By Solomon Nwoke
FORMER Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju has slammed the teamâ€™s midfield and attacking line-up in Mondayâ€™s scrappy win over the Chipolopolo of Zambia in their African Nations Cup quarter final match.
Adepoju who is manager of Ibadan-based premier league side, 3SC in a telephone chat yesterday called for urgent alignment of the teamâ€™s midfield and attack if they must beat Ghana.
Adepoju said he was scandalised that the Super Eagles one of the African giants in football had to struggle to scale through to the semi final over a better Zambian side in the continental fiesta, but was however grateful to God that Nigeria won.
â€œThank God we won and qualified for the semi final, but the match was below expectation. It was far below that teamâ€™s standard, we expected that after our match against the Black Mambas of Mozambique in the last group match, they would have come up with a higher standard of play, but that was not to beâ€, he said.
Adepoju gave kudos to the teamâ€™s defence but said, the teamâ€™s coach, Shuaibu Amodu and his crew need to do more work on the midfield and attack as we look forward to playing a neighbouring West African rivals, Black Stars of Ghana on Thursday.
The â€˜ Head-Masterâ€™ as he is called by his fans for his ability to net in goals with his header noted that the Zambians out-played the Eagles even as they (Zambians ) lacked that clinical finishing, saying the games was dominated by the Zambians, but at the end Nigeria took the victory.Â Â The Eagles survived the pacy Zambians in a tension-packed, goalless 120-minute match that resulted in a penalty shootout, which the Nigerians won 5-4.
Adepoju said, â€œI am happy that Nigeria won through penalty but more should be done in the forward.
â€œNigeria is a continental giant and I see no reason why the team should face any goal drought in the tournamentâ€.
â€œWe have the players and we have what it takes to excel in the tournament, so against Ghana we have to step up our game because the Black Stars have youthful and dynamic players like the Chipolopolo of Zambia. The Ghanaians play a very fast game and we therefore have to curtail them from encroaching our vital area in order not to cause any havoc. We should guide against that, we need to come together and win this trophy for the country,â€ he said.