Which Two Falconets Players Can Be Immediately Drafted To The Super Falcons For World Cup?
Chris Danjuma's self proclaimed Falconets of Nigeria are now heading home underwhelmingly after being tactically humbled by the Netherlands in the quarter final of the Under-20 Women's World Cup last weekend.
Despite the failure of the Falconets to fly to glory in this tournament, I still advocate blooding at least 2 of thier players into the immediate Super Falcons team.
Oluwatosin Demehin - despite her double misteps against Netherlands yesterday, she can gradually be infused into the immediate Super Falcons team as one of the full back options.
She acquainted herself in this tournament but was let down by inadequate instructions and constant touchline meddling by coach Danjuma.
Who can she replace?
I think Michelle Alozie is way too talented offensively to be playing as a right fullback. I would pitch her higher up the field and experiment Demehin in that position in friendlies leading up to the world cup.
Rafiat Imuran: I will also advocate Imuran to be drafted into the Super Falcons as a substitute left fullback.
I think has the speed and deliveries to produce acceptable performances in that department.
Who can she replace?
It will be too risky to thrust Imuran into the Super Falcons in the same starting 11 with Demehin.
That said, I think it is criminal to have supremely talented wingers cum attacking midfielders like the Payne sisters playing fullbacks.
It curtails the full efficacy of thier attacking prowess. For me, Ashleigh Plumptre is not and never a full back.
I think 24 year old Glory Ogbonna can be the first choice left back with Imuran playing as a substitute. Imuran's department was rightly targeted and breached yesterday by the Dutch.
That had more to do with Danjuma's inarticulate tactical constellation and arrangements rather than Imruan's weaknesses.
Before I come under attack, what has to be remembered is that these 2 players are actually already Super Falcons internationals under Waldrum.
Imuran was part of the Wafcon qualifiers while Demehin was included in last year's USA tour.
My major bete-noire and gripe under Randy Waldrum is the use of makeshift right and left fullbacks.
The use of Plumptre, N Payne, T Payne and Alozie as fullbacks greatly diminish and distort these players' effectiveness.
Plumptre is a top quality centre back and the other three are lethal midfielders in their own rights.
Any of Demehin, Imuran or even Jumoke Alani can be speedily groomed to handle one of the fullback positions with a more mature natural wingback/fullback (like Ogbonna) maning the other side, both sandwiching mature centre backs.
Based on how things transpired in this tournament, I personally can now no longer make a case for any other Falconets players joining the Super Falcons at this time (despite my earlier generous optimism).
The likes Onyenezide, Sebastian, Idoko and Abiodun have a huge, promising and tantalising careers in front of them. But for the next 12 months,these attackers and midfielders have a mountain to climb to attempt to displace their entrenched and established Super Falcons elder sisters.
Idoko is a player I might have slightly pushed forward. But utilising her as a centre forward in the Under-20 Women's World Cup tournament rubbed the world of seeing where her true talents lie (in my humble opinion).
The Super Falcons needs fullbacks more than any other personnel at this time. I think Demehin and Imuran can fit the bill.
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