Finidi cites Arsenal, Saka as he highlights potential disadvantage of playing with an inverted winger

Published: May 24, 2024
Finidi cites Arsenal, Saka as he highlights potential disadvantage of playing with an inverted winger

Super Eagles boss Finidi George, has sparked a debate about the use of inverted wingers in modern football.

Inverted wingers are typically left-footed players playing on the right wing, and vice-versa, who tend to cut inside onto their stronger foot rather than deliver crosses from the byline.

Finidi, a right-winger known for his traditional play during his active playing days, highlighted Arsenal's Bukayo Saka as a prime example.

He further stressed that the reliance on inverted wingers can be a disadvantage, particularly for teams like Nigeria whose attacking style traditionally relies on wingers providing crosses into the box for attackers.

The 1994 AFCON winner further admitted the challenges of adapting his ideas to the current generation of Nigerian footballers whilst making reference to his former teammate Emmanuel Amuneke, a left-winger known for his keen eye for goal

"The modern football has changed a little bit. It's not that the wing play has finally gone out of football. You see Arsenal, Man City and Real Madrid still play wing football but it's quite different the way we used to play it," Finidi told reporters at a media briefing.

"In my days I am a right footed player I say on the right side, left footed player like Amuneke stays on the left side and then you try to do your best in your position.

"Saka is a left footed player, he plays on the right side. Sometimes it's difficult to immediately get those crosses because when you are not used to your right foot, you tend to cut in and do something else before the cross is coming.

"Nigeria is not different. These players are used to the European way of playing football but we will try and see how we can get those crosses in as quickly as possible," He concluded.

The former Ajax wideman assumed managerial duties of the national team following the resignation of Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro who, despite meeting the NFF's target of a semifinal finish, opted not to extend his contract after leading the Super Eagles to a silver medal at AFCON 2023.

Ejim Kaycee

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