‘No leadership’– Mutiu Adepoju evaluates Super Eagles ahead of AFCON tournament
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have lost once, won four and drawn thrice in the matches played in the year 2023
Former Super Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, offered insights into the Super Eagles squad and shared thoughts about Jose Peseiro’s coaching, Soccernet.ng reports.
Peseiro has faced criticism from Nigerian football fans due to the team’s recent underwhelming performances, raising concerns about their bid for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
The three-time AFCON champions faced challenges securing victories in the qualifiers against Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, alongside a recent 1-1 draw against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, raising doubts about their form heading into the tournament.
Amidst calls from Nigerian football enthusiasts for Peseiro’s dismissal, the Nigeria Football Federation indicated difficulties in relieving him due to pending allowances.
In an exclusive interview with Soccernet.ng, Adepoju expressed concern about the team’s productivity at the AFCON under the current circumstances. He also highlighted that sacking Peseiro might not offer an immediate solution.
“Well, number one, I don’t know the condition or what is that condition, and I don’t want to enter into the issue of whether he should go or not. But notwithstanding, I still don’t know. The AFCON is here, and with this coach now, we might not be productive, so that’s my take. It has been done earlier (sacking the Gernot Rohr before the AFCON tournament) and I don’t think it might be the solution for now” he commented.
The squad boasts players excelling in European leagues, including Victor Osimhen, ranked eighth in the 2023 Ballon d’Or, and Victor Boniface, establishing himself as a prominent striker in the German Bundesliga.
Adepoju, known as the ‘headmaster,’ acknowledged the talents within the Super Eagles squad. However, he highlighted a lack of togetherness and leadership within the team that could make a significant difference.
“The current Super Eagles squad, I mean, they are good players, we can see them every time, every week in their clubs, the only thing is how to put their skill and everything together to do well at the AFCON, that’s just the issue. But definitely they are doing well in their clubs
“I think togetherness, teamwork, and I won’t want to say leadership on the field and all that, but we have a set of players that are good, but there is no leadership, things are not working well. There should be some players that will lead and say ‘Oh this is what is happening, we have to change this and all’, you know sometimes it works. I don’t know because I am not close to them. I have not been in their camp before, and I don’t know what is happening. But they need to put themselves together and get cooperation from everyone,” he remarked.
The Super Eagles are scheduled to prepare in Saudi Arabia before heading to Cote d’Ivoire for their AFCON campaign, aiming to inspire Nigerian fans with strong performances.