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Why Has Sadiq Umar Struggled In This Tournament?

Super Eagles beanpole Spain based striker Sadiq Umar redeemed himself somewhat with his simple but effective tap in goal against Guinea Bissau in Nigeria's last group stage match on January 19.

The general consensus from a flock of fans is that his performances in previous games and even before his goal against Guinea Bissau were below par.

Despite that goal many fans remain unconvinced by his center forward credentials and would like to see him sit out the rest of the tournament on the Super Eagles benches gathering dust rather than scoring goals on the pitch.

But, Sadiq Umar is a fascinating player who is just struggling to interpret Eguavoen’s philosophy.

Also, I might add, Umar has also labours to shrug off his markers in this tournament. The measure of his effectiveness would be how he can free himself from his markers to create space for his own game to flourish. It’s almost as if all the defenders he came against in this tournament have watched him play and know exactly what to expect: they have had the measure of Sadiq.

His goal was scored when the attention of his markers was elsewhere. For him to flourish under Eguavoen in this tournament, the coach has to work out a way for him to have breathing space to roam, pounce and plunder.

See how the likes of Aribo and Simon brush their attention-seekers aside at times effortlessly.

It is too early to give up on Umar. I really applaud Eguavoen for persisting with him. What is now left is for both of them to work out what works best for Umar to deliver a compelling performances in the remainder of the tournament.

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