Julius Aghahowa, the Benin-born prolific striker who’s known for his signature backflips, says the Super Eagles of Nigeria can no longer fly due to recurring changes in the team. The 34-year-old admits consistency is required in a team for any form of progress to be made.
Image shows Julius Aghahowa (L) in action for Nigeria.
Recent records show the Eagles have scored only five goals in their last three matches.
With less than 2 goals-per-game, Nigeria’s national team registered 27 shots on goal in the match against Tanzania held in Uyo. However, the Eagles couldn’t find the net until a 77th minute strike from Manchester City ace Kelechi Iheanacho.
“Personally, I believe the strikers are not scoring goals because there is no continuity,” Aghahowa explained to the press.
“When a striker comes into the team before he even gets his footing, before he understands his strike partner, the supporting midfielder is out and they bring someone else. There is no continuity.
“And this lack of continuity is especially so in attack. In defence and midfield there is a lot more stability.
“Everyone is also quick to judge the strikers. They play one, two games and they are replaced. They don’t look at whether he was supported very well and he got the chances.
“What this then means is that you bring another striker and when he doesn’t do well, he is also replaced. That way you destroy players’ international careers,” the player who retired in April 2011 and is now a businessman, said.
“The Eagles know what is at stake. Wearing the national team jersey is enough motivation for them to do well for millions of Nigerians,” he added.
“That do-or-die spirit is what I believe they will adopt and with that they will win in Zambia.”
Aghahowa represented Nigeria at four Africa Cup of Nations, the 2002 World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. He played top-flight football in Tunisia, Ukraine, England and Turkey.
Julius Aghahowa scored Nigeria’s only goal at the 2002 World Cup. He is one of the fastest strikers to have played the round leather game.