Keshi Doubts Mikel’s Claims
Mikel Obi’s battle with the big hammer of the Super Eagles coaches may not have gone with the exit of Samson Sisia. The Chelsea midfielder has become a special focus for new manager Stephen Keshi also following the injury claim that sidelined him from Nigeria’s games against Botswana and Zambia.
aaKaduna said he would take a second look at Mikel’s continued role with the team if it is confirmed that he preserved himself for better service to his club side this weekend.
Keshi said, “I will be disappointed if he plays for Chelsea this weekend. I will be very, very disappointed. There is no sentiment about this. Whoever will come to this national team will have to do that on merit. Nigeria is too big for this kind of attitude.
“It’s a shame that we are not at the (Africa) Nations Cup but that is in the past. Now we need to start looking forward. Let’s bring those that are available, capable, and in good shape to come and play for us and fight to get a place in the national team. They will have to fight, because when I was playing I was fighting.”
Few days to the first match the Eagles captain Joseph Yobo also called on his teammates to show greater commitment to the national cause rather than relegate Nigeria while making their clubs sacred.
Chelsea will be playing a high profile match against Liverpool on Sunday.
On the team’s performance against Zambia, Keshi rated his team well.
“I really commend the players for their attitude on and off the field. It was really encouraging, disciplined, great attitude in training sessions. They gave me everything a coach wants in a team. I am looking forward to the next call-up against Rwanda. Now I know those I want from this group to come back for that game. Then I will try to pick some players from the local league,” he said.
“It wasn’t really about victory today, but for me to see the quality of most of the players and those I will need next time but the victory came and we thank God for that.”
Even though it is a new team management the former coach of Togo ruled out a complete change of the squad.
He said, “I did not say I would overhaul the team but where changes are needed, we will make them. I had like 10 strikers today and I was looking for midfielders to play but I couldn’t find them. I can’t put a striker on as a midfielder.
“I need to have the numbers of players in every department that will allow me change players if one is not doing well. Today (Tuesday) I could not do it. I was trying to joggle with it but I won’t overhaul the team. I will make sure that for every 18 or 25 we get to camp, there are twins in every position.”
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