It is that time of the year. With the the World Cup less than a month away, it is time for the squads. Lots of reactions, hot takes and whatever else you please.
There are going to be a bunch of eyes on the Super Eagles this summer, partly because of the kits, partly to clout, and mostly because banter is the strongest currency.
One of the most important things in a World Cup is chemistry. There have been a lot of disappointing but talented loaded teams. Look at Argentina in 1994 and 2002, France in 2002 and 2010, Spain in 2014,Netherlands 1990. Brazil in 2006 and England in 2006.
Anyway back to Nigeria. Bit of background for those that do not know: Nigeria from 1994- 2002 were really good. Thy did not win the trophies that many predicted but it was the combination of talent, flair and fearlessness caught the world’s eye. From about 2004- 2013 Nigeria failed meet expectations (not getting into politics but there are myriad of reasons as to why).
Fast forward to 2013, Nigeria wins the Nations Cup. Stephen Keshi, rest his soul, did an amazing job. In 2014, Nigeria qualifies for the World Cup, struggle to get out of the group and lose to France in the knockout stage. After missing out on back to back Nation’s cup, Nigeria went back to the drawing board and the 2018 Nigeria squad is somewhat of a rebirth. It is a mix of players born in Nigeria and the Diaspora, players who have won youth tournaments and players from the 2014 World Cup.
Overall, Nigeria has a very solid squad. The same core that got Nigeria here, are here. Nigeria’s goalkeeper and defense are the biggest concerns, in addition to the combination in midfield.
If you have ever seen Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi or whoever else’s social media during international break, you know that the chemistry in the squad is very strong.
Looking at the roster, 7 players have to go; here are the predicted 7
1) Dele Ajiboye- Just not good enough compared to the other 3.
2) Stephen Eze- He will get his chance for AFCON qualifiers but this tournament is not where he will get his chance to shine.
3) Kenneth Omeruo- Controversial! One of the more experienced players in the squad, however his talent ceiling is not as high as the other defenders, who are also more versatile.
4) Uche Agbo- It is a case of numbers.
5) Mikel Agu- Another case of numbers.
6) Simeon Nwankwo- He had a hot ending in Serie A however the attackers in the squad are solidified.
7) Junior Lokosa- I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.
Nigeria starts their World Cup 2018 journey with a friendly vs. DR Congo on May 28th and greatness is expected from the Super Eagles. That being said, if you are not Nigerian and you are supporting Nigeria, God bless your heart.