Anthony Effiong (FADABASI). Kunle Job..
The 13th African Cup of Nations football tournament has come and gone, but memories linger on. The competition threw up a lot of talking points to ponder. From the Nigerian perspective, the Nigerian team, affectionately called the Super Eagles gave a very good account of themselves with a sterling performance, in the estimation of soccer pundits and fans.
A case of continuity is advanced, based on the spirited effort the team put in. Having missed out from the last two editions of the tournament, they however bounced back to reckoning to win Bronze, despite the long absence. Parading a relatively young team, with majority of the players making their debut, the Super Eagles soared in the Egyptian sky until they were brought down by a sublime free kick goal in the very last minute of their semifinal clash with Algeria in a tough and tactical duel.
There are lots of positives to take from the performance of the Eagles. Parading a youthful team, they showed character, grits and guts as they displayed great resilience, especially when they went behind against their “old foe”, Cameron. They also showed their class against a hard fighting South African team, to book a place in the semis. Also worthy of note is the team play and pace brought in by the young players.
The team played with commitment and scorers of goals were spread among defenders, midfielders and attackers. The team spirit was high and the players showed their prowess in set pieces, corner kicks as well, as scoring from a penalty kick. The team displayed good tactical discipline, despite one or two unavoidable errors . There was good harmony between the players and technical crew.
Going forward, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF should retain the services of the Gaffer, Gernot Rohr, who had the guts to take the youngest team to the World Cup and throw debutants to the fray in the African Nations Cup, with four of them scoring goals. The team must be kept together to further showcase their individual and collective talents. Arbitrary change of coaches and players should be discouraged for a gradual introduction of new players based on current club form.
Overall, the team has a very bright future and thus, we call for continuity .