Sports analyst urges Super Eagles to change strategy to qualify for AFCON 2015

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LAGOS – Malik Akanni, a sports analyst on Wednesday urged the Super Eagles to change its tactics if it was to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Morocco.

Akanni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the Eagles were currently playing in the qualifiers as if there was nothing at stake.

He said because today’s football was all about pace, the Eagles needed to change their strategy to be able to play in Morocco.

“Basically, we are not happy with the way the Nigeria team is playing; obviously there is a whole lot that needs to be done to upgrade and increase our performance.

“Maybe Keshi needs help. I am not seeing him as confident enough to carry the Eagles all the way to the Nations Cup mainly because I see that football has changed.

“But we are not changing with football; we are still playing the old version of football. Meanwhile, football is faster, much more technical, with much more power, and much more speed.

“And we are still playing the old slow pace game that we need to step up. I think Keshi will need help; I don’t want to say we need a foreign coach.

“But I think we do, being that the knowhow of the game, the technical aspect of the game needs to be more inclined to our players, to be honest with you.

The analyst said that employing the services of a foreign technical coach would help improve the Eagles performance in subsequent matches.

“I think we need a technical foreign coach. I don’t think that Keshi is a bad coach, but I think he needs assistance.

“He doesn’t have the know-how to get the Eagles to where they need to go.

“If possible, let’s get a foreign technical coach that can train our players on how to play long balls, how to play fast-paced games, how to play games with so much power.

“The world’s football has changed; we need to change with the world football. There’s no more making five-yard passes and before you can get to the opponent’s 18 yard box, you make twenty five passes and you are not even moving forward.

“But the game has changed; so, let’s get a technical coach that has the know-how to support Keshi because he is a good coach.

“He is not a bad coach, but he needs support and I pray that if we can get that technical coach then I think maybe we can move forward in qualification.

“Without that, I don’t think we will qualify, to be honest with you.“

Akanni pointed out that there was a major flaw in the midfield where Mikel Obi played, saying the midfielder should be removed from that position because he was not playing the role properly.

“Everybody thinks Keshi is so great; so far he is not the best that we have in Africa or Nigeria because I think he won the Nations Cup just by intuition.

“So, that’s the respect that he is getting because of the Nations Cup that he won.

The analyst said that the Eagles’ performance at the World Cup and in the ongoing African Cup of Nations qualifying matches were a testimony that there was nothing spectacular in the team.

He said, “Mikel is now holding a very valuable number 10 jersey; we all know what our great number 10, Okocha did in that jersey; he was such a great performer.

“A number 10 is known to be creative; he creates the scoring chances for the strikers. A number 10 is someone who holds the whole team together when it is threatening to breakdown.

“If you look at all the great number 10’s in the world, I mean let’s take a look at Neymar at the World Cup. If it was not for his injury, we could see him carrying his team. [eap_ad_1] “We could see him wanting the ball; we could see him trying to make attacks happen, but we don’t see that in our own number 10, Mikel, to be honest.

“I like Mikel as a person, but I don’t see him as a number 10. He is not creative enough, He is not giving those strikers the balls they need.

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