Super Eagles We Knew And Now Want


In a no holds barred rendezvous with fellow football loving friends and analysts, one of them was so passionate with his delivery on Nigerian football and its dwindling fortunes that our man, COBHAM NSA could not help but capture in cogent language this off-the-beat but interesting encounter on the day.

For more than an hour, the lively discussion dragged on. At the end of it all, every one gathered generously acknowledged the depth of presentation by our emergency ‘Lead discussant’. But for me, the forum tickled my journalism instincts by effortlessly presenting me with an uncommon essay title of “The Super Eagles we knew; the Eagles we have been seeing; and the Eagles we want.” Holding his audience spell bound with great articulation of issues, recollections of events and encapsulation of Nigeria’s football history, our young football analyst, Osowochi went down memory lane to support his postulations. By his estimation, the Eagles need to play with the same passion and great intensity associated with the era of ‘Chairman’ Christian Chukwu, ‘Mathematical’ Segun Odegbami, ‘Legendary Dribbler’ Baba Out Mohammed, ‘Chief Justice’ Adokiye Amiesimaka and ‘Man-Mountain’ Emmanuel Okala. Also, they must display flair and doggedness witnessed in the playing days of Stephen Keshi, Austin Eguavoen, Austin Okocha, Peter Rufai, Sunday Oliseh and Kanu Nwankwo. And above all, the Eagles must embrace and exhibit the youthful verve, tactical discipline and visionary approach inherent in all our World Cup winning Under-17 National teams. Indeed, the pensive audience agreed with him that today’s Eagles must avoid being lethargic and doctrinaire on the field, an annoying development associated with the team in recent past. Like many Nigerians, this small gathering wants the new-look Eagles to demonstrate the urgency of the old order where our players were always delightful to watch during matches. Besides, there is this clarion call for a return to that era where the Eagles presented a compact unit, displaying high intensity football and maintaining enveloping pressure on their opponents for the desired results. There is no doubt that wherever the Eagles or any National team is on parade, millions of Nigerians readily put on their coaching caps. So, in the circumstance, consensus is that the Eagles’ players must not only be offensive in the playing pattern but work to improve their movement on and off the ball. As a team, the players must be coordinated working for one another to create and convert chances as they come if we hope to re-enact the glorious days of artistic and result-oriented football. With his inspiring submissions, this ardent FC Barcelona supporter did a yeoman job of convincing the group to have faith that the days of Super Eagles’ glorious performance in global fiestas are here with us again. Though some are quick to warn that it is still early days, die hard soccer aficionados insist the thrills, frills and excitement are returning in full swing. All thanks to the superlative, robust and inventive made-in-Germany football gospel being preached by the new technical adviser, Coach Gernot Rohr For now, it is two down, and four to go. Having dusted Zambia 2-1 and Algeria 3-1 in dazzling fashion, the Super Eagles are back to winning ways, signaling their intention to make the 2018 World Cup sole ticket to Russia their personal property. However, as August 2017 beckons for resumed hostilities in the World Cup qualifiers, the consensus is that added to the Eagles’ patriotic zeal and result-based playing style, football fans must heed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)’s appeal and always be at the stadium to offer the Eagles total and undiluted support to make Russia 2018 a reality. The final word is that after missing out of two consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in 2015 and 2017, Nigeria cannot afford any slip. So for now, it is not yet Uhuru!

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