Keshi takes brunt of critcism for Eagle's performance

Stephen Keshi has come in for a barrage of criticism following Nigeria's 0-0 draw with Iran.

The Nigerian coach's tactics and inability to change things have been blamed for the team's underwhelming performance.

Former Nigeria captain Jay-Jay Okocha blamed his former skipper Keshi, saying: "This was a must-win for Nigeria but we did not take it. We did not do enough, we were poor."

"Keshi did not do enough work on the team. The tactical play was so bad, I hold Keshi responsible for this."

Okocha, who is on the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, was damning in his analysis of Keshi's decisions.

He was particularly unhappy with the coach for replacing Liverpool's Victor Moses early in the second half with Shola Ameobi, who parted company with Newcastle this summer.

"Osaze (Peter Odemwingie) was more creative when he came in, and we needed more in this game," the midfield playmaker added.

Jonathan Akpoborie, a forward for the Super Eagles mainly in the late 1990s, also felt Nigeria got their tactics wrong.

"I believe we lost formation too early in a game we ought to have controlled fully and we started playing long balls which was not our style," he said.

"We grew impatient by the minute and it destroyed our game. We had power, some skill, but lacked team work and organisational play. And without all these things, it was always difficult to win a football game."

Nigeria's next Group F match will be on Saturday against debutants Bosnia-Hercegovina, who lost their opening game 2-1 to Argentina

Former Ghana defender Samuel Kuffour said the Super Eagles do not have the tactical capability to reach the knockout stages of the on-going 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

"They (Iran) came with a game plan and its suit them, because they were just there and waiting for their chance - could be at set-piece or counter attack, but Nigeria didn’t come to the fight," Kuffour said on SuperSport.

"You can see how many balls Nigeria did lose in the midfield? They really wanted to kick the ball from the beginning with one player up front with Emenike and had limited chances on two-on-one occasions upfront. They (Nigeria) only had an advantage when Shola Ameobi came on with his height but still not good enough.

“I'm really worried how Nigeria will cope playing against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina," the former Bayern Munich and Roma defender continued.

"This game has been worst game in the whole tournament - we didnt see any quality in this game. Nigeria didn’t prove anything. If Nigeria want to qualify for the next round, this is the game that should be the must win game for Super Eagles.

"And Nigeria didn’t win, so I doubt how they will cope with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina. I’ve always said winning your first game is crucial to reaching the knockout stages. Since, Nigeria failed to win, I’m in doubt how they will progress," Kuffour concluded.

The Super Eagles will next face Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second World Cup group encounter on Saturday before taking on Argentina five days later.

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