Nwosu Downplays Cameroon’s Threat to Eagles


*Insists the five-time African champions can be caged in Uyo and Yaounde

Olawale Ajimotokan

One of Nigeria’s greats, Henry Nwosu (MON) has sent a message of inspiration to the Super Eagles ahead of the crunchy meeting with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in August -September this year when the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches for Africa resume.

Nwosu, who captained the national team in the mid1980s, in exclusive insights he shared with THISDAY last night, said the Eagles should not lose the urge to secure the 2018 World Cup ticket in spite of Cameroon’s triumphant outing at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Nigeria currently seats on top of a very tough Group B which has Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria with six points, and will hope to consolidate the position when Eagles rekindle their rivalry with the Lions in Uyo and Yaounde in decisive ties.

Nwosu not only placed a bet on Nigeria to subdue their adversaries in the crucial fixtures, he said he was not impressed by the quality of the Cameroonians despite their exploits in Gabon where they beat Egypt 2-1 to claim their fifth Africa Cup of Nations title.

The former Eagles midfielders said the Lions, coached by Belgian Hugo Broos, were not spectacular and warned that Nigeria would give their eastern flank neighbours the psychological edge if they begin to develop jitters before the real battle.

“There is nothing special about this current Cameroon squad. Yes, they won the Africa Cup of Nations but they were not spectacular in my opinion. They owed their success in Gabon to determination. I watched when they forced a 1-1 draw with Zambia in Limbe in November 2016.

“I stayed back to watch the match in Cameroon as I was being honoured in the country and what I saw did not impress me. They were suspect from the right back position that featured Joel Matip. We should pack our midfield, put a player to block their right back and attack from the left,” Nwosu proffered.

According to him, though he watched a couple of matches involving Cameroon in Gabon, he felt they were outplayed by Ghana’s Black Stars which should have prevailed in the semi-final tie.

Nwosu admitted that Eagles have been playing well since the arrival of Franco-German Gernot Rohr as the national coach and added that the group should use the six months break before the matches to get focused rather than pander to panic buttons.

“Look, Nigeria is good enough with the calibre of players Rohr is bringing up. We can beat Cameroon. In the past, they used to be our nemesis, but not anymore. We can beat them home and away and in the worst case scenario, we can secure a draw in Yaounde,” Nwosu concludes Nwosu who was the youngest member of the Green Eagles when Nigeria won the 1980 AFCON at home in Lagos.