African football fans have shifted their focus from the Qatar World Cup to the local football scene. The fans are following keenly developments in different nations. Fans in the bettors network are asking themselves who is poised to be the next king of African football. This article looks at what Nigeria could plan to win the next AFCON. Let’s dig in!
Jose Peseiro: The Mastermind
Jose Peseiro is an experienced manager who took over as Nigeria’s manager last May. He is the man who will spearhead Nigeria’s plan to return to the top of African history. Peseiro, who is Jose Mourinho’s close friend, stated that his ambition is to win the AFCON.
The new Super Eagles manager also appreciated the fact that there are other strong national teams, such as Senegal, Morocco, and Cameroon. However, he is convinced that Nigeria has the talent to compete with the best.
The new head coach has already started taking steps towards shaping a squad that will give the other nations a run for their money. Additionally, he claimed that they would improve the facilities and training to help players compete at the highest level.
Change Playing Style
Coach Peseiro wants to implement offensive football that includes high pressure. He believes he has the talent that can play that kind of football. In this regard, his squad has already played friendlies against Algeria, Portugal, and Mexico to check the possibility of implementing the new playing style. The coach claimed that the friendlies enable them to check player development as they play.
Recently, the coach also took a trip to England to watch several games. He also visited some of his stars at their clubs. Some Nigerian stars playing in England that were called up to the national team include Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho and Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis. Others include Frank Onyeka of Brentford, Joe Aribo of Southampton, and Everton’s Alex Iwobi.
The coach claimed his visits to England were part of his long-term strategy to follow player development closely in training and practice. He also speaks with the coaches and fitness coaches at the various clubs to learn more about the players he is interested in.
Focus on English-Based Players
Nigeria has many English-based players playing in the EPL. Bukayo Saka, Fikayo Tomori, and Tammy Abraham have already been capped by England. However, the coach can call up other English-based players like Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Carney Chukuwuemeka, Noni Madueke, and Folarin Balogun.
This is what has inspired the coach to take the trip to England to monitor these players closely. While it will not be straightforward, he could put together a scary team from this plethora of talent.
Finally, Peseiso is Mourinho’s close friend and will want to emulate The Special One’s winning mentality. The next AFCON edition is around the corner, and Nigeria has a big year ahead to secure their qualification. It will be fascinating to watch Nigeria’s progression in the near future.