Two former Super Eagles players have given their backing to the players on Coach Stephen Keshi’s provisional list of 30 players for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, released on Tuesday after weeks of speculation.
Some notable omissions are Dynamo Kiev’s Brown Ideye, Schalke 04’s Chinedu Obasi, and Ikechukwu Uche of Villarreal, who is perhaps the biggest absentee.
Keshi hasn’t selected Uche in a year, since describing him “tactically undisciplined,” but the forward has 12 goals for the La Liga club this year, though he hasn’t scored since January 25, 2014.
Speaking with TheCable, former Eagles midfielder, Friday Ekpo, admitted that nothing can change the names on the list. Therefore, he canvassed support for Keshi, saying it is now unnecessary to go about asking the coach why some names are missing from the list.
“We should support the team, so they can make the country proud at the World Cup. Only the coach knows why he dropped some of the players; and moreover, in football, the best players can be omitted, and only the coach knows why,” Ekpo said.
“What we should do now is to wish them well. The team should stay fit – physically and mentally. They should be injury-free, so they can do the country proud.”
Atlanta ’96 Olympic gold medalist, Dosu Joseph, is of the view that no team list is complete, and that there will always be omission of some players.
“Keshi has done so well, coming out with the 30-man list,” he said.
“We have abundance of talent in Europe, and obviously everyone can’t make it to Brazil. Even those in the squad now will still fight for the 23 shirts available.”
On Chigozie Agbim who has come under severe criticism for his underwhelming performances while leading the home-based Eagles to a third-place finish at CHAN in South Africa, and who could be first-choice if Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide sustain injuries in Brazil, the former Super Eagles first-choice goalie backed the Gombe United shot-stopper.
“Agbim did very well before CHAN in South Africa, where his performance was abysmal. He’s very capable; if not he wouldn’t have been selected. But mind you, nobody is saying he’s the automatic third choice, because he will have to fight Daniel Akpeyi for the shirt,” Dosu reasoned.
“But like you said, God forbid that Enyeama and Ejide get injured at the World Cup. Even if that happens, Agbim will grab the opportunity. The coach knows he’s good, and I’m sure he’ll amend for his poor showing in South Africa.”