The Super Eagles of Nigeria will tackle Cameroon in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations round-of-16 after progressing from Group A as runners-up
Fulham FC star Alex Iwobi has responded to criticism from some Nigerian fans regarding Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro’s tactical approach in the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, as reported by Soccernet.ng.
Following the clash against one of the tournament’s dark horses, Equatorial Guinea, the Portuguese tactician adopted a 3-4-3 formation against Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.
This formation has raised concerns among Nigerian football fans, with the Super Eagles creating a total of 41 goal attempts, of which 14 were on target and three were scored during the group stage.
The former Arsenal player defended the tactics, asserting that they have been effective for the team’s current progress, and urged fans to be patient with the 2013 AFCON champions.
Addressing concerns about the team’s goal-scoring, Iwobi acknowledged that goals might not be flowing at the moment but expressed confidence that the situation would improve as the team advances in the competition.
In a post-match interview witnessed by Soccernet.ng following the victory over Guinea-Bissau, the Super Eagles midfielder emphasized the significance of the win in securing qualification for the next stage.
“The win over Guinea-Bissau means a lot to us as we qualify for the next stage, and our motivation is to win the next game.
“We want to take the game step by step as we want to win our next match, then we can have confidence that we can do the rest,” he said.
Iwobi further defended the employed tactics, noting that the same formation was used against the Ivory Coast, emphasising that as long as the team secures victories, the specific tactical approach becomes secondary.
He added: “The tactics used against Guinea-Bissau were good; it was the same formation against the Ivory Coast, and at the end of the day, the tactics work together, so we will just continue to use it as long as we win. As long as you win, any tactical approach does not matter.”
Group stage stats:
41 goal attempts
14 on goal
Is Jose Peseiro’s new tactics leading to a decrease in the number of goals being scored?
Alex Iwobi said: “The tactics used against Guinea-Bissau were good; it was the same formation against Ivory Coast, and at the end… pic.twitter.com/zgmCaGa5lX
— Ayomide Oguntimehin (@ayo_oguntimehin) January 24, 2024
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are scheduled to face their closest neighbours, Cameroon, after securing all points against Guinea-Bissau, while the Indomitables edged past Gambia to finish as Group C’s runners-up.