Former Super Eagles of Nigeria assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke has explained that Victor Osimhen struggled at the 2023 AFCON because he was made to be too involved in defensive duties.
Victor Osimhen, who scored ten goals during the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, managed to record just one goal throughout the tournament, as three of his other goals were cancelled after VAR interventions.
He was also seen limping towards the end of almost every game at the tournament, especially in the final against Ivory Coast on Sunday, February 11, which the hosts won with a 2-1 scoreline.
In his analysis of Victor Osimhen’s performance at the tournament, Amuneke, who discovered and nurtured the 25-year-old Napoli striker in the under-17 phase of his career, argued that the team’s defensive pattern at the 2023 AFCON didn’t work for Osimhen.
“You know in this AFCON, Osimhen spent a lot of time helping the team to defend, and when you have a striker that is so dangerous, move a lot, and then at the end of the day he is coming to defend. I think it reduces his quality”, Amuneke told News Central TV..
“Osimhen is a player that when you look at him, moves a lot and needs players that can actually, you know, give him those balls into spaces where he can become effective and functional.”
He added, “Chukwueze and Simon Moses likewise but of course, you must have players that can complement the effort of these players.”
Meanwhile, Amuneke, who was Super Eagles assistant coach under Austine Eguavoen during the 2021 AFCON, in which Nigeria finished in the round of 16, had said he is ready to head the team.
The current coach of the team, Jose Peseiro, is out of contract, and he expects the Nigeria Football Federation to extend his stay with the team, having accomplished the ultimatum of reaching the semi-finals of the 2023 AFCON.
However, there is a lot of push for the Portuguese tactician to be sacked due to his defensive style of football, which is believed to be one of the reasons Nigeria lost to Ivory Coast in the 2023 AFCON final.
Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the future of Jose Peseiro, most football pundits believe Amuneke should be appointed to replace the Portuguese tactician.
While reacting to that in an interview with Central Television, Amuneke said: “I am a Nigerian, all my life I have served Nigeria as a player. If Nigerians now find me fit to add value to the team, of course, it is a welcome development.
“But for now it is not necessary to talk about this issue.
“We have to support the team and other Nigerians, they are going through a lot of sadness.
“We all want the best for our country, the best for our football. This has to be respected.”
The post Amuneke Explains Why Osimhen Struggled At 2023 AFCON As He Confirms Readiness To Coach Super Eagles appeared first on Naija News.