RALPH, you would recall that it was through skillful dribbling that Amunike scored two quick goals against Zambia in Tunisia 94. I did not know that Ralph is an administrator, journalist, pastor and even a coach. Well done! Prof. A.C.O.
Ogbonna – 0803360233
Nigerians need to celebrate this gentle man because of his humility and experience. As regards the match with Egypt, he is going to do well but one player is missing, the player always upstaged Anderson Echeijile when Steven Keshi was the coach. The boy is playing in Israel, but I cannot remember his name. Please pass this information across so that they extend invitation to him.
Folorunsho – 07037196044
Bro Ralph, Oliseh failed, Siasia also failed before and will fail again just as Keshi failed. It is not because none of them could have succeeded but because they are Nigerians working with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who always have selfish interest. Oliseh told them Kaduna would be too hot for our foreign based players, he was vetoed, Siasia is saying Kaduna is too hot at the moment and he has been vetoed. NFF is Jerusalem that kills its prophets.
Ralph you have suggested the most important points to guide Siasia and Eagles to beat Egypt home and away but I want to add that the selected players must not be selfish by not giving balls to a player that is free to score goals. Our defense must be watertight and strikers must be accurate in hitting targets. The hot weather will weaken the opponents more if this game comes up between 1 to 2pm. Nigeria would beat Egypt home and away for us to qualify.
Amarachi – 08184821740
Ralph, perhaps you should have left Ezekwesili alone in your preamble to Siasia’s best hour, in fact I could not imagine you condemning her for sharing her view on Nigerian’s economy, first as a reputable international economist, apart from using her inalienable right of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution. Admirers of your column have so far not known you to be a political surrogate, and it would be disappointing if you get co-opted into such a derogatory class.
Care! To the main issue, Oliseh was one bad dream as a coach to worry about. Siasia has a good record thus far. You should ask the players to harmonize their moves and give passes to advantaged strikers promptly when required. Failure or success would be shared equally as a team. Siasia and Amunike make a good coaching pair. They should identify Egypt’s weak points so that they take advantage of them in the return match. I wish them luck. Lai Ashadele- 07067677806
The problem with our Eagles is that they don’t play like a team that wants to win. Peter Asiegbuo –pe[email protected]
Ralph Egbu, I am happy to observe that you are a versatile writer; you can talk on so many topics and still be at home with each subject matter. Your recent article, Siasia’s best hour, was a good one and like you said in the piece, very timely. The tips you gave in your write-up are very important and I have been praying that Siasia should read the article because it would help him sharpen his tactics for the match. Like you said North African teams hardly change their football antics. I want to advice Siasia through your medium to place more emphasis on tactics and team play; this is what make teams win matches and win with good goal margins. For sometime now the emphasis has been on particular players to deliver the goods and most times they have failed us because the team lacks coordination and tactics. The result is that even though we have a good striker, for instance, on the forward line, he ends up being redundant because there is no strategy to make him give his best.
Emenike was a victim of this and that is why after some time it appeared as if he could no longer function as an effective striker for the national team, the issue became such they have to storm out of the team and announce a sudden retirement from the national team. Ighalo is making waves in the British Premier League yet he could play for the Super Eagles and not be effective either because of poor tactics or no tactics at all. I know many would wonder whether a team could go into a pitch without tactics. Indeed it does happen, watch the Eagles in recent years and watch the Under-17 in their various outings and tell me what you see.
Some may say that is at the junior level, watch Germany, Brazil, Argentina and even Columbia of recent and make deductions what techniques and tactics could do for a team. Also watch Ivory Coast, Ghana, Egypt, Algeria all from Africa and it would be clear the difference techniques and tactics could make to the standing of a team. Sometimes soccer is not all about winning, a good team may play and lose and yet the watching public especially ardent football followers would still nod and say that is a good team. So I want Siasia to build a team in which every player is active and mobile and anyone can score goal including the half-backs.
The Eagles of the last 10 years lack physical fitness and as a result they start their matches like pregnant women, they operate as if matches are games they can win when they want and when this is not the outcome, they tell us there are no minnows in football any longer. This view is not totally correct, Nigeria playing Germany, Nigeria would be the junior and the game would reflect it except Nigeria walks extraordinarily hard and even then features of the tradition would still remain. To that extent with the abundance of skillful players in a nation of over 160 million persons, we have no excuse not to remain a football superpower nation in Africa all the time. The Eagles can win the Egypt match if Siasia can do a few things:
(1) improve the physical fitness of the team; (2) improve their psyche and infuse determination into the hearts of the players; (3) make effective use of spot kicks, corner kicks inclusive; (4) converting half chances; (5) dictating the pace of the game for the greater duration; and (6), find creative midfielders. I have a hunch that Siasia and Amunike would do well. Eddy – 08077035142