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Serbia Vs Super Eagles: Abdullahi, Balogun’s FitnessTo Be Assessed As Mikel Charges Team

Serbia Vs Super Eagles: Abdullahi, Balogun’s FitnessTo Be Assessed As Mikel Charges Team

By James Agberebi:
Shehu Abdullahi and Leon Balogun will be assessed ahead of the Super Eagles friendly against Serbia in London on Tuesday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

This was revealed by media officer of the Super Eagles Toyin Ibitoye on Brila FM on Sunday from London.

Both Abdullahi and Balogun were replaced by Tyronne Ebuehi and Kenneth Omeruo against Poland on Friday with suspected knocks.

“The Super Eagles trained today (Sunday) and will train 6:30pm tomorrow (Monday),” Ibitoye said.

“Shehu and Balogun will be assessed before the game against Serbia. Currently, we have 27 players in camp getting set for Serbia.”

He disclosed that despite Mikel Obi not being in camp, the captain backs his teammates.

“It is sad Mikel is not in camp but he is always in touch with his teammates. He communicates with them and encourages them.”

And ahead of the game against Serbia, Ibitoye promised a better performance from the team.

“The present Super Eagles team is young and can fight. The coach (Rohr) is building a strong team and Nigerians would see a better performance against Serbia,” the media officer added.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 27
  • Kingmaker 8 months ago

    WROCLAW AND THE VITAL LESSONS FOR SUPER EAGLES!

    Attn: Coach Gernot Rohr.

