Former Super Eagles midfielder, Thompson Oliha has called on coach Stephen Keshi to immediately carry out a 'surgical operation' in the team’s defence, if Eagles are to progress in the 2013 AFCON.
The member of the victorious 1994 AFCON Super Eagles team said against Burkina Faso on Monday, the Eagles central position which was manned captain by Joseph Yobo was the team’s major problem. He suggested that Keshi should move Yobo to the right full back position and find somebody else to play in the central defence as he noted that the captain is not a libero.
"So far so good but the Eagles were found wanting in the area of defence. They did not do well in the defence and I think the problem was with Joseph Yobo. He is not a natural central defender. He did not fit into that position.
"I therefore want Keshi to move him from the central defence to the right full back. He should get somebody else to play in the central defence. Yobo committed so many blunders in the heart of the defence which was very dangerous.
"Even if he plays away from the central defence, he can still give instructions to the players and even when he makes any mistakes, it can be correctly quickly before it becomes dangerous."
Oliha maintained that if the defence in left unattended to, the Eagles would be in for a big trouble when they take on Zambia in their second match on Friday. He explained that the Zambians are fast players and are more experienced than Burkina Faso and would give the Eagles a tough time.
"If Keshi does not do something quickly about the defence, he will be in for a big trouble against Zambia. The Zambians are stronger, faster and more dangerous. If the Eagles defence against Burkina Faso is not reinforced, it is going to be disastrous against Zambia."
The member of the Super Eagles team to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA said if Keshi can work more on the defence and psyche up the players the more, Eagles can still recover and put up good performance in the championship. Oliha however said the team’s failure to pick the maximum points in their opening match is going to put it under tremendous pressure.