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Five things Siasia has done right so far at the Olympics


/ by Obiweluozo Martins
The Dream Team VI have started the Olympic games on a bright note to the delight of soccer loving Nigerians who have trooped in their large numbers to watch the U-23 side in a 90 minute encounter irrespective of the timing of the game and different weather conditions around the country and beyond. The team produced a magnificent performances against Japan and in the second game against Sweden as well and have booked a place in the quarter final stage with great aplomb.

 With respect to these victories we proffer into the Dream Team VI scenario to discover what and things the team they have done well to remain on course for Olympic Games in the couple of games played. With the team led by Samson Siasia there are surely things the Master planner must have done behind the scene that has catapulted the Dream Team VI to the top spot in the group standings. 

On this note we evaluate what the Coach (Siasia) have rightly done in the course of the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.


The starting eleven like I said earlier is the key component of a team especially going into a tournament and it must be gotten right so that maximum productivity will be ensured as such teams progress. This starting spot does not really rely on the quality alone but the ability of the player to find a rhythm in a definite system. 

The starting eleven is an 11 players who can complement each other in transition and in maintaining defensive organization. In the first game and with a possible tiredness in the match due to flying conditions (Jet lag) Siasia made the right decision in his selection by starting three pacy and skillful forward in attack as the trio of Oghenekaro Etebo (Flag Bearer) Umar Sadiq (New Nwankwo Kanu) and Imoh Ezekiel (young Ike Uche) ran down the Japanese defence with flair and skill to the good of Nigeria with Mikel and Azubuike protecting the back four along in the talented youngster Usman Mohammed who must improve more as competition gets tighter in the days ahead.


There was strong need for the coach to balance the defence line with duo of Sincere Seth and William Troost-Ekong who are a product of complement for each other. What Sincere Seth lacks in experience Troost-Ekong has intact as he is more exposed than the youthfulness of Sincere Seth who is so crucial for the team in the days ahead.John Obi Mikel among the mist of inexperienced players who might be appearing in their first major tournament to bring all man at per with the task at hand was a brilliant decision by the coach.

This balance  of youth and experience will be absolutely key as Imoh Ezekiel (22) who is very exposed in international football partners Umar Sadiq who is just enjoying possibly his first major outing in his carrier in the Olympic Game with so much promise in the days ahead. So the team gaffer must be applauded for a job well done in the team.


  There is every need for a team stick to their familiar players or playing personnel for over a course of time. Team continuity is very vital as the Dream Team VI have formed a cohesive unit in a space of time leading to understanding of a more or all closing an opposition in transition.

 The fact that Daniel Emmanuel was retained in goal as the No. 1 ahead of over aged and high profiled Daniel Akpeyi who has made his debut in the Senior Team is a sure sign that the coach (Siasia) recognizes the need for the team to maintain continuity and consistency especially at the back with the familiarity of Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers Goalkeeper) owing into plays regards to decision making among the team (central) defenders.

 With this sort of continuity Nigeria can march further as understanding and the ease of play is increased for the benefit of the Dream Team VI manager and technical crew led by Samson Siasia.


The gaffer have made six changes from the two games (against Japan and Sweden) the Dream Team VI have played so far at the Rio Olympics Games. The timing of those substitutions is sport on as the candidate’s substitutes are accurate and proper as regards to the interest of the game for Nigeria at a particular point in time.

 In the second half of the game, it was right for Siasia to substitute the tired and becoming influential Usman Mohammed for Madu to shore off the defence as Japan mounted a charge for goals late in the game. The replacement of John Obi Mikel with Popoola Saliu who recently celebrated his birthday after the game was met with a warm welcome as the veteran lanky midfielder lost the ball in Nigeria’s half seven when trying his obvious trademark of shielding the ball effectively which he failed at that moment as he was really won out in the game.

 Just as name sake Umar Aminu came onto replace the fading away Umar Sadiq who opened the scoring for Nigeria in the 39th minutes.


The manager Coach Samson Siasia has been meticulous all this while at the Rio Olympic Games, dishing out instructions constantly to his players at every giving opportunity. That is why the team have being following and maintaining focus in the course of a match. 

Siasia consistent approach in speaking to the players can be likened to that of Chelsea Coach Antonio Conte who meticulous shout to his players with special burning desire and passion for productivity on the field of play.

 Siasia’s willing was to stand and watch closely the shape of the team have proven to be key for his team as some Nigerians doubted the score line (whether it was Sweden or Nigeria that was leading as Siasia raked at his players after (Sadiq) their late goal. 

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