Amaju Pinnick’s statement is after Nigeria's American friendly shortcomings is somewhat baseless and disingenuous because it dilutes and attempts to distort the brutal reality.
The Super Eagles lost 2:1 to Mexico in the week and fell to Ecuadorian sword in a slim 1:0 stabbing last night.
“We lost both games against Mexico and Ecuador narrowly but we were up for it and never finished on the back foot.” Amaju Pinnick.
In fairness, when the Eguavoen-tutored Super Eagles lost to Tunisia in the Afcon second round in January, Nigeria didn’t finish on the back foot. The players kept attacking until the end with Sadiq Umar coming a whisker away from equalising in the dying ashes of the game. Also, against Ghana in world cup qualifiers, it has to be recalled that the Super Eagles were undefeated across 2 legs with Osimhen twice going close to settling the tie in favour of Nigeria in Abuja. However inadequate Eguavoen’s formation was, the players never stopped battling. My point: nothing much has changed between these friendly matches in America and the two fixtures (1 home and away) that curtailed Nigeria’s Afcon and world cup objectives. The common denominator is that we are not winning: we lost in the Afcon, we lost world cup ticket and we now lost both friendlies. However, the silver lining behind the American friendlies cloud is that the Super Eagles showed signs of a team that can improve to perform wonders in coming months.
They were massively depleted for these friendly due to visa and other administrative glitches leading to many notable and on-field influential players being absent. When these player – like Osimhen, Lookman, Awoniyi, Zaidu, Balogun, Ndah etc – return, Nigeria should be a decent outfit under Peseiro (hopefully). But there is no masking the grim reality, however Pinnick might use fancy words to dress it: Nigeria hasn’t won a single match in five games. These losses in America just helped to forge a fresh ring in the ever lengthening chain of winless games for the Super Eagles that would inadvertently dent Nigeria's standing in the Fifa rankings.
This is demoralising for fans. This is not to blame Peseiro, but to say we are not where we want to be as the Super Eagles family. On a good day, we usually share the spoils with Mexico while we should really be defeating Ecuador by a slim margin. Pinnick and other powerful stakeholders should allow Peseiro free reign in draining the failure swamp that the Super Eagles are currently flailing in. Mercifully he has time. Should the Super Eagles face Mexico and Ecuador in February next year, for example, I will expect a different more favourable set of outcomes and I will scrutinise Peseiro more sternly. By that time he should have been able to mould and present a more cohesive Super Eagles outfit. But for now, he has not done that badly. He has already introduced his own formula, formation and tactical approach that opened up Ecuador and Mexico on occasions. The positional discipline is there and the potential for attacking football is bountiful. With more precision in front and greater focus at the back, these 2 games could have ended in draws. But nearly never kills a bird, football is a results business and we Super Eagles fans want results, and fast!
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