Etim Esin wants NFF to channel all resources in quest to beat Algeria
Former Super Eagles’ midfielder, Etim Esin, has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to do everything possible within its power to ensure that the senior national team achieves victory over Algeria in next month’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The Super Eagles currently top Group B of the African World Cup qualifying series with three points following the 2-1 victory over Zambia in Ndola. Other countries in the group include Cameroun and Algeria with one point apiece after playing a draw in Blida, while Zambia currently sits at the bottom of the ladder with no point.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Esin said the country could not afford a slip, as the group leader, adding that all focus should be on the game against Algeria.
“We should not get carried away because of the victory in Ndola, Zambia. With good preparation, we can get a good result against Algeria. I like what the new technical adviser is doing; at least he is featuring players based on current form.
“We have to take a look at our defence a little bit because the goal we conceded in Zambia was a defensive blunder. If we can solve our defence problem properly, I know we have a good attack and I think our midfield is also good and if we can score goals then we are good to go. I know Algeria is not going to be an easy team, they have been to the World Cup and they have top players playing in top clubs in Europe,” he said.
The former Lokeren FC of Belgium playmaker applauded Coach Gernot Rohr for fielding the English Premiership pair of Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi, saying, “It is good that the white coach did not look at the age of these young stars. These are boys, who play regularly for their clubs, Arsenal and Manchester City.
“If it were another coach, may be he would have benched them because of their age, saying they still have time to be ripe. How old was I when I played for Nigeria? Once a potential is seen in a player, the next thing is to try him. I was very happy that the coach gave them the opportunity to show why they are featured for their clubs and they never disappointed us. You can imagine someone, who just played almost 90 minutes for Arsenal against FC Barcelona in a Champions League fixture, sitting on the bench because of age or whatever reason in an AFCON qualifier against Egypt, while his teammate is on the pitch in that same match. I think I will give kudos to the white coach for taking the bull by the horn by putting those boys on the field against an experienced Zambian side. These guys are the future of Nigerian football,” he stated.