By Onochie Anibeze
After watching Eagles in their friendly match against Columbia, one time chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Yusuf Ali formed the following opinion:
â€œI saw the Eagles in Angola during the Nations Cup and I , saw the match against Columbia and I think that they have improved. The team may not be fantastic but they are a little bit better than they were in Angola. I think that the coach has done something and I wish he had more time to work on the team before now. I saw the handwork of a coach trying to do something.â€
Eagles conceded a goal but later equalised through Lukman Haruna. They played sone one-touch football and tried to move forward unlike when many of their passes went back, making their game clumsy. But they still looked vulnerable in the defence.
Ali agreed and added â€œthat could also be attributed to fitness problem because in defending now everybody runs and covers space. If they lacked stamina they would not be able to make those runs for 90 minutes. So, my fear is on their fitness.
I donâ€™t know how fit they are. In that match, their fitness looked suspect. I could see some tactical moves that were not complemented by power play. These were my observations. I know that between now and the June 12 when they play Argentina, the coach would have done a lot more tactically.
But my fears are on their fitness. From what I saw against Columbia, I would not, for now score them poor even if you agree that they were not fantastic. However, I donâ€™t think that they are as bad as people are saying but they still have to step up their game otherwise it may be a sad tale in South Africa.â€
Ali understands the game has great passion for it.