Lagerback’s 30-man list mirrors Amodu’s team
Apostles of the local league expected the coach to give the home-based players the opportunity to vie for positions in the final team to the World Cup, but the Swede found only two worthy of the provisional list. Even then, the two – goalkeeper Bassey Akpan and Lobi Stars’ defender, Terna Suswan – stand no chance of being among the final 23 the way things are.
Lagerback told journalists yesterday in Abuja that he would begin proper moulding of the team next week, adding that plans had been concluded to start camping in England. In the provisional list are many England-based players, including John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe and Joseph Yobo (Everton), and Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka (Portsmouth). The other England-based stars are Bolton defender Danny Shittu and Dickson Etuhu of Fulham.
Also in the team are the Uche brothers (Kalu and Ikechukwu) and Peter Utaka. Olufemi Olubayo, who played a prominent role for the team during the qualifiers but was dropped from the Angola 2010 Nations Cup team, is also not in this provisional squad, just as Yusuf Mohammed, who was injured during the Nations Cup.
The squad will be trimmed to a final list of 23 players for the World Cup by the end of the month. Nigeria is drawn in Group B alongside Argentina, Greece and South Korea at the World Cup, which kicks off on June 11.
The squad: Goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv/ISR), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda/ISR), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva/ISR) and Bassey Akpan (Bayelsa United).
Defenders Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille/FRA), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes/FRA), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Onyekachi Apam (OG Nice/FRA), Joseph Yobo (Everton/ENG), Daniel Shittu (Bolton Wanderers/ENG), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam/NED), Rabiu Afolabi (SV Salzburg/AUS) and Terna Suswan (Lobi Stars).
Midfielders Kalu Uche (Almeria/SPA), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham/ENG), Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Sani Kaita (Alaniya/RUS), Haruna Lukman (AS Monaco/FRA) and Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev/UKR).
Strikers Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Anichebe (Everton/ENG), Chinedu Obasi (TSG Hoffenheim/GER), Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka (Portsmouth/ENG), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg/GER), Brown Ideye (FC Sochaux/FRA), Peter Utaka (Odense Boldklub/DEN), Ikechukwu Uche (Real Zaragoza/SPA), Obinna Nsofor (Malaga/SPA) and Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia).