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Super-Eagles-Celebrate-e1404383410715 Nigeria’s participation at the World Cup held in Brazil took a bitter blow when the Super Eagles came up against a determined French side. So many have criticised the Super Eagles and their coaching crew, but here are five lessons we took from our World Cup adventure. 1.Preparation ‘on field’ and ‘off field’ is key Before the World Cup, there were series of calls for the inclusion of some players which include Ike Uche and OsazeOdemwingie. Though the latter eventually got invited, questions were raised on the quality of strikers the Super Eagles had paraded. When games were tough for the Eagles, there was no change in the striking department which makes the exclusion of Ike Uche a big mistake given his impressive performance for his Spanish club side. With that being said, the appearance fee payment row before our second round match against France could have been averted before then. Off field rows can only bring about disunity, and that was evident in our final performance, where we saw a team that was not willing to fight for every ball. Mikel Obi particularly contributed immensely to this, literally walking on the pitch when his team was under attack. 2. The Super Eagles can get better Amidst the inefficiencies noticed in the team, some positives can be taken from the fact that this team was only built under two years ago in comparison to every other team currently participating in Brazil. Granting coach Keshi a new contract for another four years and keeping the group while injecting new blood can only make the team better. Let’s also not forget that the Nations Cup 2015 qualifier kicks off in two months’ time. 3.Vincent Enyeama made a name for Nigeria One name which cannot be forgotten so soon in the World Cup is Vincent Enyeama, after his impressive exploits.With the incredible saves made in the group stages and in the last match against France, Enyeama will be gunning for the best goal keeper in the tournament. 4. Nigeria still misses Jay Jay Okocha When Jay Jay Okocha was about to drop his boots for the Super Eagles, many football pundits predicted difficulty in his replacement. It is definitely glaring today that his boots have not been filled ever since. The World Cup was a classical case of how the Super Eagles still miss the ex-maestro. This was evident in the inability of the midfielders to create credible chances for the strikers. Nigeria seriously needs to scout for a player that fits that profile in order to avert such a disappointment. 5.Nigeria must keep Stephen Keshi Keshi has brought the Nations Cup for Nigeria after 19 years of waiting and he became the first indigenous African coach to qualify a country for the second round of the World Cup. One would say he has done enough to prepare the team for the next African Cup of Nations and the World Cup in 4 years time.  

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This article was first published on 3rd July 2014


Martins Okafor is a Sports Writer for Connect Nigeria. He has been a sport buff for years, following stories and development in leagues and international competitions. His interest led him to writing stories – reporting on sporting events. He has superior interest in soccer, but knows much about other sports. He plans to have a blog and to advance in sport journalism. You can email him at: obimartins85 [at]

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