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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:28 pm 
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https://www.goal.com/en-ng/amp/news/in-depth-how-nigerias-unbalanced-super-eagles-overcame/1kz5ixo7wpsu61l8751eljysm3?__twitter_impression=true

In-Depth: How Nigeria’s unbalanced Super Eagles overcame Burundi’s Swallows

Nigeria eventually broke down a resolute Burundi side to win 1-0. Goal analyses the tactical battle that unfolded.

Nigeria will began their 18th Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt against debutants Burundi on Saturday. After missing the last two editions of the tournament, the Super Eagles had something to prove against the 134th ranked side in the world.

Nigeria came into this game having had disrupted preparation. On the eve of the game, Samuel Kalu collapsed in training with a suspected heart attack, but thankfully it proved to be dehydration. He was left out as a precaution so Samuel Chukwueze started as the right winger.

After a bout of illness, Jamilo Collins was missing at left back so Ola Aina moved over from his more natural right-back position to cover. Kenneth Omeruo was preferred to Leon Balogun in central defence after a season of minimal game time for the latter at Brighton.

In attack, Odion Ighalo was surprisingly left on the bench with 6’5” Paul Onuachu selected instead, whilst Ahmed Musa was also only amongst the substitutes. John Mikel Obi was back in the squad and started as the number ten.

Burundi selected Gael Duhayindavyi at left back in preference to Christophe Nduwarugira, whilst in central defence, it was David Nshimirimana who got the nod ahead of Omar Ngando.

The squad’s oldest member, forward Selemani Ndikumana was sent home after breaching camp rules. He would not have started, but gave the side one less option to change the game from the bench. Saido Berahino captained the side in attack.

Faty Papy sadly passed away in April from a heart attack, having been back on the bench for the final qualifier in late March.

BURUNDI COMPACT

Immediately from the start of the game, the initial plans were clear. Burundi had no intention of pressing high and exposing themselves in midfield. They went with a compact 4-4-2 shape, where both of their front men, Berahino and Fiston Abdul Razak would drop off to the halfway line and screen passes into Nigeria midfielders.

The wide players, Francis Mustafa and Cedric Amissi both looked to tuck in very narrow when the ball was on the opposite flank, whilst looking to stay close to their midfielders when the ball was on their side, encouraging passes out to Nigeria’s fullbacks. The Burundi fullbacks then looked to get tight to the wingers and try to force the fullbacks to play passes to their feet or more risky passes into the congested centre.

STATIC NIGERIA

In the first 25 minutes of the game, Nigeria had 69% possession but had very few ideas of how to move Burundi’s compact block around. Daniel Akpeyi, perhaps selected in goal for his superior buildup play to the other goalkeeping options, would look to slowly play out from the back. However, with a lack of incisive passing ability in Nigeria’s backline, Burundi were given few problems.

The main moments of quality came from Alex Iwobi on the left, playing diagonal passes inside when on the half-turn. However, Nigeria had a right-footed left back too in Aina, and no one in defence or central midfield that was comfortable on their left side, most of the side’s attacks broke down on that flank.

Omeruo was allowed the ball for long periods and had made 64 passes by full-time, but not one single line-breaking pass along the ground. In the first five minutes, he gave the ball away twice, once with an under-hit pass to Aina and one rushed punt forward when under only minimal pressure.

When Nigeria did get the ball into the final third, they had a significant aerial target in Onuachu but no movement or runners around him. The selection of veteran Mikel as a number ten meant Peter Etebo, the side’s most dynamic player off the ball, was used in a deeper distributing role that he looked ill-suited for. A simple switch of these two players’ positions would benefit both players’ skill-sets.

BURUNDI DOMINATE SECOND BALL

Prior to the tournament, Nigeria’s coach, Gernot Rohr warned his side that their opponents in the Afcon would play direct football, telling German sports magazine Kicker:

''It [the Afcon] is operated on with long balls and then pressing, it's a different style of play, there are more surprise effects compared to the World Cup.”

This proved true for Burundi, who played long from the game’s kickoff and had little interest in trying to play out from the back. The majority of goalkicks by Jonathan Nahimana were played long onto the head of Abdul Razak, with the midfield getting close to support for second balls.

Frederic Nsabiyumva also looked to play early long passes forward, often to left winger Cedric Amissi, who was excellent with his back to goal and could bring the diagonals down. On the opposite flank, Mustafa also challenged very well in the air against Aina.

Nigeria’s lack of anticipation or urgency to pick up the second ball was alarming, with Burundi gaining possession from nearly every knock-down in the first half. They would play through central midfielder, Gael Bigirimana from the second phase possession and he brought genuine quality to their play.

