Nigeria under-17 coach Manu Garba has an explanation for his side’s struggles in front of goal: formal education, or rather, the lack thereof.
The 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner launched a defence of his side in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat to Angola on Saturday.
That result saw Nigeria miss out on a third-place finish at the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations, and brought the Golden Eaglets’ participation in the competition to an anti-climactic end. A prominent theme in the team’s five matches was a lack of clinical edge in front of goal, a situation that concerns Manu.
“If you check the statistics of the whole tournament, my team has created more chances than any other team in the tournament,” he insisted.
“I must say that it [inefficiency in front of goal] is a great worry for us, because in training these boys do it perfectly well.”
Manu then offered his diagnosis of the problem, saying, “Any player that lacks that educational background, it will take him a long time to listen, assimilate and take to simple instructions.
“But I assure you that we will work drastically against that because this is one of our greatest problems in this tournament: converting chances.”
Nigeria finished the competition with eight goals scored in five matches but failed to score more than once in any game after putting five past host Tanzania on the opening day of the tournament.