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Goal scorers are extinct

We have just seen the strengths, weaknesses and hopes of the Nigerian Super Eagles team displayed in Brazil for the Confederations Cup. They have done their best but there remain some nuts to crack from now on.

There is light for the future, if Nigeria eventually qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Yes, I see the team gaining a place for next year’s biggest football event. It’s within their reach.

However, it is clear that, apart from Emmanuel Emenike who showed real goal scoring instincts at the Nations Cup, many of these journeymen cannot be considered worthy of leading the line. They mostly lacked the cutting edge or clinical finishing, which was the difference between falling short and what might have been.

While their efforts and services should be praised, we must face the fact that if we had some star strikers the whole show would have been different. We just don’t have a reference striker to do that job. We have from now until the World Cup next year to find one or two.

Now, what is the source of the goal-scoring problems? Back in their youth, they did not go through genuine football academies back home, where all the basics of the game are taught. A real goal scorer must go through this process. There is no magic.

The authorities back home should think about creating the right environment and infrastructure for our youth players. We should have this culture embedded in our football development programmes to give our players the chance to compete with other nations.

Our home players should learn how to put their learning and acquiring basic fundaments before money, pride and fame. You get fully rewarded for whatever you do AFTER and not before. We should expect our rewards after we have rendered a service

I remember, in my playing days, I used to arrange extra training in Brazil with my colleagues after the normal training sessions. I can tell you it all paid off.

This is the only secret to scoring goals. These days you see a striker scoring only 10 to 13 goals in a season and earning millions. What a shame.

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