Abakaliki – Football fans in Ebonyi have called on the Super Eagles to learn from the lessons of Brazil’s humiliation of Spain in the finals at the just-concluded FIFA Confederations Cup.
The fans were reacting to the team’s 3-0 spanking of Spain in the match played on Sunday, which has made Brazil the favourite for the 2014 World Cup crown.
The fans urged the Eagles to learn from the attributes of resilience, skillful display, aggressiveness and overall commitment ,which enabled the Brazilians to break Spain’s invincibility and end its 29-match unbeaten run.
Hillary Ubesie, Ebonyi Sports Council Secretary, urged the Eagles to overcome the undue respect it gives to big teams of world football.
“Apart from the goal scoring problems the team had against Uruguay and Spain at the Confederations Cup, it lost both matches due to `fear of the other teams’ might’.
“Brazil took Spain to the cleaners because it saw its foe as ordinary, matched it strength for strength, while allowing its own skills to dictate and finally determine the game,’’ he said.
Martin Nkpuma, the Sports Council Chief Soccer Coach, urged Keshi to learn from Brazil’s Coach Felipe Scolari, especially his team blending ability.
“Scolari blended the new players with the old ones with dexterity, as he used only youthful players whose skills and commitment were complemented with the ruggedness and experience of the older ones,’’ Nkpuma said.
Uchenna Ogamba, a Footballer, urged Keshi to effectively blend the foreign-based players with those based at home as done by Scolari.
“Nobody is condemning Keshi for fielding home-based players at the Confederations Cup; but the problem was that he fielded a new team different from the one he was supposed to be building.
“Only nine players from the victorious Nations Cup team, apart from the two that were injured, made it to the Confederations Cup, while Scolari did not alter the team inherited from his predecessor, Maino Menez,’’ he said.
Another fan, Jude Oko, urged the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) not to impose players on Keshi.
“It (NFA) can only offer useful advice through its technical department and ensure that only players who are in form and committed are invited for national assignments,’’ he said.
Mrs Belinda Uka, a Teacher, urged Nigerians to be patient with Keshi as he would surely learn from the lessons of the Confederations cup.
“He has demonstrated this by retaining the entire home based players he took to Brazil and those he works with regularly, for the upcoming African Nations Championship match against Cote D’Ivoire.
“The team needs the prayers and support of Nigerians as it seeks to redeem its image by qualifying for the World Cup,’’ Uka said. (NAN)