The Nigeria national male team, the
Super Eagles have seen their hopes of qualifying to the next FIFA World Cup fading as days pass by following their poor run of results especially in recent games.

Nigeria played a 1-1 draw at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Sunday before heading to lose their next game to Benin Republic, placing them fifth on the log with just three points from games.

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The Honourable Minister for Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh immediately after the game demanded for a comprehensive technical report on why they lost the game against Benin Republic especially after playing a draw against South Africa in Uyo despite the support they received from the Federal government.

The loss could be attributed to several things but what are the five major reasons?

Absence Of A Leader, Ekong: William Troost-Ekong has been an instrumental figure in the Super Eagles team lately.

No wonder Coach Jose Peseiro took with him Ahmed Musa to the African Cup of Nations and was working with him as an assistant coach.

Despite Musa going into the tournament as one of the players it was regularly seen Peseiro consulting the former Leicester man on several occasions for ideas and advice.

While Musa was on the bench doing the brainstorming with the Coach, William Troost-Ekong was on the pitch doing the on-pitch leadership duty.

This has been lacking in the team in the match against South Africa and Benin Republic as goalkeeper who is a newcomer in the squad was only the source of inspiration for the team.

Tactical Inability To Penetrate Defence: The Super Eagles played a clueless game as they could not find a way of the opposition’s six yard box.

Nigeria’s lack of a creative midfielder was once again evidenced when they met a strong and resilient side like the Benin republic.

Coached by a former super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr who claimed he knows all the tactics of Nigeria and cant afford to lose the game to Nigeria which he succeeded.

Lookman who has been flying with his club side Atalanta was shadowed out of the game due to lack of penetrating passes and being released earlier enough to meet defenders in one-on-one situations, causing the Europa league winners to have a night to forget.

Lack Of Attacker To Replace Osimhen: The Nigeria National team has been relying on Napoli forward Victor Osimhen for the past years and this has caused great damage to the team.

Osimhen’s absence in the match against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Uyo and Benin Republic in Côte d’Ivoire prices his importance in the team.

The team struggled to find the right path to put the Benin defenders on duty only to return the up balls and do minor clearance without a true test of their defensive abilities and strength which Osimhen would have provided.

Lack Of Combativeness In Midfield: Nigeria was always caught wanting in Midfield in the game against South Africa in Uyo especially in the first 45 minutes.

This is due to the fact that Wilfred Ndidi was playing almost like a third centre-back leaving only Alex Iwobi and Dele-Bashiru to press which gave the South Africans the advantage to play well.

A similar situation occurred in Côte d’Ivoire as Onyedika and Iwobi were given a more advanced role with Ndidi again sleeping with the defenders.

The Combativeness that gave Nigeria the silver medal in the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations has been lost in recent games with Frank Onyeka who did all the dirty jobs in the AFCON tournament not being considered a first team player by Finidi George.

Personal Indecisions By Coach: Coach Finidi George had urged Nigerians to allow him to do the job as the coach by selecting the players he feels are suitable to play according to hia tactics and not who the fans want to see on the pitch.

Fans were calling for Victor Boniface to come in as a substitute in Uyo but Finidi refused to play the Leverkusen man, claiming he played who he wanted to play.

He again dropped the Bundesliga winner to the bench against Benin and it again cost him a lot.

With no recognized tactics to produce results for Nigerians, the match against Benin Republic showed much of his tactical Inability when he could not arrive at a formidable and identified style of play as Nigerians are eager to see their team play in the next FIFA World Cup. There is a mountain to climb should that dream be given a second thought.