Tuesday, 12 February 2013

How high did the Eagles fly?

Vincent Enyeama once again proved he is arguably Africa’s best goalkeeper by emerging the best goalkeeper in the tournament.

Uwa Echiejile finally stamped his authority in the Super Eagles after being given sufficient time to express himself.
Efe Ambrose put up a decent performance in the tournament, especially in the knockout stages to earn a place in the tournament XI, but has actually not lived up to the potentials we saw at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup.
Kenneth Omeruo is the revelation of the tournament after he effectively displaced Joseph Yobo to put up a commanding performance that belied his age. He should be properly managed so he can fulfill the huge potentials we have been seeing since he came on the scene during the 2009 Under-17 World Cup.
Godfrey Oboabona has improved steadily with every game he has played for the Eagles, especially in this tournament. He only requires more exposure, consistency and further development to compete with several other options.

Ogenyi Onazi has exemplified determination, talent and youth. With consistency and further improvement, he will not have an issue remaining in the team for a very long time.
John Mikel Obi was phenomenal during the tournament and duly earned a place in the Tournament XI. He can do even better for a longer while to come if the coaches are able to effectively utilize his obvious talent.
Sunday Mba was quite impressive against all odds, but he will need further exposure and consistency to tie down a place against several other options; plus he is not ‘that young player’.

Victor Moses rose majestically to the occasion and has all but sealed a permanent place in the team for a long time to come. He was the team’s main creative attacking force and won a place in the tournament XI.
Emmanuel Emenike was everything good about the Nigerian attack at the tournament finally showing his goal-poaching side in the national colours to emerge the tournament’s top-scorer and place in the tournament XI.

Joseph Yobo is past his best and is probably already going downhill. Though he has not been quite as inspirational a leader as Kanu or Okocha were, his experience is still of necessity to a budding team and so perhaps he could be resorted at this point to his original right back position.
Juwon Oshaniwa had a cameo performance in the final. He will get other opportunities.

Though sometimes quite rough, Fengor Ogude’s experience and maturity showed in the few games he played. Unfortunately, he is not much of a candidate for the longer term.
Nosa Igiebor did not quite light up the tournament like was expected. I hope his relegation to the bench will make him step up his game in the country’s colours.
Obiora Nwankwo had very little play-time during the tournament because his form has actually dipped greatly over the last two years, but talent and youth make him a necessary part of a transitory Eagles team.

Ejike Uzoenyi is a good player, but he is simply not international quality.
Ahmed Musa has huge potentials, but perhaps he is being rushed a little. He will blossom into a great Super Eagles player only if well-utilized by the coaches.
Brown Ideye worked hard for the entire team all through the tournament but failed to find that cutting edge in front of goal.
After flunking several chances upon coming on in the first, Ike Uche had a poor tournament as he was anonymous for the entirety of the little playtime he got. He still remains one of the team’s best goal-poachers.

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