CHAN 2018: Salisu frowns at NPFL clubs over Eagles’ goals drought

CHAN 2018: Salisu frowns at NPFL clubs over Eagles’ goals drought

Home based Super Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf has blamed Nigerian league clubs for his players’ inability to convert numerous scoring chances in their African Nations Championships (CHAN) Group C opener against Rwanda on Monday.

Yusuf spoke to the media in Tangier on Thursday ahead of the Eagles second group game against group favourites Libya on Friday.

Nigeria have struggled for goals recently, drawing their last friendly game before the competition started 0-0 against Cameroon before their 0-0 result against Rwanda.

Our Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo asked Yusuf if there is a calculated effort by the team to rectify their scoring issue or they will always rely on luck to get it right.

“Here is not a clubside. The national team is not a club side,” replied Salisu

“We cannot be developing players and their weaknesses within a short period of time. That, I think is supposed to be the clubs’ role. We just try to bring them together and the longest time we stayed was three weeks in Abuja so you cannot change a player within that period,” he posited.

Yusuf himself has coached Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs including former African champions Enyimba in the past and he believes goalscoring is a fundamental problem associated with Nigerian football.

“If you observe the last Super Six we played in Kano, we were the highest goalscoring side.
“The clubs were not getting the goals still so I think this is one of the fundamental problems of our football in Nigeria that we’re not producing the strikers we used to produce.

“So I think the solution to the problem has to go back to the clubs, how you develop players based on the positions they play because in the national team, we don’t have that time.”

In the meantime, Salisu Yusuf’s wards must find a way to solve their scoring crisis starting from Friday’s clash with Libya should they hope to qualify from their Group C of the African Nations Championships in Morocco.

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    Reply Phil February 2, 2018 at 6:26 am

    I do not agree with Coachy!
    I know that fundamental problems exist with player development but the national team can seriously improve a player even in a short time and to a large extent this is a coach’s responsibility.
    If he sets up the team and develops a plan of action that should get certain players to receive the ball in certain areas of the pitch and with certain tactical advantages (overloads, wing play etc), then those players in training should be made to do tactical drills on how to finish off those chances.

    A close friend who was once involved with the national setup of the 1990s told me of how the great Westerhoff used to do specialized training for the goalsfather, the late ‘Yekini’. He said, Yekini used to have his own specialized drills every day consisting of all kinds of finishing under pressure. So a ball is passed to him one touch and bang shoot. a defender is put behind him and a ball is passed, create space with one touch, bang shoot… etc… by doing this repeatedly, Yekini was transformed from the misfiring model of the Algiers 90 campaign to the lethal over 90% shots on target of the 94 campaigns. I’m sure Yekini had the tools already after all the man top scored in every league he played in at one point or the other and i’m sure he put in a ton of work on his own as well but that is besides the point. Helping our strikers through such drills is something they can take back to their clubsides (assuming they don’t do those drills there)) and will thus lead to improvements, if not immediately then over a period of time.
    This improved training should be one of the things those that make the National team even have to look forward to sef.

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