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Eguavoen needs ‘intelligent players’ to succeed in Cameroon, says Adelabu

By Gowon Akpodonor
30 December 2021   |   2:31 am
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has given Coach Austin Eguavoen tips on how to build a winning squad at the African Nations Cup in Cameroun.

Adegoke Adelabu

Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has given Coach Austin Eguavoen tips on how to build a winning squad at the African Nations Cup in Cameroun.

“Eguavoen should look for intelligent players because we have so many players that could mimic intelligent players based on the effort they put in training and friendly matches,” Adelabu told The Guardian yesterday. “But they usually perform below expectation in real match situations because of situational pressure. The coach should be very careful in picking his squad.”

Adelabu, who played club football for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, said Eguavoen would do himself good by looking for players that can retain instructions for a considerable period of time under pressure.

“We have sufficient players to perform at any level, but at a stage, the level of their sport intelligence will expose their tactical errors, which they and even the coach may not know if he does not take cognisance of the role the players ought to play and how the opponents are preventing them from functioning.”

The sports scientist and former manager of Eko United FC added: “If we know the system we want to play, then we need players that can vary the pattern of play with respect to the pedigree of our opponents.

“Many times, we need to take into account the personality of some players (opponents), and devise a means of isolating them from doing what they know how to do best i.e. ability to carry the ball on motion and shooting from long range.”

He stated that the Cameroun 2022 AFCON is an opportunity to return the Super Eagles into the hands of indigenous coaches.

He added: “What our coaches need is for them to undergo transitional programme no matter where they get their coaching certificate from. The usual Nigerian mentality will affect their managerial competence.

“The transitional programme that we have designed will help them to organise their thoughts in a functional way and be able to learn from the feedback. We need to begin to think of how to consolidate our indigenous coaches to handle our national teams. This should be the beginning of such process. We need to stop the use of foreign coaches.”

Adelabu advised Eguavoen to be careful not to allow football agents to choke him with the need to use the national team to market their players.