In the opening seven minutes, Berahino was found twice between the lines as he operated just off Abdul Razak, drawing Omeruo out on both occasions. With Wilfred Ndidi not focused on screening passes in-behind him, the Stoke City man had a hand in the first half’s best chance.

William Troost-Ekong was pulled out of the backline by Berahino dropping off, and Bigirimana played a perfect ball over the top for Amissi’s diagonal run off the left flank into the space vacated. He could not beat Akpeyi from a clear one-on-one chance, which had unsurprisingly come after Burundi collected the second ball from their long goalkick.

ROHR MOTIONS FOR CHANGE

In those opening 25 minutes, Nigeria’s only real threat had come from inverted winger Chukweze on the right flank, who was cutting in and causing problems, having one shot deflected away for a corner and leading a dangerous counter-attack. This had come from Burundi’s own corner and was a rare occasion Nigeria could attack space in the first period.

After the lifeless start to the game by Nigeria, Rohr was clearly seen motioning for his central defenders to play direct passes up to target man Onuachu. This changed very little for the side as Burundi were still picking up the second balls. Onuachu even tried to drop off a few times, pulling Frederic Nsabiyumva with him, but Mikel was not the player to go beyond and Iwobi was instead looking for balls to feet.

Nigeria did manage some half-chances from individual quality, such as from Iwobi’s “Cruyff turn” after Aina had mishit a cross, and another opening after Ndidi ran with the ball in midfield, finally bypassing an opponent. The other openings were after Mikel had flicked on a long throw, and later the captain headed a corner wide.

The second half continued in the same direct way as Iwobi and Aina rained in crosses from the left, clearly under instruction from the coach, and this led to several corners. Mikel was also getting closer to Onuachu for second balls, whilst the target man won one freekick which led to Omeruo heading wide at the back post.

MUSA AND IGHALO CHANGE GAME

After 58 minutes, Rohr withdrew Mikel and brought on Ahmed Musa as a left winger, with Iwobi moving to number ten. The side immediately looked more balanced and had greater width on the left flank. Iwobi set Musa away down the left after a one-two with Onuachu and the winger later got around the side of Omar Moussa with sheer pace to win a corner.

Although it took 15 minutes after Musa’s introduction for Ighalo to come on, it also coincided with Burundi starting to tire. The two wide players had worked themselves into the ground and Mustafa went off for Elvis Kamsoba, whilst Amissi was struggling with his defensive duties having switched over to the right flank.

There was immediately greater movement in attack for Nigeria after the change. Ighalo ran in-behind onto Musa’s pass with the outside of his boot, and then the winner arrived.

Aina carried the ball in-field, pulling right back Moussa out and then playing a surprise backheel which wrongfooted David Nshimirimana. Ighalo raced through to curl home. In a game where Nigeria had lacked ideas, movement and creativity, the one moment of improvisation led to a goal.

BURUNDI RALLY

The goal had come at the worst possible time. Not only was it late in the game, but coach Olivier Niyungeko had just withdrawn the creative Shassir Nahimana for a more defensively-inclined replacement in Christophe Nduwarugira.

They did put some late pressure on Nigeria, with Akpeyi first dropping a deep diagonal pass and needing to save from close range on the rebound. Then the goalkeeper flapped at a corner after Abdul Razak has spun away well from Troost-Ekong, whilst Amissi headed wide under pressure after a deep cross from the left.

None of these were clear openings and despite their goalkeeper’s troubles, Nigeria held on fairly comfortably.

SUMMARY
This was a very impressive, compact performance from a Burundi side who did not lose a single game in qualifying and created the best chance of the first half here. Their direct style and strong link-up play from their strike pairing was impressive, whilst the midfield were excellent at winning second balls. They can feel disappointed not to take a point from this game.

Nigeria, on the other hand, looked unbalanced throughout. With no real width on the left, Mikel completely unsuited to playing as number ten, and the central defenders unable to buildup with quality, most of their chances came from off-the-cuff moments.

The fact that Nigeria played essentially a long ball game from the 25th until 70th minutes shows how few ideas they had. The introductions of Musa and Ighalo were key, not just for their technical quality, but because Iwobi could move centrally, Mikel went off, and the route one option was removed.

Rohr has tough choices going forward, but if he fails to make the changes which he never did at the 2018 World Cup, then Nigeria will struggle to fulfil their potential at this tournament.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:31 pm 
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Interesting analysis. Good read.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:55 pm 
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If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:10 pm 
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Waffiman wrote:
Interesting analysis. Good read.


Good write up. The minute I saw Mikel on the team sheet and knowing Rohr will most certainly play him as the advanced attacking midfielder, I was certain it was going to be a low scoring game. Our build up play in the last third with Mikel is always pedestrian.

