The good points, the bad, the ugly of Nigeria’s defeat
By the Grandmaster
Nigeria just lost to Aregentina 1-2 but the gains ae bigger than the loss, and the lessons are huge. The Nigeria had to strect Argentina to the point of massive tears is a good thing to Nigeria. The whole world watched all of this.
Fact is that Nigeria vs Argentina is the world’s biggest mismatch and no other such country with such gap could have done what Nigeria did in the circumstances.
What is good for Nigeria is that every single player in the Arg team is established player and his all is already known. They have all almost reached pinnacle of their careers. But almost all the Nigerians were either fading home or are looking to announce themselves. Nigeria fielded an inexperienced team: Mikel, Ighalo and Musa are going home, some via China. Moses, Nidi, Iwobi, and Simy Nwankow are hoping to upgrade from the world cup. The keeper is a reserve keeper in a second division team. The others are unknown names too.
The result was that their average is far below that of the Argentine team, yet, these boys showed gut and stood the Messi lead riot squad to almost victory. The Nigerians were naïve, and those that had some name wanted to use the state for their own agenda; get better offers.
Ighalo, Moses and Etebo had agenda. Ighalo should have squared for Ndidi when he faced the keeper but chose to try between the legs. Squaring would have nailed the match. Greed!. At other times inexperience spoke volumne.
Moses had an issue. The coach had complained that Moses does not want to play Chalsea in Super Eagles. He did not want to defend, so he always srolled back home after losing the ball. The coach would have changed him but who would do better. He had the capacity but never wanted to help Nigeria. If he had pursued his opponents to defend, Ndidi would have arrested the threatening attackers but Ndidi had to work alone while Moses strolled. It was a choice.
The referee said head to ball was no foul, but we have seen many before. We are checking to be sure he was right. The world watched the match to see what would happen to Argentina, Nigeria used it to show what a bunch of guts without experience and pedigree could do. If they stay together two more years an test many systems in many other situations especially European friendlies, these boys would shock the world.
Now, the exit of Germany shows the significance of the fight that the Super Eagles fought, and the narrow that Argentina achived. The results show the fast closing of the gap between the big and small footballing nations. Globalisation has ensured that all nations get same intelligence and resources for training about same time. The coaches also move from country to country spreading same technical insights and techniques.
The exit of all African nations including Senegal with four points, Nigeria and Morrocco with three each is a sad commentary. It is another call of the African Union (AU) and CAF to convene a football summit and draw a blue print for football to be endorsed by all African nations.
This is important because football is a huge sector for youth development and revenue generation from foreign exchange.
Football is no longer just a game.