Top 5 Super Eagles Players Who Must Improve After England Defeat

William Troost-Ekong – In the atrocious first half that saw Nigeria fall behind by two goals, the central defender definitely played a major part in the amateurish defending of the West Africans that often went unpunished by the Three Lions. Deployed to the right of Leon Balogun, the Bursaspor man was often guilty of being drawn out of his position which left the backline at sixes and sevens. Admittedly, he got better after the tactical switch to a back-three in the second half, but has got to give a better display against the Czech Republic.
Abdullahi Shehu
Abdullahi Shehu’s lack of positional awareness in the initial stages of the first-half was glaring, and it was jarring to see him in an advanced role at some point in the opening half with Alex Iwobi having to cover for his mishap. The fact the Tyronne Ebuehi – who it has to be said, also performed well against DR Congo – was introduced for the right-back at half-time was even more significant. Shehu, since his move to Bursaspor, has predominantly featured in defensive midfield and he certainly found himself struggling on his return to the defence. He has to do better against the Czechs as the battle with Ebuehi heats up!
Joel Obi (Left)
Joel Obi – Another chance to impress… another chance not taken. Obi’s reintroduction to the Nigeria fold against Poland was accompanied with cheers aplenty, but after disappointing in three successive friendlies, he’d have hoped to be fourth-time lucky against Gareth Southgate’s side. He wasn’t, though, and it seemed at some point, as bizarre as it may sound, like he was playing against his own team-mates at Wembley. Hooked off at the break, the Torino midfielder wasn’t to reappear for the second-half. After several failed chances to impress, this cat has definitely run out of lives!
Ogenyi Onazi 
Ogenyi Onazi –Granted, on his day, he offers a bit of legs in the Nigeria midfield but the Trabzonspor midfielder was atrocious in the opening half against England. Repeatedly overrun in the middle of the park, his passing was also off-kilter time and again, which would have frustrated teammates. He was culpable for England’s second when a poor pass (surprise, surprise) saw him lose the ball in a dangerous area, before an ill-advised, desperate decision to go to ground saw the Eagles lose their shape before Harry Kane fired home for the Three Lions’ second. He needs to improve in time for the Czech friendly, and importantly, the Russia World Cup.
Mikel John Obi
Mikel John Obi – The midfielder’s absence in the midfield against Poland, Serbia and DR Congo had definitely been missed, so it was logical to usher in the Nigeria skipper back into the side against England. However, he seemed off the pace all game and if his non-involvement in the opening 45 could be overlooked, his inability to have a lasting effect in the second – which had the Africans on top for a while – was terribly disappointing. Unable to pick out the right passes at crucial moments, the former Chelsea man was also guilty of failing to keep hold of the ball. It wasn’t the best games for Nigeria’s Captain Fantastic, and improvements are imperative for the Czech friendly in midweek.

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Written by MT


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