    The test game against Poland was “WAR” as expected and rightly predicted by us. It was spot on from our analytical preview ahead of hostilities.
    The scoreline was excellent also as we predicted.
    The victory was well deserved, and overall the SE players were in excellent form aside 1 or 2 cases of misjudgment & below par displays.
    The high match tempo also justified our earlier ratings of the clash. Poland, sixth (6th) rated on fifa scale were forced to swallow a bitter pill as many others would, by the SE team already in an unstoppable drive.
    It was clear Nigeria would have a difficult game, all the variables were against the Africans, from alien weather conditions, absence of key players, testing out “off key” players, the Polish vociferous fans support, a well organized, mobile & motivated Polish team, & inexperience of our young keeper, et al.
    We are proponents & advocate of “Gra-gra football”, an indigenous & unorthodox system of play that certainly provides needed results when deployed on world stage.
    It has kept delivering handsome dividends. Poland clash was a learning curve & the lessons are worth sharing.
    Most Nigeria football lovers are far removed from what development of the game of football entails. It is good to know that there is no one static way on how the game of football is played. Regions, nations and cultures would evolve or determine what method is suitable for them; which comparatively gives them an edge within the rules of play over others. In some climes researches are conducted even in classrooms to enhance the adopted methods.
    Football is serious business accounting for trillion dollars in global investments.
    It is not all about entertainment, but results. Football has gone scientific! Formations, tactics & techniques now form significant parts of the game.
    Several methods and styles are up today in all continents, and the most common is the fluid & free-flowing style made popular by the English. The style has been improved upon by the Germans, who made it more technical, “Die Mannschaft” and won 3 World Cups on the back of it.
    The Brazilians also adopted a method, so different but efficient, “The Jogo Bonito”. They dance & twist with the ball, mesmerizing their opponents in the course, prodding them to watch as they sweep them off. This has fetched the samba boys 5 WCups & unassailable lead and No 2 spot on Fifa ranking.
    Spain were the near-men in Europe & World football before 2010, but they searched within and found their strength in “Tiki -Taka”. This is the undisputed one-touch free flowing Spanish football & a delight to watch. The ball does the movement and goals are achieved.
    Spain today have joined the elite rank of WC Winners.
    Wisdom offers that you cannot beat a man in his own game, if you must win, come up with a superior alternative plan.
    This is what we are advocating; an area Nigeria have proven to be unbeatable & superior.
    Nigeria’s own robust play, which is indigenous, is the physical, unconventional, unattractive, but intelligent, disruptive, effective and efficient “Gra-gra” play. It delivers results big time. Gra-gra did it again against a highly organized & disciplined polish side on their home soil in the presence of her top government officials and football big wigs.
    Poland was bitterly humiliated on the night, but poor SE fans with no real knowledge of the game are everywhere crying about a fluidless SE play.
    It was an overhaul, massive for SE.
    A 52nd fifa ranked side squeezing the very life off 6th ranked home-team is no mean feat.
    Gernot Rohr has used his high technical knowledge and psychology of the game to prod SE forward at every turn.
    He knows, and have imbibed the Gra-gra spirit and he is now deploying it to full effect. It is where our strength lies.
    While we still insist that Nigerian football glory is in the robust play of Gra-gra, we heartily want to again congratulate the entire Coaching crew, the players & the Nff for outstanding contributions, wholehearted support, ensuring progression & development of SE evolving into a fearsome & unbeatable team.
    The world has come to a standstill by SE performance last Friday, particularly coming against a highly respected & organized Polish team, and sequel to Argentina beating.
    The same night of victory, two group D opponents had bad fortunes, in far away Miami, USA Croatia lost 0-2 to Peru, while Iceland were put to the sword in California; falling 0-3 to a ruthless Mexico.
    The SE are still not a finished product, agreed.
    As expressed in my preview ahead of the Poland clash, the big match has exposed certain glaring lapses, being the real reason for that encounter.
    GR has reiterated the need to use these matches as final test cases to weed out players failing to convince, these were their last matches.
    The Serbia test comes up on Tuesday, but the face of the main team is gradually being revealed.
    Francis Uzoho passed his test in full colours. This man would go on to be a World Class celebrated keeper later in his career if he continues to work hard. He was excellent, as he grew in confidence with the game getting messier.
    Troost-Ekong was excellent; coordinating his backline with gusto & brilliance. The next “big boss”, and uncrowned Captain of SE for several years to come. He will soon be courted by the Big European teams, Bayern, Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid, etc for his displays especially against rated lethal hitman, Robert Lewandowski. His was sheer class.
    Leon Balogun, astute, strong and fast, was swift at recovery. A great showing at dealing with the waves of aerial & box threats thrown at them. That goal-line clearance was the height of it. Awesome!
    Leon put SE back in the game.
    Together they locked down the battery of offensive onslaughts from a Polish team armed with 28 goals in qualifiers, including their arrowhead.
    This is a World Class pairing, trust me.
    Amkar Perm FC man, Bryan Idowu had his baptism of fire, and has made SE left back his permanent property. His was an excellent start; so-so good.
    Shehu was great, always a good player; originally a midfield man but converted by GR to a position in which he did very well until lately.
    He proved incapable in dealing wit top rated challenges at this level. He had shown lapses same way in 2 previous cases against Algeria, Argentina & now this.
    Abdulahi Shehu must be applauded for his dedication & high workrate.
    However, it is now glaring the boy does not posses the physique, strength, techniques nor tactical awareness to match swift World Class wingers.
    Where injury occurs, Awaziem & Aina are both versatile and capable; they can conveniently fit into any role in the backline.
    The Luis Suarezs, Jarmie Vardys, Añgel Di marias, Neymars, Christian Ronaldos, etc also drift play from the wings.
    It is clear Nigeria deserve a better right back in the person of Tyrone Ebuehi, a natural RB.
    It was Tyrone that brought peace & stability to the troubled backline with his intelligence, positioning & tracking play. He cut off threats & forays from getting to polish danger men, and showed his class.
    Tyrone is a polished World Class quality evolving rapidly, and soon to be chased by top European teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, et al.
    Kenneth Omoruo is still a rusty product, and could create more headaches for the defence as we know than solving their concerns.
    He might have blown it against Poland. He failed to take his chance Friday.
    Joel ‘Starman’ Obi, was awesome in his attack & defensive capabilities. He held the midfield very well in the absence of Captain Mikel. He showed class & prevented the ruthless Polish midfielders from initiating quick attacks and running riot on the SE, & got knocked severally out of frustration. His late substitution, SE Vice Captain exposed SE midfield; Onazi lost direction & rhythm chasing after the ball against more enterprising poles.
    The result might have been different if Onazi had started, but kudos to GR’s change of tactics. Onazi would do well to up his game if he wants to keep his first choice mop-up cum enforcer shirt. He looked heavy & slow.
    Victor Moses was relentless, spriteful & tireless, attacking every space going forward. Top quality play & cool finish from the spot.
    He was most fouled SE player along side Joel, picked out as the anchors that must be unscrewed to change the tide.
    Ndidi was his usual self, but largely subdued without Etebo or Ogu providing quality support.
    The SE disruptive play was visible all the same.
    Our team-play must remain disruptive to enforce command & control.
    Good tactics, Mikel was unavailable due to “work permits”.
    Spies would have nothing substantial to write & plan with against the SE.
    Bedsides, other players would get tested in several formations that require his absence.
    Iwobi & Iheanacho were marked men & neatly kept in the cooler.
    However, u can’t take anything away from the duo bcos given a chance they can create all sorts of problems for the Poles.
    Largely, the Poles came very prepared, confident and looked certain to commence their campaign on a flying start.
    Were they disappointed?
    I can imagine their pain; they just lost to a low ranked African team. Shops & businesses would be under lock & key for the weekend in Wroclaw & Warsaw; fans indoors, biting their nails, mourning & asking all manner of questions.
    The Polish pride had just been broken in their own backyard & they are brutally wounded, still licking their wounds.
    This was no friendly; there are more of such high-stakes matches ahead of GR’s men. Russia 2018 would present many of such to the full.
    The WC will be a fierce battle terrain where the best materials would be on the shelf.
    The match statistics were skewed in our odds.
    Against Poland not a shot at goal in 90 minutes was recorded from our front man, not even off target shot by a striker desirous of a WC shirt.
    Brown Ideye, Tony Nwakaeme, Aaron, Kayode Olarunwaju, et al, are some players who failed the top 9 test & have to wait for other opportunities after Russia.
    Our top man, strong & rampaging Odion Ighalo might have joined them by his under par returns.
    He clearly was an off man, struggling to assert himself but failed to convince.
    Ahmed Musa has a 2014 WC experience, he looked hungry in attack but the occasion in Wroclaw overwhelmed him. His darts were easily predictable & were timely curtailed.
    Summarizing, SE were good & the test match satisfied its main purpose.
    Our position here is to bring to fore concerns of SE fans from technical perspectives, and as feedback to the Coaching crew who themselves are good followers of CSN online publications.
    Few less disposed to critical thinking have expressed concerns over our direct approach to point out weaknesses & strengths of possible SE players. Let it be on record that objectivity and logic are the parameters used in our assessments. Facts are all verifiable and we dont have any vested or clandestine interests aside the keen desire to see the SE soar and bring joy to millions of Nigerians. Not many can appreciate this, though and its understandable.
    Yes, we promote football and the Nigerian dream! But it is on the basis of fairness & true spirit of the game.
    The man, Mr. Melvin Amaju Pinnick, Nff anchor has not ceased to amaze us with his organisational savvy, and knack for excellence.
    He is the hidden face driving the unprecedented revival of Nigeria football in FIFA boardroom politics. He, along side CAF boss, Ahmad Ahmad are undisputably rewritting African football history.
    Thanks for doing what you are doing to fix African football & put it on world stage. Kudos, Presido! You are Mr. Football!
    Nigeria is Africa’s face in global football & the best in Sub-saharan Africa leading to the WC and deserve every support from patriots.
    Godbless Nigeria!

