Unfortunately, a critical scrutiny of the team as it stands now will reveal that of all the players Coach Stephen Keshi’s experiment has produced so far, very few of them (baring injuries) seem capable of propelling the Super Eagles to the Nations Cup trophy.
|Is the Super Eagles, as presently constituted, ready to take on Africa?|
Chigozie Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Gabriel Reuben, Ogenyi Onazi, Joel Obi and Bright Dike still have work to do to prove themselves at this level. Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Agwueke, Juwon Oshaniwa, Ejike Uzoenyi (and good number of the other home-based lads) have been disappointing and probably do not have the required proficiency for the upcoming competition as yet.
Taye Taiwo and Emmanuel Emenike are still largely unconvincing, despite their experience. Obiora Nwankwo’s form has dipped greatly while Raheem Lawal has not brought anything unique or desirable to the table. Nnamdi Oduamadi and Gabriel Reuben are either injured or recuperating.
Yet several players who, to some extent, have the pre-requisite experience and unique qualities to strengthen the team have hitherto been considered unworthy of an invitation – even for assessment.Experienced midfielders Fengor Ogude and Lukman Haruna, as well as defenders Dele Adeleye and Gege Soriola (who are even better than the regular invitees) have been totally ignored. Our most versatile attacking players like Osaze Odemwingie and Obinna Nsofor who are amply experienced on the Nations Cup terrain have also been overlooked.
Of the current crop, Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide are without a doubt our best in goal; Elderson Echiejile, Joseph Yobo and Ambrose Efe are the most reliable defenders (even at that, Efe and Echiejile are still quite suspect).John Mikel Obi and Nosa Igiebor have excelled the most in the midfield. Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa seem our best wingers from the lot. Obafemi Martins, Ikechukwu Uche, Brown Ideye and Shola Amoebi, in addition to being some of our most experienced, have been satisfactory upfront.
It is now just over a month to the Nations Cup. If his words are to be taken seriously, then Coach Keshi’s boast about the team being 75% complete is a cause for alarm because the 13 players highlighted above represent only 56.5% of the required 23.