The Nigeria football legend is in Qatar as a member of the Arsene Wenger-led Technical Study Group
Super Eagles hero Sunday Oliseh has joined other football experts in presenting their first analysis of the first 16 matches at the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Oliseh is in Doha, Qatar, alongside legendary Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni and retired Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón as part of FIFA’s Technical Study Group.
The group is under the supervision of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who currently serves as FIFA’s Director of Global Football Development.
And in their first presentation of Qatar 2022, Oliseh and colleagues have identified three trends that emerged from the first few games played at the Mundial.
The TSG pointed out the use of long balls to avoid high pressure, an increase in the number of goals from crosses, and counter-pressing with multiple players.
Oliseh touched on the first two topics. On the issue of high press, the former Juventus midfielder noted: “We’ve seen teams that press high, but also other teams that accept pressure, with defensive tactics that allow them to counter it.”
Oliseh was equally enthusiastic about the number of crosses that have led to goals in Qatar.
The TSG observed that in the first sixteen matches played in Qatar, fourteen crosses led to goals, while 56 crosses led to attempts on goal. In comparison, after the same number of matches at Russia 2018, only three crosses led to goals, with 35 crosses resulting in a shot on target.
Citing Enner Valencia’s goal for Ecuador against Qatar in the tournament opener, Sunday Oliseh said: “This is a great example of it. He plays the ball back in, and the cross is going to be whipped in…he whips it in towards the second post. In my opinion, [he does] that to avoid the congested middle and [as a result] they got that result (a goal).”
Sixty-four matches will be played at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hosts Qatar have already been knocked out of the tournament after losing their first two matches to Ecuador and Senegal.