By Adeola Aderounmu.
In early 1996 when I played under a coach in Ibadan preparing for the NYSC football competition, my coach (I forgot his name now) would always scream and shout on any player who made a pass towards our own defence or goal keeper.
Never never attack your defence he would scream! This single offence could ensure your elimination from the screening process as we fought for shirts and places in the team. Lucky me, I ended up on the outside right. We gave a good account of ourselves though we didn’t qualify from the zonals in Lagos. One more reason I have never been to Abuja.
This coach shaped my football mentality a great deal and anytime I see footballers making back passes or getting the ball to their own keeper, I really do get annoyed too.
The other day Nicky Butt of Newcastle made a back pass that landed on the feet of an opponent. Then we had a Gary Neville who netted behind Robinson courtesy of a back pass that trip on a bunch of grass close to the goal line. There are thousands of situations in football when wrong back passes have helped the opponents to win the games!
Ask Rigobert Song of Cameroon and he would tell you the consequences of attacking your own defence.
Egypt played better and deserve to win but Song should accept the responsibility for his errors. In football, you MUST NEVER attack your defence. Shoot the ball wide if you have to: more importantly towards the direction of your opponent’s area.
If only Rigobert Song had done that, Egypt would have found another way to win the game and the burden would not be so heavy on one man.
At a time like this, Song would need to decide on his future and the rest of the team should give him their supports. Errors would always happen and the team should accept the collective responsibility.
Well done Egypt, you are the champions of Africa. The rest must learn from you-the cradle of civilisation!