Unhappy soccer fans in Ebonyi have urged relevant football authorities to evolve an effective team-building structure for the Super Eagles to avoid making it an all-comers affair.
The fans were reacting to the team’s 0-4 drubbing by Mexico in an international friendly played in the U.S, on Sunday.
The respondents opined that although the match was played with home-based players, they could have performed better if there was an effective team-building structure in place.
Martin Inalegwu, a Football historian, urged the Nigeria Football Federation to re-enact the Clemens Westerhof’s model, where players invited to the Eagles were kept for long periods to blend effectively.
“The Eagles’ former Technical Adviser, just as other foreign coaches, used mostly foreign-based players but maintained a steady home-based team for national assignments.
“Players from the home-based team were easily drafted to the main team, whenever there was a vacuum, instead of indiscriminately inviting players in such situations,” he said.
Supporting the assertion, Chidi Nwagwu, former Golden Eaglets invitee, said that the Eagles lost woefully to Mexico because the players were picked indiscriminately.
“The home-based teams effectively structured by Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo enabled players such as Finidi George, Uche Okechukwu, Julius Aghaghowa, among others, to become top Eagles stars.
“The present football authorities have failed in this regard and this cost the country qualification for the last CHAN competition in Cameroon,” he said.
Maxwell Udah, a student and Football enthusiast, said that although the Eagles were humiliated, the team should be groomed for future international engagements.
“The players got their first international exposure in the match, as the Mexicans exposed several technical and tactical flaws in the team.
“The players were jittery in front of such huge crowds and had never played in such world- class facility in their lives,” he said.
Mrs Jacinta Oluigbo, a civil servant and Football buff, said that the match should not be used to condemn home-based players, but to encourage and expose them to high-profile games.
“Coach Gernot Rohr should explain the absence of the foreign-based players, when such players featured for Mexico and currently for European and South American countries.
“This showed that the country still lacked finesse in its football administration and this should be addressed urgently,” she said. (NAN)