As reactions continue to trail the barren draw Super Eagles played against Cape Verde in the tune-up international friendly during the midweek, Nigerian ex-international, Garba Lawal, has described the outing as a very disappointing, stressing that he expected to see more than they did in the Portugal encounter.
The former Eagles utility player, who spoke with Daily Sunsports on telephone from his base in Kaduna yesterday, however, noted that the only take-away in the game was the display of individual brilliance from some players, singling out Chelsea’s star, Mikel Obi, for special praise. Passing a damning verdict on the team, the member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Sub-committee said: “I have to say that we did not do well. We expected them to do more than they did, win the match outright to send warning signals and put fears into other teams participating in the Nations Cup.
“They created only a few chances, but if the Cape Verdeans had converted their chances, it would have been a serious humiliation for Nigeria. Generally, I was disappointed with the team’s outing against Cape Verde. I thought the Super Eagles would give us a replica of what Nigerians would see in South Africa. “The team lacks character but the only consolation was that there were individual brilliance some of the players displayed. I was very impressed with the performance of Mikel. He really did very well. Again, Musa tried but sometimes he got carried away.
“He did not react on time until the opponents closes in on him. I would have loved some of them to do what the captain of Cape Verde showed in the match. I can’t really understand what went wrong, but it was an indication that the game would be very tough in South Africa,” he noted.
Was there any surprise inclusion or exclusion in the final 23-man teamlist, Lawal replied: “Well, I can say that we cannot question the authority of the technical crew. Nigeria employed them as the coach and we should allow them to be in charge. We should allow him to do his work. We don’t have the right to press the head coach to include or exclude a player.
“We can only advise, but I believe he saw what we have not seen. We have to accept the teamlist in good faith until after first three games, which to me are very crucial. I have heard people’s reactions over the exclusion of Bright Dike, but I was not surprised because his scoring a goal in the friendly does not mean an automatic ticket.
“My advice to him is to take it in good faith and prepare for his bright future in the Super Eagles.”
He has all it takes to return to the national team anytime. As for the six home-based players, I want to think that they are more or less going to be made-up. My hunch told me Keshi could use only two or three of them.
“I hope he will use them,” he noted. Asked if the Super Eagles winning the trophy in South Africa, the Nigerian former international said: “Well, it would be very difficult to tell at the moment because the game is becoming more unpredictable. If Cape Verde can stop Cameroon, then we should be ready for more surprises in AFCON. We should patiently wait until we see Eagles’ first three matches.”