It is no longer news that the Super Eagles lost against the Desert Foxes of Algeria in a friendly match played in Austria. The scoreline aside, it was not the best of performances we have seen since Gernot Rohr took over. Cutting the team some slack, it was their first match in 2020 and some key players were also absent. Regardless, the coaching crew must have learnt some lessons from the match. Here are some lessons we learnt.
Okoye is good to go
The goalkeeping area has been suspect in the team for some time. With Maduka Okoye’s performance against the Algerians, the future is looking bright. The young shot stopper had a nervy start but he grew into the game and made some brilliant stops.
Together with Francis Uzoho, we might have two young goalkeepers to man the post for a long time.
Ndidi, Etebo and Aribo can rest easy
The aforementioned trio are all expected to return to the team when they are available. Their places are secured and they don’t need to worry, considering the performances of the midfielders that deputised for them.
Frank Onyeka had a terrible debut performance and was shaky throughout, till he was hauled off at halftime.
Semi Ajayi got better in the second half but showed he is better as a center-back. The midfield could barely put anything together in the absence of Aribo, Ndidi and Etebo.
Onuachu probably not good enough
Paul Onuachu has been in very good form for his club KRC Genk but on the evidence of what we saw on Friday, he may not be good enough for the Super Eagles.
He has hardly had any good game for the Super Eagles since he scored in a friendly against Egypt in 2018. He is not fast enough and does not link up play well. He could not link up well with the wing-forwards and midfield. The team is not suited for a target man. It is high time Rohr tries something else in the absence of Victor Osimhen.
Rohr remains conservative
With the Super Eagles trailing, the changes Rohr made were too direct and kind of conservative. The more defensive Moses Simon came on for the injured Samuel Kalu and offered little in attack. A center-back Kevin Akpoguma replaced Tyronne Ebuehi at right-back.
It is just a friendly and Rohr could have been more ingenious with his changes against the Algerians that were also not on top of their game.
Unfortunately, we are not the ones hired by the NFF to manage the Super Eagles. However, we hope lessons have been learnt and the team will do better going forward, starting with the next friendly against Tunisia.