The Nigerian goalkeeper has been under criticism for his displays in recent games
Former Green Eagles goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala has attributed the recent fumbles of the Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, to the negligence of the team’s goalkeeper trainers, Soccernet.ng reports.
Uzoho suffered severe knocks for his poor performance during Nigeria’s friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique over the past few days.
The Omonia Nicosia shot-stopper made a mess of a direct freekick, which he punched into his own net to hand Saudi Arabia the lead. The Super Eagles battled back to claim a 2-2 draw with the Green Falcons.
The 1980 African Cup of Nations Cup winner stressed that it is unfair to solely point fingers at Uzoho for the team’s draw against Saudi Arabia.
Speaking with The Guardian, Okala emphasised,
“The goalkeeper’s trainer in the Super Eagles seems not to be doing his job well. He should be the one to take the blame, not Uzoho.”
Okala further highlighted the importance of proper training, stating,
“As a goalkeeper trainer, you have a responsibility to train your keepers how to deal with set pieces, including free kicks. How they will position themselves and arrange their defence line.”
Expressing his concern, Okala added,
“Some of the deficiencies we see during matches are things that were left unattended to during training.”
In response to the recent game, Uzoho admitted to his mistake in the friendly against Saudi Arabia, acknowledging that his error led to the opponent’s advantage.
However, he urged fans to remain supportive, emphasizing the challenges of his crucial position, saying,
“You can make ten saves and control your area well, but just one mistake, people will forget all that.”
In the latest friendly against Mozambique on Monday, Uzoho’s performance faced criticism once more as he let a straightforward finish slip past him into the net.
Nevertheless, the Super Eagles rallied and secured a 3-2 victory, their first friendly win since 2019.