Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo admits it is very hard playing as a lone striker in the team’s formation. He spoke to reporters in the Mixed Zone after the Group D defeat against Croatia.
“It is the formation we play in the team in which I am the lone striker. It can be difficult especially as one is sometimes contending against three, even five defenders”.
“The coach chooses the system and pattern we play and we just have to play it to the best of our ability. We have won matches playing this way in the past too.”
Ighalo made his reputation at Watford in the English Premier League and in the Championship playing in a front 2 partnership with Troy Deeney. However, with the national team over the years he has always been asked to plough a lone furrow upfront.
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“Yes I know I like playing with a strike partner or even have more midfielders joining the play and running beyond me but that is not how we play for the Super Eagles most times”.
On his birthday, Ighalo toiled fruitlessly against the Dejan Lovren led Croatian defence and had balls lumped up to him from the central defenders a lot.
If the Super Eagles are going to get a better result against Iceland, they will have to play in a manner that will get support to Ighalo quickly and in numbers.
I do not believe I am the only one that saw a veiled indictment of the manager in that. Ighalo is clearly saying that the formation is not getting the best out of him.
You would wonder if he or anyone else has said as much to the hearing of Herr Rohr.
I had assumed that the formation would better suit a very tall, ball-holding Sam Nwankwo more than Ighalo, while we try a different approach when Ighalo is tge arrowhead.