Former Super Eagles’ stars Victor Agali and Julius Aghahowa, have urged the Nigerian contingent to the World Cup to improve their game so as to compete favourably with other teams, AOIFootball.com reports.
Both former internationals believe the time for the trial of players is over as the coaches must begin to perfect strategies and tactics ahead of the World Cup, beginning with the game against the Czech Republic in Austria on Wednesday.
On his own submission, Agali said that though the game against England was not too convincing, he believes that players would have learned one or two things from the clash.
“Obviously, the period of trying out players is over; it is now time to blend and perfect the coach’s formation. So, I strongly believe that is what the friendly game will show us. Don’t judge the team yet with just the England match. Let’s watch them against the Czech Republic and see what they can offer to Nigerians.
“We know how important the World Cup is to all Nigerians and I am sure the coach also knows he must fire up his boys to bring the best. I believe the game against Czech will offer them the perfect opportunity to show we are on the right path,” Agali said.
When quizzed if he favours a change of approach as displayed in the second half against England, the former Eagles’ star noted that he believes the coaches have seen the loopholes and will definitely work on them.
“I believe the coach is perfecting the formations and the right approach to the first match. We might see a change of formation, but only Rohr can decide on that,” Agali concluded.
On his part, Aghahowa, who also spoke exclusively to AOIFootball.com, cautioned the handlers of the national team to put more effort on the creative midfield roles of the team, positing that if the situation is not properly improved, the Eagles may fall short of their target in Russia.
“To be honest, the match was not really good for us, but that’s the essence of friendly games because it helps to know to expose your weakness. It helps the coach to know players that are ready and also know the positions to perfect. So, the results don’t really matter because at the end of the day, preparing well remains the goal.
“Our midfield lacks creativity and we need to have a creative midfielder that can give that final pass for the striker to score. For instance, we have Ighalo in front and every other person behind him so who gives him the pass? Obviously, nobody because we don’t have a proper playmaker,” Agahowa said.
When asked if Iwobi’s second-half performance against England was enough to see him play in the creative midfield role, the former Wigan striker, said the coach could give him another chance to see if he can replicate the same kind of performance against Czech Republic.
“Maybe Iwobi can fill that position for us; he was brilliant against England in the second half but he will need to do it more often in the game and not just once. Mikel playing the attacking midfield, to me, is a no because he now plays more as a defensive midfielder and will prefer the coaches leave him to that position,” Agahowa concluded.