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10 Reasons Why Super Eagles Failed To Qualify For AFCON

Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD and ADEBOYE AMOSU examine why the Super Eagles failed to qualify for their second straight Africa Cup of Nations. They come up with 10 reasons for this failure…

1. POOR SELECTION
Super Eagles caretaker coach, Samson Siasia, made some blunders in his selection which played a key part in the team’s failure to beat the Pharaohs in both legs of the qualifiers.
His decision to start Stanley Amuzie at left-back ahead of the more experienced Elderson Echiejile was a big blunder.
Amuzie was disappointing in both games, no wonder he was hauled off at half time in Alexandria.
Also his decision to play Oghenekaro Etebo in the holding midfield role when Ogenyi Onazi was available for selection in Alexandria following his suspension for the game in Kaduna was also questionable.
Siasia also persisted with Ahmed Musa when it was obvious the duo of Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi would have done a better job.

2. ODION IGHALO’S FAILURE TO REPLICATE CLUB FORM
Much was expected from the Watford man, but he never lived up to expectations over the two legs. His inability to replicate his club form for the Super Eagles has no doubt cost the team a place in Gabon 2017.

3. POOR PLANNING
The Super Eagles were earlier scheduled to travel to Alexandria immediately after the first leg in Kaduna, but the Nigeria Football Federation later altered the plan.
Instead the team left the country on Monday and following a two hour delay at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, add that to the two hours they spent on the road from Kaduna to Abuja, it was a long and tortuous journey that affected the performance of the team.
Not only were the players unable to train properly after arriving late on Monday, they looked rusty on match day.

4. NO CO-ORDINATION BETWEEN MIDFIELD AND ATTACK
The Super Eagles lost the battle in the middle of the park and that contributed to their defeat against the Pharaohs.
Captain of the side, Mikel Obi, started the game brightly, but fizzled out afterwards.
Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, was left isolated upfront as he didn’t have much support from the midfielders, leaving Victor Moses as the team’s only attacking threat.
The defence was also overworked as there was no proper holding midfielder to shield the back four.

5. SIASIA LEFT IT TOO LATE WITH HIS SUBSTITUTIONS
Though he made a good decision in substituting Stanley Amuzie at the start of the second half, Samson Siasia like he did in the first leg waited too long before bringing in fresh legs in the game.
The decision to keep Ahmed Musa and Aminu Umar on the pitch despite their poor performance when there were better options like Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon on the bench backfired at the end of the day.

6. OVER-RELIANCE ON ODION IGHALO

Odion Ighalo going into the fixtures against Egypt had failed to score in seven English Premier League games for Watford and only scored once for the Eagles in his last six games before the game against Egypt.
That was a sign for coach Samson Siasia to call up a quality back-up for the 26-year-old that he could bring on when the going got tough.
Siasia had in his arsenal Aaron Samuel who wasn’t fully fit and Fanendo Adi who was in the team for the first time.
Ighalo was a shadow of himself in both fixtures and he didn’t force any crucial save from the Egyptian goalie in 180 minutes which is a cause for worry going forward.

7. PRESSURE ON SIASIA TO GET EAGLES JOB PERMANENLY

After impressing his handlers with the U-23 job, Samson Siasia allowed himself to be caught up with the pressure of being named the Eagles boss on a permanent basis.
So he made some poor decisions, including bringing in too many players from the U-23s who lacked the needed experience to see off Egypt over two legs to qualify for the 2017 Nations Cup.

8. SIASIA’S HARD LUCK
Twice coach Samson Siasia has taken over from two of his team-mates (Austin Eguavoen in 2011 and (Sunday Oliseh 2016) and failed to qualify for a major tournament.
His teams have played decent football but have been rather unlucky. A last-minute equaliser to Egypt in Kaduna, where Victor Moses had a shot cleared off the line, was probably the moment that ultimately eliminated the Eagles.

9. FOUR MATCHES, THREE DIFFERENT COACHES

Stephen Keshi started the qualifiers as head coach, while Samson Siasia ended it. In between, the Eagles had Sunday Oliseh as head coach. These frequent change of coaches meant the line-ups constantly changed as each coach brought in his own men. The changes sometimes led to quality players being dropped for favoured but less talented players, changes in systems, formations and tactics.
These changes ended up being detrimental to the team.

