Speaking on the challenges facing the African teams, Nnamdi Obanya, a sport Journalist told Channels Television on Wednesday that tactical indiscipline by African teams had led to the inability of the teams to cross the group stage of the World Cup.
He attributed Cote d’Ivoire’s defeat by Greece to tactical indiscipline in football, stressing that the blunder committed by the team in the last few minutes of the match led to their exit.
”Cote d’Ivoire started their matches slowly hardly scoring a goal after the 64th minute of any match. Even when Greece got the lead, they were quite easy to contain because they never used counter attacks, they don’t rush their opponents, they are not fast, they depend on long room and short head pieces and they were not sharp, which the Ivorian would have used against them,” he stressed.
According to him, the Ivorians had the chance of winning the match, but went back especially when they knew what they needed was a draw. “The last goal they conceded was due to the defence’s carelessness, again, indiscipline, totally losing the ball to Samaras to pounce on it”.
He also stated that the tactical indiscipline on the part of the Algerians nearly made them to lose to the Korean team in their last game. “In the first half, Algerians scored 3-0 but the Koreans made a come-back and scored 2 goals in the second half. If the Algerians didn’t score the 4th goal, they would have been under pressure.
The sport journalist further said that the hitch the African team had was that they do not practice set-pieces and the fact that they do not watch their opponents’ matches.
Asked if the coaches or the players are to blame, he said that the coaches were not to blame in many of the occasions. He said that the coach of Cote d’Ivoire, Sabri Lamouchi, made the right choice and changes when due, making the stronger team mates hold the ball against their opponent.
On Cameroon’s exit from the World Cup, he blamed some players for not following instructions. “The Cameroun coach couldn’t do anything seeing his player, Benoit Assou-Ekotto ‘head butt’ his team mate and the other player Alex Song elbowing his team mate. This is just indiscipline in the African football.
“Most African players do not go through structured academy where they are expected to imbibe discipline. Most of what they learn, they learnt in Foreign countries and things they can’t do in the club they do it in their National team,” he stated.
Ahead of the Nigeria and Argentina match that would be played on Wednesday, he predicted a draw, hinging his prediction on the fact that Argentina are through but would want to top the group in other not to meet France in the next stage.
Pointing out the weakness of Nigeria, he stated that if the Super Eagles use the 5-3-2 formation, against the Argentines, it could give the National team problems.
“Nigeria doesn’t know how to play the eleven men behind the ball kind of game. Nigeria needs to attack and make the Argentines defend as much as possible.
Nigeria only needs a draw to qualify for the next round of the tournament. This will be the fourth time Nigeria will be meeting the Argentines in the World cup, but Argentina have won the three games they have played so far.