Esin rues absence of game changers in Super Eagles
• Urges Siasia to focus on youth teams
Former Super Eagles midfielder, Etim Esin, has posited that the Super Eagles were not good enough beat the Pharaohs of Egypt in the second leg of their Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier on Tuesday because the team lacked such special individuals that could affect the flow of a match.
Speaking in the wake of the team’s 0-1 loss in Alexandria, Egypt, Esin, who expressed dismay over the foreign–based players’ standard of play in the game, noted that the Super Eagles would have qualified for Nations Cup if the players discovered in the country’s recent U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams were included in the senior national team.
He wondered why Nigerian coaches still invite players, who contribute nothing to the development of the team in recent times when many talented younger stars abound within and outside the country.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale star declared that Nigeria’s ouster from next year’s Nations Cup was a clear pointer that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are not paying attention to the development of the game, saying that more stringent measures should be put in place to scrutinize the way and manner players are invited to the national team.
“There is no need for lamentations now because in the present Super Eagles squad there is no player with extra ordinary skills and individual brilliance. Players like Henry Nwosu, Austin Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo and myself, who can change the fortune of a team during our days are no more in the national team. I feel sorry for Siasia. It is now on record that he did not qualify Nigeria for two Nations Cup. I believe Siasia should focus on the U-23 team. NFF at this moment should get a good coach, who can discover young players.
“I don’t think Mikel Obi and some of the current foreign-based players are ready to give their best for the country because they are already comfortable. We have quality players in the junior team like Kelechi Nwakali and others who can be injected into the Eagles. Age does not matter in football. I was young when I played for the Super Eagles.
“In other climes, young players are invited to the national team to contest for shirts with their senior counterparts. Age should not deter anybody from being invited to the Eagles. Nigerian coaches need to focus on inviting the best players to national teams without sentiments,” he said.
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