32-cap Nigerian International Julius Agahowa has spoken about the changes he has noticed in the Super Eagles’ attack under new manager Jose Peseiro.
Agahowa was one of the national team’s most prolific strikers in his time. He scored 14 goals in his 32 appearances before retiring from international football in 2007 after seven years. The 40-year-old former Shakhtar Donetsk forward is now living out his days in retirement but still returns to the media occasionally to commentate on matters relating to the Super Eagles.
His latest comments are an appraisal of Jose Peseiro's first few weeks in charge of the team after he assumed duty in the second week of May. The former Venezuela national team manager beat other candidates to the role but his appointment was met with scepticism and criticism from Nigerians and Nigerian media.
However, the Portuguese manager has strutted his stuff for Nigerians to see and the fans of the team are slowly getting behind him. His latest showing was a 10 – 0 defeat of Sao Tome and Principe on Monday in the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Before that, he had led the team to a 2 – 1 friendly loss against Mexico, a 1 – 0 friendly loss against Ecuador and a 2 – 1 defeat of Sierra Leone in their opening AFCON 2023 qualifiers match. In all those matches, there was a marked improvement from the way the Super Eagles played under former manager Gernot Rohr and interim manager Augustine Eguavoen.
Aghahowa spoke to Brila FM about the win against Sao Tome and explained what he felt was lacking before Peseiro and how the Portuguese manager had changed the team. “It is very obvious that some things have changed in the attacking lineup,” Aghahowa said. “The final third – which like I have always complained about – passes don’t get to the strikers, players don’t make runs behind the defenders.
“But against São Tomé, I saw a lot of runs from the midfielders and the wingers.“
Agahowa’s approval comes after the Minister for Youth and Sports in the country, Sunday Dare, praised the team and the new manager for their incredible win, the biggest in Nigerian football history. Speaking to local media, Dare said: “I congratulate the Super Eagles for this historic victory.
“It was not just the result but also the performance. It clearly confirms that the rebuilding process of the team is on course. This is a morale-boosting performance and I commend the team.”
The Super Eagles have all dispatched to their various bases for their rest period before they join up with their clubs ahead of the 2022/23 pre-season preparations. Those based in Africa and in the Nigerian Professional Football League have returned home and are ready to take on the next challenge.
They will regroup in September to face Guinea Bissau, the last team in their qualifiers group, and will be hoping that it is a repat of their win over their opponents from the 2021 AFCON tournament.
This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago