nations and the final showdown in 2021.
Players that Need a Reshuffle
The Super Eagles should consider signing off some of the players who have crossed the mark of 30 years. We do need responsibility and experience in the side but not all of them are up to the mark.
The team can surely do without Daniel Akpeyi, the 32 year old who is almost at the end-life of his career. He is an experienced player but it did not count in 2018.
Another one we can strike off the list is Elderson Echiejile, the 30 year old who made a number of errors and lost his reliability in World Cup 2018. In their place we can get Azubuike Okechukwu- the midfield controller in the under 23 squad which made its way to the semi-finals in Olympics 2016 in Rio. He has a super passing spree under his belt and can contribute a dash of pace and dynamism in the game.
Among the senior players we should look to retain Leon Balogun and Mikel John Obi for their strong leadership qualities and superb performance. In our opinion, Ogenyi Onazi also doesn’t have it in himself to play in the national squad anymore. It’s unfortunate that he lost his charm after the foot injury in 2014 World Cup.
Among the new players Kelechi Nwakali is showing great promise with the magnificent goal against Atletico Madrid in an end of season friendly match. He can be a convincing addition to the midfield of the Super Eagles and can be at his peak during 2021.
The Nigerian side will need a bit of time before they are able to come out in their full glory but we are almost there!