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Decide on Super Eagles’ preferred tactical formation before AFCON, Akanni urges Rohr

Waidi Akanni, an ex-international, has advised the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, to decide on what tactical formation best suits the team ahead of…

Waidi Akanni, an ex-international, has advised the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, to decide on what tactical formation best suits the team ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Akanni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that a notable style of play was needed in order for the team to perform well at the AFCON tournament.

NAN reports that the Super Eagles beat the Pirates of Seychelles on Friday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba in their final qualification match for the 2019 AFCON.

“The coach has to show us his formation. In all what he has been doing, I honestly have not seen the formation he is playing. We have to have a formation.

“We should have a recognisable style of play. If we don’t have a style of play going to the Nations Cup proper in Egypt, it will be very difficult for the Super Eagles when they meet tougher opponents,” the former Super Eagles defender said.

Akanni said with the calibre of players at Rohr’s disposal, he should by now be known for a particular style of play.

“He needs a good combination of players. The coach needs to let us know if he is playing 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 3-5-2.

“We now know the core of players available to him. We should therefore know his tactical formation based on the players we have.

“Rohr has to show us that he has a style of play, which, for now I can’t see in the team,” he said.

The Super Eagles ended the qualifiers as Group E leaders with 13 points, having won four games, lost one and drawn one.

A first half penalty kick by Odion Ighalo and two second half goals from Henry Onyekuru and Moses Simon gave Nigeria a routine 3-1 victory over Seychelles on Friday.

The victory cemented the Super Eagles’ top-place finish from their group, having already qualified for the continental showpiece slated for June in Egypt.

However, Akanni was not so impressed with the performance of the national team, especially in the first half.

“It was an average game by all standards. The first half was below par, but the Super Eagles brought some momentum into the game in the second half.

“More important was the fact that they were able to find a way to score those two goals in the second half. Football is a game of goals and a team can only be taken seriously when they score goals.

“So, it was okay that they got three goals,” he said.

Rohr had invited some new players for the Seychelles match, including former Flying Eagles defender Valentine Ozonwafor, former FIFA U-17 World Cup winner Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based forward Paul Onuachu.

Akanni said although the new players have to be gradually integrated into the senior national team, the coach should have handed them a start against Seychelles.

“I would have expected the coach to start the new players by resting Ighalo, Etebo, Ndidi and some of the other familiar players in his starting line-up.

“But, somehow, I understand that he wanted to win the game first. So, he didn’t want to take too much risk.

“The fact is that when you want to test new players, especially in a game of little significance like this, you have to give them good game time.

“I believe Rohr should have taken the risk of starting many of the new guys,” the former Lagos State Football Association chairman said.

The Super Eagles will face the Pharaohs of Egypt in an international friendly on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.(NAN)

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