Finidi George’s football philosophy

Edwin  - CEO May 28, 2024
Updated 2024/05/28 at 3:18 AM
5 Min Read
Finidi George

Super Eagles invitation favors an ultra-attacking mindset



By Ed Emeanua


Finidi George might have revealed his football philosophy in his first competitive call-ups for the Super Eagles in next month’s doubleheader for the Africa FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bafana Bafana and the Les Guépards (The Cheetahs).


The New Super Eagles boss has chosen the likes of Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen, and Stanley Nwabali in a 23-player list he intends to confront South Africa and the Benin Republic in 2026 FIFA Senior World Cup qualifying matches.


George also recalled goalkeeper Maduka Okoye to the Super Eagles setup. Defenders Calvin Bassey and Semi Ajayi, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi, and Alhassan Yusuf, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Boniface and Terem Moffi are also included. Turkey-based midfielder Fisayo Bashiru, Bayer Leverkusen of Germany’s Nathan Tella, and forward Paul Onuachu also got the nod.


However, the invitation of Remo Stars’ defender Sadiq Ismael who has been handed his first senior national team invitation has sent tongues wagging over the new Super Eagles manager’s likely tactics in the upcoming WCQ matches.


The likes of team captain William Troost Ekong, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, and Kenneth Omeruo have been cast aside by the former Ipswich of England attacker.



George seems to have opted for ultra-modern attackers and midfielders against a stellar and modest defense set up in his first competitive call-up for the national team. The new Nigeria manager has signaled his football philosophy to be one of a conscious cohesive brand of attacking ball game.


Just like Telê Santana da Silva, Brazil’s manager to the 1982 World Cup in Spain, the disdain for hardened defenders in lineups over attack-conscious stars is equally glaring in George’s mindset.


Santana is famous for saying: “I’d rather lose playing beautiful football than win playing badly”.


Santana’s Brazil failed to win, notably so, but Seleção Canarinha matched their coach’s words. So magnificent was the football they dished out that they persist as one of the most adored sides in the football’s history.


Like Santana found out to his chagrin in 1982 and later in 1986 in Mexico, Goerge should also realize that ultra-attacking football has its share of drawbacks.


Telê Santana da Silva, also known as Telê Santana (July 26, 1931 – April 21, 2006) was a Brazilian football manager and former player (right-winger)


The only reason for the choice of players George has opted for is that the Nigeria boss could be favoring an ultra-offensive formation in a 3-5-2 formation with the trio of Chidozie Awaziem, Ajayi, and Bassey in defense.


His five-man midfield wall could include Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alhassan Yusuf, Samuel Chukwueze, and Lookman, with the duo of Osimhen and Victor Boniface in attack.


George could choose to play the more modest attacking formation in a 4-3-3 formation which would include either Sadiq Ismael or Benjamin Tanimu in defense in a four-man defensive formation. His three-man choice of midfielders in such a setup would fall on Ndidi, Iwobi, and Onyeka, while Lookman, Osimhen, and Boniface feature in the attack line.


Full List

Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)


Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania)


Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey)


Forwards: Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France)


Please follow and like us:
Share this Article
Leave a comment