Sofoluwe dismisses anxiety over players’ withdrawal
Former Eagles Defender, Yisa Sofoluwe, has advised Nigerian coaches to build up as many players as are available to the country to avoid the constant anxiety that grips the nation each time a star player decides to withdraw from a match.
Speaking on the backdrop of the recent decision by Victor Moses to withdraw from yesterday’s international friendly match against Senegal and Monday’s game with Burkina Faso, Sofoluwe said Nigeria with over 50 million youngsters should be able to pick 22 quality players at any given time.
He urged Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr, to create a competitive atmosphere in the team so that whenever one player is absent another will take his place seamlessly.
Aside Moses, Skipper John Mikel Obi, Brown Ideye and Odion Ighalo are also not featuring in the games lined up to prepare the Super Eagles for the 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa and the Russia 2018 World Cup eliminator against Cameroun.
He noted that the incessant panic over the absence of some players could affect the performance of the new invitees to the national team, adding that every player invited to the team’s camp should be treated as a potential starter even in crucial matches.
Sofoluwe said the friendlies would give the coach the opportunity to assess the players available to him before the qualifiers, adding that the Eagles should be encouraged to aim for great heights.
“If players like Mikel and Moses were not around, the coach should make other players believe they could play their roles effectively. A coach cannot get the best of the players if he made them believe he had no confidence in their ability. The friendly games are for the coach to try all the invited players to pick the best. No player should be placed above the other,’’ he said.