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Mikel Baffled By Super Eagles Set-Piece Defending Vs Croatia

Mikel Baffled By Super Eagles Set-Piece Defending Vs Croatia

By Johnny Edward:

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is baffled at the manner the team conceded two goals from set pieces in their opening Group D game against Croatia at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

An own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric condemned the Super Eagles to a 2-0 defeat at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday night.

“It’s difficult to explain. We talked about it and considering the fact that we trained on it. It’s four goals conceded now from set-piece,” Mikel said in his post-match interview after the game, also referring to goals conceded in friendly defeats to England and Czech Republic.

“We have to keep going to try to improve on set pieces.”

Mikel was also quick to play down talk of his teammates’ inexperience against the star-studded Croatian side.

“I think the young guys did well but we just have to keep going and trying to get better,” he added.

Nigeria will face Iceland in their next game.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • Innocent 5 months ago

    We missed kelechi nwakali.if kelechi would have been in d mildfeld den mikel would have played his usual 4 alowing moses and iwobi to function but bcos of politics dey say he was too smal.how old was pale of brassie wen attended his first wold cup he was just 17years old.kelechi would have bring dat spark in d midfield.

  • My advice as regards defending corners especially is to man Mark each person and stay alert until the set piece or corner has been cleared. If u watch the 1st goal u will notice that ekong was initially on his man but his man lost him and had a free header. Similarly in the game against Czech republic it was Mikel who lost his man and that guy scored. So stay on ur man until the threat is averted before leaving him, total concentration and focus should be the watch word.

    Secondly, always install someone at both posts and their job shouldn’t be to defend a player but to clear any balls going into the net. The job of marking players should be left to others. If you noticed the the same 1st goal etebo was manning the post but since ekong had lost his man and the guy was going to nod the ball etebo reacted by trying to meet the player but it was too late and the ball hit his foot before ending up in the net. No fault of his imho.

    Thirdly, our players should stop holding in the box because if the referee hadn’t spotted it, VAR would have captured it as it was glaring. The players need to be conscious of this but it will take time as most aren’t used to VAR yet and also humans are creatures of habit, ekong and other players have done this in the past and gotten away with it. Referees are now cracking down on holding in the box and often times it’s at the detriment of the team defending the set piece. The onus is on them not to foul in the box.

    Against Iceland 9ja should definitely use Simy and kelechi upfront. Simy for his height and to bully the tall guys of Iceland while kelechi for his finishing in box and his aggression. I still think Mikel Ndidi and etebo in the middle is ok while Iwobi should be used as the attacking midfielder with license to roam. Use ebuehi and victor Moses as right and left wingbacks respectively. The Iceland team are not as fast as Croatia so using Ogu ekong and Balogun or Omeruo should work in a 3 man defense. Ekong should stop hitting those long balls as it often always ends with the opposition. Mikel should be the one initiating the move from d back like he did in Chelsea and is cuŕrently doing for his Chinese club. Considering that age is catching up to him Ndidi and etebo will have to work their socks off, but Mikel can come back get the ball off the defenders and spay the passes. Ogu is also very confident on the ball. The only person not very good at moving the ball well in our defense is ekong but he makes up for it with his gra gra aka energy.

    I believe with these sets of players we can still achieve our aim. Don’t loose sleep guys.

    God bless 9ja and its people.

  • Djeniko 5 months ago

    Thanks @proudly 9ja. All is not lost finish. Small chance still remain. Will Iceland defend against Nigeria? I don’t think so. They know Argentina is a better team, so they perfected that defensive strategy. It worked. With what saw Super Eagles play yesterday, their thinking may be that Nigeria is for the picking. Universal donor. Blood Group O. Iceland sees themselves as better or at least equal to the other two teams. Their defence will not be as tight. Mikel Obi should go back to his Chelsea era defensive midfielder role. Ndidi should join him there. Iwobi, Etebo, should be in front of them. Simy, Victor Moses should man the attack. Shehu Abdullahi is still suffering from that one month fasting. Common sense should tell us that you can’t just gain your stamina and pose after such a long fasting. He should be dropped for Ebuehi. Ebuehi would have done better. Gernot Rohr got it all wrong. He is still loyal to those who qualified Nigeria, just like Arsene Wenger. Iceland will make the mistake of under rating the Super Eagles. That will be an opportunity to do something.

  • Sunnyb 5 months ago

    Guys please we don’t have any chance let’s stop this false hope, this team is not good enough period. We don’t a coach either.i said it here many times, we went to a gun fight with a broom. Mikel is too slow too old to be our playmaker. We left our ball jugglers and hustlers at home, going to the World Cup with bunch of lazy amateurs. Nwakalis, usman, Kayode, Samuel Kalu, Ifeanyi Mathew, Dayo Ojo.

  • ABBA KAUMI 5 months ago

    D TEAM WAS OK, OUR COUCH NEEDS 2 GO BACK 2 D DRAWING BORD, HE SHLD’VE BEEN MORE ATTACKING. HE NEED TO CHANGE HIS PATTERN, I THINK 3 DEFENDRS, 1 STANDING MIT FIELDER, 3 ATTACKIN MID FIELDS N 3 ATTACKERS WIL CRUSH ICEKAND WHICH MIGHT UNDER RATE US. S-EAGLES!!! MORE GREAS 2 YR ELBOWS WE AR WT U. ‘VICTORIA ACCETA’ C U IN R-16. U AR 9GERS PROUD