    • lambert 8 months ago

      Spot on bro. u sabi football.

    • BobbyJ 8 months ago

      @kingmaker, this is an excellent piece & good observation. I concur with your position on Ebuehi claiming the right back role. Our Oyibo Wall is rugged and the best. Wishing Balogun & the crew quick recovery.
      Also, we need to test Ajayi & Gabriel because ighalo is not always scoring. Long live Coach rohr.
      I greet you nff president, Oga Pinnick. Continue wit your good work. Carry go.

    • Ayphillydegreat 8 months ago

      Terrific write up @ kingmaker. You are absolutely spot on in all your assessment of the game with the exception of Idowu locking down the left back from Elderson. I’m still convinced that if Uwa is fully fit he will be Nigeria’s first choice at left back. Idowu is really good defensively, but offers virtually nothing going forward in that game, and that is where Echiejile blossoms when in the SuperEagles shirt. Aina is another option, but both him and Idowu doesn’t have the experience of Echiejile. Uwa was one our best players before he got injured prior to the Mundial in 2014. My preferred back four will be Echiejile, Balogun, Ekong and Ebuehi. Shehu had been a great worker at right back. However, the little I’ve seen of Tyrone I don’t need any soothsayer to tell me he’s the perfect fit for the right back position. Joel Obi hadn’t played a game for the SuperEagles in 4 years, but he came in and looked like he’s been a part of the team all along. I can’t but imagine what the SuperEagles have been missing without him all these while. I hope and pray like GR recently said that Joel Chukwuma Obi stays fit in the next few weeks to realize his potential of representing Nigeria at the Mundial. He came off for Onazi and the midfield was near collapse. With the return of Mikel by the business end of preparations in May, while Ndidi and Obi complement him. That should be the midfield pivot to take us to the promise Land barring any unforeseen circumstances. The attack is still up for debate. Moses and Iwobi looks assured, but I can’t say the same about Kelechi and Odion. I believe they both can and will up their game, so I’m expecting them to start now or risk sitting on the bench in Russia. Over all, the SuperEagles are looking like the SuperEagles we’ve waiting for in a long time. And in Francisco Odinaka Uzoho. Nigeria have discovered a goalkeeper for the next 20 years. #FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INTO THE FUTURE#

