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.