AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Taribo West Advises Nigeria Against Changing Goalkeeper

AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Taribo West Advises Nigeria Against Changing Goalkeeper

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • The African Cup of Nations is set to herald the early stages of 2024
  • A host of Nigerians remain concerned about the goalkeeping situation
  • A Super Eagles legend has advised against changing the underfire goalkeeper

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is set to herald the footballing scenes across the continent of Africa through the early stages of 2024.

The biennial football tournament, which is set to be the 34th edition, will see West African nation Ivory Coast host the continent.

Key contenders tipped for victory in the competition include the host nation, Nigeria's Super Eagles, and Morocco, who are Africa's highest-ranked footballing nation.

Francis Uzoho, Nigeria, AFCON
Francis Uzoho in action for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against Argentina. Image: Gualter Fatia.
Source: Instagram

While many bank on the Super Eagles of Nigeria due to the plethora of elite forwards they possess, concerns have been raised about the defensive frailties of the three-time African Champions, particularly with the goalkeeping department.

The Super Eagles' failure to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar was attributed, in part, to a critical error by first-choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, whose howler was enough to hand Ghana the qualifying ticket to the Mundial as reported by ESPN.

With this in mind, there has been a persistent call for a change in the goalkeeping position ahead of AFCON.

However, despite the clamour for a change, Super Eagles legend Taribo West has urged for calm and cautioned against a hasty change in goalkeepers.

Taribo West on Nigeria goalkeeping situation

The 49-year-old former AC Milan defender recently aired his take on the goalkeeping crisis plaguing the Super Eagles.

Speaking to media outlet Brila FM, the 1996 Olympic gold winner stated:

“Getting a new goalkeeper at this point is risky because there is no time to figure out things anymore. It’s straight to AFCON from here.”

Nonetheless, the retired defender also hinted that the current goalkeeper, Uzoho, has to step up his game.

“Someone needs to talk to him [Uzoho] to get his head in the right place.”

Taribo West's comments have since stirred discussions among fans, with varying opinions on whether the Super Eagles should stick with the current goalkeeper or consider a change.

Regardless of the decision made concerning who mounts the goal when Nigeria commence their AFCON campaign against Equatorial Guinea, the goalkeeping vulnerabilities of Nigeria would be one many opponents will be looking to exploit.

Super Eagles goalkeeper makes impressive debut

Sports Brief in a previous report highlighted that Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye made an impressive debut in Udinese’s three-nil victory against highflying Bologna.

The 24-year-old was on had to hand Gabriele Cioffi’s side their first victory since November.

The former Watford shot-stopper was omitted from the final 25-man list released by coach Jose Peseiro.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).