I am tempted to believe that the coach has been following my positions of late on the Super Eagles – tonight he started THREE NEW PLAYERS:
1. AARON – 20, Guangzhou, Chinese League
2. LAWAL – 24, Eskişehirspor, Turkish League
3. AKPAN, 24, Reading, English League One
So we can agree on one thing – it is not wrong for good Nigerians like myself to call for HUNGRY PLAYERS despite their AGE or RELATIVE EXPERIENCE to the established players to be fielded in this team!
Second, Keshi must go further – he must bring in IHEANACHO, 18 into this team – as I have screamed earlier, CMR now has 2-3 17 years old performing for the nation – and they are getting results – and he must not stop with IHEANACHO, he must seek other team mates of his from the U17 and others from U20 as well.
Third, Keshi must open his camp to ALL PERFORMING PLAYERS – away from all this VENDETTA of “You fight me; I fight you back; and I am the coach” – IK UCHE must return to this team; in the same way, MARTINS must get a call back – this is the NATIONAL TEAM of a nation of 170m people – not an exclusive club of a small cult ran by Keshi!
Four, those that have been suggesting that “we should leave Keshi to pick his team as he won AFCON doing that” should be told that this is Keshi’s second victory in 12 matches in 2014 – and that something must then be wrong with his team selection and approach – as the FACTS and STATS do not lie – you can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results – once again, I was one of the few people that gave Keshi a chance leading to AFCON and I deserve the right to also tell him when he is erring.
In conclusion, this for me is no longer about AFCON only as much as I believe we would win our next two matches, this is now for a me an issue of the LONGER TEAM SUPER EAGLES – Keshi, if he stays or the one coming after him MUST GRADUATE PLAYERS into the SENIOR TEAM from the feeder teams IMMEDIATELY those players are performing; away from the “let them mature first lingo” because we all watch global football – we all see revelations of youngsters doing crazy things for their nations and clubs even as we saw 18-year-olds score in the last World Cup – just as we know that MESSI and NEYMAR both debuted for ARG and BRA at about 18 respectfully – the latter has now scored a record 50 goals in 58 matches in 4 years – including 4 straight goals in a friendly just two days ago!
What we must understand is – these younger players need the National Teams to excel as much as they need their clubs to – and we all know that Akpan, Lawal and Aaron have become bigger superstars tonight than they were before now – that’s the reason we need to allow these younger guys into the senior teams – that way they can mature and grow faster, taking advantage of the bigger stage to launch their personal careers and their performance for the nation. Let us face it – Keshi and Amokachi, et al got these same opportunities and they shouldn’t deprive our future stars of same.
One final thing – ‘HOME BASED PLAYERS’ is overstated – we as a football polity has over-flogged this lingo – and we must remove it from our collective vocab now – there are ONLY GOOD PLAYERS – no home-based or foreign or young or old players – we should all pay attention to finding the BEST 11 at all times supported by the BEST 6 on the bench – this INFATUATION with fielding home based players because they would be humble or disciplined is nothing but a fallacy – because there is no need having players with such qualities when they would still not be able to deliver results – we are seeking SUPERSTARS not HOUSEBOYS – Keshi and his crew should move past this and focus on the right thing – SOLID PLAYERS!
These ‘our Teachers’ should therefore stop teaching us nonsense o!
I close by sharing this joke – KESHI was understandably afraid today – he has been able to see past his own invincibility that he created around himself – and that is a good thing for him and hopefully for this team!