We’ve all pretty much figured out that Musa is more of a central striker. It was playing him wide, that resulted in most of his bad press. Paul needs to sit and watch from the sideline. We need to start the next game with team that finished against Burundi


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:22 pm 
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good write-up.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Quote:
Nigeria will began their 18th Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt...


I stopped reading after the above sentence at the beginning of the article.

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Last edited by 1naija on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:43 pm 
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maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:55 pm 
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maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.


dumb statement.

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Does the SE have Gray, Mahrez or Albrighton on our team or players of their caliber?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


it was a dumb rudimentary statement with no depth in thought. smh

The article Waffiman posted clearly highlighted the compact Burundi team, which played wih a low block. I mean lets even forget the whole "minnows" crap. If an opponent plays with a low block and are compact in midfield, its follows that you are not going to create a lot. There is simply no space, how the heck are you going to be creating multiple chances??!! It takes times to work them out and move them about, until you can open them up.

Funny enough, in that first half where everyone seems to "agree" that we didnt create many chances, I can think of at least 3 chances that were clear. Iwobi created two of those, if I remember correctly and then Mikel headed a clear corner kick wide. If we took those 3 clear chances and were 3-0 up at halftime, people like Maceo will be here twerking with one buttock! :roll:

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Does the SE have Gray, Mahrez or Albrighton on our team or players of their caliber?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:04 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:36 pm 
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maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


Not so fast. Iwobi has played AM several times after the WC and what you assume above doid not happen often. In reality the most creative player for Nigeria is, to your surprise, Ahmed Musa. He is always involved in a lot of opportunities that either end up being a goal or close to one. Yet, many people continue to neglect this. Iwobi has the swag but the most dangerous player for Nigeria is always Ahmed Musa.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


I rewatched the 2013 games before this tournament and to be honest though it was tougher in the group phase we did create more chances than this current team does. And this was against much better competition in eventual finalists Burkina Faso and the then reigning champions Zambia along with surprise of the tournament Ethiopia. Relatively this is a much easier group (again not self entitlement...), I just expect us to do better in the final phase. However, we will all take this early play if we end up accomplishing what the 2013 team did.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:43 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


Not so fast. Iwobi has played AM several times after the WC and what you assume above doid not happen often. In reality the most creative player for Nigeria is, to your surprise, Ahmed Musa. He is always involved in a lot of opportunities that either end up being a goal or close to one. Yet, many people continue to neglect this. Iwobi has the swag but the most dangerous player for Nigeria is always Ahmed Musa.

But I'll definitely take my chances with Iwobi or even Etebo playing that creative role, I do agree on the Musa part... as villfied as he is, he remains our most dangerous player especially in crucial moments.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:46 pm 
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maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


I rewatched the 2013 games before this tournament and to be honest though it was tougher in the group phase we did create more chances than this current team does. And this was against much better competition in eventual finalists Burkina Faso and the then reigning champions Zambia along with surprise of the tournament Ethiopia. Relatively this is a much easier group (again not self entitlement...), I just expect us to do better in the final phase. However, we will all take this early play if we end up accomplishing what the 2013 team did.

Lol the 2013 team didn't create chances and definitely struggled against Burkina Faso, Zambia, and Egypt in that group phase. We only made it out due to players like Emenike and Victor Moses that individually saved us in key moments... it was only during the second round that the team went on beast mode and started playing with swagger.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


Not so fast. Iwobi has played AM several times after the WC and what you assume above doid not happen often. In reality the most creative player for Nigeria is, to your surprise, Ahmed Musa. He is always involved in a lot of opportunities that either end up being a goal or close to one. Yet, many people continue to neglect this. Iwobi has the swag but the most dangerous player for Nigeria is always Ahmed Musa.

But I'll definitely take my chances with Iwobi or even Etebo playing that creative role, I do agree on the Musa part... as villfied as he is, he remains our most dangerous player especially in crucial moments.




Some of the decisions taken yesterday were based on who was fit and who wasn't given the illness that has circulated through the team. Ordinarily Iwobi would not have started on the left, except that there was concern about how many minutes Musa could play having just recovered from the flu virus. So there was no way that Iwobi would have started the game through the middle. Having said that, I thought it was curious that Rohr would choose play Mikel as his central attacking midfielder as I would have expected him to have inverted the role that Mikel and Etebo played.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:29 pm 
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maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...




Maceo,

Egypt, Nigeria and Morocco have all labored to lone goal victories against so called lesser opponents. Guinea couldn't solve Madagascar and DR Congo was put to the sword by Uganda. What does that tell you?

Abeg, let's just take our 3 points and move forward. The goal is to improve as the tournaments proceeds, and hopefully we will be able to do that. My principal concern for Nigeria is our goalkeeper.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:29 pm 
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Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
Tobi17 wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.

