By Eddie Akalonu
As the Super Eagles begin preparation for their fourth World Cup outing in South Africa,Â one player Nigerians have been told to expect his careerâ€™s best from at the event is Everton star, Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
According to the Sunshine Stars Football Club Team Manager, Alhaji Rasheed Balogun, Aiyegbeni â€œis the man to watch in our team because I believe in his ability to spring a surprise having been named by Lagerback among 30 players.
Iâ€™m confident he will make the 23 to South Africa because in any team there are players who carry the aura of luck and he is one. Remember that despite all criticisms about his performance in Angola, the team still got to the semi final and came back with a bronze medal.â€
Balogun, who played for Lagos darling team, Super Stores for seven years and then served the club for four years as an official, said he is optimistic theÂ Eagles under Lars Lagerback, wouldÂ have a good outing despite the obstacles in their way.
He stressed that all the predictions going the way of Argentina are only on paper, adding that it was only when teams get into the pitch that issues are sorted out.
On what makes him believe that Aiyegbeni will play a vital role for Nigeria in South Africa, Balogun remarked, â€œin the past those that had passed through me made the difference in Nigeriaâ€™s international campaigns.â€
Reminded that Aiyegbeni disappointed during the Cup of Nations in Angola earlier in the year, the Sunshine Stars Manager said â€œfrom my many years of experience in managing teams, I have good insight about players. Itâ€™s a fact that players do have their low times and high times.
Yes! It may have been so in Angola but now in South Africa, I believe he will make the difference. We now have an experienced coach who knows how to manage talents and understands players psyche very well.