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FIFA U17 WC: 5 Things We Learnt From The Golden Eaglets In The Group Stage



The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria qualified from Group B of the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil where they got Six points from 3 games.

Manu Garba led boys will face one of Europe giants the Netherlands in the round of sixteen after finishing atop group B above Ecuador and Australia.

The team so far so good have been one of the teams of the tournament winning their first two games coming from behind. Their performances have generated a lot of criticism from fans back home but this if what we have picked up from their outings.

Manu Garba Is All Attack No Defence

Like some world-renowned managers say, the best form of defense is to attack, it seems Manu Garba only picked up the attacking part and forgot that there is something called defense in football.

READ ALSO: Brace Up For Golden Eaglet! “We Are In Brazil To Win The FIFA U-17 World Cup” – Manu Garba

The Eaglets have scored 9 goals in 3 games, an average of 3 goals per match but unfortunately, the team has also conceded as much as they have scored. Two goals each against all opponents in the group means the aim is to outscore the opponents.

In 2013, Manu Garba’s team led by Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success scored 14 goals and conceded 4 in the group stage, 3 of them coming in one game against Sweden. An attack-minded coach is a tactical genius, isn’t it?

Team’s Tactics Not Clear Yet.

So far so good, the team’s setup has not been clear but frequent long balls in the first and second game against Hungary and Ecuador is unusual from the tiki-taka style that Manu Garba has been known for.

Also, the players have been selfish and individualistic in their play so far, misplaced passes have been rampant as well.

Midfield Is The Only Stable And Working Department

Irrespective of the team’s inadequacies and shortcomings, there is one place where the coach has gotten it right, it’s the midfield.

More than 50% of the team’s goals have been scored by midfielder, Ibrahim Said with three, skipper Samson Tijani with two making it five goals from the 8 goals scored so far.

Unfortunately, the midfield stands alone rather than connect with the attack and defense which it has struggled to do as there has been little to no smooth transition in play.

READ ALSO: FIFA U17: Top 10 Potential Stars To Watch Out For In Brazil

The “Stars” And Strikers Have Flopped

Despite the lack of connection from the midfield to the attack, it must be said that the strikers and players who shone at the CAF U17 AFCON have failed to impress.

Wisdom Ubani, Olakunle Olusugen, and Ibrahim Jabaar have all been underwhelming so far even though Ibraheem Jabaar have not had much playtime compared to the first two.

Akinkunmi Amoo looked like the missing piece of the puzzle after impressing in a substitute appearance in the first two games but the third where he started he struggled to perform.

Team Has Talented Players and Are Hungry For Glory

Despite unconvincing displays, the team has shown it is filled with potential stars who are hungry for success.

Their resilience showed in the two opening games where the team came from behind to win 4-2 and 3-2, the same resilience was shown in the third game but the team was unlucky against Australia to stage a comeback as well.

Crucial to both results have been Ibrahim Said and Captain Samson Tijani who has scored a hattrick against Ecuador and a brace against Hungary respectively. These are players that can grow into world-beaters in the nearest future, every single one of them




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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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