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Owolabi calls for new Eagles’ coach ahead of World Cup qualifiers

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Former International, Felix Owolabi

Former International, Felix Owolabi has described Super Eagles’ loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria as unfortunate, saying that Nigeria wasn’t ready for the semifinals game of the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

A dissatisfied Owolabi said the Nigerian team he saw on Sunday had 11 hungry players ready to play for their country, but without direction. He said the Algerian coach had a better plan by caging both Chukwueze and Musa from the Eagles lineup.

“Unfortunately, we were not disciplined in yesterday’s (Sunday) game against the Algerians. Our opponents had everything going for them. They were mature, experienced, tactically disciplined; they came fully prepared to face us.

“Their match plan, I believe, was to score a goal in the first half and then play a defensive game in the second half, which we know of them. That was exactly what they did until the VAR’s call that awarded a penalty to Nigeria scored by Odion Ighalo,” he said. He added that thereafter the Eagles couldn’t match the Foxes strength, as the latter’s strategy was fantastic.

“What I saw in the Eagles team yesterday were 11 individual players, who were ready and hungry to play football with no direction on what to do. It was a case of sheep without a shepherd. There was nothing Coach Gernot Rohr introduced into that team. I didn’t see anything in the whole of 90 minutes because the team was not organised.

“It was only in the second half that I saw a little urgency in the players. We met a hard side that had already prepared for Musa (Ahmed) and Chukwueze (Samuel), who were marked out completely. It means they had studied us and knew where the threat would come from.

“Rohr didn’t have any approach to the match; there was no match plan. The individual brilliance of the team saw us to the semifinals stage of the AFCON. The Algerians exposed the inefficiency of Rohr. I think it’s time for him to give way for another coach to tinker the Eagles to the World Cup,” he stated.


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