"if you can't create against the likes of Burundi" its self entitlements like this that bother me, maybe we shouldn't expect to just waltz through and demolish any team after missing out on 3 or so consecutive AFCONS ourselves. It's not like Burundi came to Egypt to take selfies with the pyramids, check their match records in the last 6 six months, and you will see why they are not particularly push overs. Fnishing your group unbeaten should definitely earn any team some respect, however considerable. Egypt struggled to beat Zimbabwe, Morocco are currently having it tough against Namibia, and I'm sure we will see more close games like this against the so called minnows...we need to learn some humility sometimes.


It’s not self entitlement, it’s a statement of fact. Nigeria’s goals in this tournament are vastly different from Burundi’s. They are hoping they can get out of the group, while ours is to progress much further. We should be able to create chances, not expecting a blow out, but more expansive creative play given our boys have had weeks to work out a game plan. What we saw was more so hoofing the ball up to tall Paul while Mikel struggled in the AM position. The opposition is only going to get tougher, so hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on and our players recover from illness etc...

We started slow in 2013, very few eveb expected us to progress past the group... but we not only did, but went on to win the tournament itself. The tricky part of this sort of competitions is that the smaller teams have NOTHING to lose, so they come very determined and if necessary bleed on the field just to cause an upset...and it invariably only takes a moment or two of genius from the better team to win. The tactical mistake which slowed us down was Rohr starting Mikel as an AM instead of dropping him to his much suited deeper role, if we had started with Iwobi as the AM instead of playing him wide, dropped Mikel to a deeper role with Ndidi and pushed Etebo a bit forward... and with Ighalo and Musa starting, there's everything chance we should have bettered Burundi with a bigger scoreline. At the end, we realized those mistakes and we hope the team makes the necessary adjustments and improvements going forward.


I rewatched the 2013 games before this tournament and to be honest though it was tougher in the group phase we did create more chances than this current team does. And this was against much better competition in eventual finalists Burkina Faso and the then reigning champions Zambia along with surprise of the tournament Ethiopia. Relatively this is a much easier group (again not self entitlement...), I just expect us to do better in the final phase. However, we will all take this early play if we end up accomplishing what the 2013 team did.

Lol the 2013 team didn't create chances and definitely struggled against Burkina Faso, Zambia, and Egypt in that group phase. We only made it out due to players like Emenike and Victor Moses that individually saved us in key moments... it was only during the second round that the team went on beast mode and started playing with swagger.


You are laughing but watch those games again, vs BF Musa, Ideye and Uche missed good scoring chances, vs Zambia it was tougher but Mikel missed a PK won by Musa yet we still drew 1-1. And stop ignoring the clear difference in quality which we were up against in 2013.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:10 pm 
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Tobi, you can see it here, the point blank chances Ideye and Uche missed, how much of a better team we were, getting penetration behind BF with movement and committing players to the attack and accurate passing against better opponents:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:58 am 
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Here is my readings from the BF game:

1) Nigeria's impotence in attack stems from Rohr's insistence on playing Mikel and a 4-2-3-1 formation. It is 3 central midfielders any which way you see it.

2) Mikel's greatest flaw is the slowness of the transition. Several times Chukwueze was off the blocks but had to slow down to accomodate slow mo Mikel the link man in the midfield. When he was replaced the speed of the Super Eagles clearly unsettled Burundi who they pinned to their half

3) Iwobi is a one way player who should be a striker not a winger. Musa demonstrated how you play the wing and Iwobi shifted to a far better position in the middle just behind the striker.

4) Omeruo is a liability bc time without number his positioning and awareness was poor

5) Chukwueze has breath taking dribbling skills but he needs to learn how to apply it. He cuts too early into the center and does not look for the penetrating pass. He should be using space on the wing to get into the box or to cross.

6) Nigeria has a great central midfield (Etebo + Ndidi), good wide players (Musa + Chukwueze) so why not play 4-4-2? 4-4-2 with Iwobi as support striker and a #9 is what will help Nigeria create a lot more scoring opportunities than the impotent 4-2-3-1 formation


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:18 am 
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danfo driver wrote:
maceo4 wrote:
If you can’t create against the likes of Burundi...na real wa for our team, and it’s not even like our defense is air tight. Hopefully Rohr can balance the team and work on our movement and decision making in the final third.
dumb statement.
:?: :?: :?:
One would think Burundi was a rollover.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:32 am 
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Couldn’t disagree more with this write-up. It’s written as a critique of Nigeria (as opposed to analysis of the game) and hence misses the boat. Team getting almost 70% of possession is called “unbalanced” while the other team is called “compact”.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:35 am 
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The article was mainly to criticise Nigeria in my opinion.
Burundi has upset many african giants in the past and failed in their bid to beat us.


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