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War & Football 2010: Nigeria

Ghana 2008: Nigeria Vrs Cote d'Ivoire in SekondiOperation Fly Like An Eagle

The General:

There was a recent mutiny in Nigeria and Shaibu Amodu was the odd man out of the exchange that went down in February following a frustrating third place finish in the African Cup of Nations.  The new skipper is former Swedish national team general Lars Lagerback.  Lars brings over a decade worth of Swedish national team experience to the Nigerian side, but many still believe that Amodu was undeservingly showed the door after reaching the World Cup final this year.

The Plan of Attack:

The Super Eagles play a pretty straight forward scheme of the 4-3-3 with a left and right winger supporting the striker up top.  Three forwards should give the team that ability to make long runs and play a form of quick transition football with hope to break down unsuspecting defenses at any moment. The squad has the talent up top to make such deadly runs.   

The Key Troops:

Nigeria lacks few coveted names in worldwide football, but plenty of outstanding talent especially up top.  Obafemi Martins and Yakubu Aiyegbeni are the squads two best scorers and are also probably the best two players on the entire team.  Ikechukwu Uche and Peter Odemwingie are also solid forwards.  John Obi Mikel is the leader of the midfield unit and Joseph Yobo and Taye Ismaila Taiwo make up the key players on the back line.

The Mission:

Nigeria was considered one of the African favorites a year back, but now they are likely considered the third or fourth option from the home continent.  They have a winning approach by firing the coach three months back and supposedly upgrading and with their offensive talent they certainly can be a sleeper team this world Cup.  Their bracket is certainly not easy, but much better then rivals Ivory Coast’s draw.  Nigeria also boasts one of the most underrated attacks in the tournament.

Potential Duds:

Nigeria has the offensive pace to scare anyone in the tournament, but they lack the depth of a serious contender on the bench and an internationally known keeper.  They have the ability to break a game wide open, but I don’t know if they have the 90 minute pace in order to keep matches close.  Their defense is still a question mark, but the second round is certainly obtainable.

Final War Movie Rank:

The Super Eagles hope to turn football’s Red Zone into the Green Zone this summer.  And with the talent they have up top they will not need Matt Damon’s terrible South African accent involved at all (even though he used it in a different movie).  But there is one risk in an eagle that soars so high in the clouds.  If his wings are clipped then he can easily turn into a Black Hawk Down.  And Icarus knows all about that tragedy.

Creative Commons License photo credit: nova3web