By Kate Obodo
Super Eagles coach Shaibu Amodu during last week released a 32-man list for Nigeriaâ€™s campaign at the Nationâ€™s Cup in Angola next year. The list was not different from the normal. It had same players who prosecuted his World Cup and Nationâ€™s Cup campaigns.
Ex-international Emeka Ezeugo took a look at the list and said Amodu has done nothing new. They are the same players but he was quick to add that Amodu must have been convinced that they areÂ best for his mission, stressing that Amodu will not invite players who will jeopardize his mission.
The list made up mostly of foreign-based players with only three home-based, drew the attention of many football fans who saw nothing new in the list.
Ezeugo believes in as much as the coach is satisfied with the players invited, it is irrelevant to kick against or rule outÂ the selection by the coach.
â€œI want to believe that whatever Amodu decides for the team as a coach isÂ final, and I believe thatâ€™s his call. And there is nothing anybody can do. Saying anything about the invited players isÂ irrelevant. He knows these players more than you and I. All we need to doÂ is watch and see the outcome after the Nationâ€™s Cupâ€, he said.
He however,Â urged the playersÂ to do theirÂ best and make sure they donâ€™t disappoint the country. According to him, their performance in the Nationâ€™s Cup will go a long way in the next competition in June.
â€œIn all I wish them well because if they donâ€™t do well in Angola I donâ€™t think they will do well in the World Cup,â€ he said
Meanwhile, Amodu on Wednesday tried to play on the psyche of Nigerians saying that Nigerians should not expect much from the team in Angola. He said the future of new players coming into the team is bleak. Adding that whatÂ Nigerians should expect from the team in Angola is a semi-final berth.
He should get down to work â€“Isima
However, former Green Eagles player Okey Isima has urged coach Shaibu Amodu to get down to business after reeling out his 32-man list during the week.
Isima, a fantastic midfielder during his days, believes it is not enough to invite 32 players for the Nationâ€™s Cup stressing that itâ€™s time Amodu gets down to work.
â€œI believe there is a lot of work to be done in the team. There is the need for a firm cohesion in the team, starting from the attack, midfield and defence.
â€œNo doubt, the team needs a transformation to grow, that is why, he needs to start working for both competitions especially the one at hand,â€ he began.
â€œInviting players from all nooks and crannies of the world is not the issue but making sure the players are of standard. I believe if the coach works very well with these players something better will definitely come,â€ he said.
When asked if he satisfied with the 32 players listed for the competition, Isima said he has no ill feeling concerning the invitation. He believes as a coach he has right to decide players that will represent the Nation for the forthcoming competition.
â€œItâ€™s okay, he is the general and general can not be questioned, just an observation because there is no point suggestingÂ for him so that at the end he will not accuse anybody of selection. All we have to do is just to watch him and see what Nationâ€™s Cup will bring.
â€œBut in all the team need thorough work in all departments.Â Whether the players he invitedÂ areÂ stillÂ recuperating or not is not theÂ problem. Though they may not have played well in the qualifying series, I believe their attitude will automatically change if they prepare very well,â€ he assured.