Olatunde Disu, former Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation, on Monday, said that the Super Eagles needed the services of natural left wingers to have an edge over other teams in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Disu made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria while reflecting on the chances of the senior national team at the coming 2019 AFCON to be hosted by Egypt.
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, known as the Total 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, is scheduled to be the 32nd edition of the competition.
The tournament will hold from June 21 to July 19, 2019, and will see the Eagles making their 17th appearance in the competition having first qualified in 1963 held in Ghana.
Nigeria is three times champions of the tournament winning on home soil in 1980 with Disu an assistant coach after then they won the tournament in Tunisia 1994 and South Africa 2013.
The team will be chasing its fourth glory when the tournament gets underway in Egypt in Group B being what many pundits term an easy group that includes Madagascar, Burundi and Guinea.
However, Disu said that for the Gernot Rohr’s team to excel, they needed an infusion of natural left footers to effectively contribute to the attacking lineups.
“The team is presently doing well and with what is on the ground as my own assessment, the team equally needs the services of natural left footers to join the attack.
“Tracing back to history when the team was dominant on the continent, we have natural left-footers who were always joining the attackers to score goals.
“In 1980, we have Adokiye Amiesimaka, who is very good with his left foot and Segun Odegbami on the right, in 1994 the team had Emmanuel Amuneke and in 2013 Victor Moses.
“The team still needs the services of natural left footers because this will give them an edge over other teams though the team is in a relatively easy group now.
“The coach needs to search for natural left footers that can effectively assist the attackers since we have yet to have a playmaker at the centre now,’’ he said.
Disu said that the Eagles still have the chance of lifting the tournament for the fourth time, adding that the oppositions were not much for the team.
The Super Eagles would pitch their tent in host country Egypt in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations. They were handed a relatively fair draw on Friday, April 12 in Cairo.
Having been placed as one of the top-seeded teams, the Eagles were drawn in Group B; they were drawn alongside two debutants, Burundi and Madagascar. Guinea who are being coached by Paul Put complete the Group B pairing.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick confirmed that the Super Eagles are expected to arrive in Cairo on the 9th of June.
The Gernot Rohr-led boys recovered from a slow start to top Group E qualification group; and then qualified the tournament with a game to spare.
Meanwhile, coach, Gernot Rohr has revealed that an International friendly match with rivals Ghana has been lined up. This will hold before the team’s departure for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in June.
Speaking shortly after the conclusion of the Nations Cup draw in Egypt tonight, Rohr said the match will hold in Nigeria; and another friendly likely against Senegal comes up before the start of the competition in the North Africa country.