Austin Jay Jay Okocha wheeled away in celebration after firing a free kick past Idris Carlos Kameni of Cameroon at the 2004 AFCON in Tunisia...
|Austin Jay Jay Okocha wheeled away in celebration after firing a free kick past Idris Carlos Kameni of Cameroon at the 2004 AFCON in Tunisia. (Photo credit: Getty Images)|
Creativity has been a rare spice in the make-up of the Super Eagles since former captain, Austin Okocha left the set up and the mercurial midfielder thinks it’s the reason the team is struggling.
Austin Okocha, a member of the famous Super Eagles of Class 94 led the team to three Africa Cup of Nations as skipper, winning a bronze medal on all occasions and captained the team to the 2002 World Cup in Asia.
The Super Eagles over the past decade since the retirement of Okocha tried several players in the number 10 role to no notable effect; the likes of John Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Joel Obi and most recently, Joe Aribo have tried to fill the hole but none has been able to nail the shirt.
Austin Okocha spoke with Brilla FM recently and expressed his concerns at the lack of creativity in the Super Eagles set up. “What the Eagles need now are natural midfielders who can create chances and change the course of a game,” Okocha told Brila FM.
“We need midfielders who can run at defenders and a pick their teammates with good passes,” Okocha said during a radio programme.
“We have good midfielders but not in at that level at the moment. Some of them are just scared and the fact that they are being compared to the 1994 Eagles brings a bit of pressure on them.”
The former PSG and Frankfurt playmaker threw his weight behind the under fire coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr; the German had been under pressure following back to back stalemates against lowly rated Sierra Leone in Benin and away at Freetown.
“For now, I will score him seven out of 10 because when he came in, things were not steady, and he has steadied the ship now,” he continued.
“He inherited an abandoned team, and so for now, he is following his own direction. He has created his own team.
“But we all know football is about results, of course, if the results don’t go his way, our people will criticise him, you know everybody in Nigeria is a coach.
“But if results go his way, of course, we will praise him. Even if you are the best coach, if you don’t get results, you will be under pressure.”
Okocha is now a full time football pundit with no plans of joining his ex-colleagues in the dugout as a football manager