Interim Super Eagles’ head coach, Augustine Eguavoen, was named just a few days ago and his tenure may be just until the end of the AFCON 2021 but he plans to instill his ideology in his squad.
The ex-Nigeria international has stated that he wants his team to play attractive football and to press their opponents for the ball anytime they are not in possession.
Eguavoen got the job after former manager Gernot Rohr was fired with barely a month to the AFCON but, despite the little of time, he wants to implant his strategies in his players as quickly as possible.
“I enjoy football that is entertaining. However, you must aim to possess the ball at all times with the goal of moving forward. We’ll have to explore once that space is available,” the former Enyimba of Aba told journalist Godwin Enakhena in an interview.
While Eguavoen may have a vision of how he wants to play and is eager to share that with the national team players as soon as he can but he could be impeded by time given the fact that most of his first team players would still be with their European clubs until the end of the year with some of the clubs even ready for a confrontation with African FAs due to the timing of the AFCON.
In the meantime, the former Bendel Insurance coach revealed his selection criterion for the Eagles by highlighting his admiration for adaptable players, explaining that his team would only consist of players who could readily fit into odd positions.
“We’re playing with eleven players, so we’re not going to leave defensive and offensive responsibilities to the defenders and attackers alone,” Eguavoen explained.
“Obviously, it’s a team effort, and you must be able to play multiple positions on the field of play, which is something I admire. So you should be able to do anything 40-50 percent of the time wherever you are.”
On that score, the coach may not have to seek too far to find what he needs, as numerous Nigerian stars have demonstrated their ability to switch positions.
In Leicester City’s 4-0 demolition of Newcastle, Wilfred Ndidi played as a centre-back, a position at which he started his football career. Calvin Bassey has played for Rangers in both the centre-back and fullback positions while clubmate, Joe Aribo, has also featured as an unconventional winger on occasions.
However, because the AFCON is only two weeks away and the Super Eagles camp yet to commence, the question of time will continue to loom.