A seemingly impossible feat has been achieved, the Super Eagles of Nigeria has auccesfully qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Funny how things changed, When the group draws were drawn two years ago, the Super Eagles were just dumped out of the 2017 AFCON qualification by Egypt, they were in a rut. And being drawn in group with Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia seemed like an unsurmountable challenge. But who knew? Here they are qualifying for the World Cup with a game to spare in the ‘so-called’ group of death.
Much credit has to be given to the Amaju Pinnick led NFF board, the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, the players who made this possible and of course the millions of Super Eagles fans all over Nigeria.
However, in spite of them securing qualification, they is much work to be done before the World Cup begins. The World Cup begins in less than 8 months from now, and I noticed quite a few flaws in the Super Eagles during their qualification matches. I’m not going to dwell on them, but instead focus on 5 essential things the Super Eagles should do to have a propitious outing at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
1. Play quality friendly matches
Playing quality friendly matches is a definitely a great way the Super Eagles Team can improve their experience before the World Cup.
The NFF should make it a top priority to fix friendly matches with top Countries in Europe and South America. Before the 2018 World Cup commences, the group stage fixtures would have been drawn, playing matches with teams who have similar playing styles like those in our group could give us an edge. Personally, I would prefer more friendly matches against South American countries, because for some reason, we always struggled against them.
2. Improve on the team technically
The Super Eagles were obviously awesome in the World Cup qualifying matches, thanks to the astuteness of coach Gernot Rohr. He has brought out the best in some players, and made the top Nigerian players play together in unity. But the team really has to improve technically.
If you notice, in most of the World Cup qualifying matches they always dropped their intensity in the second half. This issue has to be solved.
Another thing I noticed was that we scored first in all our matches, and we went on to either win or draw them. What if we go behind first? How well can the Super Eagles react to that? The technical team of Gernot Rohr should work on the weak aspect of the team and ways in which they can Improve.
3. Make sure players are in top form
It is somewhat obvious that we used a huge set of our best players to play the World Cup qualifying matches, and that many of them will eventually make the 23 man squad going to Russia. If we want to have a successful outing at the tournament in Russia, the players have to in great shape. It is the job of the players to remain in top form till the World Cup. They have to work hard to get playing time.
4. Scout for new players in weak areas of the team
There are still few cracks in the Super Eagles team, and these areas need consideration. The centre back and goal keeping position seem to be doing just fine, with Leon Balogun and Troost Ekong, marshaling the defence. wingers are also in great form also. However, the fullback positions need to be assessed. Elderson Echiejile, for all his good attributes remains a weakness to the team. And even though Abdullahi Shehu put up an nice showing in the Zambia game, he’s not a natural right back. He needs a suitable back up at right back.
5. Camp in a suitable country
Like Atiku said, Russia is indeed cold. That’s why the Super Eagles need to camp in a country that can help them adapt to the cold weather conditions in Russia.
A football team could camping in a region close or similar that area where the tournament will be held, in order to help the players acquaint themselves with, the timezone and weather condition before the tournament begins.
So that’s all for now, please comment on what other area you think the Super Eagles should prepare before the World Cup in Russia. Don’t forget to share!