Austin Jay Jay Okocha, a former Nigerian footballer, has said Nigeria's loss to Croatia on Saturday was because the team did not have a “creative midfielder”.
Croatia defeated Nigeria two goals to none during Nigeria's first match at the World Cup in Russia.
Speaking on Super Sport TV, the former midfielder said: “We didn’t have a creative midfielder today. Mikel Obi has been a great servant but I think his best position is sitting in front of the back four.
“We saw him play as a defensive midfielder in Chelsea and he did so well."
He also opined that playing Alex Iwobi as a winger instead of a midfielder reduced his performance during the game.
“Iwobi can play from the wings in Arsenal because there is a Mesut Ozil who brings creativity," he said. “I think the only reason we lost this game is that our players played in the wrong positions and we didn’t get the best out of them."
Many Nigerians did not expect Nigeria to make it out of the group stage but that did not make the Croatia defeat any less painful.
A Twitter user with the handle @clintonviceB mockingly remarked: “So y'all thought Nigeria could beat Croatia” with the smiling picture of a goal keeper smiling on the field.
Some are however still optimistic that Nigeria might qualify. @CallMeBenfigo said: “If Nigeria wins Iceland and draws Argentina - 4pts
“Croatia loses against Argentina and Iceland - 3pts
“Argentina wins Croatia and draws with Nigeria - 5pts
“Iceland loses against Nigeria and wins Croatia - 4pts
“Nigeria qualifies via head-to-head rule.”
Nigeria will play against Iceland on June 22 and against Argentina on June 26.