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Editorials, Sports

The Trajectory Fall Of The Super Eagles In 2022

Nigeria played thirteen games in the calendar year, winning five, drawing two and losing eight.

  • Boluwatife Adeyemi
  • 12th December 2022

The year 2022 was a disastrous one for the Super Eagles of Nigeria as they failed to live up to the expectations of the many football lovers in the country. Nigeria is one of the household names in African football but they have seen their reputation regress following fruitless outings in the different competitions they’ve competed in in recent times.


Following the sack of Franco-German tactician Gernot Rohr from his role as the Super Eagles’ head coach, former Nigeria international Austin Eguavoen led the team to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The three times African champions had a flawless outing in the group stages of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that was hosted by Cameroon following wins over Egypt (1-0), Sudan (3-1) and Guinea Bissau (2-0). Champions in 1980, 1994, and 2013, the group stage maximum tally and entertaining performances were expected to give the Super Eagles the needed morale boost in their hunt for a fourth AFCON title. However, their fairytale run was halted by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, after falling to a one nil defeat in the Round of 16.


With the exit of Nigeria, Austin Eguavon left his role as the Interim coach in bid to allow the NFF appoint a new coach ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs, but the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced the reconstitution of the technical crew of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles, with Augustine Eguavoen staying as Interim Technical Adviser while former Nigeria international, Emmanuel Amuneke was drafted in as an assistant to Eguavoen. The star studded technical crew was unable to inspire the West African nation to a win over Ghana after playing a 0-0 draw away and a 1-1 draw in the country’s capital. Following the two legged results, Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar, making it the second time they’ll be absent from the tournament since their debut in 1994.


Nigeria played thirteen games in the calendar year, winning five, drawing two and losing eight.


Daniel Amokachi, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, said the Super Eagles are in this mess due to the appointment of unsuitable coaches as well as poor team selections.


When you look at the Portugal game, that tells you that we don’t even deserve to be there (World Cup). There are one, two, three different angles that you have to look at it, bringing in the right coach, bringing in the right players and get the right environment to play at,” Amokachi told Channels TV.

The Potential Resurrection Of The Eagles


Nigeria senior men’s national team might have had a torrid campaign in 2022, but there are signs that the Super Eagles have the potential to make football lovers in Nigeria proud once more.


Here are some factors:


  1. Most Valued National Team In Africa:


According to German-based football statistics website, Transfermarkt, the Super Eagles of Nigeria has the squad with the highest market value in Africa. Nigeria’s team has a total market value of €303.35m (₦144.49B), €43.25m more than second placed Elephants of Ivory Coast.


The statistics shows that there is enough quality in the Super Eagles squad to conquer Africa in the forthcoming calendar year if utilized well.


  1. History:


Football is in our DNA and we’re one of the most celebrated teams across the continent. The country Nigeria, has a history of producing talents that will go on to win laurels for their motherland. This is not the first time Nigeria will be having a bad year, recall 2006 ? The team came back stronger to win medals at the subsequent AFCON tournaments.


Hindrance To The Resurrection Of The Eagles


  1. Unidentified Pattern Of Play:

According to the laws of life, there’s always a recipe for success. The Super Eagles of Nigeria need to get an identified pattern of play, same way notable football teams do. Brazil has Jogo Bonito while Spain has Tiki Taka, Nigeria needs to perfect their approach to games also.


  1. Players Selecting Games:

There have been reports of star players in the team choosing games they want to play and the ones they do not want to be called up for. Clubs have also found a way of convincing their players to pull out of matches, citing injury concerns when there’s none.


Most recently, Victor Osimhen of S.S.C Napoli opted out of the friendlies against Portugal and he was ruled out of the 2021 AFCON by his club, saying he’s unfit to play.


  1. Quality Selections: 

It’s believed that the Super Eagles don’t play to their strength and that has to do with the team selection done by the coach. Former Super Eagles midfielder, John Ogu expressed his disappointment in Jose Peseiro for setting up the Eagles to lose against Portugal.


“Portugal Vs Nigeria in my opinion is not about the Quality but the players used and their positions . I will never play Moses Simon and Lookman together . Both are banging goals for their clubs on the left side of the wing.”


The Super Eagles of Nigeria have no major tournament in 2023, but will be involved in qualification fixtures for the AFCON 2023 due to be played in January 2024.

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