10. NIGERIA’S POOR AWAY RECORD

The foundations for the Super Eagles’ failure were laid in their first qualifier. In Sunday Oliseh’s first match, the Eagles struggled against Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam and were lucky to escape with a draw.
As they were drawing in Tanzania, their major rivals Egypt were spanking Chad away from home, laying down a marker. In the end, Nigeria got a paltry one point from two away matches as their dreams went up in smoke.

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5 Comments

  1. Reply Post By okponku

    Mr Poster why beating around the Bush or blowing all this long Grammer ,while u aware of the Major reason?. The main reason here is that Siasia is busy searching or grooming a team for Rio Olympics rather than setting eyes on the Cup of nations. just check out his selections, only made up of U-23 boys. Another huge reason is the so called quota system or tribalism in Naija, my tribal man must play.until this issue is being solved in Naija football the sky will be our limit in the whole World. However, we should all realise that some players are known to be Club materials not National team materials, the likes of E EKUKU; J AKPOBORIE;OBAFIMI MARTIN; ANYIGBENI; ETUHU; IDEYE IGAHLO. Really i can just understand the reason of inviting ADI and HE wasnt even in the reserve list, this guy is the kind of attacking player Naija needed now. i watched him playing MLS. He`s more than   the bull, very skillful, could hold on the ball ,dribbles fine,scores, a very big problem for any defence he comes accross  and a good ball hustler. Infact am disappointed with the whole coaching crew. 

  2. I think the NFF, all of them need to be sacked. They have proven over and over time that they really can’t manange this footballing nation. Cant work out proper agreement with managers and even when they are lucky to do so, can’t see it through.

    And people do not realize that they are the biggest problem affecting Nigerian football. Consistently working against their employers. No one can thrive with a boss like NFF, they dont follow through on agreements and making sure the manager become in effective by constantly fraustrating their plans. If at all you have to move to a stadium just for the business, shouldn’t you make sure the perfomance (pitch) is in order.

    3 managers just for the qualifiers, that is a big failure on the management NFF and to words the matter this is not the first this is happening.

    And to the impatients fans that want to build their own Rome in a day this is failure is your fault. And all of us (journalist inclusive) should take responsibility for this failure and spare the players and the managers.

    Regards
    Seun Ayilara
    Afan

  3. I think the NFF, all of them need to be sacked. They have proven over and over time that they really can’t manange this footballing nation. Cant work out proper agreement with managers and even when they are lucky to do so, can’t see it through.

    And people do not realize that they are the biggest problem affecting Nigerian football. Consistently working against their employees. No one can thrive with a boss like NFF, they don’t follow through on agreements and making sure the manager become in-effective by constantly fraustrating their plans. If at all you have to move to a stadium just for the business, shouldn’t you make sure the perfomance (pitch) is in order.

    3 managers just for the qualifiers, that is a big failure on the management NFF and to worsen the matter this is not the first this is happening.

    And to the impatients fans that want to build their own Rome in a day this failure is your fault. And to all of us (journalist inclusive) should take responsibility for this failure and spare the players and the managers.

    Regards
    Seun Ayilara
    Afan

  4. Reply Post By Pastor stephen. andrew. atikongu

    History has shown that samson siasia had never qualify us in any major tournament. Why then should he be given the job, at the first stage, that means the folks at N.F.A want him to failed so that they would look for excuse to hired foreign coach. The second thing, i see that siasia is only good in handling under 23 tournament, he was just grooming boys that he would select to play for nigeria at under 23 tournament at rio in brazil. Thirdly siasia, only depend on his own players, instead of him to used players that can delivered such as Aaron samuel , iwobi, and adi, he prefer ahmed musa and aminu who have no business on field that day. Siasia, as an experience coach should have put aside sentiment, nepotism, and pride to select players that would to make nigerians proud, not players that cannot delivered. If nigeria, want to qualify for 2018 world cup, siasia should not be in charge of super eagles, if he is given the chance again nigerians should said bye bye to world cup.

  5. Reply Post By Eric Ibekwe

    NFF should find a way to fund football to minimise Government inference. Pinick and his team have never been given free hand to employ a Coach of their choice. The prefered coach for Pinick and NFF is a foreign coach which of course I strongly support. Football has advanced beyond the knowledge of our indigenous coaches and so our local coaches can not give what they do not have. Even the poorest of African Nations have foreign coaches and one can see the technicality in their game when they play. Government should either support Pinick to employ a foreign coach as technical adviser to all our national teams or take over the running of football from NFF. 

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