Skip to main content

Analysing Oliseh's Eagles After International Break

Oliseh's Eagles Exuding Character and Progress

After the conflict in camp last week the Super Eagles, with Coach Oliseh's delicate fusion of youth with experience and clearly in better spirits, put up a much improved performance against an Indomitable Lions of Cameroun side equally undergoing a rebuilding phase. Matches between these two African giants have a history of controversy and eleven years after they last met, this one did not lack this recurrent decimal as the Camerounians played half the match without Captain Stephane Mbia who was sent off at the resumption of the second half.

News made the rounds that Vincent Enyeama was convinced to stay back in Belgium for the game. The goalkeeping department however looked very safe without him... for now.
Leon Balogun who, for me has not been entirely convincing at right back, was awesome on this night in Brussels as he led the backline from the centre with the calming influence it has been lacking to effectively defuse a below par Camerounian attack. His central-defensive partnership with Efe Ambrose looked impregnable and exceptional aerially, but vulnerabilities were still evident in occasional concentration loss (the Camerounians offside goal from an aerial duel, for instance) and poor communication (between Ambrose and Ikeme which almost resulted in an own goal), while wingbacks Shehu Abdullahi and Uwa Echiejile, were exposed on a number of occasions.

With help from the flanks, the midfield was impressive, but is still not linking effectively with the attack. The competition in the team (most probably) brought out the trojan in Ogenyi Onazi as he combined well with Mikel who continued from where he left off against Congo DR with another magnificent performance (and you wonder what happened to him at the last World Cup). Sylvester Igboun worked extremely hard and did a fair job of linking midfield with attack, underlining the need for a more natural player for the role of a support striker.
True to his nature, Rabiu Ibrahim struggled with the physicality and intensity of the game even as a substitute, while it was interesting to see the likes of Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi continue to bed into senior international football.

Moses Simon, in all his excusable exuberance, is gradually cementing a starting berth as he scored another beautiful goal - his second for the national team - and generally exemplifies the traditional winger: taking on defenders and supplying passes into the box for teammates. New captain, Ahmed Musa, unfortunately, did not exactly do as well. It will be interesting to see what happens when Victor Moses returns.
Emmanuel Emenike remains a threat to opposing defences, but laboured as always due to isolation in attack, over-ambition and indecision when with the ball. Sylvester Igboun and Odion Ighalo are, in contrast, more direct and decisive.

In all, I commend the team's character in brushing the camp debacle and the loss to Congo DR aside and bounce back in a matter of days with verve. The team's progress so far is also evident in the competitiveness therein, occasioned by availability of options. For instance, the team played very well even without a good number of "starters" as Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, Kingsley Madu, Joel Obi, Obiora Nwankwo, Victor Moses and Aaron Samuel did not feature for a variety of reasons.

Kudos to the NFF, Coach Sunday Oliseh and the players for putting a smile back on the faces of Nigerians at the end of the international break. It is pertinent that we, the supporters, cynics
critics and onlookers alike, should be patient with the team and not expect such a domineering spectacle with every match at this rebuilding stage.
It is equally pertinent to remember that despite the victory, the Indomitable Lions still gave the Eagles a good fight even with a man down; more so, it was just a friendly. As the competitive games resume with a World Cup Qualifier (most likely against Swaziland) in November and an AFCON Qualifier Against Egypt in March next year, this performance should engender hunger for improvement and not complacency.

Written by ImoOwo Mbede, Uyo


Popular posts from this blog


I don't care to know if this letter/speech was real or not. It doesn't have to be real for the content to be believable. Every day, blacks and Africans seem to be in perpetual slavery. Via the Economy, international politics, diplomacy, civilization and so on, it is increasingly confirmed that we have willingly submitted to slavery. The same principle for taking slaves of individuals in the days of slave trade is still used for taking slaves of entire nations today: 'make the slaves sell themselves to you'. Is this not happening today in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan etc? I do wish that Africans will read this letter below. The quote, "if you don't want a n**ger to find a thing, hide it in a book" seems like a stereotype. But it is a verifiable fact. We mostly don't enjoy reading. READ FULL TEXT OF 'THEY ARE STILL OUR SLAVES' HERE Now, let's read the Willie Lynch Letter: The Making Of A Slave! This s

Sammie Okposo, Akpororo & A-List Artistes Storm Uyo For Street Gospel 2015

“The Street Gospel Project is basically a concert campaign that drives with content to reach out to people on the streets” says Pastor Runcie Mike, senior pastor of the innovation driven The Evening Church; and convener of the annual Street Gospel concert. The first edition, in 2014, held outdoors at the Ibom Tropicana Resorts. Street Gospel 2015, the sophomore edition is in collaboration with Zamar Entertainment, organizers of Sammie Okposo’s Praise Party - and fields A-list Nigerian international Gospel acts. The concept of reaching out to people on the streets is born out of renewed understanding by the Christian church, especially since the second half of the 20 th century, to keep evangelism in pace with a swift generation, so that the world is perpetually in touch with the gospel of Christ. It has kept an increasing number of Christian denominations reviewing their outreach approaches away from the conformist in search of more efficiency. The Street Gospel Project


The list of successful candidates at the May 2016 Nigeria Navy recruitment exercise is out. Find your name in the list below and good luck as you do. Please give 5 seconds for the list to appear, and scroll inside the pdf window to look for names. Below are guidelines and a timetable for attending the interview; The candidates including those on the reserve list, whose names appear in the list, were successful at the Aptitude Test for Nigerian Navy 2016 Recruitment Exercise held nationwide on 14 May 2016. Accordingly, they are to report at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School Navy Town Ojo, Lagos for interview in 3 groups as follows:   Group A : 15 – 23 August 2016   Anambra   Enugu   Adamawa   Bauchi   Kaduna   Katsina   Akwa Ibom   Delta   Kogi   Nasarawa   Lagos   Ekiti    Group B : 25 August – 2 September 2016   Abia   Imo   Borno   Gombe   Edo   Rivers   Benue   Kwara   Kano   Kebbi   Oyo   Osun