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Stop adopting European style against African teams, Shorunmu cautions Eagles

By Alex Monye
18 November 2021   |   3:27 am
Former international, Ike Shorunmu, has advised the Super Eagles to stop approaching African teams with European style if they are to book a place in next year’s World Cup...

Cape Verde defender Paulo Fernandes (L) fights for the ball with Nigerian attacker Victor Osimhen during the World Cup qualifier football match between Nigerian and Cape Verde at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere in Lagos, on November 16, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Former international, Ike Shorunmu, has advised the Super Eagles to stop approaching African teams with European style if they are to book a place in next year’s World Cup in Qatar and also do well in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

Shorunmu, who spoke to The Guardian yesterday, stated that Eagles’ fighting spirit during the World Cup qualifiers was a far cry from the African football setting in terms of the best approach to the continent’s type of football.

He noted that the Central Africa Republic, Cape Verde and Liberia were able to withstand the Eagles comfortably despite the array of stars paraded by the Nigerian team because of the European style of football they adopted against their opponents.

Shorunmu, who was the Eagles’ number one goalkeeper between 1998 and 2002, then admonished the Cameroon 2021 AFCON-bound Eagles to redouble their effort by being physical to avoid any embarrassment from African teams, who are hungry for success and also eager to prove themselves.

“Thank God the Super Eagles booked the playoff ticket en route to the World Cup. But I think the players should also change their approach from the European style by being African. They should show a lot of strength and be aggressive on the pitch to survive African teams.

“This is what they need to start having in mind when playing in Africa. When they get to their various clubs they can continue with their European style because that is where their style can work and not against the African teams.

“I don’t think the African approach will be difficult for most of the players who played in the country before they moved abroad for greener pastures. The Eagles definitely have to step up their games if they are to secure a place in Qatar 2022 and also earn positive results at the 2022 AFCON,” he stated.