      • Nicolsen 8 months ago

        I disagree with urs. Echijile doesmt offer anything going forward. His defensive abilities is a disaster. Very sluggish and lacks football inteligence.

        • Ayphillydegreat 8 months ago

          But he played in various UEFA champions league and also an AFCON. Na fluke be that. I have no problem with your assessment, but o think Elderson is the best option at left back

    • @Kingmaker,Truly when it comes to CSN Leave a reply column YOU ARE THE KING. CSN, What are you guys waiting for??? Employ Kingmaker to write long articles about Super Eagles like the Great Odegbami does na

    • Ignatius 8 months ago

      Excellent right up, big kudos to you

    • what an awesome submission

  • H-man 8 months ago

    Excellent! The best. I only hope the Coaches are reading these feedbacks. U killed this analysis and ur prediction was perfect. 1-0.
    Double Thumbs up @ kingmaker.

  • Tgrace 8 months ago

    Mr. Kingmaker, umh! I must applaud u for this pieces of great article. very enlighten. I love reading ur articles always. thanks for this awesome write up also. if I may ask sir, did u work with CSN?

  • @kingmaker, nothing is left again for us to say…Coach gernot rohr I hope u can get this and read.Go Super Eagles, Go Nigeria!!!

  • https://youtu.be/sbO47YzPVwU

    @kingmaker,
    What do you think about this guy? Don’t he deserve a chance to prove himself?
    I think like Joel Obi, Fernando Adi will be a great addition and an instant hit, I stand to be corrected though.

  • franky 8 months ago

    perfect analysis , kudos bro

  • Cool write up bro…. I tot I was d only person that noticed that shehu is good truly but not the best, Joel obi even had highest number of tackles than indidi that day before he was substituted. I’ve seen how good Idowu is defensively, wish to see his attacking play once again. Waiting to see others come Tuesday.

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 8 months ago

    Don’t you think that some of these players may want to play safe to avoid injuries, as a result may not put in their best performance?

  • H-man 8 months ago

    In as much as I agree with most of your views, I still think our coaching crew have special soft spots for some players.
    Example, why is Mikel Agu returning to the team?
    Eagles need to be scoring goals not bringing another midfielder who can’t score.
    Our best strikers abroad who play the No 9 role are not being invited. How can a serious minded Crew leave out Oba goal Martins, but invited Ighalo from the same Chinese League? When last did Ighalo score for his club, and how many since last season?
    Paul Unuachu, Portlands Fernando Adi, Cyril Dessers, etc are cracking in goals week in, week out for their respective clubs and nobody is talking about them.
    Can you win a match without scoring goals?
    Please the Coaching crew should wake up and treat this as serious matter. Fans dey vex!
    Help me ask NFF, Oga Amaju Pinnick na so we go take win the world cup?
    Fans are angry..
    Without Iwobi, Moses or Iheanacho goals are not guaranteed from others, yet we have strikers paid to score but who can’t score, including Musa. We are watching..

    • charles emeka okwu 8 months ago

      Oba who? Bros we dey go front abi we they go back. With all due respect to obafemi martins he has served his time and has to move on. The post above was spot on but i wasnt right on his opinion about ighalo. Ighalo worked hard and his holdup play top notch, he even atimes had to drift to the flanks and deeper to the middle to pick balls. My biggest flop of the night was kelechi iheanacho. Is sole responsibility against the poles was to link the midfield with the attack which he failed woefully. atimes he looked confused and and his first touch failed him so many times. As for brian idowu he was a time bomb waiting to explode but got lucky. He seemed fazed and jittery on and off the ball, his lack of confidence was evident the way she shy away from taking a pass from his team mates. Rohr is doing a great job but a lot of work has to be done to make the team better. With joel’s performance against the poles onazi’s place in the starting eleven is no more guareented. A midfield trio of mikel,ndidi and joel will be a delight to watch. Aina should take idowu’s place at leftback while ebuehi understands the rightback position better than shehu. The coach should also try out uche agbo who i believe is a better player than his favourite mikel agu. As for kenneth omeruo his days are numbered in the super eagles. If rohr can get any of iorfa jnr,akpoaguma or uduokhai omeruo will be forgotten.

