The Super Eagles returned to action in the past week with 2 friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia respectively. Those games were the first in almost a year and the lack of cohesion (due in no small part to fresh faces in the squad) was at times very visible to see. Despite this, here are a few takeaways from the two games:
NEW FULLBACK PAIRING LOOKS PROMISING
The fullback pairing of Tyrone Ebuehi on the right and Zaidu Sanusi on the left showed a lot of promise, particularly in the game against Algeria. Ebuehi was a live-wire all through, and Sanusi wasn't shy to whip in a few decent crosses that were mostly not attacked by the forwards. Ebuehi didn't start the subsequent game against Tunisia and Sanusi had to hobble of late in the game due to a groin problem. Hopefully we'll see them both feature in the upcoming AFCON qualifiers.
TARGET-MAN SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING
Gernot Rohr's insistence on using a Target-man into his tactical setup is still not reaping the desired rewards. Paul Onuachu gave an uninspiring performance in the role before coming off after 67 minutes. The lanky Genk forward was unable to hold up the ball properly and was mostly pedestrian for large parts of the game. Iheanacho did score in the subsequent game against Tunisia but ultimately, neither seem to be a fitting understudy to Victor Osimhen. Osimhen is a quicker and more direct option and poses a threat that the latter two forwards do not provide.
NEW FACES NEED TIME TO GEL
A lot of new faces were introduced into the squad during this international break and that has drastically reduced the team's average age. However, these new faces need a bedding in period before they can be properly assessed. Kevin Akpoguma and Cyriel Dessers featured in the Tunisia game and the former had a torrid time in defence, but his potential is undeniable and he will most likely come good in the long run. The latter did show flashes of the form that saw him finish the abridged Dutch season as top scorer and could be a possible alternative to the aforementioned Osimhen.
What did you think of the Super Eagles' performance over the two games ? Leave a comment or reaction below.
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