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Holistic Corner with Opeyemi Daniel

The qualified countries for Egypt 2019

Eagles must be in right shape for AFCON

The African Nations Cup is at a corner and the qualified countries are already preparing, seeking for improvement in all arears, scouting for better legs to strengthen the weak areas in their various squads and as well charging the players generally to be on top of their games before the kick-off of the big Africa event.

Coaches on their own are under pressure and eager to perform excellently because the tournament may be the true test of their in-depth and could make or mar their contract as managers of their clubs, by the virtue of this, they are hell-bent on nothing but the best because in the real sense, few coaches will retain their jobs while so many will be shown the way out after the competition.

On the part of the players, some are so established and have cemented their positions in their different teams against all odd but those that are still on trials are not relenting but doing all what they could, may be on the pitch in their various club sides or the other ways (bribery, influence) just to win the hearts of their coaches and be selected.

The fans are not left out in a situation like this as they are the main and unchangeable owner of every team, some have embarked on series criticism on their coaches, managements and players which could bring about a kind of reformation on their teams when the tournament eventually gets underway.

Holistically, it is a moment of anxiety and fretfulness for each country's Football Association, (FA), coaches, players and the fans. It is a period the football lovers will be counting on their teams to play beautiful football and put smile on their faces.

In Nigeria, there is no exception to all these facts as all countries suffer from similar challenges and gains in most occasions, looking at the Super Eagles critically, this is the first time they will qualify for the biggest football in the continent of Africa since they won it in 2013, and as they are staging a comeback into the scene, much is expected from them to do the nation proud.

Nigerians has what it takes to win their fourth AFCON trophy but they must be in the right shape to get this done and one of the way to do this is by inviting all their best legs around the globe and maximize their potentials.

Checking round Europe and Africa, I think Nigeria has the best players in the continent at the moment, coach Gernot Rohr must know this fact and realized that the best thing he could do for Nigerians at this year's edition of the AFCON is to bring home the covetous trophy.

He must know that this is an African tournament and not the World Cup where Nigeria could not advance from their group, here the country deserve far more than group progress, Nigeria deserve the gold and this alone they can cherish from the manager and the players.

It is true the big countries in the continent have qualified which includes the Nigeria West Africa trio of Cameroon (defending champion), Ghana (old time rival) and Cote d'voire which are major threats for the Eagles in the tournament together with the ever dreaded Egypt from the North African part.

These countries are good actually, but despite their history and qualities, the Nigerian side have an edge, The Super Eagles can boast of better set of players than any African countries at the moment in which if all things are put in place, the tournament will be an easy ride for them.

Nigeria was the best African side at the Russia 2018 and were unfortunate not to have qualified for the round of 16, if the World Cup set is sustained and little improvement could be done on them, victory will definitely be for the country in the AITEO African Cup of Nations.

After we might have known our opponents in the group, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must organize corresponding friendly matches to gel the players together and to get familiar to what they may eventually encounter in the competition.

This is the first time the number of the participating countries will improve from 16 to 24, a development that is so good for the continent, Nigeria must fight hard to be the first winner of the new system as this may justify their position as the 'Giant of Africa'.

We must remember that we are still far behind many countries in terms of number of trophies won, Egypt has 7, Cameroon has 5, Ghana has won it four times while Nigeria has only won on three occasions, judging by the kind of talents we are endowed with, this is a tournament Nigeria ought to be ruling at every editions but we have never lived up to our potentials as a nation.

This is why I am saying we must at this time do all what it requires and harness our potential, be at the right shape and win our fourth trophy and then concentrate on winning the subsequent ones on a back to back basis to catch up with those ahead and eventually surpasses them.

Our best legs home and abroad must be brought together, they must play football passionately and take the country into a new football height, a place that suit our standard and justify our endowment. This must begin in Egypt and continue till years to come.

Holistic Corner with Opeyemi Daniel Reviewed by nationalmoonlight on April 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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