• ‘Only Intelligent Coaches Can Succeed In Nigeria’
• ‘Heavy Loss To Portugal Could Have Been Avoided’
As Nigerians continue to react to Super Eagles’ 0-4 defeat to Portugal in Lisbon on Thursday, former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has told coach Jose Peseiro and his assistants to stop using the Super Eagles to advertise players.
“There is no point using the national team to advertise a player that is not regular in his team,” Adelabu told The Guardian yesterday. “We have to make it as a rule, that only regular players in their teams will be invited to play in the national team.”
According to the former IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan winger, the match against Portugal on Thursday night showed that the Super Eagles still have a long way to go.
“The match revealed the tactical ignorance of the players and the handlers. Despite the fact that there was nothing like situational pressure; that is, nothing at stake, at least we expect some advance and organised pattern and system of play from the Eagles.
“It was obvious that they did not have any game plan and that was why they ran with the ball as individuals rather than allowing the ball to do the running. I don’t know why our players were so much in a hurry to look for goals as soon as they dispossess the opponent of the ball. I also observed that the Eagles lacked cognitive network. That is, they seem not to be thinking as a team, and this is a clear indication of lack of game plan,” he stated.
Speaking further, Adelabu, a sports scientist said: “If we take a cursory look at the match again; you will observe that the moment Portugal got the ball, they will make at least between six to ten passes to re-organise themselves. Most importantly, the Portuguese perfected about six different types of set pieces, which they will use during the World Cup. They were not in a hurry to score. They needed to put everything they were taught to use so that the technical crew could determine the strength and weaknesses of their plans.
He continues: “Apart from winning, the Portuguese played in such a way that the Coach will be able to evaluate both tactical, physiological and psychological responses of the players at every stage. But our players hardly play with clarity of purpose rather than running towards the goal to get a goal.
“Our problem is not whether our coach is foreign or local, you have to be an intelligent person to be able to train and organise Nigerian players at the national team level. This is because everyone will perform magic during training sessions, but the question is how many of them can retain tactical strategies for a considerable period of time under pressure. We always react to challenges on the field of play rather than responding tactically.
“We have to reconsider the issue of foreign players. They need to know that their bigness is not in the name of the club they play for, but in their ability to deliver on the field of play at the appropriate time,” Adelabu stated.