    • charles emeka okwu 8 months ago

      When last did paul onuachu kick a ball for midyjlland? Do you follow portland timbers in the mls? Its easy to mention names of credible strikers whom you think can bring something to the table but you ought to ask yourself if there style of play suits the gaffers method. If your super striker adi is good what is he doing in the mls at his young age? Amongst the trio you mentioned only dessers deserves a look in because he is performing in a more recognized and competative league. Onuachu has decent numbers in denmark but is still unproven. He needs to move away from the dannish league to a better league where his talent can be better nurtured and harnessed. I will pick roma’s on loan striker sadiq umar who has been unplayable in the eirdivisie where he plays for NAC breda.

    • Nicolsen 8 months ago

      I agree… i fink d FA and d coaching crew have a soft spot for some players.. who is agu? Wen we have cyril dessers and fernado adi performing.

  • Steve 8 months ago

    The problem with this super Eagles is that we don’t have a top striker !!..I believe GR should invite Fernando Adi and Desser to fight for a shirt .There should not be any sentiment in picking the best 23 to the world cup !!..Nigeria with GR have the capacity to reach this year’s World Cup Semi final and the only way to achieve this is having the best strikers at our disposal !!

    • charles emeka okwu 8 months ago

      I believe rohr is not partial and sentimental like erstwhile coaches of the super eagles. Fenando adi have been invited previously by rohr but it seem he doesnt suit his style of play. Dessers? Well i will say a BIG yes to him been given a chance but that will be after the world cup. Another player who should be monitored closely is liverpool’s on loan forward taiwo awoniyi. The kid have been doing well in the belgian team mouscron which he joined last summer on loan. His ratios since moving to europe shows he is work in progress. This young kids are to be considered not a 33 or 34 years martins who should concentrate on making some retirement money in china lol

  • Nicolsen 8 months ago

    Can we give Cyril Dessers a chance.. if he honours our invitation.. without goals.. we wont go far in the WC

  • Nicolsen 8 months ago

    Lets dont attach sentiments.. this is d WC. We need d best for d good of d country.. u mean to tell me wt a population of over 200m pipo world wide igalo is d best we can comeup with. Lets try fernando adi and cyril dessers.. if they are ready to play for theit country.

    • I buy ur idea brother igalo is not our top 9 that the technical crew should consider by inviting martins, cyriel desser, Paul onuchu, fenando Adi, Samuel adegbenro bcos while this is world cup which every nation will bring there best not only lgalo that cannot score goal, pls pls u people should beg nff presido amaju pinnick 4 me.

      • charles emeka okwu 8 months ago

        And martins,onuachu etc are our best strikers? Onuachu as a young star have to leave denmark to a more competative league to prove himself. Am not disputing that he is talented enough but it would have been easier for him to break into the current super eagles setup if we lacked quality in our striking department. A move to the dutch,belgian or even the french league will help him to improve. As for martins he has paid his dues and like i said earlier in my previous post he should concentrate on making retirement money in china. For now ighalo and iheanacho are rohr’s top 2 strikers and maybe can be joined by any of our up coming strikers

  • Hello…I just want u people to imagine that ighalo hasn’t played for Nigeria and u are watching his videos from watfard(nation wide division) to date… I’m sure u will be shouting his name.
    Now he’s here and u are calling other names because of videos on YouTube. I cant imaging people leaving central Europe where things are happening and be clamouring for strikers in Chinese, Dannish,MLS even Swedish leagues because of videos on YouTube. I still supports Dressers who swapped to better club (Ultreach) from Breda. Players that really want to participate swap clubs.. Musa(even though has lost it) swapped to CSKA, Ideye to Malaga, Etebo to Las Palmers, and so on. Let all these onuachus and Adis do the same. And @ H-Man..name any Nigerian midfielder that score goals in Europe now that hasn’t been invited.