November 23, 2013

Brazil 2014: Eagles not yet a perfect team – Ibru

Stephen Keshi


The performance of Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi came under scrutiny from a former board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, Emmanuel Ibru in Lagos. His  verdict? He scored Keshi 60 out of a hundred.

“Sixty per cent of the job on the team has been done, but a critical 40% needs to be done before the World Cup,” Ibru told Vanguard Sports in his office Thursday.

“He (Keshi), himself will admit that there is still a lot of work to be done but one thing going for him is that Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of talents, despite the prevalence of poor administration.”

On the positive side, Ibru said Keshi has been able to turn around the fortunes of the country’s football within such a short time. “Keshi has been able to achieve three major things within his nearly two years of being in charge. He won the Africa Cup of Nations, qualified for the World Cup and for the first time qualified Nigeria for CHAN. These are no mean feats.

Similarly, he said Keshi’s tenure has seen to the return of confidence in the Nigeria Premier League players as their likes have taken permanent shirts in the Eagles first team.

“Some of them like Godfrey Oboabona, Sunday Mba, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Francis James, among others have shown that they too have the quality to compete among the best in the world. Keshi has raised the profile of home-based players like never before.”

He also praised the team for the resilience exhibited against the Azzuris of Italy last Monday in England. “In terms of fighting spirit, I score them high as they were not intimidated and they got a very good result.  “But in terms of technicalities, I observed we played in fits, as we were blowing hot and cold. For long periods we were outplayed. There is still a lot of work to be done. We must not bask in the euphoria of the 2-2 result and gloss over what needs to be done,” he warned.

“To win the World Cup, the team has to show enough tactical discipline and consistency. There is still work to be done,” Ibru stressed.