By Patrick Omorodion
Nigerians yesterday hailed the 24-man list released by Coach Samson Siasia for the March 27 Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia in Abuja with a handful criticising the inclusion or non inclusion of their favourite players.
Visitors to the Vanguard website wrote that Siasia should be supported with prayers as he has shown by the team list he released that he was ready to rebuild the Eagles after their World Cup failure under Swede coach Lars Lagerback.
Apart from a few fans like one by the name Uzodinma who queried Siasia’s inclusion of Solomon Okoronkwo and new face, Nnamdi Oduamadi for “not even playing for their respective clubs”, others were of the opinion that since he was building for the future, he should be allowed some time.
Uzodinma particularly asked why such players as Dickson Etuhu and Yusuf Ayila who “played so well (Thursday) against Manchester City in the Europa League” were missing from the list, stressing, “I just do not believe in this Siasia as a coach.”
He, however, said he hopes that Siasia and his Dutch assistant, Simon Kalika would do a better job than they did with the Flying Eagles at the African Youth Championship in Egypt in 2009 where they disappointed a lot of their fans.
Another fan by name Asuquo Bassey wrote that “We should encourage Samson Siasia to do well. The list of players for the Ethiopia match is okay, Ayila will be called up later for other matches. Please all soccer loving Nigerians should pray for Siasia to succeed as he is building a new team. May God bless Nigeria and the Super Eagles.”
One fan who goes by the name Cueking said “I think this is the way to go. With eye in the future, Siasia seems to be challenging this crop of young players to take the mantle and become our soccer hope. Siasia sure understands the task ahead and appears to be facing it squarely.”
Emma Ogbonna Udo also believes Siasia is on the right track and Nigerians “ should allow him to work. I think the list is good, young energetic guys.
We will expect nothing but total war against Ethiopia. Nigerians, let’s arise and take back our position in African soccer.”
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda of Israel).
Defenders: Chibuzor Okonkwo (Heartland), Adefemi Olubayo (Skoda Xanthi, Greece) Taye Taiwo (Marseille, France), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Dele Adeleye (Metalurh Donetsk, Ukraine) Efe Ambrose (Ashdod, Israel).
Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Obiora Nwankwo (Parma, Italy), Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy), Fengor Ogude (Valerenga, Norway), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy) Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain), Ahmed Musa (Venlo, Holland).
Strikers: Osaze Odemwingie (West Brom, England), Victor Anichebe (Everton, England), Peter Utaka (Odense, Denmark), Obinna Nsofor (West Ham, England), Ike Uche (Real Zaragoza, Spain), Ekigho Ehiosun (Warri Wolves), Solomon Okoronkwo (Aalesund, Norway), Obafemi Martins (Birmingham, England).