Sunday, June 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Arthur Ebunam, ex-Rangers International has blamed the Super Eagles’ 0-2 loss to Croatia in their World Cup opener on wrong positioning of players and formation not amenable to scoring goals.
Ebunam said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.
He said the 4-2-3-1 formation adopted by Gernot Rohr was inimical to attacking football, adding that the players were also unable to interpret it to yield the required results.
According to him, the head coach must adopt the natural 4-4-2 formation to mount maximum pressure on Iceland on June 22.
“The coach must change his attacking formation to be enable the country to secure impressive results in their next match against Iceland on June 22,’’ he said.
Ebunam also said the stage was now set for Rohr to showcase his technical knowledge, adding that he must be on his toes during matches to read the games well.
He further said the incoherent pattern of play by the team could also be blamed on the coach’s deployment of the players, adding that Captain Mike Obi was wrongly used in the first game.
“Mike was successful as a forwarder about 13 years ago; he is now a defensive midfielder setting behind number four to absolve the heat and to make long passes to the forwarders.
“The formation that the coach played was ridiculous, the 4-4-2 formation would ensure deployment of Alex Iwobi on the left midfield and Victor Moses on the right.
“His substitutions were also late and faulty. Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa did not make any impact because of the coach’s strange formation.
“I would rather see Odion Ighalo and Sylvester Nwankwo on the attack, while Mike Obi and Onyinye Ndidi hold on to the midfield in the next game,’’ he said.
The veteran footballer who also played for Mighty Jets of Jos and El-kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri said the success and failure of the team was in the hands of the coach, adding, however, that the team had the capacity to turn the adversity around if properly tutored.