As Nigerians continue to react to the Super Eagles 25-man squad released on Tuesday, managers at the Bet9jaSociaLiga are not left out and have added their voices.
The coach of the national men’s football team, Gernot Rohr, on Tuesday evening revealed his provisional squad made of 25 players and six others on standby ahead of the 2019 AFCON slated for later this summer with captain, John Obi Mikel and Kelechi Iheanacho the surprise inclusions.
Mikel has not featured for the Super Eagles since their exit in the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, while Iheanacho has struggled for game time at English Premier League outfit, Leicester City.
Therefore, the inclusion of the two, who did not play any real role as the Super Eagles sealed a return to the AFCON after missing the last two editions, has raised a lot of dusts, with SociaLiga managers weighing in on the matter.
Here are a few of the reactions from our very busy managers, who seem to have different views on the matter.
Saints Ladies manager, Peter Adesina;
“I have seen the list and i think we have a good chance in the AFCON 2019. (Wilfred) Ndidi did well for is club this season, playing all season. He can’t do it alone but he most definitely will be key.”
“Mikel is aiming for the premier league and offers are already up, It (his invitation) shows he still has something both in terms of experience and leadership to offer the team. I really don’t see any issues in the timing of the invite.”
For Dannaz manager, Danny Nazzal, Mikel should play no further role in the national team setup.
“Well, I believe the only way to improve football in this country and the national team is to give young players their chance (especially when we have loads of talents based locally and abroad) but again Rohr’s job is based on how far he takes the national team.”
“But on the long run it is not healthy, we need to build a new generation for the national team. Since 1994 World Cup, we have not had a decent national team that can reflect the talents we have and we are still going back to players like Mikel who I believe is not even consistent in his performances.”
An advice for administrators at the NFF from the Bet9jaSociaLiga winning coach;
“The NFF needs to do more about grassroots football, that is if they are doing anything at all. Let’s learn from Holland and to be precise Ajax. Look at Germany what they did when they retired some of their key players in order to give young upcoming players.”
Citizens manager, Adedoyin Ajibike was shocked by Iheanacho’s inclusion, and he had this to say;
“Iheanacho? What for? (Laughs)” “Well he helped me (Manchester City) win league, so thanks to him.”
On Mikel, he adds; “Mikel is needed. Senior man and balled at Middlesbrough.”
Finally, Guns manager, Ifedotun Ojobanikan is happy with seeing the back of certain players.
“First, it’s a good sign that we’ve moved on from (Ogenyi) Onazi and (Elderson) Echiejile to more capable players.”
Still on the list;
“Personally, i think the squad is a bit top heavy and one injury in midfield can disrupt the whole team especially since they’re just four and at one stage three of them might be on the field at the same time.”
“(But) I have no idea what Iheanacho is doing in the team but he most likely will be dropped.”
“I feel like Rohr is a bit mechanical in his selections going to tested and trusted (players) and reluctant to test new options but at the end of the day, a tournament is the end of a cycle. Some players will retire, some won’t be called up again so it’s fine to give them a sendforth of some sort.”
Ojobanikan ends with a vote of confidence for Super Eagles manager, Rohr.
“All in all, Rohr has proved to be right in most of his selection decisions since he took over so I’m 100% behind the eagles and wish them the very best.”
There you have it, some interesting take from the managers, but do you agree with them? What are your thoughts on the list especially on the inclusion of Mikel and Iheanacho?
Do leave your comments in the comment section.