A former Technical Adviser to the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Tunde Disu OFR, has said that the senior national team, Super Eagles deserves a better goalkeeper to keep up with football’s current standard. Disu made his stance known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday while commenting on the lapses of the first choice goalkeeper, for the Super Eagles, Daniel Akpeyi.
Disu, a former Assistant Coach to Otto Gloria, the 1980 African Cup of Nation winning coach, said that the Eagles needed a more tactically experienced safe hand. “We seriously need another goalkeeper for now, and if I may ask, what is the duty of the goalkeeper trainers and technical crew that we have in camp? “The technical crew should now go round to look for goalkeepers and we should not be lazy about it, we should not be comfortable with what we have now, we should look towards the local players.
“There were times when we have good goalkeepers in the country; we have produced the likes of Emmanuel Okala, Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu and recently Vincent Enyeama. “My own take is that we still have good goalkeepers around that can do better than what we have right now, we should look for them either in the local league or foreign clubs,” he said. Disu said the performance of the Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, was not up to standard but added that the goalkeeper could be improved upon. “The performance of Akpeyi was not up to standard and I wonder what other goalkeepers are doing on the bench if they are not good enough which means that they are not as good as him. “Another point is that, how will a coach take three goalkeepers that he cannot use to a big competition of this magnitude? The fact is that Akpeyi cannot cope with pressure. “When the pressure is too much on the goalkeeper; he losses concentration, an example of how he conceded the last goal against Algeria, Akpeyi organised a wall and stood behind the wall.
“I watched the clip over and over and I can see his deficiency. He cannot have a clear vision of the ball the way he stood behind the wall he created,” he said. Disu said that he expected Akpeyi to have stood out of the wall so he could have a clear vision of the ball. “I think that even if he wants to gamble or predict Mahrez, being a left footer he should have known that he would shoot to his left preferably.
“If the goalkeeper wants to gamble, he should have targeted exactly where the player would love to play since he is a left footer. “Akpeyi should have stood away from the wall apart, but his position during the free kick was unprofessional,” he said. NAN
Pix: Tunde Disu