Forthcoming World Youth Championship: The Threat To The Flying Eagles
By Mohamed Deen
Published May 26, 2009
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria will go into the forthcoming World Youth Championship in confident mood as the new coach Samson Siasia is no stranger to tournaments of this magnitude. In 2005 he guided Nigeria to the final of the WYC losing to an Argentina team inspired by the unique talent of Lionel Messi.
Siasia then continued his impressive showing on the world stage by taking the Nigerian Olympic team to the final of Beijing 2008. However he was yet again undone by an Argentina side inspired once again by the brilliant Lionel Messi. Nevertheless Siasia successfully silenced his critics by reaching the final of another international tournament.
The poor performance of the Flying Eagles of Nigeria at the 2009 AYC led to the then coach Ladan Bosso being replaced by the proven tactician Samson Sasia. Siasia has barely enough time to prepare his squad for the forthcoming WYC in Egypt, but he will be confident of succeeding. His confidence will be buoyed by the fact that his usual nemesis Argentina surprisingly failed to qualify for the WYC despite being the current world champions and winning the last 2 WYC tournaments.
The absence of the Argentines in Egypt does not necessarily mean the FE will win the tournament as Ghana and Brazil could prove to be extremely difficult hurdles to overcome. Both teams looked impressive during their respective nations cup and both teams succeeded by playing open, attractive football. The Ghanaians led by Andre Ayew and Ransford Osei proved why they are on current form, the best in Africa at this level as they won the AYC in Rwanda without losing a single game.
In addition, the Brazilians were equally impressive as they dominated the South American youth championship with star striker Walter scoring crucial goals. The Brazilians will be desperate to win in Egypt as they have now fallen behind Argentina in terms of WYC titles with Argentina winning 6 tiles compared to Brazil's 4.
Judging by the performances of Ghana and Brazil at their respective nations cup, the Flying Eagles could once again fall short of winning the WYC tournament in Egypt. The current FE squad appears to be lacking the required talent, determination and desire to win the WYC 2009. Furthermore the current squad is simply not good enough compared to the class of 2005 which prominently featured John Obi Mikel. If the performance of the current Flying Eagles in Rwanda is anything to go by, Samson Siasia clearly has his work cut out. Time will tell whether this brilliant tactician will once again successfully orchestrate another successful outing on the world stage.
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