4th June, 2019
Ex-international Wahidi Akanni on Tuesday said that the performance of the U-20 Flying Eagles at the ongoing World Cup in Poland was not impressive.
He made the assertion in Lagos.
The U-20 squad crashed out in the round of 16, having lost to Senegal, a fellow African country 1-2.
Goals from Senegal’s Amadou Sagna and Ibrahima Niane were enough to seal the win for the Young Teranga Lions in spite of Flying Eagle’s Aniekeme Okon’s consolation goal.
“I wasn’t surprised at all, the team didn’t impress me one bit, obviously they have been lucky to have even qualified from the group stage.
“They lack tact, we have seen better U-20 squads in recent times, this is not just a well coordinated squad, ” he said.
The Moscow (Soviet Union) 1985 U-20 World Cup Bronze medalist, said that the selection of the players from the outset was questionable.
“In my days, players were picked from every nook and cranny of this country but this selection, I don’t understand.
“We consistently don’t see the need to encourage our home-based players to put in effort, I mean at the end of the day what’s in it for them,” the former Lagos FA Chairman said.
He also said that the team had too many heads, without clear separation of functions.
“There are too many lead coaches in the team, so it is just a disaster waiting to happen, we need to do better next time.
“Even the technical crew, I didn’t see them address each technical issue in each encounter in the tournament.
“The same problem they faced is still there in subsequent matches from the get go to the end,” he said.
Coach Paul Aigbogun’s squad were knocked out of the tournament in Poland by their West African neighbours on Monday night.
Nigeria’s underwhelming display at the FIFA U20 World Cup came to an end after a 2-1 defeat to Senegal in Monday’s Round of 16 fixture.
The defeat in Lodz ended the Flying Eagles campaign in Poland.
Nigerian fans are far from happy with the team’s performance and coach Aigbogun’s tactical decisions.