In what was naturally expected, the Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has announced the rejigging of his squad for tomorrow’s make-or-mar WAfcon second group match against Botswana.
In the eyes of some Nigeria fans, Randy Waldrum is yet to prove his onions as an elite Super Falcons coach.
The sour milk-and-water loss to South Africa in the opening group C match just further made the American lose additional valuable browny points in the eyes of fans who are already dubious of his capabilities. I like him and think he has it in his locker to orchestrate an appropriate approach conducive to Nigeria retaining the WAfcon crown.
In order to get this WAfcon campaign back on track, the beleaguered American gaffer has now promised to ring changes in the team’s line up for the next duel.
“We are definitely going to make some changes from our first game,”Waldrum said to the media.
An enforced change is iconic Asisat Oshoala who is now ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury.
For me, there are some players in that uninspiring starting 11 line up against South Africa who need to be jettisoned because, to be honest, they were too long-in-the-tooth to keep up with the pace of the South Africans.
The likes of Ayinde, Ohale and Chikwelu now have to be considered as substitutes to see out games because of their vast experience. Some of them might just have played themselves out of the starting 11 due to their wishy-washy display against South Africa.
These same players are highly appreciated but the previous game just passed them by. Any slip up against Botswana might just prove costly (Botswana are trying to carve out an image for themselves as giant killers).
For me, Onumonu is just like France’s Olivier Giroud who is not at all pacy but positionally astute with a cobra’s fangs inside the 18 yard box. We didn’t see that incisiveness from her in the last match due to winger role she was asked to play. Waldrum needs to place her in the right spot and Onumanu on her part must deliver in spades.
The likes of midfielders ravishing Regina Otu and classy Christie Ucheibe can also help breathe renewed life into that midfield while femme fatale Uchenna Kanu or vivacious Vivian Ikechukwu can build up on their impressive cameos against South Africa.
The fact remains that Nigeria are firm favourites to retain their WAfcon trophy. Waldrum has the players across the park to cross over the line. But the American gaffer needs to placate his loyal but disappointed adherents (like myself) while winning over his doubters in the process.
He needs to get his women playing with gravitas, verisimilitude, structure, drive, passion and purpose.
To be honest, the Super Falcons were slightly incoherent, rudimentary, ropey, rudderless and edgeless against South Africa.
We now need to see his team come to the party for the remainder of the tournament.
Nothing other than an outright, emphatic and compelling victory against Botswana tomorrow will help to knock the disappointment of the game against South Africa into a cocked hat.
All eyes on Waldrum.
The Super Falcons have the quality in their ranks, Waldrum now needs to mould them into a cohesive, imaginative, free flowing, masterfully designed and well wrought outfit.
Fans wait to see how the changes he plans to ring out play out from tomorrow henceforth.
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