It is not getting any better for Nigerian football lovers and Nigerian football.
First, the national team, Super Eagles, missed out on the Qatar 2022 World Cup after losing in the playoffs to one of Ghana’s worst-ever teams.
Then during an international friendly against Portugal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon on Thursday, there were a few scenes that weren’t good for Nigeria’s football.
This isn’t just about the 4-0 defeat but the manner of the defeat and other things that happened during and after the game.
4. The midfielders’ inability to make forward passes
There is a reason our players are not playing for any top club except Victor Osimhen, they are not just good enough.
The first half was entirely dominated by Portugal but Nigeria played a lot better in the second half and enjoyed a great spell of possession in the second half until 80 minutes.
Frank Onyeka, and Oghenekaro Etebo were guilty of going sideward when there was a runner asking for a through ball or long ball.
Joe Aribo made a run into the box in the second half, begging for a long ball but Frank Onyeka instead passed sidewards.
Paul Onuachu also made a good run, instead of a through ball from Oghenekaro Etebo, he made a backpass.
If goalkeepers are now judged by how they can play a pass, then a midfielder who cannot make a good pass cannot play for the top teams.
3. Miscommunication/Lack of understanding/ No chemistry
You could see that Super Eagles were all over the place at a point. The players just don’t know when to make long balls or short passes.
There were instances where Calvin Bassey was complaining, and Terem Moffi was also unhappy with the services he received.
It is understandable, there have always been new players invited at every point in time, hence, the lack of chemistry.
2. The enigmatic Emmanuel Dennis
Short of words, not sure what to say about Emmanuel Dennis at this point. A second-half substitute who came on and kicked against the team’s captain and coach’s instruction because he wanted to please himself.
Bright Osayi-Samuel who gave away a penalty for Portugal’s second goal, won one for Nigeria when the scoreline was 2-0.
Even before the referee confirmed the penalty, Dennis who came on less than 3 minutes before the penalty carried the ball.
He was told by the captain, and other players to leave the ball to the designated taker but he refused, the coach was even shouting and pointing at who to take it but he ignored the instructions.
Dennis took the penalty and missed it.
Well, a player who would not respect his captain and coach’s instruction has no place in the group.
Shortly after this, you could see the players stopped fighting and within two minutes Portugal scored two goals to increase their tally to 4-0.
It could have been 2-1 with Nigeria most likely getting an equalizer but in the end, it ended 4-0 in favour of Portugal.
1. The great Finidi George fighting with Moses Simon over Pepe’s jersey
These average players & their clueless coach lost scandalously to Portugal, rather than feel remorseful, Finidi George ( Assistant Coach ) became a Beggar overnight fighting for & dragging Pepe’s shirt with Moses Simon… Utterly disgraceful pic.twitter.com/7vNiRTpTcb
— Godfrey (@Geebaba2010) November 17, 2022
Abeg is Finidi Gorge beggin or dragging with Moses for this jersey ?🙆♂️🙆♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/wNhf9xHugr
— Tony Beks 🇳🇬 (@TonyBekederemo) November 17, 2022
Hear me out, he has the right to collect the jersey from anyone but not in this manner.
Not the way he did it.
The great Finidi George was seen arguing with Moses Simon over Pepe’s jersey with the Portuguese seen laughing.
Yes, it is possible that Finidi George and Pepe had an arrangement before the game but as a coach after an embarrassing loss, he should not be caught doing that.
They could do this in the dressing room and not in the public eyes, especially after his team just lost woefully in a football game.
It was an ugly scene to behold!