Poor Tactics Caused Falcons’ W’Cup Exit, Says Mmadu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Poor Tactics Caused Falcons’ W’Cup Exit, Says Mmadu

Posted: Jun 21, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Peter Edema Lagos

Against all expectations, Super Falcons exited the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada at the group stage, following the team’s fourth placing. In fact, the players and officials arrived in Abuja Saturday morning.

Super FalconsThe team could only manage a point in its three group matches having lost two and drew one.

Falcons rekindled hope of a good outing at the tournament after coming back twice to level up against Sweden 3-3 in its group opening match. But a 2-0 loss to Australia in its second group match and a 1-0 loss to USA in its last group match ended all hopes of progressing to the knock-out stage.

Falcons that has qualified for the entire seven Women’s World Cup tournaments, had reached the knock-out stage only once, in 1999.

After failing to make it beyond the group stage in Canada, the team’s former midfielder, Maureen Mmadu, attributed the exit to poor tactics and lack of leadership in the team.

Mmadu, who featured in four FIFA Women’s World Cups and also in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, said in an interview with goal.com that poor tactics, was the team undoing in Canada.

“When we use 4-4-2 formation, the players should have known if they should close down some side and make them (opponents) play on the side that we want them to play, so that we will use it to our advantage.

“We can’t let them (opponents) play their pattern; we need to tell the players when to go low and when to press high as a team. But in all I think they had good outing in this world as individuals but not as a team.

Continuing on the tactics, she added, “First, we needed to know the weak side of our opponent and capitalise on it. We also ought to have told them (players) their job on the field and how we want them to play as a team. And I think some of our players are too young although good.

“Secondly, we didn’t have a leader on the field. We needed a leader that will push them, encourage them and give them some positive talk too and make them be on their toes.”

Mmadu, who believes that the players were physical and athletic, noted that she would be happy to take over the team as coach.

“If I’m called upon I will and why not when it’s my country. I think I have gotten a lot of experience as a player and as a coach. I have my UEFA C coaching license. And I have work with many coaches as a player and as a colleague.”

She said that if given the coaching job, she would, “Bring the team together; tell them what I demand from them as individuals and collectively as a team. Give them a programme everyone must follow up. I will not want to have individual players but team players. A player should not be bigger than the team, the team first before individual.”