Former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West has urged current national team central defenders, William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun to develop a strong mentality, if they are to excel at the FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.
Taribo who played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups said that modern day defending was more of mental attitude than strength and therefore the duo who he described as the backbone of the Super Eagles need to brush up.
“I must commend both players- Balogun and Ekong for they have been doing a great job with the defence and we can all see the results. Before the Cameroon game, I was scared because of the physical strength of the Cameroonians but they showed great intelligence to mark them out,” Taribo said.
“During our time we had rugged defenders, but that is not the case today because we now have more defenders using their mental strengths than their physical strengths on the pitch.
“The game against Argentina exposed us a bit, but I’m sure the coaches will look into it and with our wealth of experience, I believe we can work as a team and help improve the team generally,” Taribo concluded.
The former Inter Milan defender was recently appointed into the NFF Technical Study Group saddled with the responsibility of collating, analyzing and putting at the disposal of the Federation, data and new thinking that can enhance the rapid development of the game in Nigeria. Other members of the group chaired by Abba Yola include Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Victor Agali.