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Five thoughts from Venezuela vs Nigeria

Posted: 15 November 2012 Time: 08:16

Nigeria’s Super Eagles beat Venezuela 3-1 on Wednesday night, but the victory was not without its problems.

1. Goalkeeping battle heats up
True, one summer doesn’t make a swallow, but Austin Ejide has had more than one. And if his performance against Venezuela is a clue to his revival, it should give the normally unshakeable Vincent Enyeama cause for a little pause.

2. Kwambe ups the ante
Did Stephen Keshi just unearth a gem? There is more than enough pacy, attacking quality down Nigeria's right with Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa, but a marauding full-back could still be a godsend. Now, we just need to see him in a few more games …

3. Mikel is a must
For all the condemnation he gets, Mikel remains a vital necessity in that midfield. The Super Eagles could barely keep the ball, and conceded that goal simply because there was no outlet for Oboabona to release the ball to. Keeping possession is a must, and that is why Mikel is si vital

4. Welcome Shola, Dike
If only we could play with an all-striker team. Bright Dike will probably not make the Nations Cup team, but it won't be for want of trying. The Portland Timbers forward ran himself aground and muscled the Venezuela defence no end. Shame there is a long list of quality ahead of him. As for Shola Ameobi, instant impact. Came in, and showed how important a proper old-fashioned centre forward can be. Held up the ball with strength and awareness to set up Onazi for the insurance goal

5. Time to bed in
Keshi can ill-afford to mix and match anymore. His team needs to start playing together, and the earlier he starts doing that the better. That defence needs sorting. Fast.

Previous comments on this story...

chelsea fc
posted: 09:11 am
the central defence was a nightmare.egwueke watching him alongside compatriot obonabona was a nightmarish shift.keshi should invite quality players to man the central defence
chelsea fc
posted: 09:39 am
the central defence is a big issue here.i had to stay awake till 1.05am to see this match as i havent been watching nigerian matches due to distance.i had the opportunity to assess the players available fot this important friendly.egwueke for a central defender lacks speed.and lacks the technique to man that position for nigeria.the worst culprit was oboabona who had a very bad shift and even gave the ball away for venezuela's only goal.the right back kwambe is good he needs more exposure to improve.echiejile did well alongside the goalkeeper.raheem lawal did very well aswell nosa igiebor who was delivering tailor made passes.onazi needs more game as he gave away the ball couple of times but did well as he was everywhere.ideye played a very good game and should be on the plane to south africa.martins underperformed for me should be left out of the team.another player who shouldnt be invited to the team is ejike uzoenyi.nice game ameobi.bright dike has strenght deserves another chance to look at him properly.keshi should save his job by inviting new central defenders to his team.apam onyekachi hope he recovers in time for the nations cup.joseph yobo composure and experience was missing.ambrose should be drafted to the central defence likewise kenneth omeruo and danny shittu of millwall.yusuf mohammed right midfield a stitch in time they say saves nine keshi should avoid using sentiment as we prepare for the nations cup.i give him credit sofar he done very well but there is still more to do.
posted: 09:44 am
Colin, if you have been reading comments made by forumites,then go and check my comment after Liberia match with Eagles. I warned you that the mere fact that Enyeama is from the same state with you should not trigger your support for him. I went on also to describe the qualities of Ejide and went as far as calling for the sack of Ike Shorunmi because i believed he was not a good goalkeeper in his days and i wondered if he could identify one. Thank God I have been vindicated.
African Mancunian
posted: 10:07 am
@Anonymous Nigeria will dwell with tribalism until the end of time. You honestly think that Collin Udoh supports Enyeama just because they are from the same state and not for the goal keepers excellent performances over the years?
posted: 10:27 am
Here's my nations cup line up:



moses,mikel,musa,kalu uche

ike uche,martins.

Feel free to shw me urs my fellow forumites
posted: 10:57 am
Somebody may have attachment or call it sentiment for one reason or the other does not mean tribalism. Attachment could be because of colour,state of origin,religion etc
posted: 12:38 pm
Does anyone know who was our No.12 against Venezuela?
posted: 12:38 pm
Does anyone know who was our No.12 against Venezuela?
posted: 12:38 pm
Does anyone know who was our No.12 against Venezuela?
posted: 12:38 pm
Does anyone know who was our No.12 against Venezuela?
posted: 12:46 pm
@Chelsea FC, i agree with you totally without objection. Kwambe and Echiejile did a nice job at the right and left back respectively . for me Obafemi and Ejike Uzoenyi should be dropped, Ameobi in for the nations cup.,, as for Bright i will consider taking him too, he reminds me of the bull.. with what i have seen so far, i will hit my chest and say "Keshi is truely the boss"
posted: 12:53 pm
@Blackpanther187,, the player on 12 jersey was Raheem Lawal, he came in for 7 Henry Uche.
posted: 01:19 pm

Thanks man..! Raheem Lawal is a top man. Hope he will make it to SA2013. What a fantastic player!!
posted: 01:48 pm
you are right on Raheem Lawal, the guy works really hard and is fit.

All credits must go to Onazi for controlling the midfield so well too and for my man Ejide (I have always said and will continue to say that Ejide is our best hand in goal). Now he has added so much weight but I still trust him.

Nosa plays like Kanu and looks very promising
posted: 01:56 pm
Defence really looked shaky but Keshi showed confidence in them by playing them for 90 minutes. We will improve when we try Yobo and Apam or Efe in that position. Please get well quick Onyekachi Apam.
posted: 02:25 pm
Good game. Mr Keshi, Afcon is just about eight weeks away , you better make up your mind on your starting X1 .
Colin Udoh : "That defence needs sorting. Fast." , Onyekachi Apam needs to get well fast.
posted: 04:44 pm
Honestly I ve been impressed with Keshi. I just hope he 's allowed time n support for his pragmatic approach. I really can't be bothered with AFCON just now but the way he's going bout this job leaves much hope. The team struggled in first half and took the game to their opponent after the break. Keshi 's shown encourage to effect difficult decisions n this win belongs to him n his coaching staff. Shola answered doubters, Bright showed he deserved a look in, Onazi was promising n the biggest positive from this game was the right full back. He should be proud of his input. Well done to the lads. Lets move on!
posted: 06:08 pm



posted: 05:01 am
Kwambe and Echiejile can stay. Yobo and Efe Ambrose in central defense. MIkel and Onazi in Mid. Victor Moses and Musa at wings. Igiebor behind IK/ Ideye/ Martins

So basically


Echiejile, Efe, Yobo, Kwambe

Mikel, Onazi

Moses, Nosa, Musa

IK/Ideye/Martins(if he can get back on form)/Emenike
posted: 09:53 pm
Enyeama has always grabbed the spotlight and he has also been very lucky, but Ejide to me has always been a better option not just for this game but ever since the days of Berti Vogts. He has a commanding presence, he is calm and hardly panics. He also has this ability of getting off his line and facing strikers head on and getting the ball of their feet.
I read somebody making a comment that if Bright Dike was so good why wasn't he playing in Europe and I ask if the MLS has attracted such players like Beckham, Thierry and is still drawing more players there then such comparison is rubbish. The boy is young, a new discovery for the team and he will be a good addition to the team, he is mobile, was a constant threat to the Venezuelan defense and he has something we have lacked in our football for a long time big, strong and mobile players like Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi.
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